my desk

My desk: where the magic happens

So, this is a post about my my hobby space. One of the many cool things about moving from to America is that housing is somewhat cheaper here. That means not only does my Son get his own playroom, so do I! The Office as it is known, is “mine”. Provided I keep it tidy and childproofed whilst I’m not in it I can do as I please, we don’t have locked doors or off-limits rooms in the house so sharp things and chemicals have to stay out of toddler reach.

I’ve always had to have my hobby desk and computer desk be the same thing for space reasons, but thanks to the wonders of Craigslist, I was able to acquire a nearly-new Ikea corner desk set for stupid cheap ($150) shortly after we moved into the house. The chair is an old friend that is slowly getting a little battered thanks to some jnr teeth marks that keep appearing but it seems to not give me back ache either when painting or when typing / watching movies. The lamp is AMAZING. I’ve been using daylight bulbs to paint for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that I spotted this beast, or something like it on the desk of someone in the ‘Eavy Metal facebook group. A quick bit of research found me what I was looking for and $50 and 2 days later it was mine. Thank you AMEX with your free year of Amazon Prime! It’s so much better than working under an anglepoise lamp with a single daylight bulb in it. This badboy has 3 daylight flourescent tubes putting out 4000 kelvins of light.

My airbrush rig

Whilst I do most of my miniature painting by hand I have gotten into airbrushing in the last year or two. Originally I picked up an Iwata HP-B Plus pared with a compressor second hand on ebay to use on some vehicles I bought for Bolt Action. However, since then I’ve used it for nearly all of my priming, and base colouring to the point that I bought an HP-C Plus recently because the cup size and needle are bigger than the “B” and more suited to that task. I use the smaller brush for colouring and blending work such as engine glow or OSL on my X-wing miniatures. I’ve dabbled a little with more detailed stuff, but I think I need to find the right miniatures. I’m not sure Fantasy miniatures are the best suited to its use. I think I’ll probably really use it a lot if I ever get round to starting an Infinity force, or once I pick up the wood elves again and start painting steeds and trees etc.

The Compressor sits under the desk, and is a Badger TC910 Aspire Pro, which is pretty pricy but I got on a great deal on Amazon. It’s got a decent sized tank so that I can spray without too much pumping, and when it does pump its quiet enough that it doesn’t wake the little guy up, whose room is directly above the office. In same same Amazong spree I also picked up the spray booth, which is just a $40 cheap chinese thing. It’s perfect, it folds up and even came with that little turn-table. It keeps the nasties out of your lungs and I don’t tend to use a mask as well unless I’m in for a serious session.

2015-04-01 22.33.32

This is where the old fashioned stuff gets done. My trusty p3 wet palette sits alongside the same jamjar that I’ve been putting brush water in since about 2000. The little dropper bottle on the left has a 1:20 Liquitex flo-aid : water mix in it, and it’s what I use to thin most of my paint. 1 Brush of paint gets 1 drop of thinner.

For brushes I’ve got a buch of different stuff, from the old Citadel starter brush that came with their intro paint set, all the way up to my current favourite Raphael size 1. This has recently replaced my previous weapon of choice, the Windsor & Newton Series 7 size 2. Size for size the Raphael brushes come up “longer” than the W&N but the tips seem to hold even better. I still use the 00 and 0 from W&N for fiddly bits like eye balls and edges but I would estimate that 99% of my painting is done with a size 1 or 2. If you never tried “expensive” brushes, do it now. It’s really impossible to describe the difference it makes. Treat them well (which means don’t mix your paints with them you heathens!) and a $10-15 brush will last you years. My first set of Windsor and Newtons lasted me 4 years and 3 armies.

If I’m painting slowly, I mount stuff on corks – those two bloodbowl teams in the background will be done slowly one at a time. There’s no rush and one is for a friend (more on the painting backlog in another post) so they are getting the cork treatment.

In the back left you can see my trusty Dremel, and a new addition to my tool kit – the desk mount for it. I never even knew such a thing existed and now I don’t know how I live without it. You can mount it to the desk, turn the drill on and make holes pin even the fiddliest of miniatures. In this case I’ve been using 0.5mm drill bits for these MK1881 Honos (Pro Elf) blood bowl minis. Also, back right in front of the paint is my super glue, which I bought from the local hobby store along with their own brand of liquid accelerant. I’ve used ZipKicker before but this new shit is AWESOME. It’s not compressed which means you can use one of those tiny glue applicators that scale modellers use to put it exactly where you need it instead of coating the whole miniature, you hand and your clothes with the stuff.

That’s enough words, I’ll skip another 1000 on the subject of paint but showing you my new, home made paint shelves which I added last month. I love the new citadel range, I use Vajello Model Colour for “realistic colours” and I picked up the Game Air range recently. I also just bought some of the Scale 75 stuff, which is lovely. I will probably add more of those as I find excuses to use the colours. Happy painting.

My paint rack
Home made paint storage has freed me from the tyranny of rummaging in draws.

2 thoughts on “My desk: where the magic happens

    1. Thanks dude.

      I think I’m enjoying the benefit of being able to plan it from scratch this time around. Whilst I lived alone in England it existed “wherever there was space” and then after my then future-wife and I moved into our first place together “wherever it didn’t look messy”. This time around we looked at an empty house and the Mrs said “You could put all your geek stuff in here!”

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