Saturday, 5 July 2014

Mobile Painting Desk

Like a lot of painters I don't have the luxury of a permanent studio area to paint in, to get around this I use a mobile paint station.  This has evolved and changed quite a bit since I got back into painting and I thought an update would be a good idea.

You might notice the doorbell on the bottom right. This is to summon my 15yr old son when I want him to come down from his room, usually to make me a cup of tea.  I know, i'm a bad parent, but he doesn't have any other chores.

The desk itself has a raised shelf across the back, a large painting area, a pull out keyboard shelf which is handy for keeping tools on and plenty of space underneath for storage boxes (mainly filled with half painted minis).  You can pick these up on eBay for under £10.

I'll run over how I use this space and what some of the additions are.  Across the top shelf I have two three-teired nail varnish display shelves (£8 each from ebay, let me know if you want the details) which hold 33 Vallejo 17ml bottles or a combination of Citadel bottles.  These even fit the now discontinued but excellent six sided bottles they used to make.  In front of the stands I have another row of bottles and the Technical paints and washes I use a lot.  Finally attached on the left is a magnifying desk lamp with a daylight bulb, I use this mostly for the light but the lens comes in handy sometimes.

Covering the painting area I have a large non slip self healing cutting mat, these are great and really cheap at about £5.  From left to right on this shelf I have a small bench vice I picked up from a junk shop, this is fantastic for modelling and I recommend picking one up if you see one (one tip, get one with the square flat anvil area behind the vice, its really useful).  I also have a desk clamp with a magnifying glass which come sin handy for holding models together while glue dries.  

On the right I have a water jar and a brush holder, this is full of mostly old brushes which get used to metallics, drybrushing, pva glue.  I have a second pot I keep my Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes in (bought for me by a good and very generous friend as a thank you for painting a wedding cake topper for him) along with a precision craft knife and my pin vise drill.  I also have a couple of Games Workshop's mixing palettes which I use all the time, normally i'm not a great fan of GW's accessories but these are fantastic because they are slightly slippery and can be washed clean really easily. Some of the palettes i've used in the past are a real paint to clean and built up old paint holds dust which can make the mix you use over the top gritty.

The pull out shelf is generally used as more space for tools like pliers and craft knives and I use it when i'm putting together larger models and need more room.  Under this shelf i've got four sets of storage boxes with pull out draws, these hold basing materials, spare paint and far more half finished miniatures than i'm comfortable to admit.

The real advantage to this desk for me is that I can use my computer while I paint, watch TV and be sociable with my wife while she watches TV but I can wheel it into another room when i'm not going to be painting for a while or need the family room tidy for a party.  The disadvantage is I can't really use an airbrush as I think it would make too much mess and noise and i'd really like to try one out.  

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