Making Things to Make Things

Some folks get so caught up in building jigs that they never end up building the things they intended to make with the jig.  I think this is an unfortunate position to be in: halfway between making tools, and gaining the skills appropriate to work on the project you want to finish.  Although I don’t like building jigs for their own sake, many improvised tools are extremely useful to the project at hand and well worth the effort.

For example, I built this rack to hold plastic miniatures on their sprues while I’m painting them.  I’ve only used it for a few days and it has already saved me more time than it took to build.

The first version used a coat hanger instead of a wooden frame, and the whole thing wobbled so much it dumped my figures on the ground.  With this one I can pick it up by the top portion, and it’s well balanced and sturdy enough to carry between the attic to the porch for spraying primer and varnish.

The figures here are from my latest project: Games Workshop’s Battle of the Five Armies boxed game. It’s based on the excellent Warmaster rules (also by GW), and comes with a metric pantload of plastic 10mm figures.

Pictured on the rack here are the 4 units of goblin wolf riders, and 4 units of wolves.  I like painting wolves and they go really quickly for me, so I did these first.  This represents just under 1/3 of the sprues in the game, but I am guessing considerably less than 1/3 of the total time to complete painting it all.  That said, the paining went more quickly than I expected on the goblins, so I have hope I’ll be able to finish all the miniatures without going insane.

This signals a shift away from DBA painting for a bit, hopefully at least until the BoFA armies are finished.  I may sneak in a few elephants and rough going terrain pieces for variety.  I expect I’ll eventually get back to 15mm historicals to paint DBA armies for Mongol Conquest, more Chinese, and more Alexandrian Macedonians.