Monday, May 12, 2008

Workbench Tools, Part 1

This is my first installment of workbench tools that have helped me over the years.

First off are paint trays. These plastic paint trays are cheap and can be found in any craft or art store. I wrap these trays in aluminum foil (heavy duty) and carefully press the foil into the cups of the tray... But not all the way! Just deep enough to mix the paint. I use five trays, this way I can paint for several hours before making "new" trays. When done, simply toss them out. Don't forget to use the rim of the trays for small mixes! The use of foil is much cleaner than washing the trays out in the sink after every use. And it will keep you on the good side of the people who share the sink with you!

Lighting is a huge tool in our hobby. For years I've been using standard desk lamps with 75 watt Reveal light bulbs. But now I've switched to the OTT-LITE. And what a difference! These lamps show colors in a true light. There's no glare and that yellow glow. Yes, even the Reveal bulbs produce a yellow glow. I did a test. I painted for an hour under the OTT-LITE then switched to the old lamps. Wow, my eyes actually hurt when I looked at my project under the Reveal bulbs and made me strain to see my work! So the great thing about the OTT-LITE is there's no eye strain. Colors are true and there's NO heat from them. When I worked under the Reveals, I begin sweating after a few minutes. Now, you should invest in two of these lamps. One will not be enough light for painting. They're not cheap at $50+ a pop. I lucked out when I bought these at Micheals at 40% off.

For sculpting, I use a 4x6 piece of glass that came from an old picture frame. I coat this with a very thin film of baby powder to keep the putty from sticking. I have a bowl of water in which to dip my toothpick in to keep the "tool" lubricated. And I use a baby wipes to wipe off putty residue.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick

I finished this guy just before the MFCA show. It's a Puchala 54mm I got of ebay a year or so ago. The pose really appealed to me... and was cheap! I've been working on him off and on for the past few months. The casting was bad and the head didn't have much character, so I decided to go with a head from MIG. It fit pretty well. Whether it looks like the Duke is up to the viewer. Sorry for the poor pics.

Some of these Puchala figures are real gems. I have the Margrave of Baden itching to be painted.