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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Take Your Dipped Miniatures For A Spin

With my recent articles on creating a paint station, and dipping miniatures to get a "quick shading" effect with minimal effort, I've seen various methods of removing the excess "dip" shading tints.  The best method I've had luck with is just using a old paint brush to apply the "dip" and just using rolled up paper towels to a fine point and wicking away the excess "dip".  I think that is the overall method for control.  If you're time pressed or just doing some quick and dirty speed painting there are some other methods.


One method calls for shaking the miniature in a fast, swift, jerking motion like you're trying to snap a towel which the dip is flung away from the miniature and onto everything else around you.  The towel snap method, however creates a large mess and is something you really can't do indoors.  Its also likely where ever you do this someones not going to like it, be it parents, girlfriends, wives, etc.  If anything I've seen one kid use this method by placing his hand in a hole in the lid of the box then placing his hand/lid onto the top of the box then shaking.

Taken one step further another guy used the same technique but instead of shaking used a power drill and placed the miniatures in a box, hit the trigger, and the dip flung to the sides.  I myself considered this method and instead of using a box I performed the following hack to create a similar set up.

I currently don't have a drill that has "teeth" that close around a drill bit or screwdriver bit.  I'd recommend one that has teeth, then you don't have to come up with some sort of holder.  The drill I have is one where you place bits into a hexagonal socket.  Because of this I had to create an adapter for one of my painting rig handles which grip the paper clips posts I insert into the miniature for stability when painting, sculpting or kit bashing. (You can see in the pic above)  If you had a drill with teeth you just clamp down on to the paper clip.  Here is the rig i created its not pretty but it gets the job done. 
drill rig for spinning miniatures.
Essentially its just a socket that used for spark plugs that I had in my tool box.  The painting rig dowel fits in loosely by itself but when you use the rubberbands on each end the painting rig fits snugly into the socket.  The other end I used some craft sticks glued and wrapped in rubber bands to create a piece that fits into my hex socket on my drill.  I purposefully left the rig long as you'll see my box can accommodate larger or smaller sized miniatures.

The "box" i used was just a craft paint can from the local craft store in my case Michaels.  Its the same size of a regular gallon paint can so you can get an idea for the size of it.  It also came with a nice metal top too so i could seal up the work area to avoid any mess.  The top I came from an oxyclean tub of detergent which fits perfectly on the can.  I then just used a hobby knife and cut a hold large enough to accept the spinning rig from above and presto a fast and easy method to spin your miniature inside a closed area to remove excess "dip" and contain any mess.

Over all when spinning to remove dip you don't have to go full out, just quick short pulses.  I usually do do or three check the mini and then perform any extra pulses.  

One method i'm considering exploring a mini food processor i picked up for cheep at a second hand store.  I believe I can remove the blades, remove the metal stem the blades sit atop and then use the spinning base with either a little bit of blu-tac .  Considering that it has a pulse button this would be ideal i think for spinning miniatures and the clear bowl aspect (see through top more important) you can check the mini without removing it to decide to do further spins or not.  Heck with a little bit of electronics tweaking you could get a variable speed spinner going.  The one drawback I see is that your limited in the height of the mini as its a pretty small work bowl.

So those are some of the methods and ideas I've been using.  I'd like to know your methods of removing excess  dip from your miniatures if you use the technique.  Please feel free share them in the comments below!

Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!