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Author Topic: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..  (Read 752 times)

sounguru

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Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« on: 18 October 2022, 12:46:13 »
So as I age and life has taken it's toll on my body I have found that doing things the way I used to is harder or almost impossible. Just to give you a starting point I have severe damage to the pinkie side of my right had that has immobilized my knuckle. Now after one steel plate and 27 screws later at least it is still attached but of little use in gripping things. The other is eyesight as I age it is going down quickly.

So on to the reason of this thread.

I am making this list for both us older banged up folks and those of the younger gen that have decided to put down the phone and pick up a brush. When I started painting years ago I had no clue what to buy or what would make my painting better and easier. The internet was not a real thing back then and film was still the medium we had to use to shoot images. Not to mention there were very few paint lines to choose from even though game shops were more prevalent.

So zoom forward to today and I found that shaking a bottle of paint which was a breeze in the old days ended up with a flying bottle of paint and a scared Bully dog. Compound that with a fuzzy mini even base layers looked bad. When my son asked me to show him how to paint and then quickly got bored I found doing it the old way wasn't gonna work.

So here are the first things I did to change that reality and make my life and maybe yours easier...

Magnifier - Now these can come in several forms from one on a boom arm with or without a light to the ones surgeons and dentist use. I have found the ones seen in the pictures are just right for me. The interchangeable lenses make it easier for me to see the finest detail... @ around $20 I have used these for years even before the eyesight started to go.

 

Now up next is something I had to purchase or I was never gonna get a well blended paint with my hand damage. A mini paint mixer and 4mm stainless steel ball bearings. I giggle every time I use it and it is USB powered so can run off of a power pack. This makes this a very nice option if you like to paint at different locations. Just throw 2 bearings in a jar place it on the mixer and press down.



So there you go a couple of things that can make life easier I will add to this list every few days and will cover everything I use from paints to tools and even basing materials. I think it will be fun and 2 somebody might get help or an idea from it all. Plus if us old farts don't pass on the knowledge younger gen will be lost...
« Last Edit: 18 October 2022, 12:51:52 by sounguru »
There would be less humans if they were tastier....

Bedwyr

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Re: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« Reply #1 on: 18 October 2022, 13:55:18 »
Good examples. Here on the east-side of the PNW I found a bag of glass beads at Mox's Boarding House and bought two. I was going to get stainless steel from another source, but was cautioned that sometimes <insert website> lies. The brand says "Dr Paint Pills" which, after some looking, resolves to "Dr. Tabletop Paint Pills" and definitely not various house-painting or pain management physicians.
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Sapphirus

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Re: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« Reply #2 on: 18 October 2022, 15:18:31 »
I do have a white magnifying glasses (different brand though; Glam Hobby to be more specific).  I may not be an old fart but I'm in my 30s.  I'm wearing glasses so the magnifying glasses are great for me to use while painting. :)
« Last Edit: 18 October 2022, 15:22:20 by Sapphirus »

sounguru

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Re: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« Reply #3 on: 18 October 2022, 18:11:15 »
Okay kind of showing things as I use them so up next 3 tools everyone should have if they want to mod minis.

Tweezers - Not just any tweezers will do but something with a fine tip I find to be a must. Basing, pinning, Holding small parts in place, and getting the occasional splinter out are all things these will come in handy. I also like to have ones that come in different angles to reach those hard to get to spots. Usually a set is around $10 for something like I have.

Pin Vice Drill - This is a handy little device for barrel drill outs, pinning, launcher holes, and antenna holes the list goes on. These can be found for under $20 with a huge # and size of bits. I just bought one of the ones that has something like 50+ bits and the vice. Once you have the 3 or 4 sizes you use the most down, you can then order just those sizes in bigger lots. The electrics are an up and coming thing and I have tried one but I feel like I have more control with a manual. Just remember to go slow and keep the pressure even and directly over the bit.

Flush Cut Pliers - From removing parts from a sprue with less need to clean up to clipping pins these things are a god send to helping you in mini assembly and dismantling. $10 and worth every dime.



So 3 more tools in my arsenal of things I use. I will keep posting as I pull things out for use until the entire collection is covered. ;D
« Last Edit: 19 October 2022, 00:17:18 by sounguru »
There would be less humans if they were tastier....

sounguru

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Re: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« Reply #4 on: 18 October 2022, 19:55:42 »
Ok next to post may start a fire storm of different thoughts but that is not what I am trying to show. This is just to give a full loadout of how this nut rolls....

So on that note Brushes and a Wet/Dry palette..

Wet/Dry Palette - Ok we all need some place to place our paints even if you are one of those citadel only users and hopefully you are doing some blending at least. What is wet palette you ask, well just that a piece of parchment paper/Palette paper (more on that in a minute) and a source of wetness. A dry palette has no source of wetness and can be anything from palette paper like I like to use to one of those plastic ones you can find at any hobby store. You can even find combo ones but I found it to not be real helpful too have the 2 in the same container.

So now back to the wet palette you can use any airtight container, a few layers of paper towel, and a piece of parchment paper to make your own and was how I started. Instructions all over the web or you can by some really fancy ones if you don't want to make one. Now you can buy wet palette sponges and paper separate and use your own container by cutting to size and is what I have done. Now I want to note my container is not airtight and will hold the paint for only about 3 days also I recommend stirring your paints if you have been away. Now dedicated palette paper is designed to only transfer enough water to keep you paints wet where parchment will transfer more making your paints watery over time. Another plus is palette paper is thicker and doesn't rip when mixing like parchment can. Palette paper is also reusable another big plus. You can see in the photo the blue and pink spots are form a previous paint session just washed it off and reuse. I get about 3 runs on each side of the paper before I have to get a new one.

Brushes - Ok here is a touchy subject just let me say brushes and paint are more about you than anyone else, if they don't work for you find one's that do. You can buy packs that will have all the sizes a beginner needs for like $15 to several hundred dollars just make sure they are for acrylics. Now me personally I have used both ends of the spectrum and have found that I am hard on brushes so I usually buy bulk of mid/lower level brushes so I always have a backup when I hammer one. Most common sizes I use are Flat in #0 and #2 Rounds 2, 1, 0, 3/0, 4/0, and 5/0 I find this range covers all I need. If I hammer a brush I regulate it to another duty like basing or washes until it is just unusable for panting. Then it get's moved to chalking or possibly in to terrain (bush bristles can make nice grass).

« Last Edit: 25 October 2022, 23:15:58 by sounguru »
There would be less humans if they were tastier....

grimlock1

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Re: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« Reply #5 on: 20 October 2022, 14:02:49 »
Some combo of a height adjustable table, a good, adjustable chair, and a foot rest.  Bring the work to to the best spot for your body.  And I apologize for being a bit entitled, but a microsurgeon's chair is fantastic.  It does all the usual things like lifting, tilting, adjustable back support but the arms are amazing.  https://www.dentalti.com/global-surgical-microsurgeon-chairs
Those kidney shaped pads can rotate and elevate, independently, and the arms can rotate and telescope in/out.   It takes a while to dial this chair in, but once you do, you can sit and work for hours.

Unfortunately they are stupid expensive and I only managed to score mine as salvage. Just one arm assembly is like $600, 12 years ago. I'm not putting it here as a flex, rather hoping that it can inspire someone to DIY their own rig.
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sounguru

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Re: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« Reply #6 on: 21 October 2022, 09:42:14 »
Paints/Inks and Additives

Paints - Oh boy is this a wide open topic there are so many lines of paints you can use but when starting out try to stick with acrylics. There quick dry time and ease of use makes them the best for starting out. As you advance you can start playing around with oils and all other kinds of additions to you paint box.

Paints made for hobby painting such as The Army painter Line, Vallejo, Citadel and others are a great place to start. You will have a wide selection of colors and enhancers too choose from. Sadly for some of us there is no local hobby store or any place that carries hobby supplies but there is a craft store and they carry craft paints. These paints are also a good place to start, but you are gonna have to work with them to get them thinned and some colors because of the size of the pigment can be grainy. Basically any acrylic paint short of house paint can be used you will just have to experiment as you go along.

Inks - (second Pic) Are the next step in your line up of paints that I like to tell people to get. Inks can be used for lining, washes, glazes, and a number of other uses. They provide a much more intense color so make sure you practice with them on something you can mess up on when first using them. All of the hobby paint lines carry them but I like to head to the local craft store for some of mine. They have a large selection of colors in both opaque and transparent.

Additives - There are all kinds of home brew and commercial additives that you can use to help your painting progress. These can be found in most of the hobby lines or in larger bottles at your local craft store. Now water will be your mainstay of additives and something I always use with my paints. I use distilled water that way I know that there will be no reaction with chemicals in the water supply (mine is heavy in iron). Besides water there are 3 main ones I recommend and a couple of sidebars I use.

Flo-Aid - will help your paints flow from the brush giving you a smoother finish
Slo-Dri - used to slow the drying time of your paints when doing wet blending
Glaze - used to give transparency to your paints for blending and highlighting
Gloss - used to give shine to a small portion of a mini if needed, think cockpits and lasers
Metallic - this will turn any color onto a metallic think a candy apple red marauder.

Now there are home brews for all of these but try them at your own risk I have found they do not work as well as the commercials.

I also recommended picking up a bunch of dropper bottles for washes you make and for storing smaller amounts of additives/paints instead of trying to use the big bottles.



« Last Edit: 21 October 2022, 09:53:05 by sounguru »
There would be less humans if they were tastier....

worktroll

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Re: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« Reply #7 on: 26 October 2022, 00:55:14 »
I may not be an old fart but I'm in my 30s.  I'm wearing glasses so the magnifying glasses are great for me to use while painting. :)

Multi-focal glasses, mate. Mine - top half for driving/distance, next third for reading, bottom 6th hi-mag for mini work. Best investment ever!

(I have a problem that my eyes focus at different lengths, so looking through one magnifying glass light drove me around the bend.)
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sounguru

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Re: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« Reply #8 on: 26 October 2022, 08:36:04 »
Multi-focal glasses, mate. Mine - top half for driving/distance, next third for reading, bottom 6th hi-mag for mini work. Best investment ever!

(I have a problem that my eyes focus at different lengths, so looking through one magnifying glass light drove me around the bend.)

I wear bi-focals myself and don't wear my glasses while wearing the magnifier. I tried originally wearing both when I got glasses and learned that was a headaches waiting to happen. ;D I also tried those 3 way ones and they were even worse for me.

This goes to show that this list isn't a be all but a suggestion you will still need to find what works best for you....
There would be less humans if they were tastier....

sounguru

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Re: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« Reply #9 on: 26 October 2022, 10:39:59 »
Ok more for your list...

Hobby knife - A hobby knife is kind of a no brainer but make sure you pick up extra blades. The sharper the blade the better job it will do. Handy for modding, Removing mold lines and flash, home surgery if needed. Get one that is comfortable for you to use and locks that blade down firmly some don't.

Scissors - I like to keep a pair of small fine scissors for decals and trimming landscaping on bases. Handy and not used often but when needed are a god send.

Oh yea empty dropper bottles again... ;D



Up next finishing tools...

Sanding Pads - I couldn't live with out these great for modding and clean up of mold lines. I bought a pack that ranges from 300 grit to 12000 grit and they have lasted quite a long time. You can order just packs of a certain grit and if you do I would recommended 600, 1200, and 2400 those 3 will cover almost any thing you will encounter.

Micro Files - Another handy tool for removing plastic/metal quickly while modding or cleaning up a mini...



Little Helpers ...

Fine tipped pens - These are great for hitting mold lines to darken them or applying #'s to a mech. I am using a .03mm and a .05mm tip at the current moment. You can acquire these in different colors and sizes at your local hobby/craft store.

Brass Tubing - I personally use 1mm brass tubing for pinning I find it is more forgiving than any other material since it can be cut with a hobby knife easily. Tubbing of all kinds can be used for gun barrels in mods and other things like hoses etc. Must have if you are gonna mod or pin.

« Last Edit: 26 October 2022, 10:57:06 by sounguru »
There would be less humans if they were tastier....

sounguru

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Re: Tools for old Farts..or Sounguru's toy list..
« Reply #10 on: 26 October 2022, 11:25:40 »
Okay will probably be the last one for a few days .... but to me is one of the most over looked things.

Chalk - Chalk is one of the most versatile elements in my tool box of toys. Chalk can be used for anything from rust stains to coloring an entire mech (yes I used to have a tutorial on painting a mech with chalk). I bought the set below for $25 and it covers all of the bases I will ever need and will last a life time. It also includes fluorescent colors that can be used for weapon glows. 

Pigments are what chalk takes the place of but for 25 bucks I have 48 shades of pigment instead of only 5 at $5 per color. You want Acrylic pastels not the oils.

Now working with chalk is a learning curve. You will need to go sometimes 10 times darker than what you would expect to get the effect you want. The reason behind this is once the finish is applied the color and coverage will be severely muted. So do not be afraid to apply less than you think seal, add more seal, and repeat until you get the coverage you want. I would practice before applying this to your show piece.

You can also use a little water to get streak effects but be careful this has the reverse effect of making that pigment pop even more so go light and build up. Below is a heavily chalked CAV mini (WIP) the effect is a long time fighting on a muddy battlefield. The smoke and rust are all chalk along with a good portion of the dirt.

Brushes can be washed out with soap and water but some pigments might stain them. Use small squares of sandpaper to grind the chalk for use. I prefer 220 or 600 depending on how fine I want the dust.





Makeup Brushes - I use these for chalking, washes, and dry brushing. Normally I will use the white for chalk, black for washes and browns for dry brushing, but experiment see what works for you. Also hammered brushes can be used for chalking ...

« Last Edit: 26 October 2022, 11:45:26 by sounguru »
There would be less humans if they were tastier....