Top 5 Must Have Qualities For Painting Miniatures Figurines
Have You Ever Discovered That As You Paint A Miniature, Paint Comes Off?
I’m aware that I struggled greatly with it, especially when painting miniatures without mounting them on bases first.
A decent miniature holder or painting handle can enhance your painting process in addition to merely “holding” the miniature while you paint it.
In this essay, I’ll discuss what to look for in a miniature holder and what, in my opinion, is the greatest painting handle available.
What qualities a good painting handle for painting miniatures should have?
A decent painting or miniature holder should be able to:
- It should firmly secure your miniature in place.
Despite the fact that this is quite straightforward, many different handles have a tendency to get it incorrect. The miniature must be held securely in place on the holder once it has been installed.
You might find this amusing, but there is a serious issue with the different holders in that the mini can fall off by applying pressure to the model or tilting the handle.
Additionally, painting the model will be difficult if you can’t tilt it.
- It shouldn’t in any way harm your miniature.
The entire purpose of the paint handle is to prevent you from having to rub all of those tasty highlights off the miniature with your gross skin oil.
But if the handle breaks your tiny, what good is that?
Other to the tiny sliding off, a number of things can occur:
- Some handles have a high center of gravity when constructed. You must be able to place the mini’s handle on your painting desk without worrying that it will topple over repeatedly.
- Some mounting mechanisms either put a lot of pressure on the base or require you to touch the miniature with your fingers a lot (which is what we are trying to avoid in the first place).
The balance of the Citadel Paint Handle simply stinks in my opinion.
- It need to be cozy to hold.
The majority of painting handles are produced in a single size and only in that size. Do we have different-sized hands? Yes!
I am fortunate in that most of the little miniature holders, currently available on the market suit my hands, but I have a lot of pals who experience cramping while using some of the smaller ones.
When choosing a painting handle, you should consider how your hands will fit with the item and whether you can see yourself holding it over a lengthy painting session.
- Miniatures should be simple and quick to put on and take off the holder.
Some of the different holders’ mounting methods are rather laborious. If you only paint one model at a time, this is not a problem, however because I also paint greenskinz and armies, I have to paint a LOT of models at once.
I find it really annoying if it takes only a few seconds to get the minis in and out of the handle.
Along with this, I obtained adequate maintenance just by attempting to prevent damage to my brushes. I don’t want a painting handle that needs upkeep in order to function properly.
- Include more features
When I discuss the benefits of painting handles, I frequently receive the question, “Why do you need it?”. Why not simply grasp the micro by the base?
To begin with, occasionally I paint the base and the miniature separately (not when painting armies, but it can happen when I paint a single miniature). And if I only have the base to grasp onto, I find it challenging to flip the miniature upside down without touching the miniature itself.
However, I believe that the main benefit of using tiny holders is that they help me paint more effectively.
I can rest my palm on the handle of my handcrafted painting tool, for instance. As a result, my painting is better since my hand is steadier (I also put my elbow on the table so that I have two points of contact and any shakiness is less likely to spoil my “epic” highlights).
Various handles do add different features. The GW version with the arms is excellent for tacking on delicate model parts. Some can smoothly spin, while others offer enhanced comfort or a smile.
Oh, and if you have kids, a large handle can make it much simpler for them to carry the miniature than if they simply hold it by the base.
Various painting handles and miniature holds that are available
These are the various paint handles and miniature holders that are available overall:
- “Paint handles” come in several variations from Games Workshop.
- Holder of Game Envy’s Hobbies
- V3-series from Rathcore
- Paintbrush Redgrass Games “RGG 360”
- Of course, there are several DIY, 3D-print, and similar options.
I’ll discuss the various paint handles and offer my opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of each kind.
The handles on the Games Workshop paintings
The Games Workshop Citadel Paint Handles are extremely basic paint handles. Although it is easy to use and reasonably priced, in my opinion you also get what you pay for.
What about the Citadel Paint handles doesn’t work:
- Getting the base and the miniature in and out of the handle can be a little tricky. I always wish I had three hands when I do it—two to draw the springs and one to set the model into the holder. It cannot be used for batch painting, then (some people solve this by buying their multiple handle box, but this seems like a bad solution to a problem you could solve with better design).
- When you play around with getting it in and out, there is a chance that you’ll unintentionally damage the base and the model (I have chipped the rim on the base many times with this handle).
- When a small is installed, the center of gravity is shifted (especially if it has any kind of weight). It topples over on me way too frequently.
- There is no place for my hand to rest on the handle, making it uncomfortable to grasp.
- It is necessary to use the XL version if you want to mount a large base (and with that one the issue with the centre of gravity is even worse).
- You’re out of luck if you try to mount something without a base!
What benefits does the Citadel Paints Handles have?
- They are widely accessible and reasonably priced.
- You simply use it (as in, it requires no preparation with sticky stuff, magnets or what have you).
- Unless you mess up the mounting and send your mini flying like I once did, after you mount something, it usually stays there.
- Instead of gripping your mini by the base, do this instead.
You can hear that I’m not particularly impress with the GW paint handles. I occasionally use mine, but it doesn’t happen too often these days.
However, the assembling device works well for gluing old metal models together. It is a lifesaver for that (but for simple plastic models it does not really add a lot of value)
Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention this for the meme fans: [insert your own meme about how the GW handle resembles an adult toy].
Hobby Holder by Game Envy and the V3-series by Rathcore
Because they seem to me to be rather similar products, I group the Hobby Holder from Game Envy and the Rathcore V3 together.
They are a step up in terms of price and features from the GW paint handle, but they are still not the ideal item for me (but they are the best miniature holders for a lot of people).
Both have an upwards grip that is intended to make painting simpler (you can hold the mini more steady). If a “pistol grip” is more comfortable to you, you can flip the Hobby holding grip downward.
The Hobby Holder comes with several screws (but you can also use various bottle caps). Sticky tac or blue tac is placed on a cap, and then the mini is placed on top of it.
Your model won’t attach to the sticky substance, but it will hold it in place rather strongly. Simply use multiple cabs if you need to paint multiple models.
The Hobby Holder
Is made of plastic and is kind of… whatever. If you think it looks good, go for it.
The Rathcore’s actual painting handle is made of incredibly modern-looking wood. Once more, we obtained the grip, but this time it was made of more attractive metal.
Utilizing cork things, you install the figurines on the Rathcore. Once the cork thingy is inserted into the actual holder, it will squeeze the cork together, holding your miniature firmly in place.
You insert the bases of your miniatures into the cork. Please take my criticism with a grain of salt because I haven’t utilized one of these goods.
But here’s the reason I never purchased any of these tiny holders:
- I would simply mount my miniatures on cork from vine bottles or other random objects if I wanted to use adhesive tac to mount them. I don’t believe the Hobby Holder’s grip adds enough value for me to purchase it.
- Although I love the Rathcore’s visual appeal, mounting and using various cork things are once again a problem (dismounting stuff). It’s just too tedious for me as someone who paints armies and tons of models. Oh, and it requires bases, which may be annoying at times.
But hey, I’ve heard from numerous people who swear by the Rathcore or the Hobby Holder. Therefore, they are definitely worthwhile for some.
Painting Handle for Red Grass Games
I received a complimentary review copy of the RGG360 holder from Red Grass Games. This has no bearing on how I feel about the product or what I write about it.
So, while still a little off, Red Grass Games’ RGG360 is closer to my desired painting handle.
Is a relatively small plastic object. Compare to most other paint handles, the handle is intended to be more ergonomic. If your hands are the right size, it sort of works.
I don’t have a problem because my hands are little, but others with large hands might find it uncomfortable.
While painting, you can spin the little knob on top of the handle with your thumb. I was really aback by how well the turning feature was operating after initially dismissing it as a gimmick.
The knob is smooth to turn with your thumb but is firm enough to prevent it from turning on its own.
Using the adhesive that comes with the handle, you put the miniature on top. I have to confess that the sticky substance seems superior than regular sticky tac.
But the sticky mounting system is still the handle’s undoing.
Issues with the RGG360
- My sticky substance is starting to lose some of its effectiveness. What occurs if I run out?
- To prevent the sticky material from deteriorating over time, you sort of have to maintain it (covering it while not in use, etc.). Extra upkeep on hobby equipment is not something I like.
- While sort of attaching a 40mm spherical base on the handle, I had some issues with large, clunky models slipping off. With this, I attempted to paint a giant, but it was a complete failure.
- This handle has a problem with center of gravity when larger models are mounted (falling over is not cool).
- The handle is somewhat small, at least for those with large hands.
Advantages of RGG360
- Once the adhesive material starts to take effect, you may quickly switch out miniatures on and off the painting handle (for batch painting miniatures).
- It is quite simple to use after the adhesive material is on (it does not get stuck to the base of your miniature).
- The turning device works much more well than expected and is enjoyable to use.
- Without a base, you can mount objects to it.
- Very affordable.
Although I am grateful for the RGG360 holder, it can still only be used for one smaller model (32mm and below). It just isn’t cutting it for me when I batch paint or paint larger models.
Create your own tiny holder or painting handle.
Making your own small holder or 3D printing one are also fantastic solutions.
Many individuals just place some sticky tape on top of the object they want to grasp onto while painting. Simply place the miniature on top of the adhesive, and you’re ready to go.
Even though I have a variety of purchased small holders, I have discovered a DIY alternative that I personally really like.
The greatest painting handle now available, in my opinion, is a magnetic miniature holder that I made myself.
While the majority of the paint handles mentioned above function properly, I don’t believe any of them do a fantastic job of what I need them to do.
I have therefore created a straightforward and excellent DIY paint handle solution over time.
This is how it seems.
As you undoubtedly already know from some of my past writing, when it comes to miniatures and the hobby, I am a huge admirer of magnets.
Most of my problems with movement, storage, and transit on the tabletop are resolved by it. And with a few simple techniques, magnets may also be fantastic for little holders!
It’s incredibly easy to set up and create.
- Every single one of my models has a bottom magnet. The majority of my work has been done using a magnetic sheet, which works well on GW’s hollow bases as well as flat MDF bases. I now use rare earth magnets and hot glue to attach larger bases (40mm and up).
- I only need my miniature holder to have some metal it can hold onto because all of my bases are magnets. This problem has been resolved for me by placing a metal sheet on top of whatever I decide is suitable for use as my painting handle.
- At this point, the miniature will magnetically or magically adhere to the painting handle.
I simply purchase some metal sheets with an adhesive side and adhere them on top of a substantial piece of cork or other material (mine are bought in the local hobby store and is normally used as plinths).
You could also just manufacture the small holder out of metal in the first place if you had the necessary equipment and knowledge.
Why I should use a homemade magnetic tiny holder
- Minis adhere to it and remove themselves as desired.
As you may tell from my earlier complaint, it is crucial for me to be able to remove miniatures from the holder without ANY difficulty.
The small easily sticks on there when done with magnets. It also originates from, not a problem.
Never before has batch painting been so simple.
- Using the exact materials, height, and width that I require, I create the small holder.
One of the issues with store-bought holders is that they don’t fit your hands or the tiny perfectly, or their centers of gravity are off, among other things.
By constructing this straightforward solution, YOU choose how it should appear, feel, and function.
I can rest my painting hand on the miniature holder because one of mine is high enough to do so. This allows me to give my hands a break (which makes sure that I can keep them steady).
When it comes to painting handles, you have a number of possibilities.
Finding the painting handle that will work best for you is all that is require because the price variation is so minimal.
I’m using a homemade magnetic solution for the time being. This is due to the fact that I do not want to fuss with putting the miniature in and pulling it out of the mount, nor do I want to maintain the holder.
It ought to be something I can utilize without thinking about it.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the aforementioned options, though, if you choose to paint one model at a time. They all function, and if at any point you decide you don’t like one, you can simply swap it out for another.
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