Creating Miniature Paintings While You're On The Road
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Creating Miniature Paintings While You’re On The Road

Miniature Painting While Traveling

I’ve been experimenting with painting miniatures while traveling ever since the lockdown started and I started the Hobby Streak.

I am currently approaching day 590 of the Hobby Streak, but I have also had a trip to Scotland scheduled for the past 2.5 years—my first visit there.

However, how was I able to go for 11 days and let the Hobby Streak end?

When the Leagues of Votann package showed up at my door two days before I was scheduled to leave, it was too much for me to ignore.

Putting the Materials Together to Paint Miniatures While Traveling

I’ve painted miniatures while on the road before. I have painted in hotel rooms while traveling with the family or with sick children during the past couple of years.

I once embarked on a four-day trip the day after receiving the Cursed City box set (the first time it was released and before it had baggage attached).

I brought a plastic palette, one brush, and around eight colors.

Because I wanted to paint SQUATS and I wanted to paint them in Scotland, this trip was going to be different.

So to speak, Scottish Squats. We were going to be jet lagged and waking up at odd hours, so I figured I’d have some time in the morning or at night to paint.

I then put together my travel equipment for miniature painting. It’s not flashy, but it has all the features I require.

I first chose the color scheme for my Squats before gathering all of the colors required for the project.

Next, because I adore Army Painter brushes and wanted to have really high-quality brushes to paint with, I went all out and purchased the Army Painter Mega Brush Set.

I put my wet palette inside the Tupperware container (I would have provided a link to these awesome Tupperwares, but they are no longer available.)

Finally, I removed two garments. When painting, some people prefer to use paper towels, but I prefer cloth. I only needed two cheap washcloths from the grocery store.

The paint kit is that. I packed this in my carry-on bag, wrapped in clear tape to ensure that it didn’t leak its contents.

Because I was aware that American TSA regulations require you to display all liquids in a clear container.

The cloths effectively served as cushions and prevented everything from rattling around.

Also, the advantage of using brand-new brushes is that each one still had its plastic tip cover.

I hurried to build the models I wanted to bring before the trip because I knew I couldn’t bring spray primer on the flight, and I then packed them in a second Tupperware container, wrapped in bubble wrap.

I was delighted to find that both packages arrived safely.

Painting miniatures while traveling: Painting the miniatures in real life.

Although I get up early, finding time to paint when traveling with others can be challenging, but if you’re not a morning person, you might be a night person.

Perhaps you choose to miss your noon snooze when the other tourists are having a break.

Personally, I find painting miniatures to be so soothing that I don’t feel forced to spend more time painting miniatures; rather, I see it as a bonus element of the trip.

Really, if painting miniatures isn’t bringing you joy and feels like an added burden on your journey, leave them at home! Enjoy your time off.

Painting is never required if you don’t want to.

But if you decide to, here are a few things I’ve discovered:


There is never enough lighting in hotels or even Airbnbs.

I haven’t come up with a fantastic solution for this, so my recommendation is to make the most of what you have while possibly saving the tournament miniatures for home.

Here in Scotland, there is a little lamp in the middle of the table, and I’m seated next to a big set of windows that let in light (typically overcast).

It has served my needs well enough, but it is challenging, especially in the morning when there is no outside light.

I’d be interested to hear any advice on a suitable light to pack for a trip.

Water Paint

My Citadel Water Pot was something I truly thought I would miss, but I was quite fine without it.

In fact, I changed my paint water here more frequently than I would at home due to the flat’s small size and my wish to avoid leaving paint rings on the owner’s spectacles.

There was never an issue.


Space might be simple to find—this apartment has a full dining room table and it is solely for my wife and me—or it can be quite difficult to find—the typical hotel room is not the best place to paint.

Fortunately, I’ve discovered through the years that you can just draw out the individual pot you need by keeping your Tupperware of paint on the floor next to you (or propped up on a bag).

Instead, if you have room, spread out all of your paint at once on a wet palette and don’t worry about having paint pots on your desk.

Painting Handle

Since the Citadel painting handles are simple, affordable, and require no fiddling with poster putty, I have never seen much reason to use anything else.

I swear by a painting handle. Regrettably, when I arrived here on this trip, I found I had forgotten my painting handle.

Fortunately, since I was in the UK, I was able to find a Warhammer store nearby where I could pick it up along with two other colors I wanted and a copy of White Dwarf.

(And because of how much worse the exchange rate is currently between the US and the UK, it was much less expensive to buy it here than in America.)

Basing Materials

I choose not to bring this item, among others. Although I had a pot of Astrogranite, I decided not to carry my usual base supplies.

So when I get home, they’ll be receiving grass tufts. Complaint: Why don’t grass tufts come in Warhammer stores?

Army Painter and Gamer’s Grass may be the “big kids” on the block, but Games Workshop could actually provide all the necessities for gamers if they would just get off their high horses of exclusive goods.

(I know, it’s revolutionary.)

Touring and Painting Miniatures: The Outcomes

At this point in the journey, I have painted nine of the 20 Hearthkyn that I brought along with the two unique characters.

But it’s still good! For painting miniatures while traveling, a bit more than one every day is appropriate.

I believe that the project was a huge success in the end.

The hobby streak continued since I kept painting, and I’m getting close to 600 days now.

It provided me with something to do in the early morning solitude before everyone else awoke. Scots Squats were an experience in and of themselves.

Although they are not competition-ready, they are a step above battle-standard, and for me, that is acceptable.

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