Recently there was a post on Twitter where another hobbyist asked what kinds of ways people recommended for holding minis while working on them. This inspired me to share some of the various ways that I temporarily attach miniatures to surfaces or clamp them in place with tools while I work on them. The one method which is popular that I don’t use and didn’t illustrate here is to mount a miniature to a wine cork. I don’t do this too much for some reason, but I wanted to mention it. Check these out and comment if you have other methods that you would like to share. Feel free to post any questions as well!
Example: Wood Coffee Stirrer
I was able to acquire a box of coffee sticks like those used at a coffee shop. Using these for single miniatures is great, but they a really come in to their own when keeping components together for painting is useful. These minis are the crew of a platoon of tank destroyers for flames of war. Having these components grouped together will help when the paintings done and I want to attach them to the rest of the model. My hobby area is a huge disorganized junkyard – this technique helps prevent a situation where I lose a part in the chaos.
These are the things that surgeons are talking about in MASH reruns when they yell “clamps!” You can find them at science or medical surplus companies or a similar device at art or hobby stores. These are fantastic for fine detail painting and have the added advantage of being usually heavier than the miniature they are holding which keeps your work from toppling over while drying. I use these a ton for sculpting small components as well. Small vice-grips work well for this too for heavier parts.
Example: Magnet + Something Metal
Some of the models I work on have magnetized parts for swapping options between games. The same magnet mounted in the component is great for fixing the part to a ferrous metal object which can act as a holder. I often use a hobby knife with a blunted blade, the same one I use for sculpting. Parts can move around on you when you are using this method, that is the only thing to be aware of.
Example: Wood Block Holder
When I am working on a green for a new miniature I use a contraption that I built which consists of two wooden blocks that are pressed together by some hardware. This is a reusable miniature holder that is fantastic for providing a solid base to work from. In the picture above you can see the area that I coated with putty to create a level surface for the sculpt to stand on. Making these is very easy. Scrap wood. Hardware that is easily found at a hardware store. Check out the image above to see the separate components of this type of holder. When the wooden block is in the way of the area of the miniature that I wish to work on, I will switch the green to the hemostat to give me a bit more access to hard to reach areas.