Painting Miniatures: Handling your figure

Your miniature is prepared and primed. However handling the figure nimbly while painting can be difficult, especially if holding it just by the base. There are easier ways and they can also help ensure you get your brush into all those nooks and crannies on the figure.

There are fancy miniature clamps that you can use, but I’m a fan of good old blu tack and soda bottle caps. Blu tack is a soft adhesive putty used for putting up posters onto walls and forms a temporary bond. I gather up old soda bottle caps and use them as a handle to plop figures on.

If working with smaller figures like 15mm ones. You can use popsicle sticks (bought at craft supply stores) and PVA, or white Elmer’s glue. The figures below are some examples where I’ve used wooden craft sticks to mount miniatures for painting.

Why use this method? You will have a far easier time holding the miniature while you paint. You don’t have to worry about accidentally touching the figure, smearing a portion that has wet paint. You’ll certainly get some odd areas that will be a challenge to paint, and being able to hold the figure at different angles will allow that brush to get into tight recesses of the figure. It also can provide a more comfortable grip holding a large plastic cap instead of just a thin plastic base.

It’s a small tip, but something worth doing. You want to be able to hold your miniature at a comfortable height while painting. Having them on miniature base stands will make your painting session easier and allow you to keep a relaxed posture instead of being cramped over. Plus it also will give your hands a break being able to hold the miniature comfortably over long periods of time instead of trying to hold them by a tiny, thin base.