Friday, May 28, 2010

Workbench Improvements

I've made a few changes to my work-bench area.  The first is organizational in nature.  This may surprise you, but I can be very sloppy when modeling (it's a shocking revelation and one that, I'm sure, is quite foreign to your own modeling efforts).  In addition to annoying the spousal unit, I do waste a good deal of time looking for tools, paint etc.  A few months earlier I had re-organized my garage and woodworking tools and ended up with an unused tool cabinet, which is perfect for a modeler's storage needs.  The cart is on wheels, is incredible sturdy and comes in a very dapper Craftsman red.  (It's actually about 12 years old, but Craftsman is top-of-the-line stuff).  One of my storage closets has a space to roll the cart in so cleaning up for company or a game night is easy.

Here's a picture with some of the drawers open - The top drawer is for basing materials, glues and plastic / brass stock.  The second drawer is for tools / brushes, The 3rd and 4th store paint.  The 5th drawer has unbuilt models.  The 6th and last drawer (unopened) is used to store scenic materials.  I use a similar approach for modeling at our weekend place, but with a smaller tool cabinet and have found it really helps keep me organized.  I'm also hoping that the relatively small space for unbuilt models will keep the lead pile down to a reasonable level.  We'll see about that...  There was one, unexpected, side benefit of organizing the cabinet - I "discovered" some tools and models that I forgot I had!

I also picked up a small natural light lamp from micro mark.  It makes a huge difference when painting and takes up very little space.  The unit folds closed when not in use.  I should have added better lighting ages ago.  The lighting also helps with taking better pictures.

The last addition may seem a bit mundane, but it matters.  I've discovered a new super glue "Super T" from Satellite City.  It's a great glue and I have enjoyed using it on metals.  I got it from my friend Ernie over at Architects of War.


Monty said...

All bow before the altar of the Uber Geek!

Blimey, Miles that is impressive stuff - you certainly have your hobby squared away - I envy your organisation.

Nice one.



jmilesr said...

I don't know about bowing and all that stuff. My actions are based on pure self preservation, the most basic of all instincts.

The situation can be summarized in the following equation:


M = Messy Modeling Area
$ = Time and Money invest in Hobby
W = Cleanliness Expectations of my surgeon wife*
I.T. = Infinite Trouble

* high cleanliness standards are good from a patient point of view but somewhat troubling from the aspect of the miniature gaming spouse

Consul said...

I really need some better lighting...

VolleyFireWargames said...

I would post pics of my modeling area(s) but I am afraid my equation result would have to be squared or cubed. But the craftsman tool bench looks interesting. I will have to look at that for my work area, how much was the natural light? I could use at least two of them

jmilesr said...

The natural light lamp was 34.95 from Micro Mark. I'm thinking of getting a second as I really like the lighting effect.

Here's a link to the micro-mark page for the product:,8273.html

I've always had a good experience ordering products from micro-mark.

Have a nice weekend

Docsmith said...

Miles - I admire your organisational skills. That is a very good use of an old tools cabinet. I've got a similar 4 drawer shelf unit next to my hobby table but I found that it accumulates so much stuff that it needs a regular clean out (which it gets very irregularly).

I concur with your equation but mine comes out a little different:

*Continual Trouble as expectations of PS Welfare Director spouse will never be fulfilled while the hobby remains in the house (i.e. there are much better uses for my study in her opinion!)


Adelaide Gamer said...

Indeed, a lair.

jmilesr said...

I know your pain!
Actually my wife is fairly understanding about the whole endeavorer, especially if my son is involved. She just doesn't get why one would want multiple armies (shocking isn't it?). Once I tried to compare the multiple era's / forces to the number of shoes she has. While the basis of my case may have had legal merit it was deemed "that's not the same thing" and summarily dismissed.

I will be sticking to my "it educational" story from now on!


VolleyFireWargames said...

Gentleman - Oh this is too funny, Definitely a Larry Leadhead moment - if i ever heard one. I believe they have writen a cartoon describing just such an event armies vs shoes. The question has to be asked how much money does she have invested in shoes versus the amount of unpainted lead you acquired (assuming you paint your own figure) comparing your finished lead to her finished shoes is an unfair comparison given the fact she (assumingly) did not have to finish the shoes herself.

jmilesr said...

We tread on very dangerous ground here. While I do paint the vast majority of my figures, I do have a few Nappy units that were painted by others (the ones that look good!). However trying to determine who much while has spent on shoes seems to be a very risky proposition - I run the risk of getting the answer "not enough" and then it's checkmate!.

Have a nice weekend, I'm going back to hurding turtles

VolleyFireWargames said...

Mon Ami - but of course it is dangerous ground is it not why we are wargamers - charging over dangerous ground is our business. As with any operation it must be done with stealth and tact - and if she determines not enough is spent on shoes than she will need to buy more shoes to keep up give her roses and a gift card for a 100 bucks to her favorite shoe store so she can go shopping, that lets you spend a hundred bucks on your hobby see win win - a draw not check mate.

VolleyFireWargames said...

But to be on the safe side wait til she has gone shopping before you buy your 100 bucks of stuff - discretion is always the better part of valour.