Wednesday 25 January 2012

Mobile Painting

Last year my job changed (a promotion non-the-less!) and my new role involves a reasonable amount of travelling. A couple of times a month I have an overnight stay in Southampton and recently I also had a two day trip up in Manchester and today I'm in Leicester. While I'm enjoying getting out from behind my desk now and again it is playing havoc with my free time and in particular the time I spend painting. Frankly I'm so tired some evenings that I just can't face painting and all I want to do is veg in front of the TV. Consequently I have hardly picked up a brush in over a month. So I decided it was time to get mobile and better utilise some of the time I'm spending in hotel rooms in the name of my hobby.

Back in June last year I posted that I had made up a tool kit so that I could prepare miniatures while at work and I have used this successfully several times. Indeed on my last trip to Manchester I set about cleaning up and assembling a couple of vehicles for my FoW forces. But what I need to do is extend the principle so that I can get some painting done while away from home, or even at work in the few lunch breaks I get now.

The end result of this thought process is that I have put together a small travelling paint kit with the same selection of tools that I had in my tool-roll plus a few essential painting tools and a core selection of paints and inks. I can't bring everything with me but I can selectively pick out the paints I need to get a particular stage of a model completed while I'm away. It will require a little more forethought on my part so that I take just what I need each time I use the kit but its not an impossible choice to make.

Here's what I have included:

  • A selection of small diamond files
  • 2x Mini Clamps
  • Brushes for cleaning
  • Tweezers (Metal and plastic)
  • Pencil (for marking joints etc)
  • Craft Knife and Spare Blades
  • Sculpting Tools
  • Adhesives : Epoxy Resin Glue, Milliput Putty, Superglue, Bluetac
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Wooden Sticks for mixing glue
  • 50x50cm Leather work sheet (Shammy leather)
  • Small cutting mat
  • 20ml bottle of Distilled Water/Flow Improver (80:20)

I've also selected a core set of paints to keep in the box and have been selected with Flames of War/WWII colours in mind. I use Vallejo paints almost exclusively so the following list of colours are from that range.

  • 882 Middlestone
  • 886 Green Grey
  • 887 Brown Violet
  • 863 Gunmetal
  • 872 Chocolate Brown
  • 890 Reflective Green
  • 830 German Fieldgrey
  • 873 US Field Drab
  • 918 Ivory
  • 982 Cavalry Brown
  • 988 Khaki
  • 995 German Grey
  • 823 Luftwaffe Can Green
  • 826 German Camo Medium Brown
  • 875 Beigh Brown
  • 984 Flat Brown

I've also included bottle of GW Devlan Mud wash and a small bottle of Vallejo Satin varnish as well as the essential bottles of Black and White paint. The final stages of a project - Matt varnish, flock etc - I'll still have to do at home but most of the earlier work can be done regardless of where I am. 


  1. I've often taken the paints and brushes on holiday but never thought of a travelling kit. I'm going to make one for our trip to Scotland in April. Great tip, Lee.

  2. I did something similar last summer when I was away from home most weeknights. I think the chance to paint kept me sane!


  3. Really a great idea and a nice set!

    I should keep that in mind for our next holiday trip...


  4. Genius idea Lee. Been thinking about something similar for some time now. The big question is what do you use to transport the WIP in? I suppose some for of hard plastic box with a foam lining. I find that I get far too precious about my work.

  5. Functionally and necessary my friend...excellent.

  6. Functional and necessary my friend, good balanced kit.

  7. I do something very similar when out on trips in our RV motor home. I usually find cleaning figures of flash, etc. quite productive. Painting is a little harder due to trouble finding good light.

    1. I have a tool box with paints, hobby tools, and storage of figures that I put into my RV when camping. During the Summer, it's great to sit at a picnic table and paint out doors.

  8. This is the kind of stuff I take to work on nights, although, its probably about three times the size. I hope your using the kit tonight!!!

  9. I used the kit last night and again tonight and I've got a lot done. Lighting is a little problematic but needs must! I put the WiP in the blue tray you see in the picture. Each item is blue-tacked into the tray to stop it falling about and getting damaged. I reckon I could get about a dozen stands of infantry in that tray which is more than enough to keep me occupied on a short trip.

    I'll post some pictures of what I get done when I get home.

  10. Painting on the road is a good thing to do to pass the time (especially for us married guys who can't go womanize anymore :( ...). Several years ago I was on the road with the job I had then frequently at conferences, etc. and most of my carryon was my paint kit, minis, and gaming mags. Your kit/and suggestions are great! I wish mine was as well set up as that, I used to just have a few pots of paint, some brushes and a water cup, as I was flying I'd refrain from some of the sharper stuff like files and exacto knives. If I ever needed those I'd have to track down a game shop ... buy em and toss em :( I traveled with that and never had a problem.

    These days I find that BSing while painting is a great way for me anyway ... to get some serious painting done. I know many people need a peaceful environment, but I've just found when I can sit around with a couple friends painting I can really crank out the figures. So thanks for the post I'd entirely forgotten about the trusty old travel paint kit!

  11. Good selection of thing is missing ..a magnifying glass ,,but that says more about my eyes than the completeness of your kit :-D

  12. You may want to check this portable modelling workshops made by a spanish company:

    I own one, and it is the best product of its kind.
    I don't know of any distributors in UK, but sells them and they do international shipping.



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