Last January, I bought 200+ Julie Guthrie miniatures from Mega Miniatures and did some research into what I would need to paint them. For various reasons, this project got put on hold. Finally, I’m getting ready to get going again!

It turns out that I overlooked two very important components that I would need in order to start painting miniatures. First off, I need a work space. With cats, that becomes quite complicated. Secondly, I need a place to store the minis.

Work Space

I figure that painting will be broken down into steps. Being newly cast, the minis won’t need the cleaning that older minis would require. Therefore, the first step will be to attach bases. In the past I super-glued a penny to the bottom of each mini and then applied modelers clay around the feet to hide the fact that they were standing on pennies. This gave a uniform sized base and added some weight to the bottom which helped keep them from falling over. I’m considering using nickels this time but need to see if they will fit in my storage containers.

After applying the bases, I will need to prime them all. Both of these steps will require leaving all of the minis out for a substantial setting/drying time. Once these steps are done, all the minis can be put away except for the one(s) I am currently working on.

While painting a mini, I’ll need to have all the paints out (the full reaper line is over 200 small bottles which would be arrayed on a paint holder shown here), plus brushes, brush holder, paint pallets (frequently loaded with paint and unattended), vise, tools, swing-arm magnifier/lamp, etc. Each mini will require multiple sessions over many days so it isn’t feasible to set up at the dining room table and then put everything away after each session. I really need a dedicated workspace.

That’s been my big hurdle so far. I just don’t have a convenient place to work where everything can be left out indefinitely. But logistics have stopped me for far too long now, and this situation is not going to change, so I’m just going to use the best spot I can and work around it. If (when) I see a multi-colored trail of cat paw prints leading down the hallway, I’ll be sure to post the pictures.

Storage Containers

Currently, each mini is individually wrapped in toilet paper and piled into a box. That’s hardly ideal and certainly not what I’d want to do once they are painted. I looked around on the internet and there is a surprising lack of options. I quickly decided that I didn’t want a case with numerous foam trays, where you have to remove all the trays to find the mini you are looking for. It didn’t take long to narrow my choices down to one of the Chessex Figure Storage Boxes. The one I decided on holds 80 minis in two levels. My only concern is that the cutouts are only 1″ x 1½” x 9/16″. A penny (which is what I’ve been using for bases) is more than 9/16″ across and a nickel (which I’m considering using instead) is even larger. The foam is flexible though so, if I face minis on one level in one direction and minis on the other level in the opposite direction, the pennies (or nickels) may be able to squish down enough to fit.

I’ve already ordered some storage boxes so I’ll find out in a couple of days. Since 1″ bases are pretty common, and Chessex storage boxes are by far the most common, I assume they will work out. If not, I may have to buy some foam and get creative.