Painting handles are valuable tools for painting miniatures, especially when speedpainting a whole regiment of perhaps 20 to 40 figures in the shortest possible time and in consistent quality. Before there was magnetic foil, miniatures were glued to painting sticks and, after painting, had to be pried off the stick quite violently with the help of a screwdriver or knife. When glueing the figures on, care had to be taken to ensure that all parts of the figures would be accessible to the paintbrush later, since correcting the facing of one or several soldiers on the stick would have involved a great deal of effort.
- Pinewood Strip 20 × 6 mm
- Magnetic Tape 12,7 mm
- Masking Tape 20 mm
A magnetic painting handle should be long enough to hold twelve to 15 figures or six horses comfortably. We also use longer painting handles for up to 24 figures, but handling them requires some experience and a tidy workspace so that paint containers and water jars are not swiped off the table when a painting handle is turned. Shorter painting handles, for only six to ten figures, are suitable for cramped workspaces like an airbrush spray booth.
Cut a 200 cm pinewood strip into several painting handles of the desired length. Stick a shorter section of self-adhesive magnetic tape onto each painting handle, and secure it with masking tape at each end and at several positions in the center of the stick. The masking tape is necessary, because self-adhesive magnetic tape does not stick to wood very well. If the painting handle is to be used for undercoating or airbrush work, protect the surface of the magnetic tape with a layer of masking tape, which is easy to replace periodically. Our tutorial “Magnetic Speedpainting Handle for Metal and Plastic Miniatures” demonstrates the whole process.
Like a maulstick (mahlstick), the painting handle supports the working hand of the figure painter. A stable connection of both hands allows us to guide the brush precisely, even if the hands and body are not perfectly still while painting.