Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to do a Headstand.

So, you've got a head you need to paint, and you want to do an extra good job (say for a competition model or and independant character). You can either glue it to the body, prime it, and paint it along with everything else, OR.... You can use this little contraption. For lack of a better term I'm dubbing it the Headstand. It's super easy to make, and the price is either cheap or free (depending on whether you're a wine drinker or have access to one). All you need is the cork from a wine bottle (sorry, screw-cap drinkers. This one's for the snooty types), and a paper clip. Simply pry the clip apart in a fashion that has half crooked (roughly in an L shape) and the other half sticking out straight at an angle. Insert the crooked end into the cork and bend the rest around it until it holds. It doesn't have to be tight. The cork will hold the wire fairly well.

Once that's done you're ready to prep the head. Grab your handy pin vice and drill a hole in the bottom of the neck. Make sure you drill it deep enough that the head will sit securely atop the paper clip.

Now we're ready for the glue. Dab a little atop the paper clip and seat the head. Turn the head until it's facing in the direction that will be most comfortable for you to hold the stand while you paint. Let the glue set and you're ready to go! Don't worry about the head being attached to the clip forever. With some gentle but persistant twisting the head should separate easily from the stand and be ready for attaching to the model. In the unlikely event that it doesn't you can always snip the wire with your cutters. I've found this little tool to be extremely helpful and I hope you do as well. Please leave comments if you try it, or if you have other ideas that work please share them. Happy modelling!

Mr. Angry Face says, "Paint me NOW heretic, or I shall purge thee with righteous flame!"


The Inner Geek said...

A tiny but great idea! You know, if you were of a mind to, you have the head ready to pin to the body. A quick hole in the neck and you have a hard to decapitate mini!

chaplainaerion said...

Exactly. It's easy AND multi-functional. Thanks for reading!

AoM said...

This works for any parts you are painting prior to assembly. I've used this technique for a few years.

Another good idea I've used is to use longer pins than you would normally use (I pin all joints, as well as pinning feet to bases) and holding the extended pins with a pin vise.

I've ended up with a few extra pin vises through teaching a few classes at Gen Con, people randomly forgetting their tools, etc. I actually painted 4 Ortega models for Malifaux at the same time with 3 pin vises and a cork on a 40mm base. It's one way to make sure you're getting consistent builds for colors you want to match. (These models were all going to be wearing the same faded denim, and using the same red build for certain parts.)

I had pinned my models into the top of the cork. I think your side mount might be a better option for certain models and certain corks. I'll try it out.

chaplainaerion said...

It definitely prevents spinning and unwanted rotation. I have started using extra long pins in the feet of models so they will insert good and deep into the cork block I magnetize to my paint stand. I purchased that rig from Zach Lanier, who also built the box I use to carry competition models in.