I have ALOT of figures to paint. (OK, so do you!)
We have to get figures ready for the web, for shows and for my own games. Last night I was painting some more of those lovely Perry Confederates and got to thinking about what can be done to paint figures faster.
One thing I know really speeds things up is being able to hold onto the figure firmly while you are painting it without your fingers getting in your way or worse rubbing off paint you have already applied. It's also extremely helpful to be able to hold the figure at any angle and even upside down without anything getting in the way of your brush.
I "hold on" to figures while I am painting them by using small wooden blocks. I cut the blocks I use a long time ago from some scrap lumber. They are generally about the size of those old wooden childhood blocks. (If you can find a tub of those, you wouldn't have to cut any wood). They seem to be the perfect size for just about any scale of figure.
I hold the figures onto the blocks in three different ways. The usual method (I like using steel bases under my figures) is simply to let the strong hardware store magnet glued to the wood block hold the figure in place. If the figure is plastic like the Perry models I am working on in the pictures, I use good quality double stick tape. In some cases, if the magnets won't work and the item to be painted has a small "holding" surface (Like an unbased plastic figure's feet) I might glue the model to the base the night before I am going to paint it with white glue or drill a pin in and then push the pin into the wooden block.
Having figures on wooden blocks or some kind of holder of that size really makes a difference. I think the trick is to have plenty at hand so you can paint batches of figures at a time. I am absolutely convinced this cuts my figure painting time by 20% or more.
What do you use? I have seen popsicle sticks (lollies), bottle caps, wine corks, etc. Please use the comment section (especially now that it's working again) to share what you do.