Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Hey, look at that - it's my messy workspace!

Despite its sloppy appearance, this image of my workspace illustrates an important point - the necessity of a good light source.

I'm fortunate enough to have a room in my house just for hobbying, and a large workspace to have multiple projects active at once, but no matter what size your hobby space is, one of the essential components for a productive environment is light.

Overlooking this is a common mistake that many people make. Often, without the benefit of a dedicated workspace, many hobbyists ignore the importance of lighting, and use whatever fixtures are already in the room. There's nothing wrong with using the kitchen table as your temporary hobby center so long as you don't deny yourself a strong source light.

Painting miniatures is challenging enough, but trying to do so without abundant light is like tying a hand behind your back. If you already have a desk or table lamp, drag it out of your bedroom or off your computer desk and use it. If not, consider it among one of the first things you should purchase.

My wife has vandalized it with a Pikmin sticker!
If you are going to purchase a lamp, I recommend 2 things.
1. Get a LED lamp
2. Make sure it is adjustable

LED lighting is preferable for 2 major reasons. The bulbs give off a pure, color neutral white light, and they don't get hot like incandescent bulbs.

When painting miniatures it's important that you don't allow your light source to bias the colors you are using. A strong yellow light from an incandescent bulb can cause colors to look warmer when you are painting under it, and when the model you spent hours on looks washed out and blue-heavy under sunlight in the shop, you'll be heartbroken.

The second major advantage to LED bulbs is that they do not generate heat, and you'll be more comfortable painting under them for extended periods of time. And when reaching up to adjust the lamp for a better angle (there's recommendation #2!) you won't burn your hands on the fixture.

I'll be posting more about my workspace, and how you can better your hobbying through having the right tools and environment in future entries.

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