Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Keeping paint fresh!

After yesterday's post regarding the list for the second week of the local Warmachine League, I decided to go with Kraye and the Minutemen.  Kraye was already sitting in a vat of Simple Green, waiting to be stripped, and I had those 4 blisters of Minutemen just sitting on my table... I couldn't resist!  Besides, I think that the fast-and-loose playstyle of Kraye will be a nice change of pace and tomorrow I'll share my planned escalation for him.  That's for tomorrow, though.
Today I have a short and quick little article for you.  I want to share something cheap and easy that I do to keep my paint fresh and well-mixed.  I must admit, I was clued into this from something that Reaper paints used to do, and so I decided to modify it for my own purposes.  Now that everyone is curiously purchasing the new GW line of paints, I figured today would be a good time to share a quick and easy way of keeping your paints from drying out!

I originally got this idea when I purchased some of the old screw-top Reaper paints that were on clearance at a semi-local game store.  I like Reaper paints and I was excited to see that these particular pots were fairly large, had some unique colors (like Green Steel) and were cheap!  I picked up a bunch and have been using them a lot.  Unlike my GW paints, however, these haven't dried out - despite having a much wider mouth.  The reason, I think, is that when I shook them, they rattled.  Something was in the paint to mix it up. I thought it was curious and after some investigating inside the paint pot I realized that there was a little metal skull at the bottom of the paint!  Reaper was definitely showing off by including a little metal bit that wasn't just a ball-bearing.

This got me thinking that I should add some metal bits to my GW paints to keep them mixed - especially the foundation paints and washes, because they seemed to separate more noticeably.  So here's what I did:
I love recycling and so I decided to re-purpose some old metal sprue!  A quick and plentiful supply of little metal bits that I was just going to throw away anyway would be perfect for this.  All I did was take out my clippers and cut the sprue into small chunks so that they could rattle around in the paint...

...and then I just dumped one little piece into each GW paint pot I had!  Well, I didn't add one to the new 'Dry' paints but every other paint pot.  I needed to add some water to some of my older paints anyway, and this helped mix them up much faster and efficiently than if I just shook it wildly.  Keeping these little metal bits in paint pots will extend the life of your paint because it'll make sure it's properly mixed - something which can be a problem when you try to revive some of your older paints when they start to dry out and separate into layers.  The best part is that it's basically free!

I encourage everyone to recycle everything they can.  That's how I came up with the idea of using the blister plastic to make templates.  Keep an open mind and try to find a new purpose for everything before you throw it away!

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