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7 Best Ways to Protect Painted Miniatures

You spent countless hours working on your miniatures and models. Tabletop wargamer? Scale Modeler? Collector? We work hard to express our creativity and bring these characters and worlds to life. Whichever category you might fall under, protecting your miniature investment is a must.

In this article, we share 7 ways to help you protect your painted miniatures and make sure they last for years to come. While not all inclusive, taking these tips into account will help you keep your investment safe and sound!

  1. Use a suitable primer
  2. Varnish and clear coat your painted models
  3. Paint with high quality hobby acrylic paints
  4. Use a good miniature painting handle
  5. Transport your miniatures in a travel case
  6. Avoid excess exposure to sunlight and heat
  7. Be careful of moisture

Read on for more details about how to protect your hard work, creativity, and investment.

1. Use a suitable primer

  • All painted miniatures should start with a good surface primer. A primer helps to provide a better surface texture and adhesion for your paints. For miniatures constructed of plastic, resin, or metal, a good hobby primer lays the foundation for overlying paint colors. Primers such as Vallejo surface primer fill-in microscopic gaps and holes on a miniature, reduces porosity (i.e., decreases water intrusion) of the model’s surface, and helps overlying paint stick.

    In the latter, a good primer application will prevent paint chipping, peeling, and other avoidable painting pitfalls. For best results apply 1-3 layers of primer until your entire model’s surface is covered in a very thin layer of the foundation primer coat. Choose a primer that is specifically designed for miniatures—avoid using spray paints from DIY stores as these may contain chemicals that can damage plastic or metal models.

2. Varnish and clear coat your painted models

Similar to a good primer coat, a varnish is the final step in protecting your model after your paint job. A varnish acts like an invisible shield that will protect your paint job from dust, dirt, fingerprints, and other environmental damage. Many varnishes come in matt (non-shiny) or gloss (shiny) finish to suit any desired look. Applying a couple layers of varnish also helps to preserve your model’s colors over time.

There is no trick to applying a varnish except to make sure you use very thin layers. If you spray your varnish, make sure you do so in an environment with low humidity and with an ambient temperature as close to room temperature as possible (~25C or 72F). This will help prevent frosting, air bubbles, or other nasty artifacts from appearing over your paint job.

3. Paint with high quality hobby acrylic paints

Painting miniatures is like any other activity where your tools make all the difference. Quality paints are key not just from a color perspective, but also from a durability and protection standpoint. You can get away with using “craft” or other “budget” paints. However, these often come with questionable

Quality acrylic hobby paints, such as Vallejo, The Army Painter, or Citadel paints (from Games Workshop), are formulated with durability in mind. These acrylics when dry form a flexible, yet strong surface that will stand up to the rigors of tabletop play. For more delicate pieces, there are special mini paints that have a thinner consistency and higher pigment concentration for greater coverage with fewer coats.

4. Use a good miniature painting handle

Do you know what happens when you touch wet paint? You get your fingerprints all over it and ruin your masterpiece. Avoid this by investing in a good miniature handle that allows you to hold and paint on your models with great detail and precision.

The A-Case Painting Handle for Miniatures is a great choice due to its unique features. This 3D printed magnetic painting grip provides a comfortable grip and allows you to easily manipulate the miniature while painting. With its adjustable height and magnetic system, you can customize the handle to your needs and reach difficult areas that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to access. The ergonomic design also makes it comfortable for long painting sessions.

Ultimately, using a painting handle to hold your models while you work on them will ensure that you have the best painting experience possible, with fewer mistakes and reduce the risk for damaging your works in progress.

5. Transport your miniatures in a premium travel case

The most common way your painted models may get damaged is when you’re traveling with them in a poorly constructed case or bag. Metal or plastic miniatures will scratch each other, ding up the corners, or rub away details and paint if they are not safely tucked away.

For maximum protection, choose a travel case specifically designed to store miniatures. For added protection, consider the A-Case Magnetic Army Transport.

It is the perfect solution for protecting your painted miniatures. The lightweight, premium materials used in the construction of the case make it strong and durable, while the steel shelves allow you to use magnets attached to the bases of minis to keep your models secure during transport.

The magnetic feature also helps keep your miniatures from shifting around or getting damaged while in transit. With its unique design and features, the A-Case Magnetic Army Transport case is an ideal way to protect your precious painted miniatures.

6. Avoid excess exposure to sunlight and heat

If you use quality acrylics to paint miniatures, then you probably won’t need to worry about fading colors. High quality hobby paints are colorfast, which means that the colors won’t fade or bleed when exposed to sunlight.

However, it is still best practice to avoid too much exposure to direct sunlight because of the heat and UV radiation. The heat itself may warp the underlying miniature plastic or resin, which then leads to paint peeling or chipping.

Did you know that the standard polystyrene kits generally melt at around 100°C (212°F) (source)? Resin warps at even lower temperatures. In other words, there’s more danger from exposing those expensive Forgeworld models to excessive heat. Don’t leave your painted models in a car in hot weather on a sunny day!

In general, even with quality paints, you should still take special precautions to keep your models away from any direct sunlight or heat source. Ultimately, the best way to protect your painted miniatures from excessive exposure is to store them in a cool and dark place that has minimal temperature fluctuations.

7. Be careful of moisture

High humidity or even an accidentally splash of water on your painted models may be okay if you have properly sealed them with a clear coat varnish (see above). However, it is clear that dried acrylic paint on your models can get damaged when directly exposed when wet.

How do we know? Well, when you want to strip the paint off of miniatures, one of the most effective solvents is a surfactant, e.g., soapy chemical, mixed with water. When you submerge a painted model in a water-based solution paint will peal, warp, and flake off the original surface.

Therefore, if you’re trying to protect your painted miniatures from potential water damage, you should make sure to practice proper painting techniques and use a clear sealer after you’re done. When storing your models, be sure to keep them away from any areas of very high humidity or direct water exposure.


So, there you have it: 7 ways for how to protect your painted miniatures. With these tips, your painted models (and hard work) should last for many years to come. So, no matter how you plan on transporting them or where they are stored – keep your miniatures safe and secure!

Good luck, and happy painting! 😀

Did you find this article helpful? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you! 🙂

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Chapter Master Valrak – Interview – questions

1. Cadia still stands!  Or  For the Emperor!  ? 😉 Why ? 😛

How can Cadia die when it lives on in my heart?

2. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit about yourself ☺

Hello, I go by the alias Chapter Master Valrak, I run a YouTube channel dedicated Warhammer 40,000, on it, you’ll find anything from News, Lore, gaming and painting videos.

You can find Valrak vlogs and support him here:

3. Do you remember your first encounter with miniatures and wargames? When was it and in what year?

My experience with Warhammer 40,000 was some years back, I was around 11 years old and one of my family members bought me some Orks, I had no idea what they were but it set me on my course of being a Warhammer fan

4. When did you decided to start your social media presence? Why ‘Chapter Master Valrak’ and what does the name mean to you?

The funny thing about my name, it was completely random, it sounded cool so I just went with it, haha, I started my social presence when a game called Eternal Crusade came out, I think it was around 3-4 years ago.

5. I can see that you are a big fan of Warhammer 40k and anything Warhammer. What do you like the most about this wargame?  What is your favorite ‘army’?

Space Marines are my all-time favourite army, I think the thing that attaches me to this story/hobby is the grimdark of it all, it’s just war eternal, no-one is really the good guy which is so different to other sci-fi games where you normally have a visible good guy/bad guy.

6. Is there a miniature that you would like to paint again? Why this one?

I love painting tanks, I love tanks as a whole, especially Space Marine ones, I could paint them every day and still not get bored. They’re so big and chunky I love them.

7. What miniature the most difficult to paint and why?

I really haven’t had a difficult model, all the Space Marines are quite simple to paint really, I think others like Deathguard are the harder painted models cause they have so much detail on them.

8. Wargaming, miniature painting, miniature converting or even sculpting. What do you like the most about our hobby and why?

Converting is the best thing about this hobby, you can spend hours making the most boring model just look absolutely epic!

9. Our hobby is constantly changing, new wargames come and go, players are 3D printing miniatures and terrains. Where do you see our hobby in 5-10-15 years’ time? What will change over time?

I think 3D printing is going to be a game-changer within the next 5 years, the stuff people are doing right now is mind-blowing and it will only get better and more accessible for people.

10. Do you have any advice for new players and people in this hobby (miniature painters etc.)?

Don’t pick armies for the rules, pick armies for the love, the meta changes but love is eternal.

11. You are a streamer, why you started streaming and how do you choose your stream topics?

Streaming is a way just to talk, I love sitting down and talking to fellow Warhammer fans, it’s like having a huge group of friends in front of you sharing the same things you love. Topics are random for me, I never go into a stream with a list to talk about.

12. What hobby project are you currently working on and what are your hobby plans for next few weeks?

Currently working on some Imperial Fist tanks and bunkers, hopefully, soon I can get my hands on the heavy intercessors and blade guard veterans.

13. If you could turn any movie, series, commix, book or any media into a miniature game what would that be and why this one?

Well, I would say Stars Wars but they’ve really just started that and their stuff is looking amazing.

14. Do you have any other hobbies apart from wargaming and miniatures? If so what are they?

Not really, Warhammer has all my attention at the moment.

15. How do you transport your miniatures? If you are using one of our products what do you think about magnetized transport solutions?

I use you A-Case, magnetising transports is the future, I love how easy it is to put them from your case to the table, no effort at all.

16. If you could choose the next person answering all those questions and having an interview with us who would that be?

Hellstorm Wargaming

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Margot – Interview – questions

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit about yourself ☺

I am Margot Crombeecke, 63 years young, mother of 2 children and grandmother of 5 grandchildren.
After some setbacks in relationships, I found my great love 25 years ago, Robert Crombeecke, my support and constant companion.
Unfortunately, I lost my son Marco to cancer 12 years ago and I am still very worried about my daughter who has mental problems.
After Marco’s death I had to find my way back into life and partly thanks to Robert and my grandchildren, one of whom is Marco’s  daughter and another one his son ( I only have one grandson), I managed to do that.
I have always been a very creative person, even at home. I always say that I could knit before I could write 😊
Because of my rheumatism and chronic fatigue I had to look for another hobby, which finally became figure painting, already for 7 years with a lot of fun.

2. Do you remember your first encounter with miniature painting? When was it and in what year?

The year was 2007. As you may know, we organise SMC, which started as a model show with some figures. Only a few years later, when more and more figures were entered in the contest, also of a higher level, I was triggered. But it took another two years before I dared to start.  I was afraid of failure. That is what happens to perfectionists

3. When did you decided to launch your website and blog – Stories in miniature? Why did you stopped posting new entries there?

That was Robert’s decision and he stopped doing it due to lack of time, but he actually plans to pick it up again in 2021.The show got bigger and bigger and it took up more and more of his time. I myself am not so interested in doing all this. It takes too much time, I’d rather paint. Our personal blog can be found here:, but there is also a lot of work, also recent one on our club website:

4. You went to the Art Academy in Arendonk, how does this affected your painting style? What was the most valuable advice that you have received during your studies there?

The hardest part was sketching and not immediately putting something ready on the canvas. Working with oil paint was the reason for me to go to the academy. I love texture in a painting but I didn’t know how to work with acrylics at all.
The best advice I have received is without a doubt learning to look: looking at your object, looking at light and dark. First understand what you see and then try to put it on canvas or now on your figure. Everything I learned there has also had an effect on my figures.  

5. Your works are full of colors and life, but they always seems to be perfectly balanced (ex. Kid Dancer or Courtesan Koi). Colors complement each other rather than ‘fight’ on the model for attention. Do you plan all your projects or kind of paint on the go?

I always have an idea in my head of a colour or mood I want to bring into my figure. Usually I use Pintrest to get an idea of what would be nice for that style of figure.
But after that it’s completely automatic, my sense of colour was already my strongest point at the academy. And by always looking at my figure and seeing what it needs, it follows automatically.
I never think in colour theory, in warm or cold, in contrast. Nor do I ever use the colour wheel.
I paint my feelings and that takes little effort. The only thing I focus on is the technique of painting, which I want to improve time and again.

6. What miniature was the most challenging to paint for you and why? Would you paint it again differently if given a chance?

That was definitely Fire of Kimera, one of the four elements. And in hindsight I know why, in doing so I was relying too much on an example and was constantly fighting my feelings. The advice of someone with the best intentions also hindered me. I have learned a lot from this, especially to stay close to myself. And yes, if I didn’t want to paint so many other figures, I would want to do it again. But my friend Pietro Baloni, who has been in the business for more than 30 years and works for Pegaso/Kimera, once told me that you should not repaint a figure but take your experience to the next project.

7. You are an Artist, a miniature painter and sometimes diorama builder and story teller. What do you like about our hobby most and why?

What I like most is the freedom to use your creativity. It doesn’t matter whether you tell a story or paint a figure. But painting a figure has turned out to be the most fun for me. I don’t know why, perhaps because I have become more and more comfortable with it. I think that my story is expressed more and more in my figure without me wanting to explain it in a diorama. And since a while I have been painting more and more with acrylics, so I also see more possibilities to use texture in my work. And that brings me back to my remark in question 4, that I like texture.

8. Our hobby is constantly changing, new wargames come and go, people are 3D printing miniatures and terrains. Where do you see our hobby in 5-10-15 years’ time? What will change the most over time?

That is a difficult question. If I see how it has changed in seven years, it is difficult to predict how it will be in five or ten years. I do think that the quality of the figures will get better and better and that there will be more special figures. The disadvantage of 3D is also that you sometimes see that it is done by people who do not really have experience with our hobby. It can be a fantastic tool to create beautiful things. But sometimes I also see things that are beautiful at first, but when you look at them closely, they are almost impossible to paint because of the complexity or the bad shapes. But 3D is the future. Even though I myself like very much special hand sculpted figures

9. Do you have any advice for new miniature painters? What would you tell someone who is a complete newbie and is simply afraid to start painting miniatures?

Actually, I do have some advice. First of all, beginners should realise that all masters were once beginners and sometimes people still post their first figure. That’s so funny and you can see how far you can get. When you see my first figure it is so funny, but I still have it and I am just as proud of it as I was of my last figure. My next big tip is….paint for yourself, for the experience for the feeling that painting gives you. Winning a medal is nice but a snapshot of the opinions of three people at a particular time, under a particular light and with a particular taste. And even if the good judges try to ignore their own taste, I know from experience that this is very difficult. So don’t focus too much on competitions, although I must admit that it can stimulate you to go a step further, and in the end the figure is in your cabinet for the rest of the time.
The third tip is, stay yourself. It is great fun to learn techniques from others, but start simple and try to discover your own style. It can be overwhelming to see all the new techniques like NMM but if you don’t master it, it’s frustrating and it won’t be pretty. In the beginning Alexandre Cortina Bonastre, owner of Alexandros models and my mentor in my early days once said to me, it is better to leave it out than to paint it badly.

10. I know that you used to be a Scuba Diving Instructor for some time while living in Egypt. I am curious, what is the best place to dive that you have seen yourself? How was it like to live in Egypt?

Haha, this is the hardest question of the whole interview…….I have seen hundreds of places, from difficult to easy and deep to shallow.
What I will never forget is the day we made three dives on the Thistlegorm, a wreck from the second world war, with a locomotive on the deck and in the hold jeeps and motorbikes, army boots, toilet bowls, you name it. I made two dives by day and one night dive together with Robert and another diver. It’s really super when you descend. At first you see nothing, really nothing, and then slowly like in a film, you start to see the shapes and get closer and closer to ….actually that’s so special.A second dive that I will always remember is a dive in the Aquarium in Hurghada, not a real aquarium but the place is called that because there are so many fish and corals. At one point, I was swimming in the back of the group, and then I was in the middle of a large school of fish that slowly circled around me, very magical and this place is not deep or difficult at all, but so beautiful. Later, when I worked there, I dived there on my own for half an hour, which is really not possible and against the rules, but yes….it was super cool 😊 after my students had boarded …. to never forget. And I could go on like this for hours, because we made many special dives outside of Egypt as well.
As for life in Egypt, it was born out of necessity, in a time of crisis when Robert had lost his job and couldn’t find work and we were in danger of losing our house. But in hindsight I wouldn’t have missed it, life was easy and you quickly bond with other dive instructors and guides of all nationalities and after the job you enjoy a drink together on a terrace. Robert worked at a different location than I did and you still had plenty to talk about.For me, the adventure lasted only three months because my son, then 25 years old, called me to say that he had been diagnosed with leukaemia, and so I flew back the next day, not knowing what the future would bring or where I would sleep as our house had been rented. After three weeks I went back to Egypt but couldn’t stand it any longer and said goodbye to Robert, again not knowing when we would see each other again. I wanted to be with my son. In the end, after wandering around a bit, I was able to rent a studio and after more than five months Robert was able to come to the Netherlands and he found a job after one week.
But unfortunately, after three years of persistent struggle, I had to say goodbye to my dear son Marco.

11. What hobby project are you currently working on and what are your hobby plans for next few weeks?

I am working on several projects at the same time. I didn’t do that for a long time; I always wanted to finish one thing before I started the next. But I have experienced that it is good to take distance from a project now and then, in order to continue later with a fresh look. And sometimes I feel the need to paint with oil and sometimes with acrylic, and so those are different projects. Acrylic is still a learning process for me, I have always been an oil painter. But I am starting to like acrylics more and more. So to answer your question….At the moment I am working on Air, one of the four elements-series, and on Water, also one of the four elements, Dryad , Salvador Dali, Mad Hatter, and soon I will start with an article that I am not allowed to say anything about.

12. If you could turn any movie, series, commix, book or any media into a miniature game what would that be and why this one?

Pfffff I wouldn’t know because to be honest I’m not a games person. I read every day, but always thrillers, and movies and series are thrillers too. Now that I think about it, it’s strange because I don’t really like fantasy series and books, but I do like to paint fantasy.

13. Do you have any other hobbies apart from wargaming and miniatures? If so what are they?

As said … I am not a wargamer that is a small misunderstanding. I do have friends who play these games and paint these figures and I think it is fantastic, both the game and the painting.
I have always been creative: forging jewellery, designing and making clothes etc… but now my hobby is painting figures and apart from that I have no other hobbies.

14. I heard that together with your husband Robert, you are co-organizing one of the biggest and best miniature shows in the world, the one and only – Scale Model Challenge. How did that started?

It started well before I started painting. Every time Robert came home from a show he always had comments about what he could do better and how he would do it. At a certain point I told him to give it a try, because I knew he would need my support to take the plunge. Together with a couple of friends from the modelling club they started and very soon it grew and became bigger. Robert wanted to go to a 2-day fair to involve people from outside the Netherlands and a couple of people stopped because they didn’t believe it would work. I had also started to paint and started to lobby in the world of figures abroad and very soon that yielded results. Another member of our club, Peter Zuidgeest, started lobbying in the wargame world and so they ended up at our fair with their own area where matches could be played during the show. Also on the contest tables, more and more wargame figures of a very high level ended up, I must say. I can always look at them with great admiration, also to those matches…I just don’t understand a thing about it, hahahaha.

15. How do you transport your miniatures? If you are using one of our products what do you think about magnetized transport solutions?

So, I do use your A-Case. I was one of the first in the world of figures, if not the first and I did a lot of advertising. I think the magnetic solution is the best solution for transporting figures ever…I hate Blue Tac. I have also personalised my case with my name and pins on the shoulder strap. My only problem is that I regularly paint some larger figures and they don’t always fit in because of the height. But I try to take the base into account so that it might fit. What I find one of the biggest advantages of the A-case is the weight. Those heavy wooden boxes are a problem for me when I travel. I’m not as strong

16. If you could choose the next person answering all those questions and having an interview with us who would that be?

Again a difficult question, but I will give a few names that I think the readers will find very interesting and maybe even closer to their world than I am 😉 
Peter Zuidgeest, Kirill Kanaev, Fabrizio Russo…..
Thanks for this interview
Hugs ( hugs are my trademark 😊)))))))Margot

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Andrew – Interview – questions

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit about yourself ☺

I’m Andrew, a longtime wargamer and miniature enthusiast for the over 20 years (!!!).  I may be better known as Hobby Vices on social media, and also as an official Warhammer Hero!  I host annual international Secret Santa gift exchanges for the community, and generally try to make the world of miniature hobbying a smaller place through my Discord server (check us out!).  I believe every person in the community has a valid contribution to the whole, and try to give the spotlight to new hobbyists and hope to see a true community flourish that isn’t dominated by a handful of mega-superstars.  Everyone is an equal, in my eyes!  Go find some miniature painters with like 28 followers and give them a follow!  Do it now!

2. Do you remember your first encounter with miniatures and wargames? When was it and in what year?

My first encounter with miniatures was building model airplanes with my dad as a boy, in the early 1990’s.  I soon moved on to painting 54mm American Civil War figures, (big) model trains, smaller scale WW2 models, and eventually Warhammer Fantasy Battles (I think it was 4th Ed?).  Very fond memories!

3. When did you decided to launch your Instagram profile Hobby Vices? Why ‘Hobby Vices’ and what does it mean to you?

I launched Hobbyvices in the summer of 2016.  I was flying back from San Francisco for a work trip, and had a decent flight to New Orleans.  I was absently scrolling through my phone and saw some photographs of my Chaos Space Marines and thought I should post them online, so I did!  I wanted to think of a clever handle for my social media account (not expecting to grow as large as I did) and came up with “Homebrew Heroes!” which I felt fit the bill at the time.  I later found out this was the name of another group (on Facebook, I think?) so thought long and hard, finally deciding on Hobby Vices — because we all have our vices with the plastic addiction!

4. I can see that you from your Instagram profile that you are a big fan of Warhammer Age of Sigmar and 40k. What do you like the most about those two wargames? 

The setting of WHFB got me into fantasy wargaming, coupled with my D&D experience.  I’ve always done historicals, even before the fantasy stuff, but I find a more satisfying escapism in the surreal worlds of those bizarre settings. 

5. Is there a miniature that you would like to paint again? Why this one?

I would really love to paint Magnus the Red. It’s a gorgeous model, and I’d consider even starting that army based solely on that sculpt.  I just don’t have the means to get it currently!

6. What miniature the most difficult to paint and why?

The most difficult miniature I’ve painted would be larger scale (54mm+) figures.  There’s tricks and “cheating” you can get away with on smaller models, but on a big 54mm polish winged hussar, you’re gonna need to be precise and exact!  I painted it up ages ago, when I was still in school – I don’t even know where it is!  Maybe I should go look for it…

7. Wargaming, miniature painting, miniature converting or even sculpting. What do you like about our hobby most and why?

I like the actual gaming the best, because it let us get together (pre-COVID ).  Gathering around a table, rolling dice, and having a great match among friends is a good time passed.  I haven’t had a chance to play like that in a year, so I’m really looking forward to when we can all get together again!

8. Our hobby is constantly changing, new wargames come and go, players are 3D printing miniatures and terrains. Where do you see our hobby in 5-10-15 years’ time? What will change over time?

The “hobby” hasn’t changed much in my eyes in the past decade or two.  Rules systems come out and are adapted / changed, sculpts get more precise, but overall the end result is the same.  And that’s a good thing!  It’s welcoming and familiar.  In 10 years I would love to see a more digital-oriented game, with augmented reality apps via smartphone, and seamless rules / updates / accessibility to streamline the games and make them more about the experience and less about bookkeeping.  Here’s hoping!

9. Do you have any advice for new players and people in this hobby (miniature painters etc.)?

Never stop improving.  We all sucked when we started, whether it was painting, building, winning matches, etc.  But after all the time we only suck slightly less.  We never reach “the top,” and should always have goals in mind to pursue, if that’s what provides enjoyment.  Me?  I’m very happy to hit “pause” on my painting skills and just crank out armies to a decent standard.  I’m not gunning for a Golden Daemon trophy, I just wanna push plastic spacemen around on the table and have fun. I have kids now, and my job and life requirements – I’m lucky to just have time for a game!

10. I could see on your FB page that you finished Master of Arts. How do art studies affect your hobby and miniature painting?

You’ve done your research! I’m a classically trained painter and printmaker, and teach the arts to students every day for a living.  If I had zero distractions or “real life” obligations, I could sit down and crank out a Richard Gray level paint job (really!).  But that’s not empty boasting, because I’m confident in saying ANYONE can do that, to a certain degree.  The trick is that you just need time to do it.  Given enough time (ie. practice) anyone can achieve exceptional results.  But to really get to that honest-to-god master level, it takes years of practice.  Personally, I don’t want to spend days on a single miniature, when I spend my days dealing with art with my students.  I just don’t have the time or desire in my life these days – I wish I did!  I’m content to just hit that “tabletop standard” and dump my dudes on a battlefield!  Anyone that’s wanting to get to that top-tier level of painting should simply paint EVERY DAY.  Put in the work, because it IS work.  And learn from experts (legitimate experts, not just social media celebrities) things like color theory, compositional techniques, even sculpting concepts.  You can do it!

11. What hobby project are you currently working on and what are your hobby plans for next few weeks?

COVID really put a damper on my projects this year.  It even kept me from entering Armies on Parade for the first time in years.  But I would be eager to finish up my Imperial Fists force and lock in a specific army to bring to games, to have it fully table-ready with all the new releases I’ve gotten over lockdown!

12. If you could turn any movie, series, commix, book or any media into a miniature game what would that be and why this one?

Willow! A skirmish game based on that series would be dope as hell!

13. Do you have any other hobbies apart from wargaming and miniatures? If so what are they?

I do a lot of historical re-enactments and living-history stuff, I love to go camping and being outdoors, and creating art!  I do enjoy reading a lot, like a LOT.  I can crush a book in a day if I’m able to get enough quiet time.  Read more books, people!

14. How do you transport your miniatures? If you are using one of our products what do you think about magnetized transport solutions?

I used to use foam carry cases, but I bought my first A-Case last year and haven’t looked back. Magnetized cases like the A-Case are perfect for travel because they’re secure and don’t break fiddly pieces off that get snagged on foam inserts.  I run a Warhammer club at my school so I’m taking multiple armies to and from work every day.  I may be one of the few people that transports the most armies globally!  I’ll literally have 2-3 entire armies traveling from my home to work every day, there and back, along with personal projects I may work on during breaks at school.  I don’t think I could do that as efficiently without the A-Cases.  Magnets are the answer!

15. If you could choose the next person answering all those questions and having an interview with us who would that be?

I would love to hear what Craig says (@og.paintworks on Instagram) to these questions! He’s an awesome hobbyists that has done some awesome things for the community!  He’s Canadian, but we can forgive that. 

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What to print for wargaming? – Paint Rack, Paint Holder, Paint Organizer


Wargaming as a hobby is not only about figures and playing games with them. It is much more than just that, and an important part of our hobby is miniature painting. In order to paint you need paints, brushes and a place to store them. This is what I am going to look at today – what can I 3D print to organize my collection of paints and make my life a bit easier. 

Paint Holders for dropper bottles – Vallejo, Reaper, Army Painter etc.

There are plenty of different paint manufacturers out there, but somehow in our wargaming business most of them are using dropper bottles. They seem to be the most users friendly and a lot of use like them so much that we are transferring paint from Citadel paint pots to those dropper bottles. It comes to no surprise, that I was able to find some nice options of paint racks for those bottles. Let’s have a look:

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Source Thingiverse, by jpod/fetchbeer 

Miniature Paint Station by jpod  –
Modular Hobby Paint Rack – Large Straight by gsargent –
I strongly recommend to read the description here, as there are links to other variations available for this hobby paint rack.
The Perfect Paint Rack by conorokane –
Overly complicated folding 25mm model paint rack by fetchbeer –

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Source Thingiverse, by Groosome/ShadyRabbit

Not all of us like the dropper bottles and prefer something different, like the Citadel pots. Here the options can be quite limited at times, but I managed to find some interesting designs for you:

Paint Holder V2 stackable Made by Groosome –
Paint Station by Longtoke –
Games Workshop paint holder for peg board by ShadyRabbit –
Citadel Paint holder x10 by hacxx101 –

Paint Racks for both dropper bottles and GW pots

A lot of us are using different brands of paint and this usually means different kind of paint containers. What do to when you have paints in both – dropper bottles and Citadel pots? No worries, you are not alone and there are some options out there:

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Source Thingiverse, by Oysterboy/Kalrath

Paint Station – Citadel & Vallejo by Oysterboy –
Modular Citadel/Vallejo Paint Rack by Kalrath –

What if I am using craft paints and other brands?

Vallejo, Citadel, Army Painter, Reaper and the list goes on… What if you are using craft paints or calligraphy and drawing inks? Maybe you prefer tubes? Luckily you are not alone. There are plenty of different solutions available:

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Source Thingiverse, by Avocadocommander/marmotjr

Model Paint Rack by marmotjr –
Paint Holder by Avocadocommander –
paint holder by attenb –
Filament Spool Paint Holder by Limolwali –

Special – portable and interesting modular design

It might seem that I would be hard to find something special in this type of rather functional design space. However, I found few interestingly looking designs and solutions. It I easy to forget that in some cases, simplicity is the key to a nice and functional design 😉

Portable paint Station Part B (Paint Holder) by BHJ33 –
Model-Paint Organizer by TJMast –
U1JO – Modular Paint Station by alienboyxp –

Are you looking for something specific? Let me know!

Let me remind you that if are you looking for something specific or simply need help finding some bits just let me know. I am more than happy to provide you with a list of files suitable for your project. All you need to do is to let me know by writing a comment below! I will make an article around the theme chosen by you 🙂

Previous parts of What to print for wargaming series:

limited color pallete

Limited Palette

It is safe to say that almost all of us, no matter which miniature game…

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What to print for wargaming? – Vehicles #5

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In almost every wargaming system sooner or later you will find rules for some kind of vehicles. Be it a tank, a car, a spaceship, or a simple wooden wagon. Today I present you a list of different kind of vehicles, and I hope that each of you will find something suitable for your games. Enjoy your reading!

Tanks, Jeeps and other WWII vehicles

There are many wargaming systems covering that part of our history. They might be in different scales; like 1/100 Flames of War or 28mm scale Bolt of Action. However, as different as those two games may be in case of rules, the period is pretty much the same or almost the same 😉 There are plenty of models available for World War II rule sets available on Thingiverse. Some of them are actually legendary, and well-known to the gamers. Even so, I hope that you can find a new interesting vehicle, which you can use for your games.

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1-100 Modern Tanks and Vehicles by m_bergman –
This is one of the biggest collection of models that I have ever seen on Thingiverse! And they are fully free for non-commercial use and available for commercial use, under some conditions of course.

Opel Blitz 3t truck by FMWP –
TIGER Tank! by PRIma –
Jeep M151 Mutt by rozoom –

Science-Fiction vehicles

Science-Fiction wawrgaming systems are extremely popular. In most cases, having a vehicle in your ‘army list’ is a must, rather than an option. However, even if you do not need anything like a sci-fi tank or buggie, there is still room for using cars as a terrain piece. So let’s have a look what you can print for your army or gaming table.

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MONTARAZ 28mm Scifi ATV by toposolitario –
Necromunda loading vehicles 2v by Dxsus –
1/48 scale wargame buggy model by Forpost_D6 –
Orkz War Buggy by Milhause –

Now something for D&D and Fantasy players

I do know that I probably shouldn’t join those two categories together; however I do feel that models presented here are perfectly suitable for both settings. I see no reasons in splitting the models in two different categories if they can be use interchangeably in different, but similar settings.

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Gnomedozer, Snap-fit Model by dutchmogul –
Gnome Driller Tunneler by onebitpixel –
Pioneer Wagon by Kazzee –
Brougham carriage by rozoom –
Ratmen Roller by VidovicArts –
Simple Airship by PlanescapeBestiary –
D&D Airship – The Valkyrie by Tecwyn –

More modern times… or Zombie Apocalypse !

This is a new category, as I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to put cars, excavators and all other trucks and mustangs just waiting to be printed! All those models can be used for zombie apocalypse or other post-apocalyptic like settings.

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Classic Transport Truck No Support by RezaAulia –
Easy to print Generic Excavator (esc: 1:100 or HO Scale) by guaro3d –
CAT Bulldozer by Hein –
1970s Ford Mustang by Ford –

Something special

It was quite easy to find something really special in todays category. I present you, one and only – Tesla ! 😀

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Tesla Cybertruck 28mm by BREXIT –

Ok, but jokes aside, I managed to find two models that some of you as fans of films and video games will appreciate:
Batman Tumbler Car by 3DWP –
Mass Effect: M35 Mako by mausolfb –


Are you looking for something specific? Let me know!

Let me remind you that if are you looking for something specific or simply need help finding some bits just let me know. I am more than happy to provide you with a list of files suitable for your project. All you need to do is to let me know by writing a comment below! I will make an article around the theme chosen by you 🙂

Previous parts of What to print for wargaming series:

Game and diorama accessories #4
Miniature bases #3
Weapons #2
Horses #1

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How to prime your models with spray paint #1

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Before painting you need to primer your models. This is one of many ‘golden rules’ of miniature painting. You can primer your models by using a brush, airbrush and spray paint primer. If you have a horde of miniatures to prime a brush is not the most tempting way to do it. Not everyone have an airbrush, so a spray paint seems to be the best and quickest option.
However, it is often not as easy as it seems. Let’s have a look how to make it easier for your, by providing few tips and tricks and why you should prime your models.

Why priming is important

The case with priming is the same as with washing your models in warm water with some soap. Most people will tell you that it is essential, other will tell you that it is not important at all. I always prime my models and for me it’s just common sense.

So, why you should prime your models?
Mainly, to prevent paint from flaking off your miniatures. Paint can have adhesive problems when used directly on plastic, metal or any other material that the miniature is made of. By priming the model you are creating a better surface for next layers of paint. You will find that primed models can be easier to paint as the paint sticks to them better, than to unprimed miniatures.

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Painted models that were primed before painting are less likely to paint chipping when damaged during a game. Imagine that by a mistake you or your friend caused a model to fall from the table on the floor. Such fall can damage the models itself, not to mention the paintjob. Primed models, even when the paintjob is damaged and chipped in few places, should not show the bare metal or plastic, but the primer in those chipped places. In some cases, the paintjob will not take any damage thanks to the paint strongly sticking to the primer.

What color to use for priming your miniatures?

In general there are three colors that most people use: black, white and (light) grey. Those three colors are the most commonly used when priming your miniatures. Before choosing the color you need to know what you want to achieve. On black primer it will take more time and layers of paint to get bright colors. When a miniature is primed with white paint, all colors will be brighter, not as dark as when painted on black primer. What if you are looking for more neutral color? Here comes the grey primer to help you out. Grey color is considered to be a neutral one, compared to black and white. Colors will not be too bright, or too dark. We can say that they are going to be ‘toned down’ a bit.

For beginner painters I would suggest a grey primer. By many painters it is consider the easiest one to work with and the most universal one.

It is worth to mention that you can use many other colors to prime your models. It makes sense especially, when you are painting an army and can treat your primer as a basecoat.

Then you are just making your life much easier and speeding up you painting as you have 2in1: models primed and base coated at once.

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What spray paint brand to use

There are many different brands on the market and at first it might be quite hard to choose the right one, especially when you are a beginner. So what brand to choose?
I would say that the best idea would be to choose one of the brands dedicated to miniature painting. Which means: Games Workshop, Army Painter, Vallejo, Tamiya and the list goes on… Miniature dedicated primers were made especially for priming models. In other words they are designed for miniatures and should not melt them or damage them in any other way. Plus, they are expected to provide good coverage with thin layer(s) of paint and allow all those nice details to be seen through the primer.

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The downfall is that they can be quite pricey at times.

What about using cheaper not dedicated spray primers?

It is natural that you will try to find a cheaper alternative to the expensive dedicated spray primers. It is possible to get a quite good spray primer that was not made especially for miniatures, but still provides nice coverage and does not damage your models.

The question is which one to choose and which one is the best?

I cannot give you one name and be 100% sure that it will not damage your models and that you will be happy with the achieved result. I can, however, give you few names as a starting point where to look and what other modelers are recommending to try. Have a look at the offer of:
– Krylon primers (color master paint + primer)
– Brite Touch (general purpose primer)
– Rust-Oleum Automotive Primer (probably best for metal)
– Deco Color
– Dupli Color (or Dupli-Color)
– Den Braven
– MONTANA (Gold and Black series)

You can find one of those brands in most countries and builders warehouses or even supermarkets. Before buying any of them please make sure that you are buying a PRIMER, and that it’s a MATT one. Believe me, you don’t want to end up with a gloss primer or just black gloss paint instead of a primer. Also make sure that you are NOT taking a VARNISH

Few things to have in mind when using cheap spray primers

Cheaper primers most advantage is that they are cheap. Sometimes they also provide a better protection and adhesion than miniature dedicated spray primers. Unfortunately they are few downfalls that you need to have in mind when buying and using those cheap primers:

– they tend to have more aerosol in them than miniature dedicated primers (you can overspray the miniature and it can be harder to control the spraying itself)

– they stink. Yeap, they simply stink and the smell can be still there even after leaving the model for 24-48h outdoors

– it is safe to say that in most cases paint is thicker than in dedicated miniature spray primers. This may lead, again, to overspraying and flooding your models with paint, losing all those lovely details.

– they might damage your models. I am thinking mostly about plastic and resin models, but metal miniatures are no exception. You never know how the primer will react with plastic, metal or resin. Car primers melting plastic or resin miniatures are nothing new 😉

Ok, so if there are so many ‘general’ disadvantages are they actually worth the hassle? The short answer is yes, but you need to be careful and find the one that is right for you.

Before applying any primer on your miniature take a spare model or a model sprue and check if you are satisfied with the result. If you are not happy how the primer looks, it’s too glossy or maybe it is flaking off the plastic it’s not for you. The same goes if it melts the plastic, it’s sticky, or the paint is to too thick – it is not worth the hassle.

My own experience

For the last few days I was priming around 12-15 HDF terrain kits and some plastic GW models with some cheap and cheap-ish primers. We will talk about working with HDF and MDF another time though 😉

What are my conclusions?
I will not recommend White Den Braven Super Color Universal spray paint for priming MDF or models. The paint is way too thick for my liking and the coverage is not too good either. However, white is a tricky color and it is hard to find a good white paint and primer. In the contrary, Den Braven Black Matt is OK for me. I can recommend it, but you need to be careful not to overspray the miniature.

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I love the MONTANA Black series of paint. It is very good for HDF and MDF kits and the color palette is just amazing! Plus the price is quite good (17zł/7$) compared with the dedicated miniature primers. I have not tried to prime any miniatures with it so far, but will make a try especially for you soon. One of my friend’s advised me not to use in on miniatures, as for him the paint is way too thick for our hobby needs. However, my other friend told me that MONTANA Black series Black Matt paint is ok for him for miniatures. I will need to see it for myself 😉

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What’s next?

In second part of ‘How to prime your models with spray paint’ I will talk more how to use spray primers, or better to say how to make them work. How to prepare cans before priming and use them properly. I will also give you some tips how to avoid most common mistakes that people do with spray paints in general.

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What to print for wargaming? – Game and diorama accessories #4


Our series of what to print for wargaming is slowly growing. You can have a look at previous parts, where I covered the topics of bases, weapons and horses. Today I want to talk about different accessories, that you might want to use in your games. Curious what is it all about this time? Read on.

Where there is war, there are casualties

Sad but true. Where there is war, there are casualties. I do realize that in most wargames there are no rules for casualties. After all when one of your soldiers is killed, you just take the model off the table. However, I do believe that miniatures representing casualties can be used as casualty or wound markers and to add a bit of realism to your games. Sometimes, they can also be used as unit ‘gap fillers’, when you are missing a figure of two and do not really want to buy another box just for 1 or 2 miniatures. Plus, if you are a diorama maker, they will definitely come in handy.

28mm Dead Male Villagers by Curufin –
Dead Bandits/Rangers D&D Casualty markers (With and without bases) by BinaryLegend –
Giant Attack Casualties by Valandar –
28mm Scifi Casualty by WardF –
Battlefield Casualty – Horse + Cart by gametree3dprintscenics –

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Every now and then you probably miss having few figures of civilians on your gaming table. Be it a waitress, innkeeper or just people walking down the street. Also, during some games your objective is to escort someone or to release some prisoners, and then all those civilian figures can be useful.
I hope that you will be able to find something for your needs:

Commoner (Dockworker) for 28mm Tabletop Roleplaying by AJade –
Lumberjack and his Wife Miniatures by Ilhadiel –
Hospital Staff Miniatures 25/28mm by BigMrTong –
Villagers – Smithy by Quinian –

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One day I will print them all (Hospital Staff) and make one huge horror inspired game in a haunter asylum…


Let’s admit it openly. At some point all of us, gamers, have a need to paint and use monsters in one of our games. In most cases, the bigger the better! D&D and all other so called paper RPG players, I have some good monster propositions for you

Ghoul by Manuel_Boria –
Monster Mondays #9: Ambush Maw (28mm/32mm scale) by dutchmogul –
Cockatrice – Tabletop Miniature by M3DM –
Bulette – D&D Miniature by Yasashii –

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When I look at that Cockatrice I want to make a ‘The Witcher’ inspired diorama 😀

Objective Markers

In almost every wargaming system there is an option or a scenario where you need to place some objective markers on the board. Those markers can be represented by almost anything, however how much nicer it looks when you use dedicated objective markers? Have a look at what I have found.

Water Resupply Point Objective Markers by TZRock –
Industrial Dome Objective Marker (Epic 40K – 6mm scale) by fractalnoise –
Tea Light Objective Marker by thatguyj1f –
Biostructure Wargaming Objectives by Techmek –

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love those Alien markers!


In case of objective markers of wound/casualty markers it is a good idea to do them from scratch instead of looking for ready-made products. By combining few different objects – like barrels, weapons, ammo crates etc. you can make a simple but good looking objective marker. You can print each piece of the puzzle separately and then arrange it as you see fit. Markers made in such way give you must more satisfaction, than ready-made 3D printable designs.

It might be a good idea to look for markers in the board games section. A lot of files marked as ‘for board games’ can be easily adapted for wargaming needs.

Are you looking for something specific? Let me know!

Let me remind you that if are you looking for something specific or simply need help finding some bits just let me know. I am more than happy to provide you with a list of files suitable for your project. All you need to do is to let me know by writing a comment below! I will make an article around the theme chosen by you 🙂

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How to base miniatures

how to base miniatures

Painting miniatures is only one part of our wargaming hobby. One of the other ones is basing your miniature. There are many ways and materials that you can use to base your miniature. Today I will show you how to make a simple base for your miniatures with household items that probably all of us have at hand.

Materials and Tools

The below list contains all necessary, and some optional, materials for today’s project. Let’s have a look what you will need:

  • Cork (a wine bottle or a cup coaster is fine)
  • Sand
  • Small stones or gravel (optional)
  • PVA glue (aka white glue)
  • superglue
  • x-acto knife
  • cutters/clippers
  • safety glasses
  • work gloves
  • bits from your bitzbox (optional)

As always safety first, so do not be surprised to see safety glasses and work gloves on the list 😉 Please have in mind that it is the bare minimum, which you will need to make a simple base that I am presenting to you today. If you have other materials and bits that you want to use go ahead and use them. You probably noticed that some materials have the ‘optional’ mark next to them. Depending on your projects you might need them or not, that’s why they are listed as ‘optional’.

base miniatures dyi
Not all materials visible here will be used today.

Step one – choose our base and start working with cork

base miniatures
Different size of miniature bases.

Have a look what miniature needs to be based and double-check what base size you need for that particular model. Also try to think if you are going to use this miniature in a tray as it might need a bit more planning, as you do not want to make a base that won’t fit the tray 😉

When you have the base size you need to prepare a cork sheet (one from a wine bottle is fine), superglue and clippers. Take your clippers and start cutting or better to say ‘crumble’ the cork. The idea here is to get smaller cork pieces with irregular shapes on each edge of the small cork piece.

minis base
Remember, safety first when working with tools 😉

When you are satisfy with your cork pieces you can start arranging them on your base. When you are happy with the overall look of the base, start gluing the pieces in place with superglue.

basing minis
A small drop of superglue.

Step two – it’s time for sand and gravel

Prepare the PVA glue (white glue), container with sand and some small stones. Instead of stones I am going to use ground cork from GaleForce9. However you can use many different household items, for example whole black pepper (ungrounded) 😀

basing miniatures for

Put some PVA glue on your base and add sand and gravel. I tend to ‘flood’ the base with glue on it in my sand container 😉 I am a lazy bugger 😛

minis based

Step three – the devil is in the detail

Now is the time to unleash your inner creativity. If you want to add some bitz, skulls, bones and any other bitz that will make your base special now is the time to do it. I am going to use some skulls from ORZOL Studio, that you could see in the ‘How to paint miniatures’ article. Please note that static grass and grass tufts can be added after painting the base 😉

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I also have other bitz from ORZOL Studio, but I have an idea for a small diorama project. I simply plan to use all those swords, skulls and the undead/possessed (?) knight for it 😉

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That’s it! You finished building your base!

miniatures for basing

Congratulations! You finished building your miniature base! Now all you need to do is to paint the base, add some static grass or grass tufts and painted model. Just that 😉

What about adding some paint ?

We will cover this step in another article dedicated the art of basing. Please remember, that materials like static grass, grass tufts can be added after the base is fully painted. Next time I am going to show you how to add some grass tufts and maybe some foam modeling flock.

to base miniatures
Yay or Nay? Do you like how they look on my fresh bases?
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Pocket version of A-Case anyone?


Being a part of the A-Case Crew is an awesome experience, however every now and then
you are being tested. Yeap, tested! I do not mean any kind of medical tests, but new ideas
are being tested on you and your miniatures. Curious what is it all about this time? Read on!

The not so strange package…

One beautiful morning I received a package. It was a normal package. Nothing unusual about
it. Not even a strange sign on the envelope front or back. Just another day in the office.

Package like package, everyone knows, everyone saw one in their lives.

Instructions, instructions, instructions

Pretty straightforward I would say

Ok, so let’s have a look at the instructions and what I have to do today to make it work. Do
open it. Do put it in the microwave. Add black paint. Don’t look at me like that! I am just
testing it… Ask the designer why I need black paint 😛

I never liked pans anyway…

How to be a hobbyist without black paint

Ok, I am a hobbyist without black paint! No idea how it happened, but let’s mix some black
paint out of primary colors. At least some black-ish color 😉

My blackest black of all my blacks

Ideally you need just three colors: yellow, cyan and magenta. However, I got only yellow, red
and blue. This is the blackest black that I could get…

Black paint is there. Trust me I am an engineer! 😛

What’s next?

I am as curious as you are, as I never did that before. But getting a pocket version of an ACase magnetic transport system case sound perfect! Worth to give it a shot.

When the first step, according to the instructions, is ready I will have a look at the second
part of this A-Case. What we got here – add warm water, use a hot saucepan, do not drop it,
let it cool… Am I in a next masterchef or what? 😀

And done!

This is our result!

Here you can find the final result ;). Not as pocket as I thought, but I still love it!
Who wants to get one of those unsuspicious packages and give it a try?