When it comes to painting miniatures, I’m not a gadget guy. If you give me a brush that has a very fine tip, I will be able to do any job. But there’s one gadget that I wish I’d bought for myself a long time ago. It’s called a vortex mixer, and it’s helping me paint my minis faster and better than ever before.
When you’re painting miniatures, getting the consistency of your acrylic paints right is one of the hardest things to do. This usually involves mixing water into your paints as you are painting. You can either do this with just your brush or with a dry palette. The biggest problem is often mixing the paints correctly.
Tiny little containers are available for miniaturizing paints. Each bottle contains just one ounce. Finding enough momentum to stir the tiny ounces can prove difficult. Because of the thick, coagulase-pigmentous paints they sink to the bottom, red and white are the most difficult to achieve the right results. Games Workshop’s new line of Contrast paints is another troublesome product, as its unique binders and flow improvers tend to get stuck to the bottom of the pot. Fail to mix your paints well enough and they’ll be too thin, won’t cover your model fully, or maybe they might not even stick at all. It might take more effort to mix them than actual painting.
Vortex mixers are most common in bioscience laboratories, which they use to mix together samples inside test tubes. The silicone indentation at the top holds the tube’s bottom together. It will activate the motor and automatically stir the contents. The contents of the tube are twisted around with incredible speed to create a vortex-like effect. The liquid creeps up and creates a gap in the middle.
What’s great for lab techs is also pretty awesome for miniature painters as well. The problem of paint mixing has been solved by me adding a vortex mixer to my hobby. I just press the pot to the top, give it 30 seconds to a minute to agitate, and I’m off to the races. The metal mixer ball will make it faster for thicker paints. Now I look up after a quick half-hour painting sprint and find that I’ve used a dozen or more colors, rather than just the three or four that I had the time to mix and paint with in the past. The result is more time spent on my actual hobby, and better looking miniatures than I’ve had in the past.
Price is the only thing that can stop you from making your own. A good friend recommended that I spend about $100 to get my LabGenius minivortex mixer. That’s as much as I spent on my airbrush … and my compressor. While there are cheaper options online, $50 still seems like a high price for such a useful gadget. They are so costly. The motors used are specialized items and run extremely fast. To keep all this motion in check, the motors must be very heavy. The base of mine has thick silicone feet so it can move against the spinner’s paint pot. It makes it quieter overall.
Whichever way you go price-wise, you likely won’t go wrong. Grab yourself or someone you love a vortex mixer and you won’t regret it.
#Love #paints @miniatures