Stuff That Makes Life Easier: Part 2

 As much as I enjoy painting and modelling I am always on the lookout for stuff that makes life easier, or saves time. I have often wondered if there was something that could help me speed up the laborious process of putting on my underbase markings. (See here for an explanation). An idea germinated, and in the finest tradition of Blackadder's faithful sidekick, Baldrick, I had a cunning plan...

The finished jig. In the picture it looks like the top layer overhangs the base - it doesn't: that's just the angle the picture was taken at coupled with a bit of shadow

Every so often I clean the paint and glue from my cutting mat, which gives a lovely clean surface on which to work. The downside is that the 1cm squares are wearing off, to the extent that they are now pretty much none existent. I used to use these squares to help me accurately position masking tape on the underside of my bases (enabling me to get a nice crisp line for my allegiance colour code). Even when the squares on the mat were clearly visible the process was fiddly and time consuming.  

So I designed a jig to help with the process. Two notches that I could slot base corners in so I can quickly, easily, and accurately place my masking tape. 

As I'm right handed, working this way is much easier - explains why the '15mm' text appears upside down. (A little blob of blutack holds the base in place whilst applying the tape)

I then decided that if I tweaked the design a little I could put in a 2mm slot in to help cut pikes down to my preferred size without having to measure them. 

I've put a pinning rod in the slot, as my pikes didn't show up very well in the photos

It's now much quicker to accurately cut pikes down

I drew up my design and emailed Warbases. This really was a case of "I can't tell you, but I can show you", so I sent them pictures of my cardboard mock up - made it a lot easier trying to explain what I wanted. Warbases, as always, were happy to help.

The top layer is 3mm MDF - I use 2mm thick bases, the extra 1mm gives an edge to place the masking tape up to. The base is 2mm. 

I added some text so I didn't have to think about anything, and whilst I was at it added a little bit of corporate branding. I asked for Chapbook Italic font, which I've used on my casualty markers to give a C17th vibe. All completely unnecessary, but why the heck not!

It works brilliantly. For just a couple of quid it really does speed up repetitive processes. I really do mean a couple of quid - postage cost more than the custom order. 

My jig does exactly what I wanted of it - if you have similar repetitive tasks I can heartily recommend designing your own. I'm sure Warbases will be happy to help produce it for you.

I really wish I'd thought of it and had it made sooner. It is also surprising, how much joy the creation of this object has given me. I clearly need to get out more.

I know I have written that I have finished painting little men, but I've had an idea...

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