Not really painting on the sprue, but close

I'm sure most of you know this one already, but if you don't... (and you're like me) this might help you along. Shadows of Altansar covers something similar on his blog.
Since I'm still getting used to the idea of painting things even though they aren't fully assembled, I thought I'd go all out and try this too.

Actually I couldn't figure out how I was going to hold this thing and paint it at the same time. So, I cut a piece of sprue and glued it to it making an instant handle.

So simple but so helpful.
I'll be using this little trick when I start my Titan commission.

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. I've tried this before Ron and always run in to the same problem. Maybe you have a solution - When you come to assemble the model and you cut the item from the sprue it always takes a big chunk of paint with it. Or you are left with the sprue tags to sand down... Obviously then when yu sand it, it rubs the paint away...

    I was thinking about doing my new guard using this method, if i could just solve that one problem. So, any hints or tips ?

  2. Good question. I'm going to build things in sub-assemblies before doing this. Then I'll glue the entire sub-assembly to the sprue in a place that doesn't need to be repainted when I go to break it off.

    Anyone with experience actually painting on the sprue have any suggestions?

  3. Good idea for a handle...

    So... did I miss some earlier news, what Titan commission are you about to start???

  4. Im going to paint my Hardened Vets without their arms attached, I was thinking I will cut them away and clean off any flashing, then I stick them to a piece of sprue via the part that sticks to the body (ie with this example it'd be the inside of the shoulder), spray on base coat and paint... then when I take it off the sprue i just snap it away, no paint will be harmed except a nice bare piece of plastic that will stick nicely to the body! does this help? just scale up the idea for vehicles!
    Craig @ cadian8th

  5. I do not know if any of you saw my post on this subject so here is my two cents because this is how I actually paint everything. Kudos for taking the time to try this technique, and it has never occurred to me to glue pieces back onto sprues before, I will definitly apply that logic to my next project.

    My advice to the missing paint problem is to pay attention to the pieces before you cut so that the connected parts are mostly socketed items that are glued beneath armpits, or other areas that tend to not show in the final product. Sometimes this is not possible (my Dire Avenger guns for example, where keeping the numbers was more important) the time you save on painting without obstacles far outweighs the time spent touching up the tiny area.

    I did not receive any feedback from my post on this matter so please feel free to criticize it; here are my thoughts on this subject and personal techniques:

    Hopefully someone will find this to be useful.

  6. I've done this a bit differently.

    Drill a hole where the nub you're going to make contact with the miniature is using a pin vice. Insert a small brass rod and secure using Elmer's Glue. You can then pin the brass rod in some sort of holding apparatus such as a sprue (I've used sanded wood).

    Bonus: in some cases you can use the pin to actually pin the piece to the miniature for added strength.

  7. My method is very similar to King's Standard Bearer's.

    I typically remove the part from the sprue, clean the flash, then drill a small hole wherever the final join will be. I keep my old empty paint pots and drill holes through them and insert a length of brass rod. I then temporarily pin whatever piece I'm painting to the rod on the paint pot. All the benefits of painting on the sprue without the chipped paint! It's especially useful if the model was going to be pinned to strengthen the join anyways.

  8. Whoops - I have been ninja'd. ;)

  9. Thanks for the tips guys, I didn't know so many people alreay did something similar. I'm right on track then... just behind everyone else it seems.

    dzer0: I added a link to your post, good stuff. Honestly, it's you guys that inspire me to try a lot of the things I do and post about here.

    The Inner Geek: You didn't miss anything. It's still in the works but there's more to come in the month ahead.

  10. I just discovered the joy of painting on the sprue a couple weeks ago. After cutting from the sprue and deflashing, I fitted the pieces and prepared pins for later fixing. I used the pins to fix them to the sprue. I see others above also recommend it, and it worked great for me too.

    A couple lessons learned for me with this method was:
    - to limit handling after painting, cut the pins to length before you paint. This way, you don't have to handle it too much; remove from sprue, check fit (optional, but recommended), affix to piece.
    - Nothing's harder than trying to paint something that keeps spinning everytime you touch it with a brush. So, for a single pins, use a dab of paint to secure the pin to the sprue. If you use glue, you may have trouble getting it free later.

    Craig, you may have better luck with arms, but I'm almost always left with gaps to fill. This method may not work very well with anything that's going to require green stuff or other gap fillers later.

  11. @ Other Kevin, thanks I'll do as you guys do with anything that may need gs filling!!


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