Wet Pallets & Painting Rigs

A painting rig is something that you temporarily affix your primed figure onto to protect your paint job and make it easier to paint. There are many styles including film canisters, wood blocks, empty thread spools or pill bottles. I like the pill bottles and fill them with sand to give them enough weight to stabilize them so they don't tip over. You can stick the minis on top with carpet tape, glue or poster tack. Typically I like to mount my minis on my rig before priming. It prevents unnecessary handling. I leave it on the rig as long as possible through the painting process, preferably until the final coat of sealer is dry. Then, once it is cured overnight, I pop it off.

There are many types of pallets available, but the most popular two are ceramic flower style and the wet pallet. Both have their places, but most of the time I lean towards the wet pallet. In my opinion it has significant advantages over ceramic welled pallets. I find that I waste a lot less paint and the consistency is more...well...consistent! The water underneath the parchment paper keeps the paint from drying out the way it does in a ceramic pallet, and that keeps me from getting tiny chunks of dried paint mixed in with the fresh and my paint stays smoother.

Making a wet pallet is very easy. All you really need is a plastic plate, a few paper towels and a square of parchment paper, the kind used for baking and available in most grocery stores. Simply lay your squares of paper towel flat in the bottom of your plate and add enough water to completely cover the paper towels. You don't want them to swim in the water, but they need to be really soaked. Now take a square of parchment paper (not wax paper!) and lay it on top of the towels. It's going to curl up into a roll, but just take it out and flip it over and smoosh the other side down against the water. You might have to repeat this a couple times but eventually it will lay flat. Try to nudge out any really big air bubbles with your fingertip. If you want to get a little fancier you can use a piece of Tupperware with low sides and a lid to seal it up overnight so your paint lasts even longer.