The Mother of Invention

We modelers are always striving for perfection.  Be it a better painting job or cleaner assembly, most of us aren’t content to sit on our laurels.  For me at least, this also applies to the quest for the perfect workbench setup.  Over the years, my bench has changed and grown as my skills have evolved and my equipage increased. Sometimes, however, there’s a more mundane and yet equally important reason to change: safety.

Let me provide some context: yesterday afternoon, I picked up a couple of old desk hutches from my mother’s basement for use on my workbench.  I brought them home and was immediately pleased with the storage and accessibility potential they provided.


One evening of work at this new and improved setup quickly revealed a potentially fatal flaw in the equation: my new acquisition almost completely blocked the room’s only exterior window.  Even though I was spraying ostensibly harmless Tamiya acrylics, the fumes were soon more than strong enough to give me a headache.  I know many of us have at one point or another said we’d kill for X kit or Y technique, but I doubt any of us mean it literally, especially when it comes to ourselves!

And so this morning, a full-scale reorganization of the entire workroom was in order.  With the addition of a new (to me) desk – again from my mother’s basement – and a steady stream of caffeine, I’ve managed to create my most efficient workbench setup to date AND free up the window, letting in fresh air and more light than ever; I don’t see this one changing anytime soon.



I now have a dedicated build table AND a dedicated paint table.  No more trading blotting paper for a self-healing mat; no more competition for space between my airbrush stand and cutting tray.



My old primary table is now the painting station.  The “new” hutch has let me spread out and categorize my paint inventory, while the space beneath the hutch is perfect for storing paint stands, weathering pastels, and cleaning supplies.



This table (which was apparently manufactured in the good old days of “lets use as much heavy steel in our furniture as possible”) is larger than my old primary table by about 15%, and with the addition of the hutch I almost have more working space than I know what to do with.  Two concurrent builds can now occur on one table simultaneously, with the upper storage space keeping my glues, photo etch, and reference material at arm’s reach without taking up valuable space for plastic.

I know we all do things differently with our spaces, but for me, this is how it’s done.



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