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What do you take with you?

Joe Kutz

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Kind of curious what kind of stuff people generally like to tote along when they go out to paint - or even those who stay in to paint if they don't have a permanent painting area. Brushes, paints, thinners...whatever.


Mostly this is out of curiosity as to what other people like to shuffle around. I know I have a tendancy to pack up everything including the kitchen sink - but I'm interested in other peoples habits.

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I can fit everything but my rinse cup into my painting kit:

  • Current MSP paints
  • 4 oz dropper bottle of pre-mixed gunk
  • My brushes (I usually travel w/ my full active set - 3/0 x2, 2/0 x4, 1/0 x2, 1 x2, 3 flats, 3 crap brushes for mixing, drybrush, terrain, etc)
  • 6" x 6" ceramic tile x2
  • 10 well ceramic palette
  • Model handle x2 - 4 inch length of 3/4" dowel with bottle cap glued to the top. Poster tac or hot glue the mini to the bottle cap
  • Couple sheets of paper towel and white paper. Couple index cards for notes.
  • "Pick your poison" Shot glass with Skull and X-bones. Store the brushes in there when painting.
  • Several paint rags
  • Miniature I am currently working on, usually a back-up if I need a break or finish the first.

This is my standard travel kit. If I am going to be somewhere for awhile and know I will have the space, I will also pack my OTT light and Optivisor.


The painting case itself, I got at A.C. Moore for about $30. It's a nice sturdy wooden briefcase about 17x13x4. It is a perfect size for the MSP bottles. I fits perfectly 16 bottles across and 12 bottles down, so you can maintain triad organization. Completely filled, it will hold 192 bottles of MSP plus my palettes and brushes. I had do do some conversion work on the briefcase, as it had some walls in it for storage that got in my way. Nothing a razor saw and a Dremel couldn't fix. :devil:

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I do intro painting classes at the FLGS. Normally, I will take:


3x reading glasses (eyes are getting old)


pin drill


paper clip (to open stubborn dropper bottles)

4.5" ceramic tiles (because I have a bunch left from my bathroom redo)

2 32oz water bottles with a pump of soap in each (in the mall, it is hard to get water without a treck to the restrooms at the other end)

rinse cups (I find frosting containers perfect - yougert cups can be top heavy

roll of paper shop towels (less lint)

brush soap

rubber wine corks to glue mini on (soda bottle caps also work)


RMS paints - full set

4 dropper bottles of super water

GW inks rebottled into empty RMS bottles


Can of DulCoat.


Most of this fits in 2 of the plasic cases. They then fit in a stackable office crate (letter x legal) with the stuff that doesn't fit.


OTT light if I am going to a con and know the lights suck.


primed minis if at all possible, otherwise we have cleaning lessons (x-acto & needle files) and primer.

I also try not to use Sandra Garrity sculpts as her eyes are smaller than everyone else's. Love them for myself, but they are harder to teach eyes with.




Basing class is a whole nother box of stuff:

fine turf,

static grass (2 or 3 colors)

ground up leaves (Thanks again to Lady Tam)




some layered 'slate' made with layered sculpy & super sculpy.


model railroad ballast

more zap a gap (I often use watered elmers, but not for class, cannot wait overnight between steps)

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Assuming I am traveling for personal painting, not traveling to host paint activities and that nothing will be provided at the destination:


I have two Reaper paint caddies filled with the complete set of MSPs (I spaced them out for personal preference could have made do with only one caddy-I think) that store in my Reaper SWAG tote bag.


I have a travelling tool box (4"x6"x12") with everything I'd need to do anything, including glue, files, drill, knives, brushes, cleaner, putty, pallettes, paper towels, gum, pain killers, and chocolate.


Any minis I am working on go in my foam box, (approx the same size as a Reaper Small Box Set box only corrigated cardboard) holds four large or ten small sized minis. I keep a notebook in the foam box for anything I need to write down while working. I can fit the foam box in the tote bag but generally carry it loose or in my handbag/backpack.


I always have a water bottle for drinking, I 'll use that if no water available for paint.


wow, it has been a long time since I've traveled to paint and not hosted an activity....

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I used to pack up about everything I own...


Now I take my W&N, a palette, my 'clean water cup', and then I just mooch off everyone else.


Oh yea...a bottle of Reaper Brown Liner----it's right next to my American Express Card.



I've found that folks appreciate when I use their stuff to demonstrate techniques and such---as tools don't really matter 'that much'--and they can learn to paint well without having to throw away everything they have and buy new stuff.


It works for me too..considering I suck just as bad no matter what tools I'm using---so I don't have to haul near as much crap around.

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I keep it simple--bring the most important brushes (I'll leave the eye-dotting brush, for example, at home), whichever paints I'm planning to use, and a ceramic tile or plastic palette. If necessary, I'll bring a cup too. Haven't had to yet, since the only time I've painted away from home was at Totalcon where Ladystorm provided cups and paper towels.


If I was planning to do cleaning or modeling work, I'd bring along exacto knives, extra blades, pin vise, putty, plastic and super glue, hotel keycards (I use them as a palette for plastic glue) and toothpicks.

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Well, besides my paints, brushes and minis, when I go to a friend's house to paint I also carry a couple old CD's to use as pallettes, a set of needle nose files, an x-acto or cutter, a pin vise and some drilling bits, brasswire and a couple daylight bulbs (used to carry the whole lamps, but at my friend's they already have lamps, so, I just swap the bulbs). and tha's pretty much it.

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I take with me all my MSPs and a few Pro paints. All my nice brushes and some of my more useful "used" brushes get put in the box too. Whatever models I plan to paint come along . I take my 99 cent plastic pallet and a few paper towels. Two Cups- one for water, the other for more water or to put brushes in. I usually take white primer and dull coat, files, wire cutters and an x-acto. I have two glass jewelry trays that I also use for pallets if im just mixing up a little bit. Of course they get tossed in the box. I carry a few empty MSP bottles in case I need to mix something. It all fits nicely in one card board box that I lug around. It is the same box that fits all my Paint and Take gak so it works well for me.

The models- if partially painted get rolled up in soft foam and tied closed with some tie line.

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We take the "kitchen sink" approach...


We have all our MSPs, a few VGCs, and one can of primer in two ArtBin "Sew-lutions" boxes, which slide into the bottom half of a Flambeau tackle box. (We need to better-organize half of one of those boxes, as it has some empty space.)


Top half of the tackle box includes two very small boxes w/ some current WIPs and another bigger box w/ bigger WIPs.


Also in the top half of the box:


Assorted Kneadatites

Various painting media in 1oz dropper bottles

Pre-mixed gunk in a 2oz bottle

Model glues

Small bottle of white glue

Three colors of flock in 1oz spice jars (for basing)

Pliers and tools that don't fit in the tool drawer

Brushes (in their box)

Two prescription bottles w/ blu-tack (for holding WIPs)

Misc. 1/4 oz glass jars for bitz

My husband's mini glasses (aka reading glasses)

A couple of dead CDs for palettes


We also have a "tool drawer" that no longer fits in the tackle box, so we carry it separately. It includes all of our tools except for the pliers and end snips and stuff.


We're starting to get to the point where we're going to need to use the second tackle box for paint nights...!

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I toss a half dozen or so different paints in a small tackle box and it must include: Black, White, Red, Blue, Yellow, Brown, Tan, A green or two, and a bottle of Flesh tones.

My detail brushes (2) a spotter (1) an inking brush (1) and a few larger coverage brushes (2-3).

A plastic pallette. A cup for water and a cotton towel. I also keep a small mini case for works in progress.


I try not to do any finish work when traveling. Only at home.


A couple of Take 5 candy bars. (sugar high helps me paint.) ::):

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Almost everythng I need to finish a project fits into the neat little hobby case my wife got for me at some home organization store in the King of Prussia Mall, including little round ziploc containers of basing materials.


The only things that don't fit are my brush tub and my ceramic pallette, and I'm thinking of getting a smaller pallette that will fit in the box for travel. I'm always afraid my good one will bounc around the car too much...


And by everything, I mean all my paints, all my needle files, pliers, snips, pin vice and paperclips, Superglue, plastic model glue, and elmer's glue, decals, brushes. Everything.

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