Rapid Deployment Painting - Ice Cream Tub

Rapid Deployment Painting – Ice Cream Tub

Approximate Reading Time: 6 minutes

A while ago I asked on Facebook and Twitter

“What’s the main ‘thing’ holding you back from doing more hobby”?

The majority of responses centred around time and money. I think all hobbyists know this feeling, there is no need to explain this further and remind everyone that they don’t own that perfectly painted 30K army they so badly desire. Another point that came up was ‘space’. I¬†see a fair few lovely hobby table set ups on Twitter – paints all lined up, brushes sorted, single minis being painted individually on their own mounts ready be assembled. I came up with a¬†solution ‘Rapid Deployment Painting’.





Mixing palette

Mixing palette

First layer of minis

First layer of minis

Freezer stealth mode (not recommended)

Freezer stealth mode (not recommended)

Recycling stealth mode

Recycling stealth mode

A¬†permanent hobby space is never going to happened for¬†me in my current home. All my hobby is packed away after each game or painting session. It then needs to be taken out for each session. This takes up time and is rather off putting when it comes to painting. You can’t just pick up a mini and a brush and go!

I’ve therefore developed my Rapid Deployment Painting¬†station, patent pending, which has turned a 15+ minute set up into a 1 minute set up. It’s an ice cream tub. The ice cream tub does offer a lot – I think you will be¬†surprised. What many people won’t realise is that if you already like ice cream this Rapid Deployment Paint station is essentially free. If you do not like ice cream you are a heretic.

Ice Cream Tub Features

  • Mixing palette
  • Paint brush storage rails
  • 2¬†litre capacity
  • Dual layer storage
  • Basing material catcher
  • Stealth mode

Rapid Deployment Painting Storage

Its important to get the storage correct, I have broken a few models in test driving this paint station. Paints go on the bottom, then brushes, then minis. These are your bare essentials to get the majority of a mini completed. There are of course other items that could be deemed essential such as gravel, sand, grass, stones, modelling glue, PVA glue, etc. These can be left out of the rapid deployment paint station because the basing time is so short compared to painting time. It is also additional weight which we want to avoid.

A layer of bubble wrap between paints and minis can be a life saver, this provides the dual layer storage. It will stop minis and their delicate bits dropping down the cracks between the paints and getting broken. Feel free to pad your minis out as much as you like. This can be hard if you’re painting 20 guardsmen from your Rapid Deployment Painting¬†station, but if you have just 5 Space Marines on the go it is going to be much easier to pad each one.

If you’re really clever and have a spare ice¬†cream tub, you can have a basing¬†station too. Place heavy items such as gravel and sand on the bottom then other items on top. The pots that gravel and other basing materials come in can be fairly large – they are not RDF (Rapid Deployment Friendly). You should decant these materials into smaller containers, empty make-up pots or small jars can be useful for this.

Mixing Palette

The lid of the tub should be used as a handy mixing and thinning palette for your paints. You should use the inside of the lid to mix paint, you will see why later. While its not ideal it is there and available easily. Its one less item to store and retrieve when you need to deploy quickly. Just ensure its dry when you pack your station away again, so you do not accidentally paint your minis when you place it all back in the tub.

Paint Brush Rail

If you do not have those fancy triangular handled brushes then your brushes¬†might be prone to them rolling away.¬†If you use the lid upside down you can place brushes in the grooves of the tub. They then won’t roll away and it also keeps the bristles away from the table.

Basing Material Catcher

The tub itself when emptied is handy for catching basing material. The mat, smooth finish on the tub means you don’t loose any material and it can all be slid out nicely via one corner. Just make sure the tub is clean and dry before doing this.

Stealth Mode

There is no beating around the bush here, this is just an ice cream tub. You can hide it in plain site if you are clever – not in the freezer, the paints¬†won’t like that. The recycling draw can be handy, if your partner¬†doesn’t empty the recycling the ice cream tub happily stay there for months out of sight but as¬†accessible as a bin. Of course¬†be careful¬†you don’t accidentally throw out the rub of paints and minis!

Another place could be with DIY tools. I find DIY tools for home improvements are move acceptable to leave out than hobby bits. If you need to rapidly pack away your paints then do so and leave the ice cream tub in plain sight – but place a hammer on it. It could be full of nails – couldn’t it? Your spouse¬†won’t check. You can then return the ice cream tub to its proper home along with the hammer at a more convenient time.

There are lots of other things you could do to hide the tub in plain sight I am sure. If you find something please comment and let everyone else know!


Other items that you should also consider placing into the Rapid Deployment Painting station, spacing permitting, are;

  • 1 or 2 sheets of newspaper for covering over a table or other work surface
  • A hobby¬†file
  • A ¬†modelling knife
  • An elastic band to place around it, it makes it seem hazardous and stops the more¬†curious spouse¬†from looking

That is all folks! Do you have a similar set up? Did you find this helpful? Please let me know! Finally I have media uploads turned on in the comments so feel free to upload photos of your Rapid Deployment Paint stations!

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