Thursday, March 27, 2014
I travel a lot. I travel in some way approximately twice a month for business and that travel takes me all over the US. My customer has offices spread across the US and strongly believes in telecommuting for their employees. This means I am best served by heading to their local areas for meetings, which they find flattering and helps me in business as a whole. Add in that my corporate office used to be in Manahattan NYC, and has now moved out to northern NJ. When you consider all of this, think about the fact that I am located just outside Washington DC, just a short drive away from Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia. That all adds up to a lot of travel.
This is a good place to mention, I am generally a nervous traveler. I try to never check my bags as I prefer to get in and out of the airport as quickly as possible. I am always somewhat anxious going through security and in all my time traveling I have only been stopped for a check one time. I go to some lengths to be prepared when going through the airport, with my ID and ticket out before I get in the security line, liquids bagged up before the security check, and everything as efficient as possible to get through Airport security in the shortest time possible.
This article is about a different situation though, specifically about painting. My travels will, from time to time, not involve an airplane but instead will be on a train or more importantly will be a drive. Typically I try to drive to any meetings that are 4-5 hours from my house. I find the drive is simpler than trying to take a train or a short flight to those locations. In the circumstances when I can drive it's pretty easy to toss my paint kit into the car along with some mini's to paint while I'm on the road. I always find there is some time in the hotel during these "shorter" trips where I have the time that I could use to paint.
So, once I'm settled into my room and getting read to paint I need to set-up my painting area. I find that typically (I'm a Marriott guy) there is a desk with a nice pull-out table in the rooms I stay in. I position myself under the light on that desk and pull out my paint trays from the P3 bag, setting them up on the desk. My models get setup on the small pullout table just in front of the desk so my paints are in easy reach and the light is good for painting my models. Typically I have packed a couple pieces of paper towel in my bag so I have a cloth to clean my brushes. Now comes just a couple more items I can scavenge from the room itself. First is a "water pot" to use in cleaning my brushes. This is pretty easy as every hotel room I've stayed in has some type of coffee cup in the room. I grab this and fill it with water.
Once I have all this set-up I settle into a chair and start painting. It makes a nice break while on the road and help me keep moving forward with the hobby side while I'm on the road and not able to get games in. I do not pack large models for these trips for a couple reasons. First, smaller models fit in my paint bag better, especially infantry size models. Second, I prefer to sit and work on models that I will get mostly or completely painted up, and that typically does not work with large models. On my last trip I was particularly inspired and effective, ending up completing four models while on the road. I was able to put some flock on them when I got home, snap some pictures and then seal them.
This last trip helped me complete enough models for my WWX Union Special forces. I have 1 model remaining to paint up and I'll be set with 2 Union lists to play around with. I hope this little article helps you out a bit, either with inspiration to paint while traveling or in helping you find some creative tools for enabling your hobby while on the road!