One of the best things about holidays is taking a paintbrush and some paints and figures. Tricky, but not impossible, if flying, but certainly possible if you’re heading anywhere by car. Part of the trick is getting prepared in advance.
I picked up a sturdy deep box from Paperchase, and kitted it out with an off-cut of blue Styrofoam to hold the Vallejo paints downwards with. I blu-tacked the brushes to the lid of the box and added a few other bits and pieces like a palette and brush cleaner.
A while back I’d picked up a Foldi Daylight lamp which gives out a great daylight LED light to paint with and is powered by AA batteries (and cost about £60). OK, not cheap, but a pretty good investment if you’re painting on the go a lot. A long time back I’d also picked up a magnifying glass which you can dismantle and fold away and can be easily packed away in the painting box.
I fitted a handful of 28mm figures into a separate box – more late 17th Century militia – and I’m all set. I’ve no idea how many I’ll get through, but I’ll let you know!
When I can’t manage to carry paints – such as on an overnight business trip – I try and carry a notebook, some pens and pencils. I’ve loved making and drawing maps for years. Some of them historical, some not. I like dreaming up scenarios, battles and campaigns – some of them even get played! Just as with a blog, I write down the games we’ve played, the ideas that come to you at odd times of the day, and the plans that just about every wargamer enjoys making. Notebooks are a great way to stay in touch with the hobby, even if you have zero time.
Just five minutes colouring in a map takes you to a 17th Century Italian valley, the Free City of Bravos, the Acheron IV meteor cluster – or wherever, or whatever, you enjoy.
They’re fun to look back through. Not as polished as a computerised map. A lot less printable. But a lot more personal.
Holiday painting. Very strongly recommended, whichever world you’re visiting this summer.