As part of my large overhaul in storage and organization, (State of the Crazy: Storage Wars Part 1) a revamp and improved Hobby Space was in order.
Now a hobby space is a highly discussed topic and almost an extension of yourself as a creator. Pictures shared of your hobby area or tours are often discussed and shared as much as pictures of paint jobs and projects it seems. The community almost enjoys sharing their hobby “home” as much as they share finished projects. If you doubt me just search “Hobby Space” on YouTube and you will see numerous videos of creators talking about how to improve and maintain your space as well as showcasing their own. One of my absolute favorite discussions on the topic is the Paint Bravely Podcast “What Makes a Good Hobby Space” and they go as far as to rate your hobby space by level. The more sophisticated the setup the higher the level within the realm of miniature painting.
The ultimate goal of having a hobby area is to have a place to maintain momentum, have everything you need, and hopefully inspire you to create. For me my hobby desk has evolved significantly over the years. As always it just began as a place to hold my paints, brushes and what you i’m painting. So I think it is time to show you my current version of my hobby desk and areas of focus for me. However before we go into what i’ve done let me show you the evolution of my Hobby Space over just the last 3 years.
Hobby Desk Evolution
Unfortunately I do not have photographs of my very first hobby stations growing up. Even though I distinctly remember them. My first ever real “hobby area” was at my uncle’s house who loved cars and putting together model cars. I would paint with Testors enamel paint and work on model cars in his basement surrounded by tools of all sorts and trades. I loved the space and most importantly loved painting with my uncle. I learned which various components of the engine where a unique color while hearing his stories growing up with different vehicles. Throughout my childhood I did love hobby crafting and mingled in other types of hobby crafts like model trains briefly.
Painting miniatures did not truly start until 2014/2015. My D&D group and husband would paint figures sitting at the dining room table preparing for the next dungeons and dragons game. Nothing was organized and was a complete free for all. While a ton of fun it was not the most conducive to having good light, tools, or improvement. The focus was purely for socialization. Lets just say were not the best of painters but the community & socialization aspect was a blast. The group and painting slowly fell apart as we graduated and moved all over the country starting our various lives and careers.
Flash forward again to 2018 when I started 3d printing and the paint finally got pulled out again. I wanted to physically build the world I have imagined so much and provide a great tactile experience for myself and my players. With that I knew it was time to take painting more seriously.
My hobby desk was predominately made up with 2oz cheap craft acrylic paints, an old adjustable spice rack to hold the paints and create a shelf. I commonly used magazine pages to protect my desk.
Slowly I graduated to include a homemade wet palette, a white shelf that I was supposed to hang up on the wall somewhere, a very small self healing cutting mat, and a singular desk lamp. It wasn’t the fanciest and sat on my desk unless the project was too big for my small area and I could bring out the trusty old card table.
Eventually after the birth of my son my hobby space turned into the nursery. Thus resulting in having to migrate to a new room since most of my hobby time was after the baby went to bed. Better not use daylight bulbs in the same room as a small sleeping kiddo.
The year of 2020 definitely resulted in the most growth for my hobby “stuff” and therefore the most improvement. Moving to the new room definitely was tricky. I was lower in the ground and it was definitely darker. Also this room has many many purposes. It is the main room walking into the house, TV space, laundry room, and my office. Having to attempt to keep it clean is always tricking as well as the rooms layout.
The first move into this space you can definitely tell I had boxes everywhere. Things weren’t labeled and the most noticeable feature is the cat ramp to let the cat look out the window and watch me while working.
Slowly but surely I added some important features:
I also was given a large self healing cutting mat and added a second lap to round the whole place out. Towards the end of 2020, I got my resin printer and built a really wonderful enclosure for all my 3d printing next to my desk. I definitely was feeling more confident, really motivated, and immensely began to enjoy my space.
Dreaming of More
However i’ve always been jealous of the “Hobby Zone” Organizational systems with those sleek white drawers and having all of your tools and supplies organized on top of your workspace.
I cannot even articulate the number of times i’ve used the online desk mapping software to design my “ideal space”. If you want to design your own setup check out the Modular Workshop System Designer. However I knew I could never make the argument or afford such an epic system.
As a result I started to dabble in what 3d printed systems are on the market. Being able to 3d print my own system could potentially save more more money in the long run and make me feel like I contributed to its creation rather than just purchasing outright. To begin with I originally purchased the “Ultimate Modular workshop system” on myminifactory made by Meian. Never before in my life have I made a 3d printed purchase I regret so significantly. As a whole I found that many of the designs were missing and still after 8 months of purchase the files have not been updated. Also the parts themselves were not all labeled upon purchasing that it were be too large for the size of my 3d print bed. Not to mention the numerous failures due to poor design. This is the one situation where I wish there was a larger global system in place for customer reviews.
Then I found the “Paint Station Starter Set with UV curing station” by Esteban Cantu. Also located on myminifactory I purchased the STL set for $10 and got to work. Overall I enjoy the system, although at times I do find the boxes a bit too small. Over time I’ve been slowly working on adding more and more boxes as needed for my work bench. Also utilizing some old boards to make shelves.
2021 Hobby Desk Redesign
Fast forward to the last several months i’ve been growing and hobbying with significantly more gusto, including really working towards this blog. Which of course led to gaining more tools, supplies and need for organization. Also on top of that the region I call the “Baby Danger Zone” was constantly growing. I had to keep my area almost meticulously clean after every evening hobby in order to keep objects from being confiscated the next day (shown in image below). Even boxes on the shelf were no longer safe as he learned how to open and throw its contents everywhere.
As a result there was no choice but to grow upwards and deeper into the corner of my desk. This could not happen as my computer was sitting in the center of my desk. So I shifted it to the side in order to open up the entire length of my desk. I also was capable of getting my laps off the tabletop which opened up more space as well. This has been the most exciting installment of my renovation. This change alone almost doubled my available workspace. I am now capable to easily keep my notebook nearby for notes, a warm drink and my active project!
I converted a paintbrush drying rack into a tools rack giving my brush holder more space. This along with adding another paint rack and a DIY dowel stand to stack it upwards really changed the game of things that just sat on my desk.
The last major change and creation was to make a shelf/drawer box to hold all of my glue and adhesives. This is been a large problem for me since the super glue containers were too tall for most boxes and resulted in being spread out across the desk. Of course was not going to work having to protect my small from glue.
Overall it has been interesting and a blast to see how my desk as changed and evolved overtime as I have. I still have a lot of things I want to improve upon such as organization for bits, greebles, basing materials, etc. I still haven’t found a permeant home for my paper towels.
There is also always the discussion of what warrants being within arms reach at all times for your hobby space and what could be put away and used more sparingly. This is something I think i’m going to have to just adapt over time. My biggest dream is to one day figure out a way to incorporate an airbrush and ventilate it. But that is a dream for much later.
I do love having the capability to organically grow my hobby space by 3d printing all the storage containers and drawers for my hobby space and being able to have more functional prints is fun.
How do you maintain and organize your hobby space? What priorities do you have for your area?
As always thanks for hanging out and reading. Let me know what you think.