Cool Tools
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Cool Tool: Sticky Tack – and it’s many uses for hobby work

Ready for a Cool Tool I think you should have on your hobby desk? Expecting something big and fancy? How about something simple like sticky tack! Yup, I want to highlight the different ways you can use it for your hobby.

A Look at Sticky Tack and its use in the hobby

OK, while not the coolest thing on my desk at the moment, I have found that sticky tack (silly putty, Blu-Tack, poster putty, etc., ) is a must have. Below I listed a few tricks that I use or have seen other hobbyists use.

Holding minis while painting

The most common way I use sticky tack is to create a handle while I paint the miniature. This not only makes it easier to hold the model while painti but also prevents me from rubbing off layers of paint with sweaty hands.

Using sticky tack and a cork to hold a miniature for painting

I found that corks from whiskey bottles make great handles and a big blog of sticky tack holds the miniature in place. One of the benefits (as compared to glue) is that it works on odd surfaces like the banner here.

Holding Still While Priming

Ever go to prime a mini, only to have the spray can send them flying away? Add some sticky tack to hold them to a piece of wood or spray stick. Not only will this hold them in place against the spray, but you can also tip the stick around to get the odd angles.

Sticky Putty Mask For Airbrushing

While not my area of expertise, I did find two tutorials here on using sticky tack for airbrush work. The idea is that the putty is sticky enough to hold to the miniature, but not so much it will tear the paint. It is also pliable so you can shape it around details and textures.

Using Sticky Tack for Tank Camouflage

Sticky Tack Camo by Cameron from Rust and the City

Cameron used multiple layers of sticky tack for the camo pattern on this tank. By spraying the whole model with the first color, stripes of sticky tack hide it during subsequent sprays. Adding additional layers of sticky tack allow for additional layers of paint.

Masking with Blu-Tack for airbrush work

Using Blu-Tack for airbrushing by Arbal on Coloured Dust

In this tutorial by Arbal, not only is Blu-Tack used but a bunch of other masking materials for airbrushing. The Blu-Tack was used to cover the face of this Spartan King.

Masking Glue Joints with Sticky Putty

Another masking trick for sticky tack is to cover bare plastic while painting the miniature.

Using Sticky Tack to Mask glue joints

Dreadnought WIP by Dave Mary of 262nd Death Korps

This tip came from Dave Mary during last year’s Dreatober event. He uses sticky tack to cover the glue joints when painting a miniature in parts. This way plastic glue will hold everything together nicely when he has finished painting.

Mocking up Kitbashes

When kitbashing, it can be difficult to see what the end model may look like with the various bits gathered.

WIP INQ28 Techno-Barbarian Conversion

So use a bit of sticky tack to hold each bit in place. It won’t fit perfectly and will droop as you fiddle with the mini, but it can give a good sense of scale and balance.

Propping Joints While Gluing

Plastic glue is great for creating a strong bond between parts, but it can also take a while to cure. If you have every held parts together, waiting for the glue to dry, only to have them fall back apart, you know the pain.

But add a bit of sticky tack, either over the parts or as a prop holding them up, can give you the extra support it needs.

Wrap Up

Still doubt the power of sticky tack? Perhaps you should pick up a pack next time you are out. It’s only a few bucks (this one is $3 on Amazon) and goes a long ways.

Have more tricks with sticky tack aka silly putty? Leave them in the comments below so we can all learn a few more uses for this magic substance.

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  • I actually also use it for swappable weapons on Models where the join can be entirely hidden. Dreadnought arms that won’t quite stay by themself, the fronts of the weapons pods on the Storm Talon/Hawk, stuff like that.

    • oh that’s a good one too! Much easier than magnets but still gets the job done.

  • The spray can idea is one I use every time I basecoat. I would cry otherwise. Some neat ideas for sure.

    • Yeah so I have had many a model fall over during priming and make a mess of things. I feel sticky tack is one of those under rated things, like paper clips for pinning.