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Holding Small Items

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For painting small pieces (airbrush or by hand) I have been using the alligator clip on a skewer things. I'm getting less and less happy with them. They can literally crunch some pieces and at best they leave a spot where the paint didn't go meaning I have to sand and paint that spot after everything dries. I don't like double work.


I'm wondering if you guys have any suggestions for an alternative

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Hi Mike


I have suggested this before on this forum but here goes.


One of the most valuable tools in my collection is my fly tying vice (designed for tying fishing flies) It will hold very small items without crushing them. I tend to use it for tying blocks and rigging. I usually use small alligator clips to hold items when airbrushing, but I see no reason why it couldn't be used when painting. There are many inexpensive fly tying vices on eBay and amazon.


Hope this helps you





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You might try:

small and tiny clothes pins

masking tape, sticky side up

pins and needles


The pins and needles can be pushed into the part where it won't show on the model.  Some parts are best painted twice, such as trucks.


Keep building and above all, have fun.                                   Duff

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I will probably get around to buying one of those fly holders when it gets time to rig. But for my current problem I don't think it is the answer. I usually paint a lot of parts at one time, so I don't see a single holder helping much. Plus I imagine a holder would cover some area of the part so I would still need to paint twice.


Pins seem like they would work well for wood. Not so sure about the small brass parts.

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  • 4 weeks later...



Painting small objects isn't easy as we all know.

Yes, I use the good old jewellers help with the magnifyer and arms and clips.

But I've also found the easy way for multiple small items is to use a piece of cardboard.

Drill approriate holes through the card and stick your items to be painted through.

If the holes are small enough, the pieces even tend to stay still when being painted.


Here's a couple of examples:






Hope that helps......



Edited by JRB9019
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