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Planning the Perfect Hobby Room for Miniatures

As I mentioned in my Christmas post, one of my presents this year is news that we are going to convert the office in our new home into a Hobby and Blogging room for me. Little did I know that the news would start a new project of planning for the perfect hobby room. Now, what is perfect for the miniature hobbyist is subjective. I realize that what works for me might not work for someone else – and vice versa. Regardless, I still wanted to make a post about my plans thus far.

To start, I determined what I expect to do with the space when all is said and done. The space I plan to use is a spare bedroom that we currently use as an office.

Room’s Purpose

I took a fairly straight forward approach for my first step – determine the purpose of the room. For me, I want the room to do the following…

  1. Provide a workspace to build and paint miniatures.
  2. Double that space as a miniature photography studio to take pictures of painted minis and work in progress.
  3. Contain adequate storage for my hobby tools, paints, and projects.
  4. Hold a second work area for Blogging. This is basically a separate work surface where I can type on my computer without miniatures in the way.
  5. The full room also has to double as a home office.

To me, that is a pretty straight forward list. From here, I determined my list of must haves.

Must Haves

Now knowing how I want the room to function, I can determine my list of Must Haves. Below is that list…

  • Two working surfaces. One for Hobby work and the other for Blogging.
  • Two high intensity lamps with at least 100W equivalent daylight bulbs in them for photography and a well lit painting area.
  • Storage in the form of drawers, dressers or bookshelves.
  • Space for regular office accessories.

On top of this list of requirements, I want a number of additional criteria to be met as well. I will call those items “nice to have.”

Nice to Have

A number of items fell into the category of nice to have if we can do it. A number of factors will determine whether I can meet everything on this list. If I can’t, that is okay. These things are the nice to have items…

  • An area to place an IPad to watch YouTube Videos while I paint.
  • Surface storage on the desk for paints and work in progress.
  • An awesome chair.
  • A set up to be able to use an airbrush.
  • Large surface of cutting pads.
  • Visually appealing (although according to Mrs. Must Contain Minis, this is a must have).

Consolidating the Lists

I started a Pinterest collection to collect ideas. Then I drew things out to see how they looked.

In the end, I went with a design my wife came up with that I like the most. This design gives a desk for a computer and a second desk for my Miniature Painting Station. I placed the Paint Station against a wall and surrounded it with two book shelves for storage.

Given my budget and time, I decided to go with an IKEA solution. After some research, I found that they have room design software that works great. If you want to use it, be sure to use a PC. It did not work on an IPad. I used that program to design the room and create an equipment list and was very impressed that the option existed.

Below is the list…

  • Two bookshelves
  • One desk with drawers
  • Two bright desk lamps (I am thinking of some clamp swivel arm lights but am wondering if there are better options out there)
  • A painting storage system for on the desk
  • The furniture has to be white (a request from Mrs. Must Contain Minis who was partially inspired by Craft Rooms on Pinterest)

The white furniture is kind of specific and generally not a requirement for most, but given this is a finished room, we want it to have a certain look and feel. I can work with white, but I will have to be very careful while working. I am thinking plastic sheets or a large cutting pad have also become must haves to preserve that furniture. 🙂

Given the white furniture and finished space, the airbrush is out the window. It is no longer part of the design. Aside from that, I think I will set up something fairly nice.

Next Steps

Next I have to buy the items I need for the room and start building. If you have any suggestions for me (or my readers), please let me know in the comments area below.

As of now, I have the furniture (haven’t built it yet), and am still looking to source the lights and paint storage system.

Companies that I am currently looking at for this include the TableTopGamerStore (this system looks slick) and HobbyZone. The first online retailer I found for HobbyZone did not ship to Canada, but I am fairly sure I could get it if I ordered directly from the manufacturer. I like the TableTopGamerStore Solution because it is local to North America. My wife (Mrs. Must Contain Minis) prefers the aesthetics of the Hobby Zone System – must be that it is white like the desk. Have you used either of these systems? If so, please let us know what you thought of them.

Finally, I have to figure out what lamps to buy for my desk. I was looking at clamp lights with swing arms, but am leary about mounting a clamp to an IKEA desk and many of the ones I have been looking at seem too cheap in terms of parts (don’t want to end up with a broken lamp when I over extend the arms to take photographs of my painted minis).

So, What do you think of my plan so far? Please let me know in the comments below.

Be sure to read our related post discussing the HobbyZone Modular Workshop Station.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

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