by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
One upshot of my renewed interest in car modelling has been the chance to re-evaluate Tamiya's "Spray Work" painting stand set. In a way, for me at least, it's been a case of finding the best job for a tool (to turn the adage around). I bought a set when it first came out in 2003 Ė and being almost solely an aircraft modeller back then, Iíve got to say I didnít find an awful lot of use for it and soon forgot about it.
But Iím jumping ahead. For those that aren't familiar with the set, it comprises a pair of small "lazy Susan" type turntables, and two different styles of platform.
The first is a simple bed with four small spring clips that can be positioned around the edge. The clips are quite strong and can grip sprues etc. very securely. The bed also features a number of holes of different diameters that you can insert sprues or dowels into.
As useful as the first turntable should have been in theory, I found it too small for working on the aircraft kits which were my main interest. A 1:48 WW2 fighter can barely stand on its undercarriage on it, and a 1:32 kit totally dwarfs it. And the clips and holes? - well, I seldom paint parts while they are still on their sprues (I prefer to remove parts to clean up mould lines and sprue attachments before painting), so I mount items on clothes pegs etc. with double-sided tape or adhesive putty, and this works fine for me.
However, using the Spray Work for car modelling, I found the turntable is just about the perfect size for a 1:24 (or thereabouts) chassis/underpan (a larger diameter would be awkward and get in the way), so I was already being forced to reassess a tool Iíd previously dismissed.
Which leaves the second part of the set - a spring-clip holder designed specifically for model car bodies. Not surprisingly, I never really found a use for this in aircraft modelling, but it's actually brilliant for doing what it's meant for. The strength of the clip is adjustable with a series of holes, so you can set it grip a model car's body securely from the inside, allowing access to the whole of the exterior for painting. An unexpected bonus for me was that you can remove the holder from the turntable and use it as a handle to tilt the model to any angle for spraying.
Iíve never found anything else like it for gripping a body shell, and it really makes painting the exterior a cinch.
ConclusionTamiya's "Spray Work" painting stand set is well made and should last for years. Itís a really useful addition to the workbench for car modeller Ė and I think it represents good value for money with its two complete turntables and different types of platform. If you work in other genres, you may find it of more limited value, as the spring clip holder is so closely tailored to the task of hold model car bodies.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AUTO MODELER.