In the last few months, I’ve been spending more and more time at my finance’s house. I don’t have a dedicated workspace there, so I’ve created a portable build kit that I’m pretty damn proud of. I thought I’d share!
I started with what I believed was the bare minimum footprint of tools and materials to be able to build a kit out of the box… not paint, weather, convert, etc. I’ve added items that were missing or that I found myself really needing for regular usage. It’s surprised me how much I can also remove (or re-org, as you’ll see) as well. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I’ve discovered that whether in this portable build studio, or in my portable paint studio, the works starts in finding the right single transportation device for your necessary materials. Portability goes out the window if you’ve collected up a series of small containers. It’s just too hard to remember, or even physically move multiple items.
As a happy accident, I found the absolutely perfect portable “container” for my build materials when a makeup artist came to a photoshoot location with her makeup case. (My other hobby is fashion photography) I immediately noticed that her kit would be the perfect basis for my portable build studio. This case is actually two cases that can lash together. The top one is much smaller than the bottom one and can be carried over the shoulder with a carrying strap. The bottom one is larger and wheeled with an extension handle, and based around a set of drawers.
I bought the combo set on Amazon and then started choosing what went into the studio. I started solely with the top unit. I can grab a new kit, the top unit, and head out to literally anywhere and build 95% of the kit without concern.
Inside the top unit, I have individual containers (from Really Useful Box) for types of gear:
- Pliers (I use quite a few on every project!)
- Sanding gear
- Misc stuff (blades, lead wire, tape, etc.)
I’ve also included in the top unit things like:
- Jeweler’s apron
- 9×11 cutting mat
- Foam disc knife “holder”
- Breathing mask
- Reading glasses
Once I built a few model kits with this top unit, I had it pretty well dialed in. At that point, I had to stage my house for a (hopefully) pending sale, so I largely dismantled my modeling room at home. As I was packing, I did a second level assessment of tools and materials I felt like I needed in the portable kit, and that’s what has made it into the bottom unit. I continue to refine this one and probably will for a while. But overall, this case is fantastic and has been surprisingly easy to unpack, setup, model, then break down and pack up again.
I’m open to other ideas! What are your tips for portable modeling?