The PK-PRO Miniature Holder is an excellent tool for display pieces and character models.
I’ve been working on collecting gadgets and tools to help me take my painting game to the next level. I saw one of these model holders online, and I instantly understood the premise because of the way I hold minis. I thought it looked like an expensive and maybe overly-fancy tool, but I was still interested. I resisted it for a long time, and then one day I was shopping and I bought it by accident…
I was looking at the webstore and thinking about ordering it, so I put one in the cart to calculate shipping costs. Usually there’s a final page to confirm your order before placing it, but after putting in my payment and shipping info it went right to a confirmation screen. At that point I figured I’d just keep it because it would probably be a hassle to return it. I’m certainly I’m glad I did.
What does the Miniature Holder do?
How to use the Miniature Holder
Since not everyone holds a model the way I do, let me explain what the PK-PRO Miniature Holder does in a nutshell. The most important design element here is the metal arm. It’s got just a bit of flex to it, and the simple-yet-clever construction allows the arm to rotate 360 degrees around the base so you can keep it out of your way as you work. The cute little plastic skull at the top is firm, but has a bit of give so it’s comfortable to grip. That’s where the soft pad of my finger naturally rests, and the detail carved into it makes it very slip-resistant.
The base is fairly heavy, made from something like porcelain, and there’s a tapered hole in the middle. It comes with a custom tapered cork insert to match, split about 3-4 of the way down, to secure your model. The taper means the harder you press the cork into the base, the tighter it grips. You can either put a base-slot in there if the model has one, or drill into the miniature’s foot and glue a pin in place to sandwich between the two halves of cork. I add a bit of Blu-Tack as well just to keep it from moving around, but in general the grip so so tight it feels very solid. I’ve never had a model fall out of it, anyway. Removing the model is as easy as a gentle push on the cork from below, popping it up and opening it to release the model.
I’ve also heard of people using the metal arm to rest their brush hand or fingers on to reduce shaky hands or trembling. The manufacturer himself suggests doing this. I’ve never tried it, though, so I can’t really speak to that method. Maybe if someone out there has they can send me some pictures to add?
The killer feature here is that it keeps the model clean from dirty fingers, which allows the paint to adhere and lay unmolested until you can give it a spray sealant. Any long-time modeler who holds a miniature like I do will immediately see this benefit. There are a number of other features that I enjoy, however.
- The base is nice and heavy. I can just plop it down on my desk with no concern the model will fall over into the paint that I’ve just mixed on my palette. This used to happen to me fairly often, to be honest: Murphy’s law, I guess.
- It protects the model from dropping by acting like a sort of roll cage. Further, if you don’t actually touch the model it’s harder to break off delicate bits. I actually busted fiddly bits off the Deathwatch Overkill Dark Angel miniature TWICE from simply handling it with my fingers. As Citadel and others make models with finer details, they become much more delicate in general.
- This is maybe specific to me, but it puts the model on an actual physical pedestal, which puts it on a mental one as well. I feel a strong compulsion to finish the model that’s mounted on this thing. I can only have one mounted at a time. Seeing a miniature on there reminds me to concentrate on that project instead of getting carried away with what’s next. It’s another killer feature that’s not advertised anywhere.
- Even if you don’t currently hold models with a finger on them, maybe you should consider it with this. A model cradled in that position is far more stable, which is excellent for painting fiddly details. If you have shaky hands at all, this will really help create stability and improve brush control.