Undertaker's Underhive Shack


Gang Hero
Oct 21, 2016
Everyone else and their grandma seem to have a modelling/painting/WiP thread here, so here's the start of my own feeble attempt.

DIY Wet Palette
If you don't know what a wet palette is, it's pretty much what it sounds like. It's a palette that you mix your paints on, that is also wet. But because of the greaseproof baking paper in-between, it keeps your acrylic paints from drying out without watering them down, and without letting the paint seep down into the sponge. In other words, it's magic! If you have never tried one, make sure you do the next time you sit down to paint. It takes about 2 minutes to make a simple one and it will change your life. Before I started using one of these about half of the paint that came out of the pot would end up dried on my normal palette, or worse, on the brush.

Now you may be wondering, why I would bother to make another wet palette tutorial when there are hundreds already out there. The reason is because I simply wasn't satisfied with the others. Or to put it another way, I'm a picky b**tard when it comes to tools.

The Current Offerings
Most of the DIY options out there use a plastic tub of some sort. Either with the sponge in the base

which would mean I'd have to stab my brushes downwards into the paint (not good).
Or the sponge in the lid

which is better, but still leaves you with a large tub base you'll need to cover the lid with to keep the paints fresh when not in use.

Some use an old plastic blister pack from a miniature

This is smaller and better, but a bit flimsy.

On the commercial side things aren't a whole lot better. Like this Frisk Acrylic Keep-Wet Palette:

You know that vacuum-formed plastic is going to crack after 10 uses. And this thing costs £12.

Or this Small Daler Rowney Stay Wet Palette

which is huge. The shortest side is 24 cm!

The P3 Wet Palette is more to-size for miniature painting, but why does it need to be that deep?

Also the hinge is solid plastic, which means the lid will just hang in mid-air at a 45° angle waiting for you to accidentally knock the whole thing over. This thing looks more like a random plastic box with some packing foam in it than a purpose-designed wet palette.

This Everlasting Wet Palette from Redgrass Games is more like it, but at €35 each, quite expensive! Also, still in the preorder phase.

To summarise, the current offerings are either too large, too flimsy, too deep, or too expensive. Why not something small, shallow and sturdy for a reasonable price, for those of us that don't have a huge working or storage area, and don't want to dig the paint out from the bottom of a tub?

My Solution
Enter, the Dormy Micro Stamp Pad (the new design, with wider rim and click-shut lid)! At ~£5 this is way more affordable, quite robust, and has proper hinges for the lid.

To make this into a wet palette, tear out the inner sponge covered in ink. Do this in your sink and maybe wear rubber gloves, unless you don't mind your hands being inky. Give the case a thorough wash. The only problem with this case is that water can leak out the back through the small holes where it hinges. But in practice I found this only happens if you turn it on its edge and shake it. If it's a worry, stick some BluTac or Green Stuff in there. I've just left mine open.

Buy some sponge cloths from your local supermarket for ~£1. Cut out a section to go inside the case (11.7 × 7.7 cm). I recommend wetting the sponge first before cutting, as it expands when wet.

Buy some greaseproof baking paper from your local supermarket for ~£1 (not the waxed paper, that stuff will not allow water to permeate). Cut out a section a few mm wider than the exposed sponge area (11 × 6.7 cm). And while you're at it, make a few more, so you have some replacements for when the the old one needs retiring.

Insert the sponge (it's better to have the smoother side on top). Wet it under the tap and let the excess run off (until the stream turns to drips). If the sponge is too dry, there will be large bubbles under the paper and the paint will dry quickly in those patches.

Cover it with the paper and paint! Since the paper was cut a bit wider than the opening I tuck it under the rim to keep it steady during use. The lid is slightly concave, so you can close it without smudging all the paints.

And when you're done, it is small enough to fit in with the rest of your painting supplies.

The paint should keep fresh for weeks, let alone over the course of a single painting session. But don't make the mistake I made of forgetting about it for a few months and discovering that it had gone mouldy! :confused: I would suggest taking the sponge out, washing it with soap and letting it dry once in a while.
And not to forget Grandpa Nurgle influence on still water enclosed for a long time:eek::confused::sick:
Thanks for your review!
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I like it, I'm currently dipping my brush in an old food container.
And you are right, it gets old fast.
A flatter pallette would be amazing, maybe after my next session of brushdipping a few hundred Times.. .
Atleast now I know what I'm looking for!
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Excellent idea. One question ... how much space is there when the lid is closed? Ie is the lid going to touch the paint/paper?
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Thats awesome mate, thanks for the tutuorial! Been using purely washes today on bulkheads, so will be making one later in the week now for details! :)
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Thanks for the excellent tutorial @undertaker (y)
It inspired me to have a go and make my own like yours.

Well... not exactly like yours but quite close. :p
I got Mrs noodle to nab me a ink pad from work, I’d have made it sooner, only the Mrs wasn’t back at work till today. It doesn’t have the fancy bit to hold down the edges but its got plenty of room in the lid not to smoosh all the paint when closed.
I’ve not used it yet but I’m wondering if the grease proof paper not lying perfectly flat will be a problem. Also is ther a wrong and a right side to the grease proof paper or does it not matter. Any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks. :)
Excellent idea. One question ... how much space is there when the lid is closed? Ie is the lid going to touch the paint/paper?

In the Dormy Micro stamp pad that I use there is ~4.5 mm clearance between the top of the paper and the inside of the lid when closed. I have not had any problems with the paint ending up on the lid.

Great work @Ned Noodle and Mrs Noodle! The design of the stamp pad is a lot like the first one I made
It works just as well and it's easier to take the wet sponge out, but I preferred the click-shut lid of the Dormy Micro. ;)

You really want that paper to make contact with the sponge as much as possible. Where there are bubbles, the paint will dry quickly. The reason yours does not lie flat could be because the sponge is not wet enough. It looks like the paper was cut too large as well, which could be forcing it up at the edges. I found that my paper expanded by a few mm when wet, more so in one direction that the other. I haven't been paying attention to which side of the paper goes down on the sponge, so I don't know if it makes a difference. Both sides look pretty similar to me. But if yours has different sides I would suggest experimenting and telling us how it goes. (y)
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I forgot to mention in the original post, you can also use the inside of the lid as a dry palette for when you need to do drybrushing. If the paint is really runny to begin with though, it might be better to have a more porous substrate.

I mostly tend to wetbrush, in which case I just have the paint on the the wet side straight from the pot, without added water.
So I take it stamp pads lids are concave so as not to smear the ink. They are also airtight so as not to dry the ink out. I need to get one, I've been using Warmachine blister packs and plastic food containers like a pleb!
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On the Dormy Micro the lid is slightly concave, but on the Dormy Standard and the Q Connect that @Ned Noodle is using, they are pretty flat. In all cases though the lid is designed not to touch the inky sponge beneath when closed. So it depends on how thick your replacement sponge is. With no sponge the internal clearance is ~7.5mm on the Dormy Standard and ~8.5mm on the Dormy Micro. The sponge I use is 4mm when wet, so that leaves 4.5 mm clearance for the Dormy Micro.

The stamp pads I have are not airtight when closed. There is no rubber seal around the rim or anything like that. If you find some that do, please tell me about it. (y)
As you can see from these photos, there is also some clearance at the hinges.
Dormy Micro:

Dormy Standard:

If you want an airtight wet palette, then the The Everlasting Wet Palette from Redgrass Games is probably your best option.
OK, it's been a while since I posted, but I haven't been idle. The little grey cells have been hard at work, as Poirot might say.

So I've been juggling ideas of how best to magnetise the Underhive for a little while. Then at TribeMeet UK 2018 I met the esteemed @spafe and posed the problem to him. Like a true gentleman and engineer he dropped what he was doing and began pondering. With some input from @Nick.B. this is the basic idea that we came up with:

  • Each pair of bulkheads is held together by four disc magnets 2 mm thick, with the floor sandwiched in-between.
  • The tab at the top of the bulkheads is just under 4 mm high and will fit in the middle hole, so the original bulkhead will not be damaged.

This design should speed up the assembly and disassembly process, as well as replacing the card floors that are starting to get quite worn.
Top banana! I'm so glad this is going to happen. Will be watching keenly to see how it progresses.

Was great to meet you chaps too some great ideas were received by me too
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