Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Tips Database

Have a modeling question? Subscribers can search our extensive database of reader-supplied tips. Register to and receive access to our latest modeling tips.
featured tip
If you use water-based acrylic paint for models and figures, a wet palette is going to be your new best friend. It prevents paint from drying too fast, giving you more working time. As a bonus, it keeps paint fresh allowing you to go back to your project without delays.

A wet palette consists of a container with a tight lid to prevent air drying between sessions, foam inserts that keep the paint moist, and hydration paper — parchment-like paper that doesn’t absorb water.

Place the foam inside the container and add water until it completely submerges the foam, which will expand in size.

Drain the excess water from the container until only a small amount is left on the bottom. Make sure not to leave too much water, otherwise it will overflow the paper and make your paints bleed into each other.

Place the hydration paper on the top of the foam, smoothing it out with your fingers to get rid of wrinkles.

Your palette is ready to use. For long painting sessions, add some extra water to re-hydrate your foam.


• Store your palette in a dry, cool place
• Clean your palette with warm soapy water between projects; it will help extend the life of your foam
• Replace hydration paper between projects or as needed; some techniques can thin it and make it more fragile
• If you keep your palette loaded for long periods of time, you run the risk of mold growing in the foam. Some brands, like RedGrass Games, use mold resistant foam. If you have another brand or a homemade wet palette, besides thorough cleaning and allowing the palette to dry out between uses, add a short length of copper wire or a penny under your foam to help slow possible mold growth
Contribute a tip to FSM
Want to share a useful tool or technique with other FSM readers? Contribute your tip to FineScale Modeler today!


Essential finishing techniques for scale modelers.
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.