Friday, June 9, 2017

How to Hobby while Traveling

Hey Everyone and happy Friday.  It is no secret that I have been traveling quite a bit for my job recently.  While it is fun flying across the country and seeing new places once the work day is done it can eat away at your hobby time.  Today I wanted to share some tips for keeping your hobby going strong even when traveling.

I tend to travel a lean as possible be it for work or pleasure.  I enjoy not needing to check a bag when flying and being able to make just a single trip to my hotel with my luggage.  A single bag is all I ever take and as such, I need to make sure I can fit what I need for my hobby in a small and durable case.  Only a few months ago I would put everything into a small sturdy box packed as nicely as I could with tissue paper to prevent items from moving.

While this method worked in the short term I knew it wasn't and ideal solution for the long term.  Thankfully my solution came to me while I was at Adepticon this past March. I stopped in at the Battle Foam booth and found their Pack Mini.  I grabbed the case and 3 different foam layouts.  One being the standard pluck foam so I could create my own travel layout.  I cannot recommend these bags enough.  I plan to switch entirely to Battle Foam within the next few months as my only foam and bag brand to transport my models and you can expect a review when I do.

While having hobby to enjoy at your leisure in the hotel room at night you cannot forget to have some books and podcasts ready to keep your hobby mind working during your flight or drive.  I listen to a fair number of Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 podcasts and audiobooks so that is my usual preference during my travel.  It also allows you to stay light by downloading the podcast or audiobooks to your phone for convenience.

It may be tempting to bring a lot of models to try and crack through them in the hotel at night, but I would recommend against this train of thought.  We all have one of models or units laying about that we promise ourselves we will paint one day.  When you are traveling this is the perfect time to fulfill that promise yourself.  It is a chance to paint something different while keeping to the thought of painting light.  Recently I chose to bring and paint the event model from Adepticon 2017.  I typically paint armies or more recently terrain so this was a nice escape and a chance to experiment a bit.  Also since it was a one-off piece I didn't stress about recording my paint recipes and simply let my creativity flow.

While it may seem as if you will have a lot of downtime in your hotel I found it more common that I had less time than usual to hobby at night.  I was either out with a vendor or exhausted from the day of travel so a few nights I barely managed an hour, but I planned for this to be the case.  I decided I would only to the color blocking and a bit of blending.  Holding off on any Washing or Highlighting until I had returned home allowed me to stay lean.

I was able to pack fewer paint pots and brushes to keep the eventual security stop at the airport to a minimum.  It also gave me the piece of mind that I wouldn't open my bag at my destination to find a pot of Nuln Oil spread through my clothes.  For this same reason, I typically do no build models while traveling due to possibility issues with Super Glue leaking.  The one time I have built on the road it was a short trip in a car and only a few infantry models to stay lean.

It is also worth noting that hotels will often have a few of the necessities such as a desk to hobby on, cups to wash your brushes, and paper towels or tissues to keep your painting area neat and clean.  The one item that varies the most from Hotel to Hotel is the lighting as you can see in a few pictures above.  This reinforces my thought to avoid washing and highlighting on the road.  I don't plan to travel with any lighting soon and keeping to the basics on the road will prevent any frustration due to any poor lighting.

When you arrive home it is time to fix up any missed mistakes and finish the piece.  It is very satisfying coming home from traveling and spending only a short while more to wrap up a model. If you packed lean like I typically do then there isn't much to put away either to get your hobby base back to normalcy for the next, and probably, more in-depth, project. 

I hope my insights are helpful if you have any travels coming up and your planning on hobbying while abroad.  Stay lean, keep it simple, and take something different to work on.  I find it a good way to keep my hobby flowing and motivate me to dive back into army projects back home.  Let me know if you have any tips or if you go in a completely different direction to Travel hobby.  As always feel free to follow me on Twitter.  Also, one of my local Groups Steel City Sigmar has planned their next event on July 9th so come out and join us!  If you're participating in Coalescence this weekend I hope you and your group have an excellent time crafting a great story!  I will be covering my Coalescence event as well as the global view on the event next week so until then,  Happy Hobbying!