I have been really fortunate that recently I’ve been able to get my own dedicated hobby space. It’s a room in the roof space above a building I own as part of my business. I persuaded my wife to let me convert it. This may have taken some time.
To convert the room I needed to remove a stud wall and level a floor, remove a built in cupboard, improve the lighting and redecorate. I’m pretty handy and so I was able to do everything apart from the electrics myself.
This gives me a working floor space of 12ft by 15ft, or 3.6m by 4.5m. There’s a bit of a corridor that I have been able to put an ikea storage system and which will hold most of my minis.
The lighting is provided by 8 x 1m long LED strips with 6000 daylight output. I have them on two separate switches and the room is very brightly lit. The only downside to these lights is the interference it causes in photos and video. I am looking at how to mitigate this, but at the moment it’s a minor issue.
I spent a lot of time planning what was going to go into the room and how I wanted it to function. This involved looking around the web and YouTube for ideas and how to guides and it took a while, however, it was really valuable research and well worth it.
I laid laminate floor because it’s easier to keep clean and mop up the inevitable spills and splashes.
I needed workbenches, so I spent a bit of time watching YouTube videos and then planned and built them myself. I used 47 by 89mm timber to make the legs and frame for each workbench. Once the carcass was built I topped it with 18mm plywood and put in a bottom shelf of 12mm ply. Then I added lockable caster wheels to enable me to move them around the main workspace. Finally I painted them, with the tops and shelves getting multiple coats of a polyurethane floor paint to make it tough and durable.
I built two workbenches with a surface of 600mm by 1200mm. The second though, has an additional shelf and a removable top section. This allows me to operate a table saw using the other workbench as an outfeed table.
However, my main workbench, is 1200mm by 2400mm and has the lower shelf indented by 300mm so I can move a chair into position if needed without catching my feet against anything. This workbench on its own will be big enough to handle most of my terrain building plans but by joining the workbenches together I can create a tabletop of 1800 by 2400mm or even 1200 by 3600mm. This gives me quite a lot of flexibility and a lot of tabletop space.
Then I put some thought into organising my tools and modelling supplies. I tend to paint my minis at home in a spare room so I don’t currently need a painting space. But I still have a lot of tools to manage and keep tidy. Again YouTube was my inspiration and I very quickly decided that French cleats were the way to go.
French cleats are a neat, flexible storage system. Essentially battens are fixed to the wall, usually about 18mm thick and about 50 - 75 mm high. These are cut length ways at a 45 degree angle, creating a top lip that stands proud from the wall. Attach another piece of the batten with the lip reversed to a shelf or rack and you slot that over the batten on the wall and hey presto you have a movable shelving solution. I used lots of wood left over from building various things to create custom racks, shelves and holders. I can add more if I need to and rearrange everything quite easily when the mood strikes.