Tutorial: The 36 Chambers to master your toothpick

by Roman aka jar

Welcome Jungle Painters,

to an uncommon article about one certain tool.
It could be called a "Toolstory", but to stay in line with Massive Voodoo's magical miniature painter tricks I call this ...

The 36 Chambers to master your toothpick.
A toothpick is a tool every solid miniature painter should have in his stock.
There are many ways how to handle a toothpick. Way too many. I heard myself say to my students that a toothpick is as essential for a miniature painter as a brush. Kind of. Quite. Somehow. Let me take you through the 36 chambers of the


Chamber #01
Precise superglueing.

Use a toothpick to pick up a small amount of superglue and start glueing without accidents. Precision.

Chamber #02
Removing small hairs 
Sometimes small hair get stuck in paint when you paint freely. It can be dust or hair from your brush or beard. A toothpick is the perfect tool to remove it. A little pressure.

Chamber #03
Can not find your tweezers?
Use two toothpicks and train picking up tiny stuff with tiny sticks.

Chamber #04
Become a spartan warrior!
When you sit down for quite the time to paint figures do some body exercise once in while. One good thing is to grab some friends and let them mark their personal toothpick with their color mark. Then go for toothpick-far-throwing and enjoy the ancient warrior feeling.

Chamber #05
Your colors are blocked at the tip?
Use a toothpick to open them up again! Pressure as you see fit. With this technique you can also pull out the plastic tip to inject an aggigator ball in your paint or to check if the paint is still in a good state.

Chamber #06
Precision work
If you working with really tiny stuff, for example, selfmade icicles or using string for basing and conversion you can use a toothpick to place them very precise. A good combination with #01.

Chamber #07
Same sized dots
A brush is movable and not totally stiff. Painting same sized dots with it is a challenge if you do more than 30. If you use a toothpick, dunk it in paint and do some dot training with it you will see that with a certain amount of paint you can do several dots in the same shape and size. Check back with the article on this demonette: Making skin with dot grain

Chamber #08
Painting eyes
With the same technique you can paint eyes easier than with a brush. At least the ones from supertiny 28 mm figures. It really does help!

Chamber #09

Sharpen your toothpick
When you sharpen your toothpick with careful bladework you have a more precise tool for so far learned lessons.

Chamber #10
Protect yourself with a sharpened toothpick
In any case you are attacked by tiny mammoths a sharpend toothpick is the excellent weapon to protecty yourself.

Chamber #11
Create your own weathering tool
If you take a tiny piece of a sponge and glue it - of course with superglue - to the tip of a toothpick you will recieve a beautiful weathering tool to dip in paint and create battle damage.

Chamber #12
Use booth sides of your toothpick
Now we are learning much more young painting monk, eh? If you use both ends of your toothpick, you can be faster. For example you can protect yourself in two directions against wild tiny mammoths or use more variety of your weathering tool by having different tips.

Chamber #13
Never lose your imagination
Even in simple things you can always find inspiration if your imagination runs free. This for example could be an epic battle of a furry mammoth against a toothpick warrior.

Chamber #14
Toothpicks are for basing
Yes, toothpicks or parts of them can be used for basing. See the middle base example and find the toothpick.

Chamber #15
Toothpicks have bigger brothers
Cocktail sticks are bigger and fatter and can be used for the same purposes like the regular toothpick. They might just protect you from bigger mammoths or can be used for basing too. Hah!

Chamber #16
You can erase a mistake with a toothpick
If you have  a dot of paint on top of your last painted layer because of an accident you can erase it by carefully rubbing it with a toothpick. You got to bite off the tip of the toothpick and drown this part now with your spit. When it is soaked with spit you can then carefully rub off the last layer of paint. Even it is dry. You can even create cool battle damage effets. For example if this last layer is a painted squad symbol on a shoulder pad. Just do some scratches and let the color below get back again. Careful.

Chamber #17
Train to use four toothpicks at once
You will be the octopus of precise and fast working on miniatures. Masterful teschhniqué!

Chamber #18
Create toothpick art
Duplicate and train the tricks you have just learned and you will understand how to do tricks with a toothpick while figure painting. This is something to really show off with and impress the girls.

Chamber #19

Use it as your "dirty tool"
Sometimes you might encounter hobby stuff that you want to put to your base, but not using a brush. You can use a tootpick instead.

Chamber #20

Create tiny shells on a boat
Old ships. You can find supertiny shells on their belly who start settling there. Using small dots of Vallejoy Putty 401 and using a toothpick to punch a hole in the middle before it is dry can create these.

Chamber #21
Do not use a toothpick to clean your airbrush
No words for this. Just do proper airbrush maintenance.

Chamber #22
Use toothpicks for pinning columns
Nothing worse than columns that fall when you paint them wildly in wet in wet. Pin them easily by drilling holes in them and place a toothpick. Tschuk!

Chamber #23
Use sharpened toothpicks to build tiny barricades
With these you can protect your camp from tiny mammoths.

Chamber #24
Use a toothpick for basic sculpting
Sculpting a tiny teadybear with a toothpickor sculpting a nurgle blob with it. Learn to sculpt here!

Chamber #25
Always be aware of the toothpick
Always, while you work, be aware of the presence of the toothpick. Always know its position and you will you will be prepared for everything. Do know the presence of the superglue, too.

Chamber #26

Stock up
Never run out of toothpicks at your miniature painting workspace. You'd rather have one too much, than one too less.

Chamber #27
Apply posters with a toothpick
This hobby article explains it to you.

Chamber #28
Toothpicks sculpt tiny mushrooms easily
This hobby article explains it to you.

Chamber #29
Toothpicks can guide composition
A beautiful base should be build up with several composition rules to impress and guide the viewers eye. A toothpick brings in a direction and a reading line for the eye. Improve your basing composition skills in this hobby article.

Chamber #30
Sculpt bread or potatoes
Small pieces of bread for a medieval bakery can be sculpted easily with putty and a toothpick.


Chamber #31
Train your senses
Always be aware of the presence and place of your toothpick stock. Always. It can be hard, but you will master it. Not with the eyes. With your senses.


Chamber #32
Use a toothpick for precise pressue
If you want to create pressure focusing on one small spot, use  a toothpick and all the power of your arm for it. The toothpick tip will bundle your strength. Use this knowledge carefully, can be combined with toothpick lesson #04 and #10 and #17.


Chamber #33
Clean your teeth after a meal
A basic skill that everyone should be able to use if need be. After a meal you can clean your teeth with a tootpick from pieces of salad, meat or chocolate. So you can smile without "issues".

Chamber #34
Build toothpick figures
With kids or your friends who are still kids you can build figures with toothpicks. You can use blue tack or even chestnuts.

Photocredits: https://lampundleute.de/kastanien-ritter/4938/

Chamber #35
Spent a lifespan with a toothpick project
Scott Weaver waits at the end of the journey through the toothpick mastery chambers. He did build this and you can read about it here.

photo credits:

Chamber #36
Impress the ladies
Learn these lessons again. Take your time. If you do you can make toothpick gymnastics on your finger and let one two toothpicks dance over your hand. It is amazing to impress girls or just to train your finger acrobatics ... but remember, some ladies will not be impressed. See above!

Great addition by cupcake via comment
Chamber #37
Use your toothpick for precise sanding
Simply glue a small patch of sandpaper around it et voila you have nice little sanding tool.


I hope you enjoyed this journey and that you accept the faith that is within every toothpick you pick up. The journey is in you and your tool!

Keep on happy painting!

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If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.


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