Crocodile clips

My method of holding small parts of a kit so I can comfortably paint them without obscuring bits of them has evolved over time. I once used  pin vices but they take a long time to undo and are better suited for metal kits; they could easily crush or break a resin part if you overtighten them.

I learned about crocodile clips from watching a YouTube video. Crocodile clips are relatively cheap and easy to get online or from a hardware or electrical store. They come in bags of small quantities; just make sure you get the ones with a ‘tube’ end.

To make a handle for them, you could use wooden skewers, small dowels, or whatever you have handy. I found that it provides a good way of using clapped out brushes or those cheap one-time-only kind – simply break off the ferrule and jam it into the hollow tube of the clip and you’ve got an instant holder. Generally a cheap kid’s painting brush fits in there pretty well!

Also useful has been a memo holder with crocodile clips attached to bendy bits of wire that I bought from a stationery shop (see pic). It’s not that good for painting but it is a convenient place to put small parts while they dry – and to avoid losing them if your workspace gets as messy as mine often does!


I still have to find a useful place for parking my holders on handles though. I have been using a miniature ‘milk-crate’  but it doesn’t keep the holders vertical and separate. Possibly I need a box with holes drilled in it . . . . mmm.

#Useful Tip
  Crocodile clips obviously aren’t suited to very small parts because they get in the way. The problem of painting and holding really tiny parts can also be solved by twisting a loop of very thin wire, for example fuse wire, around a part of it – i.e. the trigger guard on a gun.


This brush holder proved the ideal thing for putting clips in


 David Clough© 2014