Like most gamers, I live in a relatively busy home, which I share with other people. As such, its not always easy to find dedicate space for my hobby. While we all dream of that dedicated box room, with a corner desk stacked with racks of paints, brushes and glue, and flanked by a bookshelf of reference materials and a 3D printer.... for the majority of us its unrealistic. At the same time, the ability to sit down and get 30 minutes of time for our hobby is probably MORE critical for those of us with busy home lives.
As such, I wanted to talk about my own solution to this problem - the Paint Tortoise! I went through a number of evolutions, starting with a simple paint tray that sat on top of a wardrobe. This was a good start, but not ideal. My current setup is the use of a large plastic box. While this is not revolutionary ("woah..... a box....!") it does present some benefits. I use this box upside-down, which allows me to use the lid section as a paint tray, and when I am done simple add the main box upside-down on top to keep everything contained and also protected from dust, knocks and other home hazards.
The box can be tucked away into a corner, under a bed, or on top of a wardrobe easily, and the lip of the lid even stops excess paint spills leaking off the lid area and onto a table. Once reassembled, you can even stack other items on top of the box without fear of damaging anything. Best of all, the box itself only cost a few dollars.
Its a simple design, which allows me to grab the box, lift off the main section and get painting within minutes, and even just put the box to cover my work if I have to leave the table briefly. I do find that I need to set it up for a specific use. The box working area isnt big enough to contain everything that I might need, so when I am preparing and assembling miniatures I keep only these items on hand, and when painting starts I work on a limited number of colours, but this also helps to keep me focused and organised in what I am working on at any given time.