This is my paint kebab block. This great rectangle of styrofoam came as packing materials in some parcel or other. I originally thought of carving it up and using it for terrain, and left it on my desk, hoping inspiration would strike... While I was not disappointed, I was a bit surprised.
I don't know exactly which project I started using paint kebabs on. They are my low cost solution to using corks (the wine I like doesn't have a cork). I do know that every time I need more it takes less than 5 minutes to whip a few up.
This is all it takes to create a few to start.
One bamboo skewer can be cut into four paint kebabs. I just clip them to approximately equal length with my beat up sprue cutters. One paint kebab will have a pointy end installed already, the other three pieces I just whittle to points with my stencil knife.
Next I bore a hole in the other end to receive a length of floral wire, then secure the wire in place with a dab of super glue.
Voilà. They really are simple. When they wear down or break I can just craft some new ones. Same thing if I need more for a project.
One of the inherent benefits of using wires for this purpose is that when its time for a wash to be applied, I can position the bit in such a way that it mimics the final spot on a model it will hold. In my opinion this helps the overall cohesiveness of a figure painted in pieces.