I don’t have a dedicated painting room. I use my home office desk. The process includes dragging out the paints from a box, getting a water cup, palette, paper towels, then mounting a light. Then placing items haphazardly, placing items in the gaps between work items; notebooks, mice, keyboards, coffee cups. Finally when the session is done, often the painting supplies persist, causing a feedback loop of clutter.
Regardless of the clutter, as a father of 3, disappearing to a room is a perilous concept. Parenting and long sessions of isolation don’t get along.
Enter the Go Bag Evo.
Now when I get the calling to spend a Sunday afternoon painting, the Go Bag Evo makes it easy to pull off my shelf and plop it down on the dining room table. I’m able to attend to children and be an active participant in the family while also knocking out a mini or 3 off the painting list. Then when it’s time to clean up, throw it all back in the bag and return it to the shelf. Believe me when I tell you, this increase in presence and clean up tidiness is a game changer.
This mobility is even more helpful during the summer months. For about 4 months I’m back and forth at a lake house. It’s awesome to be able to quickly and easily pack all the essentials into the car (again, just pull it off the shelf) to get some solid painting sessions lakeside.
The bag features two zippered compartments. The front holds your paints 8×12 (96 total). Monument Hobbies elected to size the foam in their Pro Acryl size bottles. Makes sense for them, but I don’t personally use that line (currently making a transition from Army Painter to Vallejo). But! That matters little here. The angle and depth of the foam keeps even these smaller bottles in their proper places. If you really cared you could do some DIY modding and replace the foam, because they’re removable which is really nice.
Underneath the gallery of paints is a compartment for quick storage of odds and ends to reach for during assembly and paint sessions. Glues, knives, soaps, bigger bottles of paints, medium etc.
The back has what feels like a huge amount of space. Here you can keep all manner of items. Vortex mixers, lights, battery packs, cups, brush cases, you name it. On the back and sides is a mix of velcro ares and some nylon straps for attaching additional nicknacks externally. It doesn’t look like a ton of space, but it really does fit a lot…and it doesn’t take up much space. It’d be perfect for setting up on a hotel tv table and finishing projects while at the con, not that anyone at Goonhammer would ever do that.
This is the main appeal of this bag; it’s modularity. This thing is a DIY dream! The core “bones” of the bag offer a lot to build off of. The rigidness and the shape is stellar.
When you open the front it provides a working area with cutouts for paint bottles, water cups etc. The fold down paint area is good, but the fold out flaps don’t make a ton of sense to me, yet. I don’t have the accessories that would fit in these straps. Brush cases, palettes? Sure, but the ones I have are thicker than this bag expects, so I’m on the market for some that would work well within these straps. The bones of this system are so good that I’m looking to accessorize this bag as the starting foundation.
So this is my main criticism: it doesn’t feel supported fully. On the product listing for the Evo, this is the current set of suggested accessories to kit it out:
I would love to see a palette that would be properly compatible here. What about a light? I would buy it immediately. And that’s the extent of the negatives; this bag is so good my only complaint is I can’t one-stop shop to finish kitting it out.
All in all, I’d highly recommend the GoBag Evo. If you don’t have a dedicated space like me, this could be the mobile painting station of your dreams. Its versatility and build quality are top notch, and I foresee it being a cornerstone of my enjoyment of the hobby for a long time to come.