Citadel Painting Handle Review

Citadel Painting Handle Review (Miniature Painting Grip)

Games Workshop put out a very simple product recently, the Citadel Painting Handle. If you’re unsure what it is, it’s a miniature painting grip to hold your model while you paint. It was released at the same time as some other related painting products, like the water pot and painting mat.

So, it seems obvious GW has decided to throw their hat in the hobby supply ring.

They’ve always had some hobby supply stuff, but historically it wasn’t great quality and/or they charged a premium for it. This time though, GW is releasing useful tools, of a good quality, and at a reasonable price. It’s crazy!

I’ll be honest, this will be a very short review. There’s not a lot of depth to discuss or fine details to go over. That being said, ‘ere we go!

Citadel Painting Handle

Let’s start with what Games Workshop has to say about it.

Making it much, much easier to hold your miniatures securely while painting them, allowing you to find the perfect angle with which to access the fiddly bits while avoiding the inevitable hand cramps that come when holding a base for a long time, the Citadel Painting handle has been designed for painters, by painters.

If features a spring-loaded clamp mechanism, which locks tightly onto 25mm, 32mm and 40mm round bases, as well as fitting 60x35mm oval bases.

Grasping the sturdy plastic handle rather than the base or miniature you’re painting means fewer smudgey mistakes from careless fingers and will help you improve your painting all round!

Painting grips have been around for awhile now. You can find some on Etsy, Kickstarter, etc. However, they all had a common problem in my opinion – unreliable model holding abilities.

The ones I’ve seen rely on using blu tack to hold the model down, or some other temporary bonding. I don’t know about you, but I’m damn rough when it comes to painting models. So, I never bought any of the other miniature painting grips.

The other thing with the painting grips I considered buying was the price. Most of them are 3-4 times the cost of the Citadel Handle. That’s a fair bit of money for a holder when you would need a few to do batch painting, as taking a model off and on with blu tack isn’t ideal.

Product Breakdown

Spring-loaded

Citadel Painting HandleThe spring-loaded base holding ability of the Citadel painting handle was the selling point for me. I can hold the handle in any direction without fear of the model falling off. I can knock it over, the handle (and I have), and the model will remain in place. I’m seriously like a bull in a china shop with painting.

The other thing I really like about the spring-loaded holder is that you can easily swap models in and out for batch painting. I don’t have to buy 5-6 handles to work on squads. I just quickly change out the model being worked on. That beats the hell out of blu tack in my opinion.

Grip & Construction

The size of the handle, and the shape, work really well. Your hand conforms around the handle easily and naturally. It’s not too big that it’s awkward to hold, and it’s not so small that your hand will cramp. I think it’s the ideal size, for me anyway.

The Citadel Painting Handle is made of a hard plastic, as you would expect. The thing is sturdy. As I said, I’m rough on my hobby tools, and this thing is holding up very well.

A neat feature is that the top clamp/base holder unscrews. The screw holding it on is an 1/8″ screw, which is a common size for cameras. So, you could set your camera on this if you need a holder.

My thought is that eventually Games Workshop will create some alternative base holders for the top. They probably won’t be able to go much bigger than they have with this, not with the grip size, but maybe a little.

Who knows, maybe they have another idea entirely for things to attach to the top. We’ll see.

Price

Other than those things, the only other area is price. This was the most shocking part of the product for me – the reasonable price! This may seriously be the best priced product that Games Workshop has ever put out.

Plus, as I was saying above, you really only need one of these, so it’s money well spent if you ask me.

I Don’t Need a Miniature Painting Grip!

This was something I thought for a while, though I was never adamant about it (obviously).

Here’s the thing, if you paint models at all then you can benefit from the painting handle. Have you ever damaged a model holding it? Maybe bent a sword or snapped off an antenna? How about rubbing off paint from handling the model? That’s what this eliminates.

The big thing for me is not rubbing off paint when using the handle. I always handled my models too much, and without fail I would wipe off thin layers like highlights. I would have to save the area my finger rested on to be painted last to avoid that issue. No longer a problem!

Citadel Painting Handle XL!

Well, the handle has been so popular, plus we needed this, Citadel has put out an XL version. Yep, Citadel Painting Handle XL!

The XL will hold models from 50mm to 105mm in diameter. So, this means you can hold models like Dreadnoughts.

Otherwise, it’s the same thing as the original. Actually, the grip does seem a bit larger, but I’ll know for sure once I snag mine :)

Citadel Painting Handle Conclusion

Should you buy a Citadel Painting Handle? Hell yes, you should. 

If you’re like me and man-handle your models, and you don’t already own a miniature painting grip, then buy this thing. Seriously, it’s probably the best money you’ll spend on a hobby tool.

If you’re not convinced yet, here’s a video GW did for it. You can see the handle in use, get a better idea of the size, and judge for yourself if you need one. Pssst! You do!

 

On a related note, if you’re after more ways to improve your painting for little money then check out my tutorial on making a DIY wet palette. We also have a great article on painting supplies you need.

Oh, also be sure to check out my article on simple tips to make you a better painter.

Citadel Painting Handle
Overall
10/10
10/10
  • Price - 10/10
    10/10
  • Quality - 10/10
    10/10
  • Ease of Use - 10/10
    10/10

Summary

The painting handle is cheap, well made, and super easy to use. Every painting should own a few of these.

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Citadel Painting Handle Review (Miniature Painting Grip)
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Nils Holmbergh

I’m quite curious about this one and I’ll probably get one to try out, the biggest downside to me is how you mount the miniature, it will be hard to use for busts but it’s not made for busts so I can’t really complain lol plus the price point is much lower than almost all the alternatives.

Tyler Provick
Tyler Provick

I mount miniatures on an empty M&M minis container which I’ve added weights to. I’ve used bluetack, hot glue and magnets to hold the miniatures. I currently prefer magnets because I can swap the miniature on and off but bluetack is the most secure. Much cheaper than the GW handle, I have 10 of them.

Zab
Zab

Its fine, no better or worse than the old blutac + paint pot, it’s not a good as the rathcore holders though , but not everyone paints display level minis so not everyone needs a fancy mini holder like the rathcore ones, so for the price point its good.

stats

Thanks for this review, I was fascinated by this holder. What about its balance? I mean, put it on a table with a miniature in is it going to make miniature less steady, due the heigher center of gravity (holder+miniature is higher than miniature)?
And may I ask you if is it arranged in advance for bigger base miniature? And in this case the center of gravity with bigger and wider base and miniature?
I know these are rather absurd questions, but I ‘ve thought this when I saw it the first time and now that you have one, I’m quite curious. I’m a bit bored by my corks+blue tack, old colours pots + blue tack and so on (except for priming).

Siph
Siph

I’m still not convinced it’s any better than my blob of blu tac on an empty paint pot handle I currently use… but at a fiver, I may well splash out if the need takes me ;)

greggles

Thanks for the review Thor! Had no idea it has a spring loaded section for gripping the mini, that is pretty freaking cool!

The Burning Eye

So, am I the only person that’s never considered that I might need a holder? Honestly never used one, not even the old blu tac and paint pot method, I just hold the mini by it’s base. Never had hand cramps as a result, only occasionally smudged a bit of paint but nothing serious.

For me, it seems a solution to a problem I don’t have.

Rory

Honestly hadn’t considered getting one but at least you gave a good opinion on one. Cheers for that

Thomas

Is the handle strong enough to hold the model if you do some green stuff sculpting?

Benito Senence

I have painted a few models with and I loooovvvvveee this thing. Best painting tool I have got. Works great!

Thor

And for $8, who can complain?

Rebecca Satterlee
Rebecca Satterlee

I use a finial and poster tack, preferring a narrower grip and the finial has a recess so the pieces can sit flush as opposed to the lip the grip has, giving me more access for tiny pieces. There are some larger pieces I have though that are popping off that set up. Saw this at an official store and it’s definitely on my to buy list. I expected it to be twice what it costs and is worth it for being able to handle those midsize and larger models.

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