Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review

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Citadel Colour - XL Painting Handle Review - Featured

November 2021 sees the launch of a new range of Citadel hobby products, all of which are designed to be used in a modular format with one another. Today, we’re taking a look at the new Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL – the direct descendant of November 2020’s redesign of the classic painting handle.

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Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review – Summary

With a longer grip and more room to fit even some of the largest bases in its spring-loaded holders, the Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL builds on the brand renewed by the latest iteration of the Citadel Painting handle. Whilst its shape may not be to everyone’s taste – and will continue to be the butt of many jokes – at the very least, the new Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL adds credence to the old adage that bigger is always better.

Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review – Introduction

I had a real blast writing the review of the not-so-new but still-kinda-new Citadel Painting Handle. That I’ve just realised I wrote it a whole year ago has made the colour run from my face. I thought FauxHammer approved it and published it like a few weeks ago. Where has 2021 gone?

I never actually had the pleasure of trying out one of the now old-school painting handle XLs, and witht he advent of the new design it seems unlikely I ever shall – they are no longer available to purchase via GW’s webstore, which means they won’t be hanging around in any Warhammer shops for very much longer.

It’s come as something of a surprise that it has been an entire year since the release of thee new-but-not-new painting handle and we’re only just now seeing an XL version of it appearing for sale. Will it have been worth the wait?

Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review – Design

The Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL is, as one would expect, made in the image of its progenitor.

Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review Handle

The arms at the top of the handle extend out a surprising distance (examples below) in order to accommodate some of the largest bases that models in the Citadel range are placed upon.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison with the old-new Citadel Painting Handle.

Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review Xl and Regular Comparison
Don’t talk to me or my son ever again.

There is a significant size difference between the two, with the XL having a much larger grip to hold on to. The other design features – the tapered neck and the indentation at the bottom of the handle, for example – have been transferred over.

Whilst the original design of the Citadel Paint Handle did receive some gentle teasing for, uh, it’s similarity to a certain other type of object, the design was reworked in order to allow for the handle to be gripped comfortably in a number of different ways in order to allow for the handle to be manipulated easier by painters. I then saw it pointed out on Twitter by a couple of disabled hobbyists that this, in turn, would subsequently also allow people with disabilities to hold the handle with greater ease, so a win-win for all.

So, it’s a good thing these features have been transferred over to the new XL Handle.

Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review – Testing

I like this handle. Far more than I expected to.

My criticism of the old-new Citadel Painting Handle essentially boiled down to the fact that in slimming down and streamlining the new handle, I didn’t feel like I could actually retain a substantial grip on the handle with my gargantuan and clumsy ham-hands.

With a longer grip on the XL Handle, this criticism is gone.

Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review Held Handle

I had thought the Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL might have been a little unbalanced and top-heavy due to the much larger arms, but this isn’t the case either. That larger handle balances the heavier top nicely, which in turn helps keep the handle balanced when you aren’t holding it and makes the entire thing feel that bit more sturdy.

Next up, figures.

Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review Aggressor
Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review Megaboss

The listing on Games Workshop’s webstore states that the handle is capable of holding anything from 40mm up to a 170mm oval base (that’s the size of a base you’d stick something like a Knight Preceptor or a Knight Valiant on) as you can turn it sideways to slot it between the arms of the holder, but I don’t actually have one of these on hand.

For reference, I wasn’t quite able to fit my largest base – the monstrous 160mm round base that comes with the Orruk megaboss on Maw Krusha, but anything up to that size should do.

Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review Arkhan the Black

A big thing with this new Painting Handle XL is that it can be used with the New Citadel colour Assembly Stand. Citadel are aiming to make some of their tools more modular and usable together.

The rubber-toothed claw-grips on the Assembly Stand and their attached necks can be removed from the base of the Assembly Stand and attached to the edges of the Painting Handle XL.

Citadel Colour Assembly Stand Review Stand with XL Handle

Now is a good time to mention those little holes into which the assembly arms are slotted. Those holes are also designed to be used with Citadel’s new Sub-Assembly Holders, so if you are the sort of painter who finds it easier to paint in sub assemblies, this handle is designed to help you do that – within the confines of this new modular system Citadel have introduced.

Now, that may or may not be a problem for you depending on how you like to paint. If you’re open to the idea of trying Citadel’s new sub-assemblies system, then this handle facilitates that quite nicely with the addition of these little holes, which you can fit the Sub-Assembly Holders into.

However, if you’re not a fan of Citadel’s Sub-Assembly Holders, then this addition to the painting handle isn’t going to be as useful for you much further than attaching the assembly arms.

Citadel Colour Assembly Stand Review Mortis Engine

I’ve set it up in the image above with the Mortis Engine I received with a few of the last couple of issues of the awesome Mortal Realms by way of an example. A couple of bits in the image above aren’t fully attached, and I must admit I wish I’d had the Assembly Stand and the Painting Handle XL sooner: whilst the arms aren’t quite strong enough to weight-bear some of the biggest bits of the model, it does help free your hands up so you can keep building other components.

Will Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Improve my Hobby?

That depends on the kind of painter you are. The Citadel Painting Handle XL can do a lot of things, and depending on how likely you are to take advantage of these may alter how you feel about this handle.

The XL aims to get ahead of its competition by actively providing a specialised support mechanism to help painters and modelers build and paint their way – but there is a catch. The catch is that the XL requires the painter to be on board with the rest of the Citadel modular range in order to take full advantage of these.

In its most basic form, I think this is an excellent handle. As a holder for big models, its excellent. It’s sturdy, ergonomic, and I don’t feel like my models are about to fly out of its grips. It’d be really great for larger models such as vehicles on bases that aren’t so great to be painted in sub-assemblies – the Gladiator Lancer and its ilk spring to mind.

But once we move past that most basic function of a painting handle and look at the XL within the context of all the other new Citadel releases, things become a bit more tricky.

So, the XL handle and the Assembly Stand. This is a relationship I’m on board with. I like the Assembly Stand as it saves me from having to sit around ages with gluey fingers holding parts to other parts and waiting for them to dry. If you’ve got a large build coming up – say, a gargant or mega-gargant – this handle, taken in conjunction with the Assembly Stand, would still be a worthy purchase in my ever-humble opinion.

But I’m not so sold on how it deals with sub-assemblies.

if I were painting a smaller part of even a larger model, I don’t think my first choice for a painting handle would be the XL. Those little holes on the edges of the handle’s grips actually feel a little bit far-removed from the centre of the painting handle, and I’m not completely sure I like that. I think I’d be much more likely to gravitate towards a smaller painting handle that allowed me to keep the component or sub-assembly closer to the centre of the grip.

But this is all somewhat academic. At the end of the day, if you need a good painting handle to hold a big model, then this is an obvious choice.

Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review – Price and Availability

You can pick up the new Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL for a surprisingly modest £11/$18/€14. Well worth the price, if you ask me.

You should, of course, always check your local independent hobby dealer, as they may have money off – in which case, this is a bargain.

Citadel Colour Painting Handle XL Review – Final Thoughts

ProsCons
Can be used with other parts of the Citadel range, which enables you to hobby your way…
Fixes a lot of the issues with the previous iteration of the new painting handle
Sturdy and well-balanced
Well-priced

…But at the same time requires additional purchases from within the Citadel range in order to be fully realised
Sub-assembly holders not necessarily in the best place


The only real criticism I have of the Painting Handle XL is that in order for it to be utilised to its utmost potential, it has to be subsidised with further purchases – but then again, what modular system isn’t?

That it can fit within a modular range is, in spite of my moaning, a good thing. It makes it easier for people to engage with the hobby ion a way that suits them, and that can never be a bad thing.

But within that fairly weak criticism lies, I think, my real problem with this product – which is that I’m not a fan of the placement of the sub-assembly holders on the XL. But that’s okay. I’ll just use them with the arms from the Assembly Stand instead.

That’s about all the negatives I can muster for this particular piece of kit. It’s a good size, a good weight, and does exactly what it’s supposed to. At the end of the day, even if this handle were to be released on its own, with no range of modular bits-and-pieces launched alongside it, it would still be a worthy piece of kit – and that says something.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Click this link & buy your hobby stuff from Element Games for the UK & Europe to support FauxHammer.com – Use Code “FAUX2768” at the checkout for double reward points.

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Author

  • Rob has spent most of the last 15 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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About VoltorRWH 58 Articles
Rob has spent most of the last 15 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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