Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack System Review

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Element Essentials Modular Paint Rack Review - Featured

Looking for a cheap way to help keep your paints, glues, and other assorted hobby paraphernalia safe, stored, and out of the eye-line of the people who keep telling you to tidy up your paints? Element Games have got you covered.

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Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack System Review – Summary

Ridiculously cheap and ingeniously designed, Element Games’ Modular Painting Rack System is, without doubt, one of the best and, very importantly, most affordable storage options for your paints, brushes, glues, hobby handles, and whatever other pieces of hobby equipment you find yourself frequently reaching for.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack System Review – Introduction

Element Games’ Essentials range boasts an impressive spread of products for the hobbyist and wargamer. With their own brushes, basing materials, and movement trays available for comparatively knock-down prices, Element Games have worked hard to establish themselves as a go-to alternative for hobby products.

Amongst their range of products is their impressive Modular Painting Rack System. Designed to be easy to put together, so that even a ham-handed goliath with absolutely no talent for construction (like myself) can do so without any real problems, Element Games’ Modular Painting Rack is aiming to drastically undercut its competitors with its intelligent design, its efficiency, and its bargain price.

But how is it to use?

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack System Review – Design

The Modular Painting Rack is designed to be easy to put together and take apart again, so each individual feature comes individually packaged. For this review, we were sent:

  • One Paint Rack Base Insert (Citadel) Pack of 2
  • One Painting Rack Base
  • One Citadel Contrast/Shade/Texture Shelves
  • One Citadel/Tamiya Shelves
  • One Painting Rack Drawers

This roughly constitutes all the goodies you’d get in their bundle designed to fit Citadel and Tamiya paints, with the addition of the Base Inserts.

Each piece of kit comes individually packaged, and is made of MDF and looks to have been laser-cut to the correct shape.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack Packaged

There are no instructions included in any of the packages, something that initially daunted me, but each piece of kit is so cleverly designed with interlocking teeth of different shapes and sizes that each part is fairly straightforward to put together, there’s no need for instructions.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack System Review – Testing

I’ve been lucky enough to receive a nice chunk of Element Games’ Essentials range recently, and so far everything I’ve tested has cruised at a consistently good standard, so the Modular Paint Rack System has quite the act to follow.

Because my partner has been so desperate for me to sort out some alternative storage for my ever-growing collection of paints (and because she often lends a hand with photos), Lizzie joined me for the testing part of this review. Plus, as an absolute beginner to this sort of thing, I thought it’d be interesting to see what she thought of the process.

As you’ll have no-doubt noticed from the image above, each component is laser-cut from a sheet of MDF. Some will need to be carefully popped out of larger sheets – such as the Shelves – whilst others, like the Rack Base, come loose in the bag, already popped out and ready to go.

One thing to note is that these aren’t particularly clean. The scorched edges of the components, where they’ve been cut, will deposit an oily black residue on your fingers, which will transfer very easily onto just about every other subsequent surface you touch – your clothes, your face, the rest of the paint rack.

We had one disaster with one of the Paint Rack Base Inserts.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack Base Insert Broken
Oops…

Those narrow bits of MDF between the hole-shaped cutaways are quite thin, so just bear that in mind when applying pressure to this piece.

But all in all, that was the only major disaster we had, and everything else was easy to put together, even without instructions.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack All Assembled
From the top clockwise: the Rack Base, the Citadel/Tamiya Shelves, the two Base Inserts, the Painting Rack Drawers and the Citadel Contrast/Shade/Texture Shelves.

Each modular piece is made of only a few components, and just by looking at them loose it’s clear to see what goes where.

If in doubt, however, I’d suggest returning to Element Games’ website as they’ve got plenty of reference pictures there to help you along with your assembly. Lizzie and I didn’t have to, and we both agreed that our combined collection of four degrees and three-quarters of a PhD were of no real-world help (again).

Some real thought has been given to the overall design of each piece, and each module features a slightly raised Element Games “EG” logo which is used to affix one piece to the next.

The rack system starts with the drawers at its base.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack 1

One thing to note about the drawers is that, alongside your smaller pots of paint, you can actually fit some smaller figures into them. You might struggle to get some of your longer brushes or tools into these comfortably: my Squidmar Mk I brushes just about fit going corner-to-corner across the middle of the drawer, but some of my smaller miscellaneous brushes fit just fine.

If you happen to have a ton of Necron warriors (and nothing larger than a Necron warrior, mind you), you can fit them into these drawers standing. Perhaps a way to keep a little part of your pile of shame out of the eyeline of the people who’ll question why you’ve just spent another hundred quid on figures when you’ve got so many unpainted?

Next, the Rack Base is placed on top of the drawers. Of course, thanks to the clever modular design, you could always insert a few more drawers beneath it.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack 2 - 2

Next, it’s onto the shelves. I decided to place the slightly taller Citadel Contrast/Shade/Texture Shelves on first.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack 3

The piece has two individual shelves of slightly different heights: the lower one is tall enough to house the tallest Citadel pots, whilst the top one above it can comfortably sit your slightly shorter Contrast Paints or some of the more recently released washes that come in medium-height pots.

Finally, on go the Citadel/Tamiya Shelves at the top.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack 4

Large enough to take your regular 12ml pots of citadel paint, the final pair of shelves will happily and comfortably seat your regular “bolter shell” Citadel paint pots.

After having added the extra Paint Rack Base inserts, I filled up the now complete rack with all the colours and tools I’m currently using to paint the 1,600 points of Necrons I’ve accrued over the last few months.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack 5

And there we are!

It’s not oppressively enormous, so the Modular Paint Rack will fit neatly on a desk – which is probably the best place for it. It probably won’t hold your entire collection of paints, brushes, and other tools (unless, of course, you buy yourself a ton of extra modules!) but for those paints currently in your regular rotation, it’s perfect.

I’m a big fan of this. It’s straightforward to put together, and its modular design is absolutely inspired. After having finished up with photos for this review, I then discovered that there was exactly just enough space on the rack to fit all the paints I’m currently regularly using, as well as all my most-used paintbrushes, glues, and other tools. Big points.

Lizzie enjoyed putting these together so much that her comments afterwards were “Can you get another one?” and “Do you reckon I can fit my makeup in one?”.

I’d call that a glowing endorsement.

Will Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack System Improve my Hobby?

If you’re the sort of painter who currently hasn’t got an organisation system, or the kind who works in abject chaos – you know, paints lobbed haphazardly into a box and slammed shut at the end of the day, brushes all a-jumble with nippers, knives, and sculpting tools – first off, stop it. You make the rest of us anxious.

Secondly, this is almost certainly going to be a fantastic bit of kit for you. It’s not so big as to force you to completely reinvent your system or do a U-turn on how you’re currently working, but will provide enough of an organisational framework to start making your life easier.

If you’re an experienced hobbyist with enough paints, brushes, and other bits and pieces to see your FLGS through a busy weekend, I imagine nothing short of remortgaging your house and building an extension will solve the storage problem, but I’d still strongly recommend considering Element Games’ Modular Painting Rack as a way of ensuring your immediate hobby space is kept tidy.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack System Review – Price and Availability

Element Games’ Modular Painting Rack system is available directly from Element Games’ website.

There are several bundle options available, both of which are currently priced at £32/€35/$37.76USD:

Each module reviewed in this article is also available for individual purchase.

Stupid good value. Nothing else to say, really.

Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack System Review – Final Thoughts

ProsCons
Unbelievably good value
Ingeniously designed
Simple to put together
Very sturdy
Modular system means it can be added to, disassembled, and put back together with ease.
Dirty fingers (and drawers) ahoy
Base inserts are quite fragile
Will likely need a rubber mallet or something similar to ensure all components slot together

For me, who currently has to share his hobby space with his work from home setup (thanks, Covid), this is a gamechanger. My previous setup of two £3 Primark nail varnish holders and an assortment of plastic tubs that were scattered around my twin monitors, keyboard and mouse have been shelved in favour of this serious space saver.

The fact that the Modular Painting Rack is so easy to construct, and can be added to, taken apart, and moved around so easily is a seriously bright feature testament to some real genius design work. Whoever drew up the plans for this thing needs a big ol’ pat on the back – and I need a couple more drawers to go at the bottom of mine.

This is very nearly a five-star review. In fact, the only reason I’m not giving it five stars is that one of the pieces broke and some of my brushes don’t fit quite as well as I’d like. But as far as a desktop painting rack goes, this thing is up there with the best.

CHECK OUT THE BEST HOBBY STUFF 2020 HAS TO OFFER

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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.

Our Affiliates / Hobby Stores

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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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Element Games Element Essentials Modular Painting Rack System
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About VoltorRWH 27 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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