Last updated on February 1st, 2022 at 02:30 pm
Want to know about a Free Miniature Painting Handle you can 3D print?
When Garfy approached me to review the “Garfy’s Get-a-Grip Miniature Model Holder Handle” I couldn’t say no. This was for a few reasons;
First, this was a free little upgrade to my hobbying tool-set and for any of you who follow my blog, you know I love sharing those “cheap” little additions that go a long long way to improving our hobby. Also, I’d been looking to try a Miniature Painting Handle for a while.
Second, I’ve followed Garfy for a few years now, a regular poster on P.Y.G.S and Tale of Painters. When I got back into this hobby about 3 years ago now, Tale of Painters was one of the blogs I followed for tutorials. Garfy was the main man writing them so suffice to say, I was a fan and of course, I wouldn’t say no.
Third, he never actually asked me, I asked him. So if I did say “no” he’d wonder what the hell I was talking about!
As I said, I wanted to try a Miniature Painting Handle for a while. When I got back into this hobby, I first painted my minis and compared them to pro minis for what was different. Whilst I wasn’t doing any amazing paint jobs, I was certainly happy with my models. But what was I missing? After a trip to Warhammer World and some close inspections, I could see that many of the minis on display had a rather chalky matt texture. All mine had an inconsistent glossy look. A quick search online showed me a good chunk of the issue.
My Greasy Fingers! Ewww.
This was because when I painted I would handle the minis directly. Not only was I getting greasy fingers all over them (my palms sweat when I concentrate because I am gross). The sweat combined with the constant handling and moving was essentially polishing the minis smooth, causing the inconsistent surface texture across the models.
A switch up to latex gloves helped me paint better (and it was also really kinky). But the hours of painting caused me to get a reaction from the gloves and I had to switch to Nitrile. The problem with Nitrile is that you don’t get as much tactile response as you do from latex (that’s what she said).
So a Miniature Painting Handle was the next thing on my to-buy list.
GW released their Miniature Painting Handle and I was all for it; it’s cheap, damn cheap. I even had a couple on last year’s Xmas list. At least until I saw one, and damn they are cheap. It’s a good idea from GW but they are really really small. For my hands, they are too small and can only hold the smaller bases. No 50mm base option and I have a few larger models in my backlog. So as nice and cheap as it is, it won’t suffice my needs and the pro kit is running at > £40. In my hunting, I found many other Miniature Painting Handles and in comparison, these just didn’t fit my budget.
But this week the stars aligned, my friend just got his 3D printer a Creality CR-10, you may have heard, and I may have mentioned it again. I stumbled across the 3D model of Garfy’s Get-a-Grip Miniature Model Holder Handle (That’s a mouthful) version 1.0. So I made a swift negotiation with a friend.
Not even a day later my Garfy’s Get-a-Grip Miniature Model Holder Handle (Try saying this 5 times, fast) had arrived. And yes, it came in black, but if you’re 3D printing it, it can come in any colour you like. As my friend is running black PLA through his printer it came in full black, including the shims. This satisfies my inner Batman, the official one comes in black and orange (more on that later). Who’d choose that colour scheme for anything!
Honestly, it’s brilliant!
The Garfy’s Get-a-Grip Miniature Model Holder Handle (It’s not getting easier to say) is solid and sturdy, fits comfortably in my hand and grips the various size miniature bases perfectly. The 3D print was not perfect, there was some minor cleanup to do as there normally is with 3D prints but it took minutes to resolve. But the print is a bit warped due to my friends experience on the printer (he’s had it 2 weeks and is currently limited on space to put it for appropriate cooling).
You need a couple of M3 Nuts & Bolts to get this 1.0 version working. (I don’t know what the M stand for but the 3 is how many millimetres wide the nuts are, I guess the M means millimetre. #Education). That’s how it holds the 2 sides together and tightens around minis base. I had 2 of these laying around which was enough to test but you need 3. A bag of them costs around £4 on eBay.
But the best part of the Garfy’s Get-a-Grip Miniature Model Holder Handle (Should I just say “The GGaGMHH”) over the GW Miniature Painting Handle is not just that it will hold 50mm bases, but also because it holds your standard straight edge wine bottle corks too! I have been using corks for a while having seen other people use them. When I bought my corks I didn’t get the wide-based and wide topped champagne bottle ones. I got the straight edge wine bottle ones, so a lot of the time when I put them down, they go off balance and my mini falls over. But with this 3D Printed Miniature Painting Handle, just flip it upside its head and you have a space to hold your wine bottle corks in the bottom.
What more can I say about the Garfy’s Get-a-Grip Miniature Model Holder Handle, I know this isn’t an exhaustive review, but I also know I’m not a poet. So let’s summarize because most of you didn’t read the content above anyway.
So here’s the TLDR.
- It’s a Miniature Painting Handle
- It has a good grip
- It’s a good size
- It’s comfortable
- It holds 25mm, 32mm 40mm & 50mm bases along with wine corks
- It’s the only 3D printed item I’ve ever seen where the ridges actually compliment the design (It gives you more grip)
- It doesn’t topple like the GW one (GW have a habit of making things that easily topple, see any pot of shade for details)
- It’s free if you own or know someone with a 3D printer
- It can come in Dark Grey and Orange (personal preference)
I do have one complaint about this though, the length of the name…… No, seriously the one issue is that in order to attach and detach your models you need a screwdriver at hand. The only way to loosen it is by unscrewing the bolts. This is something where the GW Miniature Painting Handle is actually easier to work with. If you paint a lot of models, you’re gonna need a lot of these or deal with unscrewing them every time, but this is where the new model comes in!
Garfy actually has a Garfy’s Get-a-Grip Miniature Model Holder Handle 2.0 model out – F* this, I’m calling it the “Garfy Handle©™ (anyone who uses that name now owes me a quid in royalties) which directly addresses the only issue I found with the free version 1.0.
The Garfy’s Get-a-Grip Miniature Model Holder Handle is now affixed with industrial bands. It has all the features of the above, but now you simply pull it apart, slot in your shims and a mini (or cork), let go and it’s securely fixed in place.
These are £8.99 + Postage (which is available worldwide)
Let’s consider the value of this for a second;
It’s less than a tenner! (common expression for 10 pounds to my none UK audience) Christ, you’ll have had a time in your life where you’ve probably just lost a tenner and not been too bothered. So surely this is worth a tenner just to give it a shot?
It’ll cost you more than that if you take the model to a local 3D printing service!
And yes you could print the Garfy Handle 1.0, but unless you have the nuts and bolts laying around, it’s gonna cost at least £3-4 online to get them. Sure you could buy some at a hardware store but that means going out of the house. There are people outside of the house. Stay inside where it’s warm and all your minis are around you, they are your real friends, stay with your friends. (Is it just me who is the sad loner who lives in his hobby room?).
And unless you have a 3D printer or a good friend with one, then you’re looking at £300+ materials to buy one in order to make one yourself. (Then the bolts).
Garfy also sells shims for Star War’s mini bases too among other variations.
Please consider this; Garfy is one of us, he’s not Garfy INC he has no shareholders.
He’s a guy who has been there for us. Throwing out painting guide after painting guide. Let’s throw the guy some love back and support his excellent design work. Then he can carry on with what he does best, giving back to the miniature painting community. (Just to be clear, I mean the community of miniature painters wargamers and hobbyists, the community itself is not small).
And finally, this isn’t the only option for those looking for something a little more compact, there’s now the “Garfy’s Get-a-Little-Grip Painting Handle Miniature Model Holder” Garfy Handle Mini©™ (give me a quid) which holds all of the same bases as the 2.0, but it’s only £4.80 and the postage is cheaper because it’s smaller.
Personally, I’m hoping he sends me some free ones to review because I’m really cheap. I feel that’s my way of giving back to the community. Trying and testing the cheap stuff that can help you make huge improvements to your hobby by just dipping your toes in, instead of splashing out. So I suppose “cheap” is the wrong word” I mean “Inexpensive and great value”. And this Miniature Painting Handle is both inexpensive and great value.
All characters and events depicted in this blog post are entirely fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. None of the products in this article are Copyrighted or Trademarked (but you can still give me a quid if you want).
What did you think of this review? please let me know in the comments.
If you like what I’m doing here you could really help encourage more content with a share.
Want to keep updated with the blog? You can subscribe in the sidebar by email or RSS