Since we’ve been making videos on our Youtube Channel I’ve had a fair few questions about the miniature holder I’ve been using. The one in question is an old PK-Pro miniature holder:
Now you can see from the top of it, that it’s been well used. The white piece at the bottom has paint all over it and the metal is a little tarnished, though this doesn’t affect the holder itself. The blu-tac/white-tac on the top covers a cork centre piece, which has a split running through the middle that allows you to fit in the bit that fits into the old slotta-bases that miniature companies use, and is also ideal to pin the model to the holder. Because I mainly collect GW Models, and the majority are plastic now, the slot in the cork has become pretty much redundant to me, and so I splodged some tac over it to hold plastic miniatures to it. To get to the slotta section, you remove the small metal washer from the metal frame. You can pop out the white base, then pop out the cork centre, like so:
Now while the cork section isn’t much use to me, the number of games that still use the slotta-bases is still high, so it would likely be incredibly useful to a lot of people. Also, a quick look at the PK-Pro site shows that they have a variety of inserts that would fit in a whole lot of different base sizes, which is ideal for pre based miniatures. The designs for the current PK-Pro/Rathcore miniature holders, and the variety of inserts means that there’s pretty much a holder for everyone.
Compared to the Citadel one below, the PK-Pro isn’t as cheap, but it has lasted me probably about 8or more years, and is still going strong. Also, I’ve not really had any issues with it.
Recently, Games workshop released the Citadel Miniature holder pictured below:
Now I picked up one of these to have a try of because it was only £5, and I thought it looked interesting. The holding method is completely different, and when it was first released, I didn’t like the look of it. One of my pals commented that they really liked their’s, so I thought ‘Why the hell not?’ Well, I’m impressed.
While the PK-Pro has a number of different ways to hold it, I usually held it like below, which, for a few hours was fine. As my hands ache with great ease and sometimes seize up a little, after a few hours it became a little uncomfortable. It didn’t really bother me because I have different miniatures I can paint that don’t need a holder. The blu-tac holds all but the heaviest of miniatures, but with the quality of the PK-Pro stuff, I have no doubt that the selection of cork inserts will do exactly the same really well, and as they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, you’d be able to find one that was of use to you.
Since trying the Citadel miniature holder, I’ve found the holding position a lot comfier for me personally. The holder has a well-sized handle and the spring-loaded clamp in the top holds the miniature firmly.
The PK-Pro is light, lighter than one of the old metal Space Marine miniatures – I checked it against one of the metal Legion of the Damned – so it’s doubtful that you’d notice the weight with a plastic miniature on it. In contrast, the Citadel one is probably about twice the weight. Neither are particularly heavy, but depending on how you work, one may be more preferable to the other.
Although the PK-Pro looks flimsy, it isn’t. The design has never failed in the years I’ve been using it, and the wire frame has never bent or buckled. The Citadel holder feels firmer, probably due to the weight and compare to the blu-tac I’ve used, holds the miniature better. Now, this isn’t a fair comparison here, as the PK-Pros can have a variety of inserts have the same kind of grip, so this isn’t a slight against PK-Pro. Both hold the miniatures well and feel sturdy. I will say, that I haven’t used the Citadel one for years on end, so I’ll come back to this comparison in a few years, as I’m not sure how the spring-loaded clamp on the top will last.
So far, I’ve only come across one bad point on each product. On the PK-Pro, it’s trying to get into nooks from directly above the miniature. Now this is a REALLY minor point – you can shuffle the miniature on the blu-tac so that it’s not directly beneath the skull, but if not, I’ve sometimes found that the skull can get in the way ever so slightly. This is me being picky here, and I’m sure many people won’t find it a problem.
The Citadel holder doesn’t have this problem, but what it does have, by way of the thick grip at the top, is the same problem, but from below. The PK-Pro doesn’t have this problem, as the edges are rounded, and are closer to flush with the base of the miniature being painted.
Both products are really good, and give you a stable method of holding miniatures while you paint them. Neither are as fiddly as holding the miniature by the base, and it’ll also keep your fingers away from the miniature being painted, stopping the risk of rubbing the paint off.
The difference between both is negligible, and the holding position would be more down to personal preference than one being particularly better than the other. If you’re looking for a painting handle, give them a try, the Citadel one is cheap as chips, and if you pop into your local Games Workshop, they’ll likely give you a demonstration. For the PK-Pro, you’d likely have to try one, or if you can find them at games expos or shows, it’s worth having a try. One of them will be great for you.
I’ve placed a link below to the sites of both holders, though as said, the PK-Pros on sale are the newest versions:
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