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pawl #705

Custom Custom Custom
Before I start I would just like to say that I bought and paid for this myself (because nobody is silly enough to give me things for free), and Garfy has kindly given me permission to write a review on it.
If in the future I have any additional comments I will of course add them to the bottom of the post.

That said, let's get on to the review for...

Garfy's Get A Grip Ultra Painting Handle Miniature Model Holder
(yes, that really is what it's called!)

What is it?

It's a painting handle! If you're not sure what one is, it's a tool for holding what you're painting. It helps us shaky people keep our hands still, reduces the chances of dropping your model or smudging the paint work as you handle it, means the oil from your fingers doesn't get on your models (oil is a bad surface for paint!) and because you can rest your hands it can reduce strain too.

Garfy's line of painting handles comes in four flavours - Basic, Pro, Long Pro and Ultra. I'll provide a link to where you can find them later.
The Basic package contains a short handle (no option for a finger rest) and base shims (you'll understand later). The Pro and Long Pro contain a short/long handle with a standard finger rest, wine cork and base shims. Lastly the Ultra has a long handle, standard and large finger rest, additional shims to cover more base shapes/sizes, and both a wine & large cork.

Prices start at ยฃ4.50 (cheaper than the similar Citadel handle) up to ยฃ15.99 (cheaper than the similar Game Envy Hobby Holder). I opted for the Ultra, because with my spider-like fingers I needed a long handle, and for a couple of quid more I wanted the extra toys that don't come with the Long Pro.

Garfy does also offer multi-packs for the Basic&Pro, and additional shims for less common base sizes.

How does it work?

Upon opening your parcel you'll be presented with a bag containing this (or at least the parts that make up your chosen package)

The handle does come unassembled, however to get it working you simply have to put a spring in place, as shown here.

After assembling your handle you simply place your model in using the wine cork (these are standard size, so easily replaceable), the large cork, or by placing the shims around the edge of your base to hold it fast. You can then (with Pro/Ultra) snap your finger rest around the handle, which also serves to hold the two halves firmly together.

Please ignore the dirty nail - I was stripping paint without gloves on!

The shims included with the Ultra handle will cover bases at 25mm, 28mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, and small, medium & large cavalry bases. As a comparison, to fit just the round base sizes in Citadel paint handles you would need both the regular and XL versions. Garfy's GAG covers everything all at once, and if you find something even bigger you can just mount it on the cork - no problems. (part of me wants to stick a Rhino on there, but I think that might be taking it too far!)

Does it actually work?

Actually, yes!

Admittedly I haven't tried using other handles extensively before, having only briefly played with a Citadel handle, so I can't offer first-hand comparisons. What I can do is tell you that working with this has been much more enjoyable than working without it.

Like I said before I have quite shaky hands, and I'm quite clumsy too - not ideal for painting! Simply being able to rest my hand/fingers on either the handle itself, the gripping 'pegs' or the finger rest has made this handle worth every penny! My preferred position for the most part has been to move the finger rest to the back of the handle for my 'holding hand', tilting it back by about 45 degrees (see the last photo for an idea), and using my little finger to brace my painting hand.

It's probably not 'right', and it's not the only way I use it, but it gets me the results I'm looking for in that my ability to paint neatly and accurately has significantly increased. I've also not managed to drop a model while trying to hold just the base (a regular occurrence previously), nor have I smudged wet paint while trying to change my grip (again, regular occurrence!). And because I'm not cramping my hand up gripping something small I can actually paint for longer before having to take a break, too!

I also want to show how well this thing grips - it just doesn't let go! This is without the finger rest holding things closed, and only a light grip:

(to see an earlier attempt at this video where the cork stuck but the model didn't, click here!)

Is it perfect?

Well no - it doesn't come in purple!
Seriously though, the GAG however does come pretty damn close, and the niggly problems that I have certainly wouldn't have put me off buying one of these - one is a non-issue and two are tiny things that barely even count!

This handle is 3D printed - presumably to help keep it so affordable - which results in the grooves you expect from 3D printing. I actually like this, as the texture probably improves your grip, but those who want their equipment to look sleek and smooth will need to do a little filing. Not an issue for me (or most, I would imagine) but it's worth noting.

The smaller of the two 'problems' I've found is that this handle doesn't give you the option to weight it. I believe that an earlier model had a hollow handle, allowing you to add weights inside to prevent a wobbly table (or a clumsy person managing to knock it regularly!) resulting in it falling over. This version however has a solid handle, and is lightweight enough that it can topple. A little blu-tac easily solved that for me however.

Secondly, the clip for the finger rest doesn't seem to like to bend much. Good for holding the handle together, and it still moves easily and smoothly when you want it to, but it's tight enough that getting it off can be a pain. When swapping models (I tend to work on two things at a time) the force required to pull the handle off has made the actual removal quite jerky, and as a qualified Clumsy Person I have nearly dropped the handle doing this. This may also just be because I'm useless, however!
The grip may relax slightly with more usage, but for now I'm just being careful with it.

Would I buy it again?

As it happens I'm actually considering doing so!
Like I said above, I tend to work on two things at once. I'm too slow to properly batch-paint, or I would consider a 4 Basic & 1 Pro bundle, but I think that adding a Long Pro to my tool-set would let me easily work on two models without having to switch them so often.

Final thoughts & "where can I buy it?"

In short, this handle really is very good, and I'm glad that I didn't cheap out and just grab a Citadel handle, or pay significantly more for another 'premium' handle. It does everything I need it to and didn't break the bank, and I don't think you can ask for much more than that!

If you want to pick one up for yourself, here's some links to the Basic, Pro, Long Pro and the Ultra featured here. Alternatively you can find Garfy's shop with bundles and extras here.
If you do, or already have one, please reply and tell us what you think of it!

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think, and happy modelling!
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James #709

Custom Custom Custom
Superb review mate! Very thorough! I do the same as you by resting at a 45 degree angle!! ๐Ÿ˜‚
I'd be curious to try the finger rest. If I look to get another I'll check this out. Definitely nice that it can fit bigger stuff and smaller stuff. I've got 2 normal citadel ones and 1 assembly and the xl one. (50% were bought at gifts.. But have turned out pretty darn useful when doing a squad!)
Thanks for very in depth review!

Oh and I totally agree with you. I can't imagine not using a handle for models now. They have helped steady my hands and stop dropping the mini and smudging paint ๐Ÿ˜‚ and also easier to access some areas of the model too sometimes.
Annoying me that the crawler I'm working on doesn't have a base!

(See look I editted the post ๐Ÿ˜‡ )
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pawl #715

Custom Custom Custom
Very kind of you buddy!
The finger rest really does help I think. I use it without on occasion, but use it with more often than not. Usually as pictured to give me a better hold on the handle, or sometimes as a place to rest my painting hand, usually when I'm working higher up on a model, or working from above.

I don't currently need to hold anything bigger than a 40mm, but in time I'm definitely going to need it for larger projects, and it's a bonus that I won't have to buy something new to work with. There's nothing stopping me from putting a pin in the bottom of a tank if I want to, but that might be a bit extreme!

I don't know how I managed without it!

Put a pin in it and stick it on a bit of cork ๐Ÿ˜‚

(you're getting there! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I'll send you a pm at some point to explain some of the little features the edit system has)
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James #719

Custom Custom Custom
Ah yes.. I think this would have been extremely useful on the foetid bloat drone (flying thing) I finished most recently. I found on the upper end of the model I was having to use hover hand alot which was a nightmare. That extra solid hand rest I think would potentially make a big difference as an extra rest for your paint hand!

Cheers dude! Good work. I hope Garfy send you something cool for more reviews!!
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pawl #721

Custom Custom Custom
Exactly! There is some give in the bar (it's only plastic afterall!) so you definitely couldn't put the full weight of your hand on it, but that's obviously not what it's for.

I just hope he keeps making cool stuff that I want to play with!
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James #723

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Are they just operating as an eBay business at the moment?
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pawl #724

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Yes mate. His posts in places like A Tale of Painters all point there. =]
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Axineton #792

I honestly thought this grip was pap as it broke pretty much as soon as I used it so I binned it ๐Ÿ˜‚
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pawl #796

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Huh! How did yours break? Can't say I've had any problems.
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Axineton #801

No idea it just fell to bits as soon as I put a miniature on it ๐Ÿ˜‚
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