Garfys Dice Organiser and Get a Grip Long Pro Painting Handle.

Here’s a little review of two products I purchased from GDE Create, as owned and run by Garfy Etherington.

I picked up two of his Initiative Tracker Dice Tidy Organiser for Warcry and a Get a Grip Long Pro Painting Handle Miniature Model Holder just just over a week ago.

First up, the Dice Tidy. It’s practical and unadorned, you can have it in any colour you want, as long as it’s black :D. It’s a good solid 3D print, nice and sturdy while also light weight. There’s nothing to clean, tidy, or glue together, and most importantly for me it doesn’t have a burnt chemical smell that you will find with laser cut mdf/hdf versions on the market, which I find can cause my chest real irritation. Mr S and I managed to keep our dice nice and organised during the game, and we avoided picking up our dice groups to use for combat rolls, something that happened a lot during our first game. Simply put, it did its job and helped keep the game moving smoothly. 

Before I go further reviewing the Long Pro Handle, I have to add a little bit of context. I generally couldn’t get excited about the various grips on the market. Many were in my mind not terribly practical, either from a cost perspective or due to comfort. The big mass produced brand one on the market looked too chunky and like so many others lacked anything to keep it from slipping in my hand. But one of the big issues was that being so dumpy they would be of no use to me while I’m having hand tremors caused by my drugs. I needed something longer, as I found that gripping something fully with my hand negated the tremor, whereas holding a cork or other stubby paint handles made things worse. 

My initial purchase of one of Garfys Get a Grips was a bit of a punt as it was getting good reviews, it was cheap, and it had those dimples which intrigued me. After getting my first one I ended up buying a number of Garfy’s standard Get a Grips over a year ago, and they drastically helped my productivity, my neatness, and comfort levels while painting day to day. The shims used to hold the minis in place are nice and solid, and the grips themselves far more comfortable and secure in my hand than the big branded version on the market. The little dimples at the top to put your fingers in really help when you’re maneuvering them around while painting, without worrying that it’ll slip at a crucial moment. They’ve made painting enjoyable again for me. The dimples helped reduce the tremors, but I still had to avoid painting on particularly bad days. I openly lamented about the desire for a long painting handle along with my reasons as to why. Not long after that Garfy popped up his long handled holder on his page and I immediately decided to get one. But then I didn’t, as the tremors subsided due to my drugs being fine tuned and life generally getting in the way. However they have started coming back, for various reasons, along with general hand fatigue. So what better time to indulge and buy one! 

The Get a Grip Long Pro Painting Handle Miniature Model Holder is, as labelled, a longer version of the standard grip. It needs a bit of construction as it comes disassembled. The main body needs to be fitted together with a peg spring, which comes supplied. I found fitting the spring a little fiddly, but manageable with a set of tweezers and my modelling pliers. If you suffer with significant hand issues I would recommend getting some help fitting the springs. It also comes with a little clip on arch rest, and a number of shims from 25mm all the way up to 50mm (Something that the named brand can’t do with its standard holder). Importantly for me it also comes with 28mm shims, yes that’s right, those new fangled bases we are seeing with the Warcry stuff. Having picked up some Spire Tyrants the 28mm shim has been far nicer to use than the blu tacked cork affair I used with the models in the core set. As a side note, Garfy also sells base shims for other popular systems in case you don’t use Citadel style bases.

The added length has really helped negate all the tremors I’ve started having again, even on those really bad days, and I’ve not worried once about losing my grip due to the dimples and texture of the handle. It may not be as quick to maneuver as the standard ones, but i’ll happily sacrifice that for extra control and steadiness while I’m doing the important stuff. My most recent models, my Spire Tyrants, have all been painted while using the Long Pro Handle. Any concerns I would normally have during one of my bouts of tremors have been completely pushed aside, I can continue with my hobby in comfort. Usually I would have to stop a painting/hobby session, but not now, I can carry on without interruption or fretting about wasting the time I set aside for it. All in all the Get a Grip Long Pro was well worth the purchase and I would certainly recommend picking one up, and the same for anyone wanting a nice simple dice organiser for Warcry, Garfy got both products spot on.

If you want to purchase said items, the links are below..

Dice Organisers for Warcry

Get a Grip Long Pro Painting Handle

~ Thanks for reading my ramblings, and please feel free to leave feedback, general comments etc.

Mark 🙂

Contrast Paints Review

I’ve avoided writing up anything about GW’s Contrast paints after viewing them at Warhammer Fest as I knew that it would just be another post in a polarising release. I wanted to avoid the patter back and forth about them so I could approach my thoughts on them without influence from others. 

Now as many have said, this isn’t a new thing for many hobbyists, nor is it necessarily cheap at £4.75 a pot. The principle has been around a long time and you can make up any colour yourself simply using water to thin your paint, or with mixes of mediums, flow aid and what have you; though your initial outlay for this method may cost more dependent on a variety of factors and availability in your area. 

I’ve been using Wyldwood and Skeleton Horde on the various wooden and metal sections of my Warcry terrain. Currently the results are positive, but not without issue. 

For clarity, while I did pick up a can of Wraithbone Spray to use with the Contrast paints, I used Hycote Grey Primer (My go to for priming most projects) on my terrain as it worked as a base for the scheme I wanted. 

Application wise I used both paints straight from the pot (well, from the palette) and they go on as well as any other GW paint. The thickness really does change the tone, so while I tried the “One Thick Coat” method as advertised, I ended up moving it around a lot to thin it down over a larger area, as it was far too dark. So if you want a thinner more even coat, either spread it thoroughly or use the medium for a thinner smoother coat.

Results wise it did what GW said it would do; pooling in the deeper areas creating a contrast against the raised areas. With a simple dry brush and a thin wash of Nuln Oil or Agrax Earthshade over the lot it will give me the look I’m after on the wooden parts of the terrain. So thus far, I’m very happy.

But there is a small issue. Contrast paint rubs off very easily, which is a problem for terrain and areas of a mini that get held a lot. And I don’t mean from a lot of contact, just picking up a piece once 24 hours after drying led to some raised parts rubbing off. So if you are painting a mini, be careful while handling it and make sure it gets a good coating of varnish to lock it all in at the end. With the terrain, I had to give it a dusting of matt varnish before I did anything else for fear it would come off during later stages. But now that’s done I feel far more comfortable handling it.

Overall I’m very happy with the results, even with its issues. While I’m very comfortable making my own mixes, I’m not unhappy about having something consistent that I can use straight from the pot. It certainly won’t replace my custom mixes, but It doesn’t hurt having something else in the tool box to play with. I can also see them being helpful not just for newcomers, but also disabled hobbyists that may not be able to spend time creating custom mixes for whatever reason. If I had had access to these prior to my transplant I would have been over the moon with the time and energy saving nature of them compared to making my own. They are a tad pricey per pot, but for the day to day painter or the hobby novice I can see a pot lasting a while, though less so if you are doing a lot of large scale stuff. I’ve used half a pot of Wyldwood on the terrain so far, which is quite a lot comparatively. 

I’d certainly recommend giving the Contrast Paints a try, particularly Skeleton Horde (I can see it getting a lot of use), having a play around and making your own mind up.

Thanks for reading ~ Mark