Citadel Water Pot Review: Good Buy or Not?

The new Citadel Water Pot is for sale, which I noticed at my local game store (LGS).  On a whim, I bought it because of the unique aesthetic that caught my eye. For $8 USD, I did initially think it was a tad over-priced for what amounts to a container that holds water for cleaning brushes. But, after using it for a bit, I am now highly-recommending this water pot. 


Is the Citadel Water Pot worth it?

Here’s my review of why the Citadel Water Pot is your next hobby purchase.

Looks are Important, Yes?

Of course, this isn’t the most important criteria for something as practical as a container to hold your cleaning water to rinse/wash your brushes. Yet, as I mentioned above, the aesthetic of the pot is what drew me in the first place. 

It’s a unique shape, about the size of a normal coffee mug that holds about 150-200ml of liquid (maybe 16oz). When I picked it up I noticed that the bottom is significantly wider than the top, so it has some anti-tipping attributes.

Hard numbers: The water pot is 100mm wide at its base, and 90mm tall.

I’ve never knocked a water pot or washing container over, but I can imagine that could ruin a paint job if your dirty water spilled over a partially-dried model or just make a mess.

The Citadel logo is stamped large on the “front”, so you’ll always know the directionality of your water pot; which as you’ll see is kind of useful.

I personally think the water pot looks handsome sitting on my hobby desk. At the same time, it looks professional, casual, hobby-ish, and a tad whimsical (silly). 

“Hey, look at me, I paint my toy-hobby miniatures very super-seriously”.

Form and Function? Value! 

Okay, so I brought it home with a tad less money in my pocket almost regretting my purchase on the way home, thinking of all the mugs and random water containers I’ve already tried that were way cheaper; for example, a dirty old ceramic coffee mug or the Chinese take-out soup container made of that semi-transparent flimsy plastic (which even has a cover).

Why should this citadel product do any better than those, if the only purpose is to clean off my brushes after I’m done using them or between colors?

Well, I was wrong to question the ingenious Citadel Industrial Designers (this is the new Games Workshop, remember?).

I mentioned that the pot has a wide bottom to prevent tipping over. No big deal for me, as I’m fairly sure I and most people won’t tip over their ceramic mugs or whatnot for their cleaning water. 

But, the aspect that I noticed was that the water pot has a built-in brush holder. If you look at the front of the water pot (see Citadel logo as the front), then you’ll notice the two curved notches in the top of the pot.

This is neat. Although I have other brush holders, or generally just leave the brushes on my desk, this citadel water pot can be a new, even better place to leave my primary brush. 

Why there?

The brush is held off the painting table, won’t roll off the desk, and it’s at a level that my hand can easily reach for the brush when I’m working back and forth on something else. It’s off the working surface and so if I have wet bristles or just a tad of dirty paint still on the brush, the water pot keeps it away from any project that might be anywhere else on my desk.

Now, the wide-bottom of the Citadel Water Pot synergizes with the brush holder design. If I’m reaching for a brush resting on top of the water pot, this would increase the risk for tipping the water pot, if my hand knocks into the container. 

No worries here though; see that wide-bottom.


Textured rib or grooves on the bottom and side can be used to gently agitate brush bristles. It really works to improve rinsing colors off your brushes (of any size).

On the inside of the Citadel Water Pot, you’ll see textured ribs or grooves on the bottom and sides that I realized could be used to gently agitate the bristles of your brush as you rinse them. After using this water pot in a painting session, I am convinced it works.

Image result for washing board
Old school washing board tech brought to you from Citadel to help clean/rinse your brushes

Simply put, the water pot has a built-in “washing board”, the same technology that is used in analog laundry processes. The texture moves bristles and bits and bobs stuck in them as you swish your brush along the bottom and sizes of the water pot.

Games Workshop, I am impressed that you actually did this and made it work.

Some of you more skeptical types might think I’m over-hyping, but remember I actually came into this Water Pot purchase out of pure impulse and soon thereafter a regretful drive home.

I didn’t know what this was… and who knew it would actually work. 

I used the Citadel Water Pot with my expensive Winsor & Newton Series 7, and noticed how much less knocking and vigor I had to put into cleaning the bristles off. A few swipes along the sides and bottom of the water pot got almost all, if not completely all, of the paint that I had been using. 

Image result for citadel water pot 2018

This should not be under-stated. I had to use less force to clean my expensive brush. It is a subtle point, but I don’t like abusing brushes. I need them to last as a commission painter for as long as possible. That means being gentle with the kolinsky sables while cleaning them. 

In my other pots, I have to twist and/or push the bristles fairly hard against the sides of the water cup to get the paint out from the deeper recesses (near the ferrule). This is oftentimes worrisome because you’re walking the fine line between a good clean brush and pushing more paint deeper up into the ferrule. And, then comes the knocking of the brush against the side of a hard-surface (like my desk) to get the excess water off. 

The Citadel Water Pot has made it easier for me to clean brushes with less effort and abuse to the actual brush itself.

Oh, and because the water pot won’t tip easily, I can knock excess water off by tapping the brush against it instead, which doesn’t get water spray over my desk or my pants. Rather the water splishes back into the water pot (!). Cute, but effective and definitely something you have to try to see if it works.

More Features than a Swiss Army Knife

No other water pot design in the world has this…or any other designed thingy-bob you could find on Kickstarter or whatever. 

The five grooves/slits on the right hand side are for making your brush bristles into a tip again after rinsing/washing

Do you notice the five slits in the back of the Citadel Water Pot? You can see them in the images on this post. 

I couldn’t figure them out initially. 

They are “brush tip maker” grooves.

Citadel Water Pot review
Tip maker grooves!

I don’t have a better description for them. Once you’ve cleaned your brush in the water, draw the bristles up through these grooves and add a slight twist if needed, to restore a nice, fine point!

It actually works, at least for my round #1 brushes. Not sure it would work for anything larger. But, for detailing, the smaller brushes are all you need and the pot helps you remake the finer/sharper bristle tips after washing. 

Final Thoughts and Recommendation

If you have a water container and it works for you, then this Citadel Water Pot is a luxury item. It won’t make you a better painter. It won’t add anything to your workflow that isn’t already in there. 

What this Citadel Water Pot will do is make something you already do a tad bit better, which is rinse your brushes and clean them thoroughly.

Will it be less effort than your conventional “mug” or whatever system you have to rinse off your brushes? For me, I kind of noticed it being easier and at least comforting to know I’m not hurting my brushes because I’m using the built-in grooves/texture to agitate the bristles instead of my oftentimes too vigorous efforts on a regular mug. This might be enough of a reason to pay for the $8 price of admission.

The brush holder is functional beyond what I expected. I used it, and the brush location on top of the water pot does help me. 

If you add up all the features, the anti-tipping, the cleaning grooves, the brush holder, the fine-tip maker, and the aesthetics (it feels good on your desk), then for a few dollars (the price of a standard Citadel brush), the Citadel Water Post is worth it.

For $8, the new Citadel Water Pot is worth the price for someone who paints miniatures

I am always interested to know what you think about all kinds of hobby-related things, including the gadgets that help us paint miniatures.

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12 thoughts on “Citadel Water Pot Review: Good Buy or Not?”

  1. Nice review. I didn’t know about he ridges inside the cup, nor that those are brush shapers. I’d be concerned about getting paint sediment in the ridges in the side. Seems like it would be harder to clean?

    For brush shaping, I still put the brush in my mouth. For drying off the brush or removing excess paint (and general cleanup), I have a paper towel folded up beside my mat. I’ve heard some people like to use a piece of denim. I’ll probably try that, next time I retire some jeans.

    Sounds like a decent product in all, and price is decent online. Probably be one of those splurge items for me, if I had a gift card or whatnot to spend.

  2. Good review and definitely something for me to consider picking up. I mean, it’s only $8, so even if I don’t like it for some reason (seems implausible) then I’m not out much.

  3. Looks fine, but my water glass has the important feature of being clear, so I know when to change the water. I like to keep it pretty clean and clear to prevent cross contamination of paint (particularly metallic flakes)!

    1. True! Metallic flakes are pretty annoying in your paint cup. Just so you know I noticed that the citadel paint pot collects heavier sediments in the grooves at the bottom. Means less floating bits in the pot.

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