If you’ve ever tried painting those tiny miniatures for games like Warhammer or Dungeons & Dragons, you know it can be pretty tricky to hold onto them. That’s where painting handles come in—they’re like little pedestals to stick your miniatures on while you paint. The Citadel handle has been the go-to for a while, but the Hobby Holder from Game Envy has been gaining attention. It promises to make painting miniatures easier and more fun.
In this article, we’re going to delve into my experience using this novel painting handle with a few miniatures I’ve painted lately. Take a look at what I think, pros and cons, and whether or not I recommend it for miniature painting.
- The Game Envy Hobby Holder’s threaded base allows for quick swapping of miniatures using bottle caps, making it easier to work on multiple figures at once.
- A stability bar provides a place to rest your hand, leading to more controlled painting and reducing the risk of damaging your miniatures.
- The handle is slightly lighter than some may prefer, which is a minor concern against its otherwise innovative and user-friendly design.
In a hurry? Take a look at 3 Other Popular Miniature Painting Handles 🏆
- Citadel Assembly Handle (Versatile/Easy to use)
- Green Stuff World Work Holder on Stand (Best for sculpting)
- Tamiya Model Stand (Airbrushing/Spray applications)
Read on to learn more about what I think about Game Envy’s Hobby Holder system for holding your miniatures while you paint them.
Revelations: Beyond Games Workshop
One thing that many hobbyists realize early on is that “holding a miniature by its base with your fingertips is difficult.” Trying to pinch the base between your two fingers and applying the right amount of pressure so that it is steady, but not so much that you risk damaging the model, is tedious and exhausting.
So a painting handle is something that I highly recommend!
My first handle is the painting handle from Citadel (see review). It’s a solid handle for miniatures. However, the hobby holder in my humble opinion is far and above better.
A Pleasant Surprise!
I purchased a hobby holder from Game Envy when I backed the Kickstarter for the Exemplar wet palette, which I will review in another article. I added this model/miniature holder on as a whim, and I’m so grateful that I did.
The hobby handle is made from plastic has a good width to the ergonomic grip, and feels good in the hand. The grip portion of this is not the best part. It comes with a threaded base that sits on top of the handle that you secure the model to the bottle cap, and then attach it to the handle.
My Experience: Increased Efficiency and Productivity
Game Envy went with the generic bottle cap design so you can use any cap to give yourself more platforms to put your minis on at a time. Why do you need additional caps for additional models?
Because having less barriers preventing you from doing your hobby will allow you to get more work done, and make the work you do get done more enjoyable.
Having the difference in caps allows you to more easily move from one model to the next with batch painting, or working on multiple projects at one time.
Protecting Your Miniatures
The handle also has another incredible feature!
When we are painting our miniatures, it is very important to keep our hands steady (‘Hi, Captain Obvious here’). There are only so many ways that we can put our hands and wrist together in a comfortable way, and paint for longer periods of time. Those positions are not always the most useful for painting every part of our model. The designers at Game Envy figured out a way around that with the curved Stability Bar.
I don’t know how it took so long for a painting company to develop this feature. I am so glad that they did. The ability to place my hand wherever I need it and rest against something that isn’t the model is a game changer!
This allows for steady use of the brush by holding both brush and model tightly together to minimize movement without using the model as the rest. I have had more than one model, damaged or destroyed in my painting career because of pressure that I put on the model while painting
Game Envy’s Hobby Holder series features two sizes of their innovative Stability Bar: the standard edition (56mm) is perfectly suited for 28mm models, catering to the most common scale in tabletop gaming. It’s the go-to for the majority of my Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) miniatures and the typical units found in Warhammer 40K and Age of Sigmar.
On the other hand, the ‘big and tall’ version—officially the XL Stability Bar (76mm)—provides ample support for those grander models. It’s my preference when painting the larger D&D creatures and the more imposing hero models in Warhammer, where its extra height and stability really shine.
Quick Summary: Hobby Holder Standard vs XL Edition
|Stability Bar Type||Size||Ideal for Model Scale||Recommended Usage|
|Standard Edition||56mm||28mm||Dungeons & Dragons miniatures, Warhammer 40K, Age of Sigmar units|
|XL Edition||76mm||Larger scales||Larger D&D creatures, Imposing Warhammer hero models|
Enhanced Maneuverability: 360° Degrees of freedom
Another key feature for this handle is that you are able to rotate your model 360° with the threaded base. This is similar to the Redgrass Games 360° Painting Handle without the stability bar or bottle cap design.
This allows you to rotate the model getting to parts on the model that would be difficult on other handles that use spring-loaded clamps to hold the model in place preventing the model from easily turning on the platform. Thus, causing you to have to hold the handle in weird orientations to paint different portions of the models.
Deal Breaker? A Minor ShortComing
The only thing I am left wanting in regards to this handle is that it feels just a touch to light. All 4 pieces weigh about 2.8oz. This is really lightweight, and a bit more heft would help stabilize the entire handle.
It is not something that I have explored much to remedy because it is such a minor issue. It has not worked its way up my priority list. If the Hobby Holder was a couple ounces heavier I think that would be a good thing.
Final Verdict: Is the Game Envy Hobby HOlder Worth it?
The hobby holder painting handle is incredible. For $19 you can get the threaded base, and stability bar. This would allow you hold the model in such a way where you aren’t holding the model itself. However, I recommend the 4-piece bundle for $38. Which includes the threaded base, ergonomic grip, the stability bar and the XL stability bar. This is the best deal for sure!
The ability to quickly change between models and those of different scales is helpful as we batch paint armies or the minions for your BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy). The features of the Hobby Holder are game changing, it has all the essentials for a handle and key features that other handles don’t have. Thus, making it a unique piece of hobby equipment.
While I am not saying that getting the Game Envy handle, will make you the Michelangelo of miniature painting. I will say that it will make your time painting, miniatures, more enjoyable, and far less frustrating.
I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful. Let us know what you think below with a comment!
Until next time, happy miniature painting!
About the Author
Alexander Foust is a loving husband, father of twins, and committed Emergency Room Nurse. Balancing his personal and professional life, he finds strength in his faith and enjoys fitness, miniature painting, and tabletop gaming. You can reach Alex who is open to miniature painting commissions via email ([email protected]) and his MARLevel Painting Facebook page.