April 22, 2014

New Citadel Hobby Tools - Don't Throw Money Away

Games Workshop has recently advertised their new line of Hobby Tools, and the entire set can be had for the price of $150 - or $180 if you're in Canada, because they are still using a 1999 world economic model.

That price is not a "special deal" - it is actually $4 more than buying the tools individually. But it's less clicks, and comes with a canvas wallet to keep your tools in for traveling.

Many newcomers to the hobby may not know where to acquire some of the specialized tools needed to prepare and build models, so may think that the tools offered by GW are the best option, or the only option.

Tools can be had much cheaper, allowing you to spend your hobby dollars on more models, not throwing your cash away on overpriced tools.

Here are some side-by-side comparisons:


GW "Citadel Fine Detail Cutters" - $30















Xuron 170-II Micro-Shear Flush Cutter - $7.68 on Amazon















Both of these tools do the exact same job. Flush cutting in tight spaces with little effort. Total savings so far? $22.32


































The GW one DOES come with 6 drill bits, though, in "Lasgun, Bolter, and Heavy Bolter" sizes. Useful when trying to match them up with a gauge of pinning wire or paper clip... So we will also have to buy drill bits for the Amazon one.

Drill Bit Set (15 pcs) - $4.50 on Amazon (Drill total $9.06)











So now you have a Pn Vice and FIFTEEN drill bits (not just 6), in actual real-world sizes for under ten bucks. Total saved so far? $39.26



















Grizzly H7709 Pick Set - $7.50 on Amazon















Here you get 12 double-sided tools instead of just three, for much less money. But for sculpting, I also find these silicone clay shapers (or color shapers) to be super-useful. 

Firm Color Shapers, Size 0 - $17.81 on Amazon















At $25.31, our sculpting tools come in 31 cents over GW's set. But they give you 3 tools, and this option gives you much more versatility at 17 tools. Fourteen extra tools for 31 cents! Total saved so far? $38.95.


















Excel Grip-On Knife - $8.02 on Amazon












Both knives comes with 5 blades. If you have ever used one of GW's plastic hobby knives, you will know that it feels cheap and un-safe. What I like about the second style of knife is that the blade release is at the back of the blade rather than up front at the chuck - so you don't keep loosening your blades as you work. Total saved so far? $55.93.
































Ten files, not just two. And for a third of the price. Total amount saved so far? $68.11


































The GW does not have a replaceable blade - when it dulls, you buy a whole new tool. I generally use my regular XActo knife fore scraping mold lines, but we'll go ahead and throw this shape of blade in that you can throw into that Excel knife handle to replicate the "Mouldline Remover." And when it dulls, replace it - this pack comes with 5 blades.

Total saved? $76.93.

That is more than 50% off - AND you get 9 extra drill bits, 14 extra sculpting tools, 8 extra files, 4 extra "mouldline removers"... 

The price of their tools does not make sense. Do not buy them, and do not let anyone you care about buy them. It is absolute stupidity to throw $77 extra dollars away, and get LESS for it.

For that much cash, you can get yourself a Land Raider. Those Dark Angel fliers. A 3-pack of Eldar War-Walker. Or a 200-point (or so) Infinity army.

Spread the word, folks. Friends don't let friends buy stupid. 

66 comments:

  1. This is excellent, thanks for putting this together Tom.

    I haven't bought GW tools for a long time, they have always been a rip off. Aimed at uninformed parents of 12 year old boys with badly painted space marines.

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  2. And the Da Vinci style packaging and moody lighting just cracks me up. Go home GW, your drunk on money.

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    Replies
    1. "You're*" -Grammer Nazi

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    2. "Grammar" -Spelling Nazi

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    3. *shoots* -Anti-Nazi

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  3. Not to mention their glue, and the worst culprit the primer. I remember when their primer was only $9 or so. Now it's ridiculous! Use Krylon, it's at every store and does the same thing.

    The only "tool" I purchase from them is their brushes, and I only do it out of laziness since I know that I like their fine detail brush and don't feel like finding another.

    Great job on the Public Service Announcement!

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    1. "The only "tool" I purchase from them is their brushes, and I only do it out of laziness since I know that I like their fine detail brush and don't feel like finding another."

      i found a pack of 10 brushes at walmart for $5 that i think are a bit better than GW's brushes, and are on par with the ones from army painter, and much much cheaper

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    2. Paintbrushes is one area where being shrewd does not pay, a good brush will last a lot longer and will make your life that much easier. Brushes are not like hobby knives where one pretty much does the job of any other. I buy 3 brushes, a 1, 0, and 000. winsor and newton, and usually that lasts a couple of years. crap brushes basically double the time i take to paint, and last only a few sessions.

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  4. Great article, though no big surprise.
    Is there also a good alternative for the saw? Because two trusted friends of mine say its great.

    greetings from deventer NL

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    Replies
    1. Try a search for "jeweller's saw" on ebay - lots of 'em there.

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    2. Here's one for $10 similar to the one I use:
      http://www.amazon.com/Jewelers-German-Adjustable-Assorted-Tension/dp/B00A8RFB5Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398268628&sr=8-1&keywords=jeweler%27s+saw

      144 blades? That's worth the $10 right there...

      For heavier-duty work, I use something like this:
      http://www.amazon.com/Xacto-X75300-Precision-Razor-Saw/dp/B00004Z2U4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398268704&sr=8-1&keywords=hobby+saw

      Also $10.

      Apparently, GW no longer sells a saw...

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    3. NL?

      Zoek in een trein/model hobby zaak. 'Wentink' in Arnhem bijvoorbeeld heeft genoeg.
      Zoek iets dergelijks bij jou in de buurt en je bent klaar.

      Succes!

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  5. Truly epic post... Thanks buddy. I will share the word, because I say this too but you have now done all the legwork and its easy to link them here than type it 20 times daily. Awesome buddy!!

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  6. Great post. I haven't bought any GW tools/supplies (except from paints) for a long time but this is very helpful for younger hobbyist that might not know better. Reminds me of the time an actual GW staff member refused to sell me a GW tape ruler because it was so expensive. Just go down the road to B+Q and you'll get it for a fraction of the price he said.

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    Replies
    1. Woah, that's a pretty cool GW employee right there.

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    2. yeah i agree so nice,
      i recommand it to my friends and i,ll be back again and again visit Tools and dies manufacturers in india for more info.

      Delete
  7. Great post. Definitely going to cherrypick through this list for some tools that I've been meaning to get.

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  8. WOW thank Tom, I try to help my local GW store but I could never push their tools and this is the exact reason why. Totally worth while.

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  9. A nice explanation of what I have been trying to tell other new players! Can I feature this on my blog?

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  10. Awesome! Just picked up a few items from the list.

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  11. Thanks for all the comments, folks!

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  12. Great job Tom! Thanks for the links actually, been meaning to pick up some additional hobby tools and was going to do the amazon search.

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  13. Great PSA. Pretty soon I need to replace some of my tools and your list just found me my replacements. Thank you for the work you've done here.

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  14. Have you ever tried it at the hardware store

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  15. Nice one Tom, very good article. Remember friend do not let friends buy overpriced bs like this :)

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  16. This is great, All my tools are from various hardware stores for a fraction of the prices. Also I Use a Swann-Morton scalpel way cheaper then GW and definitely superior.

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  17. Nice job Tom, now can you inform me on a good bag to carry my minis in.

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  18. I actually searched out and bought that file set as soon as this overpriced crap came out. I was in need of new/real files (was using a nail file for a while) and yeah, that exact set. Can't wait for it to arrive!

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  19. I stopped buying any tools from GW when, in a fit of madness, I bought a complete set of GW brushes. These were 'spares' for my travel painting kit and they are without a-shadow-of-a-doubt the worst brushes I have ever bought. I painted with them once - a terrible experience in itself - and they were completely unusable after that.

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  20. Wow, very nice PSA. I haven't played or done any modeling in about 6 months, but I also haven't been buying their tools. I use older ones I have around the house, but I'll go ahead and spread the word.

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  21. I have aquired the old cutters and mold line tool and both are rusting in the back of my tool rack. Dremel makes great drill bits designed for working with steel. Lowes or home depot $20 for a set of 7. For fine tools I go to
    http://www.micromark.com/
    greatest selection imaginable!
    gws brushes are terrible, got to a hobby or art shop. As above, I tried the mold scraper a few times. Great on big things like vehicle panels but worthless for fine detail or tight spaces. Great review! Never thought of a price comparison, since I knew they were pricey crap, and I didn't really want to think about how much I have spent on tools over the years. David drake @ facebook

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  22. Nice post. I can't believe GW even made these tools and priced them like they did.

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  23. The trouble is most kids dont realise a hobby world exists outside the GW store... and if their parents are too stressed, harassed time pressured to check, they just pay up in store... that's where GW has always won - high street presence... its not till the kids have grown and if they stay hobbyists, they then 'see the light'... ;-)

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  24. I reckon anyone reading this, who wants to open a hardware or arts store, could do a lot worse than open up right beside a GW shop.

    Surprised you don't see it more often to tell you the truth!

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  25. Thank you this is brilliant think I'll get that exact knife and cutters

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  26. I agree with most of this post, in a big way, but I feel I have to play devil's advocate and say:

    1, you don't know how 'cheap and unsafe' the new knife feels.
    2, you don't know the quality of the sculpting tool set.
    3, the mould line remover is not a knife. ;)

    1, fair enough, it's a very minor quibble and doesn't change the fact that cheaper, top-quality knives exist, but I like to judge products on first-hand experience and not years-old grumbles about previous versions.

    2, the GW sculpting tool of the now-previous generation was awful: just a chunk of barely-machined steel on a stick. But while the 'blade' in this set still looks a bit blunt if you squint (photos aren't great) it already looks like a vast improvement. It also looks GW updated it to the legendary wax #5! (Also known as a Zahle) That may be an improvement, but again, I'd prefer a first-hand look at this to make up my mind.
    In addition, cheap wax carver sets have a lot of pieces and a lot of varieties, but the quality often leaves something to be desired with blunt (even squared-off), rough, or jagged edges. Not optimal for poking and smoothing tiny little 28mm details in putty. Having a variety also helps you figure out what shape you're comfortable with, which is good, but that does mean you'll eventually gravitate towards just one or two of that whole big set you just bought.
    The upside is that good-quality dental (as in, intended for dentists, not plumbers and DIYers) wax carvers can still be had for less than GW's £5/$8.33 per tool, particularly on ebay. :) It might help to look up the names of different types of wax carver, but some initial recommendations to look out for are: Zahle, LeCron, Vehe, Hylin, and Beale. As I mentioned elsewhere, a Zahle carver; a Ward, Hollenback, or PK Thomas carver; and an angle or flat clay shaper should replicate GW's new set and still save you some cash.

    3, I use hobby knives to clean mould lines myself, but only when the blades have blunted a little and even then they can jitter or gouge occasionally. I get that the mould line removal tool has a sharp edge but not a thin, cutting edge, which should make it behave somewhat differently. I've heard folks recommend the previous finecast-cleaning tool, and a quick question to a blueshirt informed me that this new one has a more rigid blade. Once again, I want a look at it myself and maybe a quick trial before I'm convinced, but I don't think it's quite right to dismiss it out of hand with no experience and even before it's available for use.
    As for alternatives in the hobby world - different seam scrapers by Micromark and Squadron etc. - here in blighty they cost the same or more. GW's price is on par, for once! Then there are deburring tools, but personally, the crank-handle blade doesn't appeal.
    Although, the *real* cheap alternative that was suggested to me, and which doesn't work too badly: a scissor blade. ;)

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  27. For a mold-line cleaner I would recommend Tamiya's panel line scriber. Mold-line cleaners benefit from a thicker blade which vibrates less as you scrape to reduce chattering. Also, flip it around and you can scribe panel lines. Perfect for super-lazy Infinity basing:
    http://i1.wp.com/tyler.provick.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/inf_alguacil2_fin2.jpg

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  28. Thanks so much for this post and suggestions!

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  29. Micro mart make a mold line scraper that never dulls. Its $20 but well worth it.

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  30. An excellent post. It pays to shop around but better yet, ask an expert.

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  31. The mold line remover isn't a knife. There are a variety of seam scrapers out there. Micromark makes a really nice one. But there are some inexpensive ones on Amazon as well.

    http://www.micromark.com/seam-scraper,7547.html

    http://www.amazon.com/Triangular-Blade-Scraper-Hardwood-Handle/dp/B001N427YO/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1398620127&sr=8-11&keywords=seam+scraper

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  32. Thanks for your work on this post.

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  33. Nice post. All at my flgc where shocked at the prices they charge. I got sculpting tools from eBay much like the ones you suggest. They have done me well so far

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  34. Some nice alternatives to the GW stuff, especially the brass pin vise which looks like a nice tool. However, does anyone pay retail for GW gear? 20% discount should be pretty standard which would reduce the price disparity.

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  35. Nailed it. Only suckers pay retail, and only complete morons pay GW retail.

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  36. They do look cool, but not worth it for most.

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  37. Thanks! btw - great podcast!

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  38. Tools can be had much cheaper, allowing you to spend your hobby dollars on more ... 4hand-tools.blogspot.com

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  39. I am usually a big GW anti-fanboy, but I have to say I really like the Citadel Mouldline Remover and Fine Detail Cutters.

    They feel right in your hands when using them and do what they were designed to do. I also feel they look better than many of the tools I have used. The price is crazy high like you said, but for me I prefer them over others I have used, so in the long run the price doesn't mean as much.

    Better looking, good quality and better feel when using them. The scraper is especially good while using it. I like the fine detail cutters when cutting epic stuff. You can be really exact with them.

    The sculpting tool set seems a bit over the top price wise, but I would really like to get the plastic spreader. It would allow for more precise spreading.

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  40. Great list! The only inaccuracy is in the mouldline remover... It isn't a blade that dulls. It's not a sharp fine edge, but a thick rounded corner metal. It isn't a blade that dulls (I've had mine for years and it still works like it did on day 1). There honestly isn't a comparable item out there for some reason (no those blades you listed aren't even doing the same job) so it's the only tool of theirs I buy and recommend (though $17 is still stupid, I got mine originally for $10).

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  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  42. Seems that the cutters you linked aren't $7 but $17 on Amazon.

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  43. When it comes to sawing, a handsaw if fine if you are just cutting a few 2x4s. But if you needed to cut a large panel of plywood, it would be pretty slow going. For this job, a power circular saw is a much better choice. Used in combination with a clamp-on straight edge, a circular saw makes cutting straight cuts on large pieces of wood a snap (and about 100 times faster than with a hand saw). It's also easier on the hands.

    Sharp Cutting Tools

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  44. For a long time me & my friend were searching for informative blogs, but now I am on the right place guys, you have made a room in my heart! how to remove mould from walls

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  45. I work with silicone molds doing resin casting at a rapid prototyping facility and I use all sorts of hobby tools from a wide range of manufacturers.
    GW's knife would not be worth the money if it was $5, the sliding button to move the blade in and out doesn't lock at the various positions and the blades aren't as really available as typical hobby blades. Getting either a single Xacto or one of the sets with multiple handles and blades at a craft store is much more worthwhile.
    I really like GW's mold line remover but I find myself using the Xacto blade and spine more often as you can get into smaller spaces easier and you're aren't switching between tools as frequently. I'm not a big fan of the swiveling mold line removers but I haven't used them much so I don't have any solid reasons for not recommending them, just my personal preference.
    GW's newest pin vice is my favorite because it is a larger size than the single-chuck thin shaft ones, it has a double ended chuck and feels like it is made well, I've had mine for a few years and it works great.
    Don't buy GW files, get a more generic set with more files at a fraction of the price.
    The sprue cutters by GW are nice, all metal with a thin profile and more shallow angle than a lot of other cutters, less expensive ones will do the job well as long as they are sharp and the edges meet up cleanly.
    Sculpting tools can be found less expensive at a craft store and then reshaped if need be.
    In the end, none of GW's tools are worth retail and I'd even say not worth it at 20% off (retail being $25-$30 from what I've seen so around $20 with the discount). None of the hobby tools you use should get abuse from normal application so even a "cheap" tool at $5 should last quite a while given the frequency and intensity of use from most people.
    I'd say the most versatile tool is the Xacto since you can file/grind a dull blade into different shapes of scraping tools, picks, and even sculpting tips to cover most of the trimming and finishing needs.

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  46. thanks admin for providing very useful trick for make a wonderful website or blog, here you can find top alerts:
    dies and mould manufacturers in india

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  47. I know that its been a couple of years since you made this post, but Amazon Canada wants $55 CAD for that Grizzly pick set.

    I've also found that my local RC Vehicle hobby store has good prices on the sprue clippers and pin vise.

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  48. First off, I want to say thank you for putting this together. I was looking at the price of those GW tools and just about had a stroke. Second, it is pretty obvious that numerous people have taken your awesome advise because when I clicked on the flush cutters I noticed that down in the "customers who bought this item also bought" thing, every item you mentioned here popped up. Again thank you for this list, it will certainly save me tons of time and money.

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  49. Admiring the time and effort you put into your and detailed information you offer!..
    Subway surfer hack

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  50. As someone who was dumb enough to try and use the citadel file set all I can say is stay away.... I went through 8 metal minitures just doing regular clean up and the files are toast. For the price you pay total garbage. Be warned.

    Thank you for pointing out a few new products in Amazon, a great heads up for future purchases

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  51. But what I followed was using vinegar and hot water. Hot water will kill the mildew and so will the vinegar. Mold removal companies near me

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