Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Quick Citadel Project Box Mod

--- Warning! Major rant ahead! ---

Games Workshop has something of a reputation for being a little bit money grabbing (I think it's fair to say). I base this comment on what self-professed fans of Citadel/GW products have admitted to me and I have to say that when I look at the pricing of some of their modelling tools and accessories I have to agree...But, anyhoo...

I did take a shine to their plastic 'project box', a little laptop modelling/painting worktop which has an integral storage area (or rather, it's a storage box the lid of which become a work surface).

It seemed like a neat little mobile modelling solution, but I baulked at the £44 price tag (a plastic storage box and lid from Wilkos is just a quarter of the price)! However, I happened across a single example of it on sale at a much-reduced price at a local store and so though what the heck.

On getting it home I soon discovered some of the box's foibles. For a start, the paint pot holder tray - which sits neatly inside the box, but can be removed - is specifically designed to hold the dumpy little Citadel paint pots. I suppose that is understandable as it is a Citadel product after all...

But what REALLY annoyed me was the work surface itself. The lid of the box is reversible, the inside is intended to act as a compact workspace and is designed to hold a small cutting mat. Great - I thought - just right for my A5 mat...Ah, but no...

Citadel has designed the little ridges - intended to hold the mat in place - so that it only takes a proprietary Citadel cutting mat which does not conform to the universally accepted 'A' size cutting mat standard!

The bastards!

...I mean, it's quite deliberate and intended that you by their product and only their product. There is absolutely no logical reason not to adhere to the normal A-size format other than to make consumers pay over the odds for a far more expensive (but smaller) product!

The Citadel cutting mat, currently advertised as being $26 on their website!
The Citadel cutting mat measures 210mm x 148mm and while the astute among you will say, 'but Steve, 210 x 148 is A5' the standard A size cutting mats are A size PLUS bleed (a little extra around the mat so you can cut something the size of A5). A standard 'A5' mat actually measures 230mm x 160mm.

A standard 'A5' format cutting mat - Amazon, £3.19

I'm sure Citadel marketing execs will say - in some smarmy voice - 'but our mat is A5'...Bollocks.

Anyway, (sorry, but that just really narks me) the real kicker is that the standard modellers 'A5' cutting mat can be had for about three quid from Amazon, while the Citadel mat - get this - costs a whopping £7 - and it's smaller!

I'm not having any of that...So I took a nice sharp chisel and pared off the work surface's little beading subdividers so that it is now perfectly flat. And now I can fit a proper A5 - or even a proper A4 - cutting mat on the top if I want to.

And there we go! Beading removed (I have a plan to glue my own beading dividers back on just so stuff doesn't roll around)...

Screw you Games Workshop!


  1. I'm amazed you still went with a overpriced storage box, but I applaud your problem solving skills. FInd a friend with a lsercutter and give him the measurements of the paint holder, and have one made for Vallejo or whaveter you use. Another problem solved :)

    1. Hahaha! Yes, if it hadn't been on a knock down price I wouldn't have gone for it!