Should you buy GW’s Painting ‘Spray Stick’?

For starters I’ll be honest, if I told my wife I bought a stick for 24.00 CAD, she’d probably whoop me over the head with it. But I had to try it….

That’s right, I paid 24 bucks for a stick with some rubber bands. Jealous? No? Maybe you should be….

Joking aside it does seem wasteful and perhaps only Games Workshop / Citadel can get away with charging this much for a plastic stick with a bagful of rubber bands.

As most of you who follow my blog, or what I do on the Bolter and Chainsword forums, you know I paint. I paint a LOT over the years, and I’ve sold a lot of armies/pieces of interest. In all that time I find assembly, and priming the least fun out of everything. Why? Because this is where I find it’s easiest to go wrong. A bad mould line, a ‘snowy’ primer coat, and it’s very hard to make it look right after those kinds of early mistakes.

Meet the Stick’s competition: The “Railroad Stick”

So until now this is what I’ve used for years….

My own “Painting” stick. Cost: Found it in a dumpster!

Okay so I didn’t find it in a dumpster. It was laying on the ground near a railroad. This piece of wood has probably been my painting stick for 5 years. I actually have two of them.

As you can see there is double sided tape on it. This is the secret sauce. This is how you get those little fiddly bits to hang on to something without rolling around on a piece of cardboard. It works very well. Figures can be stood on their bases, stuck to the tape.

The negative? Sometimes little plastic pieces do not want to stay stuck on. I’ve lost little bitz in the grass, or on the garage floor. Also larger models are a no go. If you rotate them on the tape/stick, then they may fall right off. But all in all, this is a very economic and excellent way of priming your models.

Whose Stick is Stickier? GW vs. Railroad.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. How does the GW stick compare to the Railroad stick? Whose stick is the stickiest? And am I stuck on any one stick over the other? (More bad jokes coming soon.) Let’s get stuck in…..

Here is an array of things either stick could prime.

This is a typical example of what I could use the Railroad Stick for. Note the magnetized biker on the end. He might not work upside down on the Railroad stick. It’s a fickle base, and he’s got a bit of weight. But the whole thing worked quite well on GW’s Painting Stick.

One thick coat!

A nice even coat of primer applied perfectly on the GW Citadel Paint Stick. What was nice about this is I took the upper bodies from the Wraith models and snapped them in place under the rubber bands. This definitely would not have worked with Railroad Stick. Next up, something a little more unwieldy.

Painting Stick vs. Awkward Flyer Model

In one corner we have the GW Painting Stick. In the other, we have an awkward model shape that I would most certainly have to work a bit to get it primed. Sure I could do it in two stages, or use a glove, and flip the model on a piece of cardboard.

This Flyer is the type of model that is rarely ‘perfectly’ primed in one go without a risk of build up, over spray, or just missing a weird angle entirely.

Not only does it fit, I got another squad of Wraiths on the stick.

I was very happy with the result .This might be one of the better applications to me. The entire model (including where the bands touch) was primed. And of course became this :

“I was primed on a GW Painting stick.”

Games Workshop Painting Stick vs. Railroad Stick: Conclusions

Railroad stick has been good to me over the years, and will continue to probably serve me unwavering in those perfect tasks. Rhino’s, or a similar chassis come to mind.

But overall I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The speed of setting up a priming session is great. The ease of use, and ability to rotate the entire stick is a huge boon. Sometimes with double sided tape your models will have a little too much weight to them making it a scary proposition to rotate the stick fully.

Also there’s the oddball stuff. The earlier picture of the Wraith upper bodies is a great example. That is not easy to do on double sided tape.

The only note I’ll add here is the stick isn’t terribly long. And there’s only one handle. I would have added a second handle but I’m sure that would increase the price dramatically and honestly this works suitably well as is.

The elastic bands were my only concern. You will be painting over these bands continuously over the years. However it’s worth noting you get a very sizable sack of bands. I recommend putting them in a Ziplock freezer bag as soon as you open them. Don’t let them dry up.

So all in all I have to say I’m stuck on this stick. I really like it. I love how it handles the truly awkward jobs. It also just makes doing those jobs easier, and cleaner. All around I really like this tool. It’s something I think you’ll have for a long time as well. Two thumbs up.

Thanks for sticking around for the stick review!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s