The compromise was me getting the GW Painting Station. It is funny how I have been in this hobby for more than ten years now and I never even thought twice about this product. When I worked at a hobby store about five years ago this product was either launched or repackaged. At the time we could sell dog shit so long as it had a GW logo on it so we ordered a few of these for the Christmas season. I remember stocking them on the very top shelf saying something to the effect of, "What jackass is gonna spend forty bucks on this when you can get a fold out table for twenty?"
Well past me, present me is that jackass thank you very much!
Assembling it was easy enough. The instructions were a diagram on the front of the box it was shipped in. In total the product is like four pieces. You basically just put the pieces where they go and push down till they are in their slot. The fit is snug, but not really secure. The pieces themselves are made of some really light weight wood. It feels kinda like balsa, but may be something a little more sturdy, not much though.
Once it was all built I laid it out and began trying to get it assimilated into my painting area. It reminded me of prom night night- like at first it didn't fit right, but I just kept trying at it, and then it was done and I was like, "Oh that's it?" I found myself staring at this new acquisition for a time (Also not unlike prom night.) before deciding if I was ever going to like it, I would need to see how it stacked up in my head. Thus I drafted a list of pro's and con's which I will share with you now.
- The water cup holders are secured. This is pretty cool if you have ever sent a jar, cup, or lid full of paint water across your painting area. It should be noted that I had to go to the grocery store to get plastic cups that fit in the roughly 2 1/2" diameter holes, as my usual jars were too big. So were our drinking glasses. I dunno, maybe they just have smaller jars in England?
- Brush holders. Pretty cool, not a deal-sealer or anything. My brushes were fine being stored on their sides in the swank wooden box I got with the Master's Set. Aesthetically I am into it though. My brushes stand at attention, eager to be deployed for use.
- The things required to paint a miniature can be be well contained within the station. On events where I need to clear my stuff off the table, I can pick up the whole thing (By the bottom, using the "handles" would be a nightmare.) and move it some where else. While it can be relocated, the station should not be construed as portable, but we will get to that in a second.
- My wife described it as "handy" and "cute". While I am not fully fluent in girl, I think these things are complimentary. Complimentary means she is happy with it, or at least doesn't hate it, which happens rarely when it comes to miniature related accouterments. Chock one up for marital bliss.
- My favorite Pro is paint at eye level. It is nice to look up for the paints instead of having to look down. The shelf is at a good height for being able to read labels as well as see the tops of the paint bottles.
- The first, and biggest Con is the price tag. I have no doubt that someone with a modicum of carpentry skills could make something far more functional, sturdy, and cooler looking for less than forty dollars. I do not possess said skills, so I had to take it without lube.
- Despite its looks, I would not call this portable. It is extremely fragile. I would never think that I could just throw this in my back seat and expect it to be intact when I arrived where I was going. If you used wood glue on the various pieces it would prevent it from falling apart, but the larger surface areas are still so fragile that I could see an army carrying case falling on this and snapping it in half.
- As stated above, you may have to go on a quest to find water containers that fit into the allotted circles, I did, but my glass ware could be anomalous.
- Forty effin' dollars!
So all said and done, we ended up with 5 Pro's to 4 Con's (The price tag counts for two!). The Pro's have won the day, and I am happy with my new purchase. Again, if you or someone you know, could make something like this for less, do it. I didn't have that luxury, or of I did I was unaware, so I do not feel jaded. Chock this up to another GW product that, if you are in the know is silly, but to the layman it is "awesome"! In this instance I am glad to be the layman.
Initiate assimilation process completion...
Thanks for reading,