Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hobby Tool Review: Citadel Fine Detail Cutters

Citadel Hobby Clippers
If you're a hobby addict like I am, or if you have army ADHD like I do, you tend to spend a lot of time chopping, clipping, or gnawing bits of toy soldiers off of grey plastic sprues. When I first started playing miniature games, most models came in blister packs and you needed needle-nose pliers to bend foot tabs so they would stay in slotta bases. Sure, plastic models were available but if you bought them, you probably cut them off the sprues with an X-Acto knife. About the mid-90s I picked up my first pair of Citadel clippers and they have been faithfully freeing models from their plastic prisons for many years but they have become so dull that I was no longer getting clean cuts. So, I decided to splurge and buy a new pair of Citadel Fine Detail Clippers - which retail for $33 USD.

Holly surgical chainsaw, Batman!

Do you remember that first time you held an X-Acto knife in your hands? Do you remember feeling like you could cut through a car door because this was the sharpest object you've ever held? Using these clippers reminded me of that feeling.

The first thing I clipped was a Space Marine backpack and these things sliced and diced their way through the plastic with ease. These aren't just wire snippers, these clippers are two razor-sharp X-Acto blades with a pincer grip. I could probably shave with these things, they are that sharp.

Since I was used to muscling through with my old clippers, the Citadel clippers seemed rocket powered. I chewed through a box of marines in no-time and I was able to get close to the contact point and I saved a lot of time by not having to shave off burrs with my knife. I still filed down the seams and cut points with my files, but I estimate that these "cut" my working time by at least 10 to 20-percent.

My only real complaint is that the handles are really slick and could have used some extra tooling to form a texture grip or perhaps some rubber on the handles. My first few clipper jobs were a little precarious because my hands slid up and down the handles as I tried to get the blades into position and keep my digits out of the blades path.

There is a saying that floats around Games Workshop hobby products - "They are twice as good as anyone else, but cost twice as much as they should." While this may be true, I love these clippers and I recommend them to any gamer, even with the high price tag.

Also, I had a revelation recently. Space Marine "digital weapons" aren't just electronic, they go on your fingers... your digits. Digital-digital weapons.