Tabletop Gaming Bunker Vallejo/Reaper Acrylic Paint Shelf

TTGB Acrylic Vallejo/Reaper Paint Shelf

Anyone involved in this hobby more than casually will accumulate a collection of paints that presents storage and organizational challenges. Having all your paint pots or dropper bottles loose on your desktop both consumes valuable work space and makes it a pain to find the particular paint you need at any given moment. I’ve seen (and used) a variety of products and methods for dealing with this, but I think Tabletop Gaming Bunker’s Vallejo/Reaper acrylic paint shelf is one of the better solutions I’ve come across.

The shelf, priced at US$95 plus shipping, is an 18″ x 18″ x 2″ box with a closed back and interior racks (14 total) spaced 1-1/16″ apart. The construction is all clear 1/8″ plastic, and the glue bonds holding the shelf together all feel pretty sturdy. The back has cutouts for a pair of mounting screws, so the shelf can be secured to, or hung from, a wall.

The 1-1/16″ spacing of the internal racks allows them to accommodate 1/2 ounce dropper bottles, such as are used by Reaper for their Master Series paints, or by Vallejo for all of their model paint lines, with very little wasted vertical space. The result? Each of the fifteen “rows” delineated by the interior racks can hold 18 bottles of paint, for a total capacity of 270 bottles within a very modest desktop footprint.

My only criticisms of the shelf are related to the angle at which it holds dropper bottles.  The internal racks are square to the back of the shelf; shelved bottles rest on their sides, perfectly horizontal. This maximizes capacity (and, undoubtedly, simplifies manufacture), but presents a couple of issues:

  1. Retention. There is nothing keeping bottles in the shelf except friction and inertia. Any good bump or jolt thus has the potential to trigger a small avalanche of paint bottles spilling out of the shelf, even if the shelf itself is secured to a vertical surface.
  2. Visibility. The only portion of a shelved dropper bottle that are visible are its shoulders and its cap; the rest of its body, including its label, are hidden from view. This makes it harder to identify paints by eye (especially differentiating between similar shades of the same color) when pulling a bottle off the shelf.

It would be a nice improvement to the shelf if the internal racks had a gentle upward angle; perhaps around 30° from horizontal. Some adjustments would need to be made to the construction to keep the same capacity, but having the racks slightly canted would help address both the retention and visibility issues.

These are quibbles, though. The real bottom line is this: the TTGB shelf costs about 50% more than one Paintier 120 carousel, but can hold more than twice as many bottles of paint – all within much smaller desktop footprint, with vastly more solid construction. If a substantial portion of your paint collection inhabits 1/2 ounce dropper bottles, this is very much the way to go.

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  1. This is pretty cool. I agree about your thoughts of having the shelves slightly angled. If I pick one up I’ll probably mount the whole unit at a slight angle.

    As for the visibility, when I had a set of Reaper paints (I’m modeling trains now instead of RPG minis) I simply painted the very top of the cap with the color within. It’s not perfect, since many colors are similar, but it helps.

    PS – I like your entry about switching bottles for the paints too. Actually, that’s how I found your blog, I was looking for a source for those bottles since Reaper only sells them in 3-packs. The only paint company using these bottles for railroad colors is Vallejo, and I’m using different paints. But I much prefer these bottles.

    Thanks!

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