Monday, 16 November 2015

A Galaxy In Flames Review and Video: Back2Base-iX Modular Paint Racks

Hello, Macca here and today I have a product review and YouTube video for those interested. I am looking at the Back2Base-iX Modular Paint Racks that I completed last week, and I want to take the chance to talk about the pros and cons.

This is the hobby area which I set up, and needless to say I have a raging hobby-throbby using this setup. The fact that I can finally store the majority of my paints in one spot without being spread across my desk is great, and the ability to keep files and brushes with my paints without a separate storage unit is lovely.

These modular racks are fantastic. I highly enjoyed assembling them, the fact that they are 3mm laser cut acrylic took me back to my apprentice days, when I worked in industrial laser cutting. Boy, do you not forget what acrylic smells like when it's laser cut. (Just FYI, laser-cut acetyl is the smell of death.)


-Acrylic construction, will not sag over time, nor will fluids break down the material over time like what happens with old MDF.
-clear acrylic allows good visibility of the paints, you don't have to pull each paint out and individually inspect it.
-varied designs. These racks support pretty much all main paint brands, including Tamiya, Citadel, Micro Art Studio, Minitaire, Vallejo, AK Interactive etc.
-varied shapes and layouts. The system has internal, external and 45 degree corners, allowing you to snake your paint rack around your paint zone. It also has short and long straight sections both with and without drawers, as well as hobby organisers and such.
-storage is included for files, brushes and other tools. I personally have 10 files on the top racks and two dozen brushes with room still to spare!

-the racks are held together with stainless steel screws and nuts, meaning that no glues or other adhesives are required to assemble the racks.
-customisability, you can can pick and choose not only your rack options, but that you can also pick what acrylic is used, such as fluro orange or green (if you're that way inclined)
-magnets are also included, they sit down low and centre and only really serve to aid alignment of the individual racks.


-The MDF system could be prone to water damage over time, leading to de-lamination, sagging or collapse.
-the drawers are frustrating to put out sometimes at desk height, as they need a clear running path. My solution was to grab my jigsaw and cut a piece of 12mm MDF into a shelf of the same shape, and raised the entire modular system up, freeing up the space underneath as more storage room.
-cost. I had to mention it, the system does cost a fair chunk if you buy it up to the size I have. That said, when you look at what someone like Games Workshop charges for their paint stations, this becomes a bargain (in the video I actually put the two side by side)
-long assembly time. Peeling the protective coating off acrylic takes FOREVER. The paper-style coating is far more frustrating than the plastic version, and wherever they laser etched the acrylic, the protective coating is particularly frustrating to remove. It took several hours for me to build the unit, once you take into note that you have 14 screws holding each piece together, as well as the 4 magnets. (note on that, put the magnets on first, before attaching the sides to the base.

Overall Rating:

After using the system for four full days, I have to rate this modular system as a 9 out of 10, the down sides are relatively minor, and they cannot offset the sheer practicality and versatility of the unit. Although the MDF range looks really nice, my sheer distrust of MDF means that I'll be avoiding it (MDF is also not see-through, making it less practical to someone who paints as much as I do). Do remember, that individual shelves, such as the 13.5" straight shelf without drawers costs ~$45 Aus, and can hold 43 Citadel paint pots, as well as 16 brushes. That's a lot of bang for your buck.

If you are interested in viewing their range, click this link here. I do believe the website has maintenance on at the moment, but you can still view products on their eBay store page. Even if you're just curious, I suggest you take a look.

I'd also love to purchase the standing wall racks next and test them out, so keep an eye out for that. Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time,


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