Citadel Drop Bottle

Transfer Citadel Colors into Drop Bottles.

creator: x14km2d | build: 2021-11-29 | update: 2021-12-29


Before I bought the new Vallejo airbrush colors, I already had some Citadel colors. Since I want here that this is not all misunderstood. Yes, the Warhammer company policy is not so good and also the cooperation with the fan base could be expanded. The products seemed a bit too expensive. There are many points to argue about. Also, why Citadel still does not sell drop bottles. What I would like to praise here, however, is that the quality of the colors is really very good and especially for Minis there are really many beautiful colors with which I work on my projects. If you want to paint exactly as in the Citadel tutorials video, you should definitely continue to use the small color pots. However, since I have realized the incredible benefits of the wet palette, the paint pots are no longer practical enough for me. So it’s time to repackage the Citadel paints into their own little drop bottles so I can sort them into my drop bottle stand.


In the photo you can see most of the materials that you should definitely order if you want to do this project. Vallejo airbrush thinner and Citadel colors that you want to decant. Then dollar store brushes that you use to clean up. Please don’t use expensive brushes because it’s not worth it at all and would just be a waste of money. Then the drop bottles with 15ml capacity that I ordered in Asia. The Citadel colors have 12ml capacity and with the few ml of thinner you get about 14ml of color, which you decant. Then you need baking paper1 if you want to keep your table clean. Then you need tissues and the material for a d.i.y funnel2.


At this point you can decide how you want to proceed. If you don’t know your colors well enough, I would leave the labels on the Citadel paint pots until you have decanted the paint. But since I know my colors well and I also only decant three colors, I took the labels off first so they wouldn’t get smeared with paint later. You can easily nibble off the labels with your fingernail and stick them on the drop bottles. It’s super easy and you shouldn’t have any problems. The labels then also stick well to the drop bottles.

If they do not stick so well, you can use two little tricks. Sometimes it can happen that the surface of the drop bottle is smeared with grease. with a cheap production this can sometimes happen. then you simply take a not too strong cleaning agent, e.g. window cleaner and wipe the drop bottles. You can do this, for example, if you want to prime minis. Or you take transparent tape and stick it with the label on the drop bottle. The tape then holds the label in place.


In the next step, we sort and arrange all the materials, how we can best work with them. Each person has his preferences, how the person wants to do it best. You can see my arrangement in the photo. There are three components per drop bottle. What you can’t see on the photo is that I have spare parts (I ordered 50 drop bottles) at the end of my work table. Why? I have a rough motor and things fall out of my hand when I’m working. This is the case with Aspis. I don’t know why and I don’t care. So that I don’t have to crawl under my table to find the component, I just take a new one from the reserve. You should remember this for your projects anyway. If you need five parts, buy ten. There’s nothing worse than losing a part in the workshop and then not being able to continue working because you didn’t order any spare parts beforehand. This is also the reason why I buy everything in bulk.

Here is my homemade funnel. I have taken old foil from a candy wrapper and cut with scissors into a square. I have then rolled up, so that one side is a little narrower. So that everything remains stable I used black tape. This is not really stable and if you want to decant more than three bottles, you should then rather buy a funnel or print with your 3D printer.

Now we can finally pour the airbrush thinner into the paint. This works quite simply. I can’t give you an exact amount in ml. I estimated it roughly. To be exact, I poured as much airbrush thinner into the paint until the small Citadel paint pot was full. Then I closed the lid again and shook the paint vigorously for a few seconds. I did this for all colors, so that I do not get confused later.

We put the funnel into the drop bottle and then pour the paint into it. For this you need both hands. Sometimes the paint may clog the funnel entrance and not flow further. If this happens, take your brush and slowly push the paint through the funnel. It also means that you have not mixed enough thinner into the paint and should add a little more thinner. But you will learn this over time and get a good feel for how much paint and thinner you need to mix.

What I did not know before is that with me (with your drop bottles this does not have to be) the components for pressing out the paint were closed. This I had to then pierce again extra with a compass. You can also use a needle or nail in the appropriate size. This is sometimes also available with superglue or Silicone cartridges. Maybe it’s better to do that before you pour the paint around, so you don’t have to work with too many tools at once.

At the end we put on the cap and turn the lid. Finished is our citadel drop bottle and should not have been so difficult. I always test last once again whether really color comes out of the drop bottle. Now we do this only for the remaining colors. But please make sure to clean the brush and the funnel between the individual colors again and again with water, so you don’t mess up your colors. When you are done you can wash out the Citadel paint pots and keep them. I throw these away because the product design gives me incredibly negative vibes. The drop bottles look much nicer and more aesthetically pleasing.


A small project that can be implemented quickly. What you quickly forget is that this project belongs to the hundreds of small tasks that arise in a workshop. I had this task for weeks on my to do list and am glad that I can finally check off the topic. I also think it’s a shame that Citadel isn’t adapting their products and absolutely sticking to the impractical and ugly product design of the little pots. Beginners may not care, but for me as an old modeling person, it bothers me a lot. I just can’t find a point that speaks for the paint pots and I hope that Citadel will change its product range at this point, because otherwise they will inevitably be thwarted by other suppliers. Just like with computer games, sometimes it’s not a bad to take good ideas from the community and incorporate them into your own product line3.


  1. But it doesn’t have to be expensive backpaper. Cardboard or normal paper is perfectly adequate. You can even use old newspaper, which is the cheapest. I personally prefer to work with baking paper because the blanks lie well on the table and the paint adheres less to the base. You do not have to use exactly the material I mention here in the article.↩︎

  2. As we will see in a moment, I built myself a crude funnel. I could have also printed one out with my 3D printer. Online you can certainly order them. But I had now waited so long for the drop bottles that I wanted to finally implement the project. Sometimes it’s just not worth it to wait longer, because then the project will never be finished. The self-made funnel has worked super well.↩︎

  3. But I have also noticed in my life that large corporations have incredible problems changing. So I only mention this once and then the topic is done for me. I’m not a Citadel manager and I don’t get paid for it. So I prefer to invest time in my own change, because in 2021 I have so many possibilities to implement my own ideas. If I don’t like something in a computer game, I simply install a mod and fix the problem. I don’t wait until a company makes the effort to change its production processes. This also applies to digital models of minis. I don’t wait until something happens, but buy from the supplier who supplies me first or I invent a solution myself. The market takes care of that on its own. And if Citadel doesn’t get off the ground, that’s primarily their problem, not mine.↩︎

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