Hey guys, today I thought I’d write a quick post about brushes. Yes those things that we all use in the hobby of painting miniatures. I often get asked what brushes I use, so after the jump I will show you.
The main brush that I use for the majority of my painting are the Windsor and Newton brand series 7 brushes. These brushes have Kolinsky bristles, which accordingly come from Siberian weasels tails. The brushes themselves are really good quality, even though they are a little expensive. But I think the price is justified on how long they last if you look after them well. If you are used to using a GW brush and you get a chance to use one of these you will really notice the difference. They are really that good and I highly recommend them.
The next set of brushes that I like are by a company called Brokentoad. The brushes are also Kolinsky and I would say they are very similar in quality to the Windsor and Newton series 7 ones. But the main difference I have noticed is that the nibs on these are longer which is good for different things such as lining and detail. The Brokentoad brushes are also cheaper than the Series 7 ones which is always a bonus. If I had to choose between the Series 7 brushes and Brokentoad I would probably go with Series 7 as I find them more comfortable to work with.
The final set of brushes that I use are Royal Sofgrips from a company called Royal and Langnickel. These are really cheap to pick up on Ebay and are fantastic as drybrushing brushes. You get five different sized brushes in a pack. The largest brush is great for drybrushing large vehicles and monsters, whereas the smaller sizes are fantastic for troop sized figures. The brushes are also fairly durable. I really recommend them.
Before I end this post, I thought I show what I use to clean my brushes. I use a product called The Masters Brush Cleaner and Presever. You can easily find this in most art stores. I think a cleaner like this is worth having if you are going to be using some of those more expensive brushes as it will keep them in good shape.
What brushes do you guys use?
Love my series 7 but I would say that some of the new GW brushes are actually worth checking out now as general work horses, particularly the chisel shaped ones.
I agree they weren't up to much before though.
I completely agree, the new GW brushes are good and worth checking out as general work horses.
I used to swear on W&N Series 7 brushes, but I couldn't get used to the latest ones I bought. They seem to have become larger or thicker over the years, because my 000 is larger than my very old 00. I recently tried the Maestro Series 10 from da Vinci and I'm quite happy with them. They are slightly cheaper than W&N, though the hair isn't quite as good as well. But I really like the shape of their bristles, almost no belly, which oddly suits my style better.
I can also recommend the 1526Y series from da Vinci, these are my work horse brushes for washing and basecoating, also slightly cheaper than GW brushes while having superior bristle quality. Da Vinci might be hard to obtain outside Germany though.
I have heard great things about the Da Vinci brushes and have always wanted to try them. Quite tough to find though in the UK. It seems like it's mainly a US market whenever I look online.
This may be really patronising but it was something I didn't realise until I picked up my second round of W&N brushes; my second lot were from the "miniature" range whereas my first lot weren't. No better or worse, just that the sizes aren't comparable.
I expect you were well aware of that, though…
Hey Luke,I wasn't aware. Will have to give it a look.
I came across this as well. Brushes from 'miniature range' were much better as they had a tip. The others I initially got had no tip, were thicker and seemed to discolour only after short use. The new brushes I bought actually say 'miniature range' on the handle whereas the others did not. But saying that, I got a size 1 with a perfect tip compared to the other size 1 I bought which had no tip (as a mail order so could not check before) but neither said miniature range on handle. A bit confusing. Anyway, something to keep in mind for those wanting to purchase some. But I am a fan of them though.
(The best thing for me of late is use of a wet palette made of baking paper and paper towel. A dab of paint stays moist for about 24hrs. It has saved me a lot time as well as paint given it does not dry out five seconds after putting it on a usual palette. Easy guide on this over through a quick Google search).
Need to give them a look. The wet palette thing is something I have never done but have always wanted to. I really should look it up some day and give it a go as I'm always on mixes diluting everytime I take a break hoping nothing dries before I come back. Good for reminding me.
I also am a winsor and newton fan! but recently i bought some pretty darn cheap brush set from My artscape on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010QLOJ3G?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01) and for the price they are pretty darn good beginner brushes and if you are more advanced they are okay since we know how to take care of them better to help them last longer but they hold paint well and the tip is okay for detail work. For the price I am not upset heh.
The Raphael 8404 range is also a great choice.
As is the 8408 range, i like the longer bristles in it, make edge highlights so much easier than messing about with a "fine detail" brush
Where's a great place to pick them up in the UK? I was considering a 0,1,2 as a starter test.
The Windsor and Newton series 7 brushes are pretty easy to find in art stores. You may have to ask as they hide them behind the counter in my local stores. Also online line they are easy to find.
greatart.co.uk have a pretty decent price and broad selection of brands, personally i prefer the raphael 8404 and 8408 series brushes especially the 8408's as they have longer bristles/nib (sounds like the brokentoad brushes, but i havn't tried them)
What are the best sizes of W&N brushes for standard sized models?
1 and 0 in my opinion, the point is so fine on a 0 that the closest thing to compare it to is a artificer.
To save reiterating why you probably don't need smaller, have a look at this article by the insanely talented meg maples: http://arcanepaintworks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/all-about-brushes.html
- Happy Valley
I paint mostly 15mmm and 28mm historicals and I tend to use fairly thin acrylics. My brushes are generally either W&N series 7 and Rosemary's Series 33. It's difficult to get decent brushes locally, so mail order is a God send. That being the case, I can get the W&N at lower than list price.
I've got some of that brush cleaner, but I have to confess that I'm just too lazy to use it often :O/
Warcolours have recently made really nice kolinsky brushes that are worth checking out. Impressive quality (comparable to W&N 7s) at an unbeatable price:
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Cheers. I have just ordered the royal brushes. Look good.