We all are familiar with sable, goat hair, and synthetic bristles for our miniature painting brushes. But why not… wolf bristles? Chronicle Cards has a beautifully made brush set with ten brushes from size 000 to 7, with rosewood handles and responsibly sourced wolf fibre. In this review, I’ll find out if the quality and longevity are up to high-quality Kolinsky sable.
Chronicle Cards is an Australian manufacturer that aims to provide high-quality, accessible tools for players of any RPG system. They’ve got beautiful resin dice sets for Dungeons & Dragons, universal RPG card decks, and now also a range of brushes, inc. Kolinsky sable and techlon drybrushes. Their products are available directly from their website and ship internationally.
The Wolf Bristle Brushes set contains 10 brushes from size 000 to 7, each brush sized and named after well-known characters from Norse mythology. The brushes come in a black velvet bag with a silver wolf logo print, which is packaged in a cardboard tube with a wicked 16-bit design. The set also includes a code for access to the Chronicle Cards’ “Dragon’s Vault”, a hub for 3D printable miniatures, RPG content, and more.
The rosewood-toned wooden handles are rounded and thick, perfect for larger hands. The tips are rather long but razor-sharp and keep their point very well. As you can see, the larger sizes in this set are quite big, while the size 000 “Geri” is meant for super small detail work. Wolf bristles are relatively stiff with much less spring than sable, which adds to a good brush control. Note that not all brushes contain pure wolf hair – the smaller sizes contain nylon for more stability. Unfortunately we Unfortunately, this is not explicitly stated.
Chronicle Cards claim that their fibres are responsibly sourced – drawn from existing or vintage stock from everything from clothes to pelts from animals culled for environmental management. As the company is moving more formally into the US market they are working on getting certificated, but at the moment we can only trust Chronicle Cards’ marketing.
To get a better feel for these brushes, I painted this Ulthwé Autarch exclusively with Chronicle Cards’ wolf bristle brushes. Even though I have been using the same brushes for years (you can find my recommendations here) and am a real creature of habit, I was able to get used to the new brushes very quickly. I actually prefer the shortest possible bristles for more brush control, but since the Wolf Hair brushes are quite stiff and hold their tip very well, precise edge highlights were no problem after a little practice. My favourite sizes were size 1 for basecoating, size 00 for detail work, and size 000 for the sharpest highlights.
Perhaps the final grey highlights on the armour would have been a touch more precise with my Winsor & Newton Series 7 M, but overall painting with the wolf hair brushes was a very pleasant experience. I only had to get used to the thicker, and therefore somewhat heavier handles, as I have rather small hands, but it wasn’t a problem after a painting session or two.
So what about longevity? Having used the sizes 00 and 1 a bit more often, and being a bit rougher with the 00, I noticed that the tips of the brushes start to curve, which is probably due to the fact that the smaller sizes have synthetic fibres mixed in. However, I feel that they keep their tip better than many synthetic brushes I have tried. To summarise, the Wolf hair brushes are more resistant than Kolinsky sable, but can develop curved tips after a while, similar to synthetic brushes. This makes them good all-round brushes for me.
I feel that a set of 10 high-quality brushes in a beautifully made gift box for £32 / 37 € / $39 / 60 AUS$ is a steal, especially as there are quite a few big brushes with a lot of bristles in this set. You can order this set over on Chronicle Cards’ shop, shipping goes worldwide:
As a special offer, Stahly’s Patreon supporters receive a 20% discount code on all products in Chronicle Cards’ online shop. You can support us from as little as 2 €/$/£ and get access to exclusive tutorials and sneak peeks, which is already worth it when you buy a single brush set alone.
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