Saturday, May 18, 2013

I Need Miniature Paint Brush Recommendations

I've been painting miniatures for a long time, but never paid much heed to the brushes I used. Paint, figures, even basing material and terrain all received my careful attention, but I became accustomed to picking up some cheap brushes from the local arts & craft store and replacing them once they lost their tip (typically within a month or two).

Last year I picked up an Army Painter Brush Set and was surprised at what a difference using a dedicated set of miniature painting brushes made.  The Army Painter set included a "Standard Hobby Brush" which I assume is size 1, and a smaller "Hobby Detail Brush" (size 0?) and a flat tipped "Drybrush" brush. The Standard Hobby Brush became my work horse, with the Detail Brush helping out with facial highlights, edge highlights, piping and shield patterns. After a year of use (far better than my usual cheapy brushes) the Army Painter "Standard Brush" is kaput, its tip frayed and splayed. It's time for a replacement.

Coincidentally, Monty at Twin Cities Gamer happened to mention how happy he was with his brushes. I was all set to pick up his favorites, a Raphael Kolinsky Sable size 0 and Raphael Kolinsky Sable size 1 when I read a comment to his post suggesting a Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable size 0 and Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable size 1. I'd heard of Winsor & Newton from miniature painters before, but really hadn't put much thought or research into them.

So fellow painters, what do you recommend?

10 comments:

  1. I've been using W&N series 7 brushes (2, 1 and 0 are my workhorses; the 1 being the most heavily used) for the last 18 months or so, but that is mainly because I can easily pick them up from an art shop near work.

    I've heard a lot of good things about other ranges such as those from Rosemary & Co.

    The main thing is to maintain them properly by cleaning them at the end of each session. I use Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver but other people use the pink brush soap.

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  2. I use a W&N 1 for most stuff down to 6mm. If you keep it clean, it'll keep its point for a long time. I use a 0 for really fiddly work, but the 1 is my workhorse.

    FMB

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  3. Pro Arte Renaissance are my standard brushes with 2,1, 0 and 00 being the most commonly used. I tend to use cheaper acrylic brushes for dry brushing etc and will basically buy what I get in that market.

    Cheers,
    Ross

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  4. Should have also said I clean the brushes regularly too. Standard brush soap being my preferred option here.

    Cheers,
    Ross

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  5. The Raphael 8404 and Winsor & Newton Series 7 are both excellent brushes. I use both but I give a slight edge to WN7.

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  6. I'll echo the others - I use a Windsor and Netwon Series 7, size 0. Skip the "Miniature" line and just get a normal one.

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  7. A Windsor and Newton series7 is an excellent brush, but expensive. IMHO Rosmary & Company offer the best brushes for your money and many would argue(me included) they are just as good as the series 7 if not better and much cheaper.

    I prefer the pure Kolinsky sable series 33 located in the oils.

    http://www.rosemaryandco.com/

    However, you are spoiled for choice as they offer a huge selection to choose from.

    A interesting discussion was had over the Rosmary brushes on the LAF forum here:
    http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=16034.0

    Cheers
    Christopher





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  8. I use the Raphael series 8404 brushes and I couldn't be happier with them. Absolutely brilliant.

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  9. Thanks all! Just ordered a pair of Raphael Kolinskys. Looks like the next painting technique I need to research is proper brush care. I thought a quick swirl in some fresh water was enough to clean my brushes.

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    Replies
    1. I use The Masters brush cleaner and preserver.
      http://inevitablespark.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-masters-brush-cleaner.html

      Highly recommended and easy to get at your local art supply store

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