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Brushes

Hi all.
What brushes does everybody use for painting their soldiers? What manufacturers, types and sizes do you think work best?

I ask as ive been using Javis brushes for a while but find the tips keep going over etc. Ive tried both hair and synthetic. I look after the brushes too, they get properly washed out. I wouldnt say im heavy handed when applying pressure with the brushes either.I use Vallejo acrylics as paint.

I live in the UK so if any suggestions could take into account availability here.

Re: Brushes

I used to worry about what brushes to use, but have now settled on a 'brush strategy' that works for me.

All good art books, as well as miniature painting guides, will tell you to 'buy the best brushes you can afford', and there is quite a lot of truth in this. However, it is possible to spend an absolute fortune on brushes, made by renowned and famous art-materials brands eg: https://www.artsupplies.co.uk/brushes-series-7-kolinsky-watercolour-brush.htm. These are undoubtedly of a very high quality.

However, I discovered a cheaper compromise a while ago, which suits my needs well. In the UK, a discount bookshop/crafts retailer called 'The Works' sells nylon brushes under a brand name 'Boldemere' amongst its range of budget art materials. These include round and detail brush packs, and they come at around £2 for three or four brushes. I find that they keep their point reasonably well, although clearly at this price they will not last in the way that a high quality brush will. However, this does not really matter as at such a low price they are disposable, and once they start to cause problems they are binned and replaced by a new brush; but they do last surprisingly well, and are good for acrylics. And because they are so cheap I usually have a reserve of 6 - 8 brush packs (20+ brushes) at any one time. On average I'd say that a single brush remains good enough to 'do its bit' in painting 50-60 figures before it is disposed of.

I do supplement these cheap brushes with higher quality, more expensive brushes for fine work, and I always have a couple of 'riggers' for lining etc; usually Daler Rowney or similar. I sometimes very carefully chisel cut the tip of a rigger which makes it suitable for very fine lines.

I also have a supply of larger brushes for washes, base colours, priming etc.

Re: Brushes

After years of painting with 6inch wide house painting brushes (no, just kidding), I started buying quality sable brushes. To each, his own & I would not challenge the esteemed Minuteman's recommendations. You need to see what works for you.

I do spend a fair amount on quality brushes. Winsor & Newton brushes (my favourites) are not cheap. But they have, & keep, a point. You can't paint 1/72 figures unless you have brushes with points. If you also buy a good brush cleaner, they'll last 6-12 months. Do NOT get paint into the ferrule as this will kill them dead. A clean water container & paper towels to dry them (don't use cloth) are part of brush care.

I have cheap brushes for undercoating (I don't like spraying), dry brushing, terrain etc.
They seem to last forever.

donald

Re: Brushes

Da Vinci "maestro" marta Tobolsky
I cann't paint with anything else

Re: Brushes

Minuteman
I used to worry about what brushes to use, but have now settled on a \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'brush strategy\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' that works for me.

All good art books, as well as miniature painting guides, will tell you to \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'buy the best brushes you can afford\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\', and there is quite a lot of truth in this. However, it is possible to spend an absolute fortune on brushes, made by renowned and famous art-materials brands eg: https://www.artsupplies.co.uk/brushes-series-7-kolinsky-watercolour-brush.htm. These are undoubtedly of a very high quality.

However, I discovered a cheaper compromise a while ago, which suits my needs well. In the UK, a discount bookshop/crafts retailer called \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'The Works\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' sells nylon brushes under a brand name \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'Boldemere\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' amongst its range of budget art materials. These include round and detail brush packs, and they come at around £2 for three or four brushes. I find that they keep their point reasonably well, although clearly at this price they will not last in the way that a high quality brush will. However, this does not really matter as at such a low price they are disposable, and once they start to cause problems they are binned and replaced by a new brush; but they do last surprisingly well, and are good for acrylics. And because they are so cheap I usually have a reserve of 6 - 8 brush packs (20+ brushes) at any one time. On average I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d say that a single brush remains good enough to \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'do its bit\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' in painting 50-60 figures before it is disposed of.

I do supplement these cheap brushes with higher quality, more expensive brushes for fine work, and I always have a couple of \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'riggers\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' for lining etc; usually Daler Rowney or similar. I sometimes very carefully chisel cut the tip of a rigger which makes it suitable for very fine lines.

I also have a supply of larger brushes for washes, base colours, priming etc.
I back what Minuteman has said, at a couple quid a throw you can work these brushes into the ground and then replace them.

I would also recommend www.abcbrushes.com - good range of brush sizes at reasonable prices. I usually see them at model shows (well, we all know how that's worked out this year) where I buy one of their bundle offers.

The Range is another good source in the UK.

Re: Brushes

Seeing as how we are talking about painting and useful products, may I also mention the humble Pringles tube top?

The plastic ones, the seal ones not the foil tops you rip off.

For many years I have used the plastic tops as mixing palettes, the lip means the paint stays on your palette. Plus when it is covered with paint, if you flex the palette and make the dried paint crack, you can peel it off and the palette is clean again. Simples!

Re: Brushes

Steve Pickstock
Seeing as how we are talking about painting and useful products, may I also mention the humble Pringles tube top?

The plastic ones, the seal ones not the foil tops you rip off.

For many years I have used the plastic tops as mixing palettes, the lip means the paint stays on your palette. Plus when it is covered with paint, if you flex the palette and make the dried paint crack, you can peel it off and the palette is clean again. Simples!
Thats a good idea about the pringles lids. Ive been doing something similar with the lids off plastic takeaway tubs, once the lids are all washed off & degreased.

Ive just looked at ABC brushes and theres a good selection. Also interested to read that they believe that most 5/0 & 10/0 brushes out on sale are not too disimilar from 4/0 amd 3/0 sizes.
To quote: "Many suppliers have 10/0 and 5/0 brushes but these are usually exactly the same as 4/0 and 3/0 which are on offer here".

What sizes do most people use? One size for tunic/trousers & something smaller for belts and facings for example?

pointless

Roger W
[

What sizes do most people use? One size for tunic/trousers & something smaller for belts and facings for example?
Roger, it comes down to the point on the brush & you can use quite large ones as long as they have a point. So don't mash the brush onto the bottom of your water jar & don't let paint get into the ferrule (ie, only have paint on the tip of your brush) or you'll lose the point.

That said, I mostly use '0's & '1's for most things other than priming & varnishing.

donald

Re: pointless

I assume the "pointless" title of the post is more what you think of brush sizes, rather than the state of the brushes!!!!

Thanks for the advice. Thats right about not mashing the brush tip, something I try not to do.
What I didnt realise was the paint getting in the ferrule can affect the points. So thats something learned, thanks for that tip.

Re: pointless

Two other tips - one I do follow and one I should but don't.

Once the brush has been cleaned I take the tip of the brush between my lips, and just dampen it before drawing it through. Not soaking wet, just dampen the tip, draw it out and it helps the brush keep its shape.

The other one I have heard is to draw the brush tip across some wet soap, I have even heard of cleaning it with a drop of shampoo, all to preserve the life of the brush. Haven't done this one, so I can't comment on how effective it is or not.

Re: pointless

Roger W
I assume the "pointless" title of the post is more what you think of brush sizes, rather than the state of the brushes!!!!

Thanks for the advice. Thats right about not mashing the brush tip, something I try not to do.
What I didnt realise was the paint getting in the ferrule can affect the points. So thats something learned, thanks for that tip.
Roger, sometimes it's hard to know what is common knowledge & what is a useful tip.

I hope I don't come across as some sort of know-it-all. I pick up more tips & useful information than I give here.

donald

Re: pointless

No Donald you dont come across as a know it all, dont worry. If you have experience and knowledge to share, dont worry what some individuals might think. Many will be glad of the advice.

You have provided a lot of helpful advice. Just because I already knew about not "mashing the brush", this doesnt mean someone else who may read this thread does. So all the tips given are of good use 😊👍.

There are some who visit the site but dont actually post, so they might of been helped too.

You've all been very helpful, and even though I have been painting figures for couple years now, i have learned new tips from this thread. So a big thank you to you all.

Re: Brushes

Steve Pickstock
Seeing as how we are talking about painting and useful products, may I also mention the humble Pringles tube top?

The plastic ones, the seal ones not the foil tops you rip off.

For many years I have used the plastic tops as mixing palettes, the lip means the paint stays on your palette. Plus when it is covered with paint, if you flex the palette and make the dried paint crack, you can peel it off and the palette is clean again. Simples!
Yes, great idea Mr P. I use small clear plastic snack sample trays which my wife used to get in the post every month on a 'try this sample of nuts, seeds, super-spicey rice crackers etc etc'; she ate the snacks, I then got the trays! I've got a stack of them now, as they fit neatly together. But Pringles are tastier and the plastic tops are just right as small palettes. I'll buy some Pringles next time I'm out and about.:grinning:

And now The Works have re-opened, I'll go and stock up on brushes too....

Re: Brushes

Cannot argue with any of the above , probably twenty brands of brush on my table, used everything over the years, and they all have a shorter life than they would have had ,if only I had taken as much care cleaning them as using them.

Re: Brushes

"...and they all have a shorter life than they would have had ,if only I had taken as much care cleaning them as using them."

Thats it, Alan...
Never let the color dry on the brush and clean them often during painting...and your brushes will be your comrades for many years...:laughing:

Re: Brushes

I used to buy my brushes from the works but the smaller sizes didn't seem to last very long..
I now buy from a seller on ebay you can buy either a mixed set or a set that has all ooooo size brushes which I buy.
The brushes are made of wolfs hair and seem to last longer than the works brushes & are easy to clean
You get 10 brushes for £5 the seller is of course is in china and trades under the name tgg 591 if you want to try them out.:wink:

Re: Brushes

Mr Steve Pickstock!
Amazing affair the Pringles plastic top!
Great idea that I'll follow for sure
Thank you very much indeed

Re: Brushes

I started using an AK 00 paintbrush recently and I'm really satisfied with it.

Re: Brushes

zirrian
I started using an AK 00 paintbrush recently and I'm really satisfied with it.
They do look good dont they? Might get a set of ABC brushes and 1 or 2 of these in 000 size and see which i prefer. May be little difference, but i need stock up on brushes anyway.
During all this lockdown business ive done fair bit painting and some my brushes are looking very tired!!! Need stock up on paint too!!

Problem is, it still doesnt look like ive made much of a dent in my boxes of soldiers!!!

Thanks for the suggestions 😊

Re: Brushes

Speaking of clearing down the 'stash'...
I'm currently cleaning up my attic, and keep finding boxes of figures, sprues or just individual figures. So far I am up to over 200 litres of figures, in terms of large plastic boxes.
And that is not even counting the scenery, 28mm stuff, 1/16th scale tanks, books, materials, model boats, steam punk gear, reenacting equipment, CDs etc that are up there as well.
I can only do so much at a time because of back problems, but I think this lock down will need to end in 2024 before I get the place cleared and then I can start getting some of it finished.

Re: Brushes

If people keep throwing wild partys, gatherings and invading beaches like its D-Day, a longer lockdown might very well happen!!!

Re: Brushes

zirrian
I started using an AK 00 paintbrush recently and I'm really satisfied with it.
OK,

but sometimes it is better to use an AK 47...:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Re: Brushes

😂😂

Re: Brushes

i'm another person using firstly the Boldmere (The Works) brushes for detailed work while they are OK then general painting. But for fine detail I have the ABC brushes. For a painting palette I use left over lids from test paint pots in the same way that Steve Pickstock uses Pringle tube tops