13 April 2013

My Weapons of Choice

Where would we all be without our favoured paint brushes. For me its a set of Pure Sable brushes, I find these to be versatile in the extreme and affordable. However I dont use just any old Sable brush as you get what you pay for and cheap brushes are not good for painting Miniatures or are they?

I must state clearly this review is not paid for or endorsed by the following company and is just my honest opinion of the tools I use for painting. Now I know my limitations and I paint to a reasonable standard that I am happy with after many years of experimentation and learning how to paint miniatures. The one thing that has always held true though is the fact that a workman is only as good as his tools, and over the 30 years of painting I have used many different types of brushes and found many of them to be wanting for one reason or another.

Three years ago I was only using Windsor and Newton series 7 brushes however we all know you need a mortgage for a set of these and replacements are difficult to track down.so I did a google search and like a fellow blogger Iain from The Blog with no name I found Rosemary and Co.

For the first order I used Series 33 pure Kolinsky sable and these were exceptional brushes, and I would have been happy to replace these regularly as the cost is reasonable. However two years ago they released the Series 98 Pure sable brushes and they had a triangular handle, which works well for me as my hands grip these brushes more comfortably due to the thicker handle, an added bonus is I can put the brush down when painting without it rolling straight onto the floor. Something that is a real bonus in my tiny allocated painting space.


Pictured above are some well used brushes from this range This particular set has been in use for almost a year now. The size 2 is due for replacement now as all the undercoating for the painting challenge finished it off. I realised after uploading this image that I missed the 10/0 out of the picture (superb for doing eyes).

All the brushes in this range hold their points excellently, they have good paint holding capacity allowing you to paint with precision. I use a wide range of sizes, not because I cant paint with larger brushes, but for me the finer points on smaller brushes enable easier access to some areas of miniatures thus avoiding excess paint on an area I don't want it to or that already has been painted.  Prices -  well with costs ranging from £2.25 for a 10/0 through to £4.95 for a size 6 you wont break the bank but will gain a good quality brush that should last for along time if looked after.

To look after my brushes I use Vallejo brush cleaner, this is alcohol based and widely available. After every session painting, the brushes I have used get dipped into this and rolled for a minute in the solution. It removes all traces of paint residue still trapped in the hairs even after washing in water. Now bearing in mind I have used the same brushes for almost a year and I have produced a large amount of figures in that time it must work, the amount of residue sitting in the bottom of the pot is testament to this fact.
I would recommend this in addition to a good bar of brush soap to extend any paint brushes life. Dont just take my word for it though go and buy some of these brushes and see the quality for yourselves.

20 comments:

  1. I must admit I prefer the triangular handle on a paint brush, I've never used the brush cleaner or soap, I might pick some up at Salute!

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    1. The brush cleaner is amazing I am always surprised by how much pigment remains in the brush even after a wash!!

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  2. Sound advice, I'm buying some at Salute like the monkey above!

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  3. Excellent post, I'm going to give this series a try. I do have one workhorse, a Rafael 8404 Kolinsky Sable. They're so expensive that I only have it in one size. I'd like to have a range of quality brushes. Can I ask, what sizes do you use in this line?

    And I don't have a brush cleaner. I'll grab that as well.

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    1. I use size 2 through to a 10/0 however the majority is done with the 0 and 4/0 brushes

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    2. Interesting. I appreciate you sharing. I definitely need to expand my collection.

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  4. Good post indeed, I may try the this series for my next order

    Cheers
    ian

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  5. Interesting - is there any other difference in quality between the 33 and 98 series?

    I'm using a series 33 on Ian's recommendation at the moment - good price and far better than hobby brushes.

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    1. There is very little quality difference, the pure sable brushes are only one grade below Kolinsky and IMHO the difference is not noticeable enough .

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  6. After reading about these here and on Ian's blog I'll probably be ordering some when my current brushes give up the ghost. I just need to paint more to wear them out faster. ;)

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  7. I am on-again/off-again on using brush cleaner. Maybe I need to go back on it. My brushes don't tend to last as long as yours have been.

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  8. They do seem excellent value, and i have only heard good things about them (the company as well as the brushes)

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  9. Thanks for the tip on both brushes and cleaner.
    Pat.

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  10. I'm big fan of Rosemary & Co and use the same range, just unbeatable value for money and great service. Most think about some brush cleaner though!

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  11. I've learned that brush quality is a real plus for painting and prefer Windsor Newtons. I also now clean with pink soap after every session.

    Miles

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  12. Great post Andrew! I need some new brushes too.

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  13. given how difficult it can be to get hold of W&N Series 7s, I might give these guys a go when I next need to order some more.

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  14. Thanks for the tip, I had never heard of them before.

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  15. Have to admit i treat my brushes poorly they get water and tissue not much else!

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  16. Very interesting post Andrew !

    Thank you very much !

    best regards Michael

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