A comprehensive guide to figuring out what paint brush brands will help you most.
Something a lot of miniature painters have problems with is their brushes. Sometimes you may not even truly know you are having a problem as it’s hard to know how much better something else is if you have never tried it. That is what we hope to remedy here to day though. There are tons of misconceptions about what makes a paint brush good for miniature painting. So, let’s get into it!
Buying a beginner paintbrush.
So I feel like this may go without saying but, this one will be for all the new people joining the hobby and feeling a bit overwhelmed by the options.
Buying the right beginner paintbrush as a beginner is pretty essential. When I say the “right” beginner paint brush I mean a paint brush that is relatively cheap but not the cheapest thing you can find. While buying the extremely cheap paint brushes will allow you to get paint on the miniature, it will be fighting you the entire time. Now what makes the cheap brushes so bad? Well it is, like most things, what they are made with. Generally when you buy a cheaper brush they will be made out of white or gold Taklon. What is Taklon? It is basically plastic, most people refer to them as synthetics. They aren’t entirely useless brushes but they will die on you quickly and you will start having to fight the tip curving very shortly after using it.
What I would recommend would be to start with the Army Painter brushes. Some are Taklon but I personally would stay away from those, just my opinion. Starting with a few Army Painter brushes will really help you out in learning how to take care of your brushes (since you will have some worth taking care of) and also what you can expect to be able to produce without anything holding you back. Brush care is essential but we will talk about that in another post that will be readily available in our blog section of our website.
Stepping your game up.
Now that you have built some skill up and are ready to move past the simple Army Painter brushes let’s see what’s out there. There are a lot of options, and what I would generally recommend to anyone who is ready to get some serious brushes is, first just taking a little while to test a handful of different brushes and sizes. You can read one million guides on which paint brush you should pick but it won’t be until you try one that you know if it is right for you or not. What my aim is, is to give you a more informed decision on where to start your quest to find the right paint brush.
When you are ready to try new brushes you really need to ask yourself a couple of questions before you make a purchase. The first of which I would imagine would be, “What do I have the most trouble painting?”. So let’s say you are having a hard time with doing highlighting. If you are using a super tiny brush, maybe find a brush with the same diameter but a longer bristle. That way you can still fit it into all the tiny spot but maybe that extra brush length is all you needed to increase your ability to do highlights exponentially better. Let’s do one more example, let’s say you are really having a hard time finding a brush that you like doing your base coats with. You like the length of the brush but it just never holds enough paint and you are constantly going back and forth from you palette to your mini to keep the paint going. Well something like that would be easily solved, all you have to do is a get a brush with a wider diameter. The wider the diameter of the brush the more paint it will hold, and the less time you have to spend going back and forth to your palette.
Even then though, it comes at a cost. You have to make sure you aren’t going too long or too wide when you go to buy a correction brush. It is like a math equation, you really want to be methodical with how you buy brushes if you want to see the maximum improvement possible.
A more expensive but great idea.
So let’s say you have been painting for a while and you are really tired of using a bunch of random brushes that are performing just fine, instead of exceptional. Well it is widely discussed that you can get some of the best results from using a Windsor & Newton brush, more specifically from the Series 7 line-up. They are absolutely amazing brushes and are a must for any professional painter to at least try to see if they are right for them. (They most likely will be) . But with a heftier price, they are often skipped seeing as how a lot of people aren’t going to feel so good about spending $20~ for one brush. They are definitely worth it though.
Not getting intimidated.
Don’t let the size of the brush intimidate you ever. I have seen some amazing painters using equally amazing large brushes to paint miniatures and they have turned out great. You really need to try a brush before you know what purpose it could serve to you, after all the part used 90% of the time is the tip right? So you could have a one foot paintbrush, but if the tip was a perfect sharp little point, then you just got yourself a one foot detail brush lol. Just remember to never say no to using a brush just because of size. (Obviously you aren’t going to use a paint roller or large house siding paint brush, this is more relevant to paint brushes marketed towards miniature painting.)