Thursday 25 November 2010

Musings on paintbrushes...

A few days ago, I decided to have a bit of a sort out. My paintbrushes were scattered between at least 5 different boxes, so I thought that I should try and rationalise them. I came up with these candidates for disposal...

I haven't a clue what happened to the bristly end of the middle brush! Why on earth did I even keep this bit? The ferrule on the bottom one snapped during cleaning, so it ended up being used to stir paint. The second from bottom has no bristles left -again, why did I keep it?

The top couple of brushes (Humbrol Senator) aren't really any use now. I'm not sure what happened to the top one, and the bottom one has been drybrushed into oblivion.

At the opposite end of the scale is this lovely little brush, an Inscribe Series 2000 size 00. This has been my primary figure-painting brush for well over 10 years, originally dealing with 40K Space Marines and Imperial Guards and Epic scale armoured vehicles and infantry. More recently it has been responsible for the majority of my 15mm figures. I've always found Inscribe brushes to be fantastic, easily the best of all the different types that I have tried over the years. This particular brush is only used for acrylics, which is probably why it has survived so long. The other brushes have been used for Humbrol enamels, and cleaning them in white spirit or turps really shortens their lifespan.

My latest find is cheap artists brushes from the local £1 shop. They come in a pack of 12; 4 decent quality gold taklon suitable for figures/vehicles, 4 coarse bristle suitable for large-scale scruffy scenery painting and 4 soft brushes (maybe squirrel or something?) which are ideal for undercoating or drybrushing when the bristles are cut to half length. Each type generally includes a couple of wide, flat brushes for covering large areas, plus a pair of smaller round brushes for detail.

Now all I have to do is get a move on and finish some of the many projects I have on the go - moon buggy, Eagle, dropship, armoured vehicles, SWAT team...


  1. Interesting to see your Inscribe brush lasted as long as it has. Mine gave up the ghost after 12-13 years but newer replacements have not lasted as long.

    My W&N series 7 have lasted longer than my marriage so far 30 years+ where as I've been married 24 :-)

    I've just been given some of the EM4 sables and these look nice - hope they last half as long as the W&Ns

  2. I shall have to give some W&N brushes a try when my Insrcibes finally give out, sounds like they're well worth a look!