Saturday 9 November 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #16 - Brushing up

This week the Sprue Cutters have been tasked with spotlighting our brush preferences - hairy or airy, brushes are the most common way to transfer paint from the pot to our models.

As always, let's start from the beginning:

When I was building Airfix kits that I'd find in my local newsagent's, I quickly discovered that I'd need a brush. Luckily, the same shop sold Humbrol enamels and every size of brush - the owner used to fly English Electric Lightnings for the RAF, and I think he had a soft spot for scale models.

If I still have any of those brushes, they're not in any good state for painting - probably in my collection of stirrers and terrain bits. As an avid hoarder, recycler and re-user, my brushes have a cycle of use. I try not to bin them if I can help it.

Fine detail work
Stirring and mixing
Scenery spares

The scraggier they get, the less I want to use them for front-end paint work! (I wrote a post a couple of years ago about brush care which might help to slow down this cycle)

These guys don't wet blend

Anyway, these Humbrol brushes were never top of the line to start with - they were a little better than starter-set quality, but not much.

I still have a couple of Citadel brushes, but these are drybrushes at the very best...

this one started life as a drybrush, too!

Last Christmas I was bought a couple of sets of Kolinsky Sable brushes from Creative Models. These, along with my Army Painter detail brushes are awesome. The sable hair pushes paint around better than synthetic, or generic hairy brushes. They're soft, easy to clean, and seem to hold their shape well, without too much work from me!

Sizes 4-10/0

Insane detail, Detail, and Masterclass

I recently bought this brush. I haven't used it yet, but it was relatively pricey, so I'm expecting it to make me a coffee while it's painting the models by itself.

Newest - can't wait to use this one...

Then there's my airbrush. A birthday present last year - a Harder & Steenbeck Infinity - at the time it was a recommendation from a Japanese acquaintance of mine, who has since been sponsored by Badger, and doesn't go by H&S at all!

Gorgeous airbrush, with 2 needles and 2 cups

The Infinity is nicely weighted, is easy to take apart and maintain, and hasn't caused me any major headaches. I used to have 2 no-name hobbyshop gravity-fed dual action airbrushes and, and a cheap single action siphon-feed from Badger. I threw them all away earlier this year in a fit of rage - too much clogging, bubbling and spitting. It was probably my fault, but I blamed my tools and they paid the ultimate price. No regrets.

I have two compressors - a small, noisy desktop compressor, which I use all the time, and big 20L thing, which I really want to use, but haven't the room. I bought the big so I could respray my old car. I haven't done that, either. It has more reliable regulators and moisture traps than the desktop compressor, and is (in theory) much quieter once the reservoir is filled.

Have a read of what the rest of the Union are saying about brushes:

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