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Author Topic: What makes a good Detail Brush?  (Read 3977 times)

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Offline Commissar Mackenzie

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What makes a good Detail Brush?
« on: February 14, 2009, 10:05:37 PM »
I am noticing that it is pretty hard to get some fine detailing done my 20/0 Golden Taklon. I do not think that it is thin or sharp enough to get the job done. Anyone know what the exact sizes are of the GW brushes? (Not stated on the website).

Anyway; What do you guys use? What makes a good fine detail brush?
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Offline jawmonkey

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2009, 01:56:32 AM »
I go to a modeling shop, or hobby section at a retail store and find the tiniest paintbrush head possible, all the GW ones are too big (but my LGS doesn't exactly have a large stock of them either). I've even purchased smallish brushes and cut away bristles to get the head smaller.

On that note: human hair doesn't transfer paint well, and after watching a show of a guy who paints Monets on pinheads he uses a single camel hair (I believe).
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Offline DJ-of-E

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2009, 02:08:23 AM »
A lot of people swear by 0/3 Winsor Newtons or Konlinsky Sable.

For a super fine detail brush, a 0/3 size is recommended.  The second attribute is to see whether it can hold its point after brushing.

Remember that everything is based on preference.  Most of my most used brushes are synthetics, even my detail brush (though it's 2 years old and starting to go bad).

Offline Agamemnon-2.0

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2009, 09:39:28 AM »
I seldom go beyond 0 size for most troopers, a lot of time figures done to that standard look fine on the tabletop. I use cheap sable brushes, trying to switch them out every now and then (the idea is that older brushes will be reused first for painting metallics, and afterwards for various other chemicals like decal setter). I'm getting a pretty good lifespan out of mine, and were I to use brush soap, it'd be even better, I'm sure.
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Offline nesbitt_bub1

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2009, 08:22:33 PM »
Point is everything of a detail brush.

I have a good selection of reasonably cheap brushes from 2 0 2/0 But once you get smaller than that then you start needed better bristles.

I have a 3/0 and 4/0 in kolinsky sable

then a 5/0 and 6/0 In a harder synthetic bristle.


You have to try brands tho to find one you like and can use. My local store has a good selection but i find there bristles to be inadequate for holding a point for a long time. I tend to go to art stores and look though the fine detail water paint brushes.


A really nice thing to use on the smaller brushes is a flow enhancer like Klear, Getting the paint to flow off some of the smaller brushes can be a living nightmare. And for really detailed things i find i have to clean my brush properly every time i want a little more paint.

Offline Fafnir

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2009, 10:48:25 PM »
I use a few random 10/0 brushes from the grab bin at my LGS, and I have yet to have a complaint about it. They're a hell of a lot cheaper then GW brushes, and a lot better.

Offline Commissar Mackenzie

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2009, 11:17:55 PM »
I picked up a few 0, 20/0, and 10/0 golden taklons (all sable) for about $1.99 each. They are pretty firm and pointy. I love by Royal Langnickel, their brushes are dirt cheap but effective. Tamiya brushes are good too but they just cost an arm and a leg. I saw that they cost about$15-25 for sizes under 0.

And I agree, art stores are awesome for finding cheap ones.
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Offline Dux Aurelius Elysius

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2009, 01:02:48 AM »
my 20/0 Golden Taklon.
then a 5/0 and 6/0 In a harder synthetic bristle.
I use a few random 10/0 brushes from the grab bin at my LGS
I picked up a few 0, 20/0, and 10/0 golden taklons (all sable) for about $1.99 each.

Sorry but unless I'm reading it wrong we've got a 0000000000000000000 0, a 00000 and a 000000 with synthetic hairs, a few bargain bucket 0000000000 and a 0000000000000000000 0 and a 0000000000 for $2.

Why?!  I can dot the eyes of my models with my W&N Series 7 00.  I have an 000 and an 0000 also but I pretty much never find use for them unless I'm doing some seriously precocious work.  I cannot fathom why you'd find necessity for such minuscule points considering that the main reason my finer detail brushes see little action is that to be able to actually transfer paint from them while keeping the fine point, it has to be watered down so much it'll take an age to reach a decent level of opaque colour on the model.  Enlighten me as to what you can possibly do that makes a 0000000000000000000 0 worth owning.
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Offline Fafnir

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2009, 04:50:53 AM »
Because those small brushes are comfortable and easy to use, whlie allowing me to get fairly good detail.

Oh, and I don't use a brush for things like eyes. I use a needle.

Quite frankly, my models would rather wear a more detailed coat of paint then yours do.

Offline DJ-of-E

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2009, 07:28:22 AM »
Quite frankly, my models would rather wear a more detailed coat of paint then yours do.

I smell a challenge coming up.

Though I have to agree, I don't think I have such a need for even 5/0.  3/0 is pretty much the max that all I'm comfortable to use.  All it matters is whether the 3/0 has a good point.

Offline Dux Aurelius Elysius

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2009, 08:03:43 AM »
Oh, and I don't use a brush for things like eyes. I use a needle.

Yeah, except there's a reason that established painters don't do that - a needle has no control over paint consistency, pressure, liquid flow, density.  Paint is either gobbed onto the end of it, or not.  If you have a "good" 0000000000 that you can't paint eyes with, you're doing something wrong.

Quite frankly, my models would rather wear a more detailed coat of paint then yours do.

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That's the Eisenhorn I'm working on.  You can see a closer to true size version in my avatar.  Things like the frown lines and the blending to get the different shades of skin tone require a fine pointed brush to control the paint better.

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That's the Ciborg bust I'm working on, it's a Mad Puppet Miniature model.  Fine brushes were use for areas such as the teeth, blending for the sores (some of which is rushed and I'm going to go back and sort out) and the freehand creation of veins on the skin where there's none sculpted.

There's no real need for a brush as fine as the one you're triumphing.  To find a 0000000000 more useful for model painting than a 0000 or even a 00 means you're either using substandard quality brushes (Windsor Newton Series 7 are damn expensive but they're no way a waste and every penny is worth it) or doing something wrong.
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Offline JaPizzy

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2009, 09:51:42 AM »
I use a series 7 size one for most everything including eyes.  It's the point of the brush and not the width of the brush belly that really matters.  I occasionally use a size 0 but rarely.  I would never consider using something like a 20/0 even a 3/0.  The paint would be half dry and goopy by the time you got it to the miniature.

Oh and I get extreme detail out my size 1, which is about the size of a GW standard brush, because of it's point.  I've even painted a catchlight on the eye pupil (the little white shine mark) with that brush, when I feel brave enough.

Offline Fafnir

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2009, 04:59:05 PM »
[FUTURE SITE OF QUOTE PYRAMID.]

Well, I didn't mean to criticize your painting(because they do look excellent), as up until now, I havn't actually seen anything of yours. Perhaps it came out wrong. And there's nothing wrong with sweating orks(it was just an experiment...). It was supposed to be more general then just targetted at you, as when I think of large brushes, I think of the tyranid or smurf player who quickly coats with 2 or 3 colours, and dips them, then calls it done; as quite simply, you've got me beat.

As for a needle, consistancy, pressure, flow, and density are of no concern when you're painting a tiny point on to something. I could use my 10/0 brush for that, but it's easier to just poke it with a needle and call it a day. It's easier to maneuver a needle through the bumps and grooves in a character's face then it is to move a brush, since needles are so much smaller.

Not to mention that there's also a comfort level that different people have with different brushes. I do almost all my painting (not including drybrushing or washes, obviously) with a 10/0 because it just feels more comfortable to me. Similarly to how I draw, sure, I could use a .5mm lead, but .7 is just a lot more comfortable for me to work with.

For example, this guy's eyes were done with a needle, while the detail on his lense was done with a brush. They both achieve similar detail, but it was simply easier to use a needle for the eyes then it was to use a brush. Of course, that is, if you can actually make out the eyes.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 09:39:21 PM by Mr.Peanut »

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2009, 09:32:49 PM »
I was wondering the same thing.  Most of the labels are worn off, but one says PROART, is that a good brand?  I think the detail brush is a 0000000000000000000 0 but it could be a 000000000000000000.  The most expensive one was $3.50, is that a lot?

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Offline MoonMan

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2009, 09:14:19 AM »
I can't say I've heard of Proart, but I do know that $3.50 for a brush sounds about right if it's a high-quality one.

I notice the brush in the middle is fishtailing; do you use brush soap? If not, you may want to try using it to clean your brushes before buying new ones. It'll get all the crap out of the ferrule, which will help keep the bristles straight, and it will also help them keep a point.
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Offline JaPizzy

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2009, 11:42:33 AM »
I wish I could buy a decent brush for 3.50... I usually pay in and around 20 dollars, Canadian for a brush.  Lasts me like a year ot so.

Offline Skeeve

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2009, 01:31:46 PM »
I wish I could buy a decent brush for 3.50... I usually pay in and around 20 dollars, Canadian for a brush.  Lasts me like a year ot so.

TWENTY? Umm. Check amazon.com or http://www.dickblick.com/  I believe they sell winsor and newton for about 6-7$ a brush, even with shipping it is less then $20 per brush

Offline JaPizzy

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2009, 03:17:56 PM »
I've ordered a lot from them, but on some items I get a duty fee up here, and the brushes were part of that, so in the end it's not much cheaper than getting them from the local store, plus I get to test them here before I buy them.

Offline Commissar Mackenzie

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2009, 01:57:45 AM »
I see smaller brushes as more flexibility. The more sizes, the more the options, of course this is my own opinion. I actually end up using my anchient armory flatheads set to get most of the paint on. Then I use the tiny ones to smothen the edges, scribble some inscriptions, eyes, pupils. Overall, I don't really mind collecting a few golden taklons for $2 each. My other ones are comming off lasting about a year and a half without lossing more that a hair or two.
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Offline Dux Aurelius Elysius

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Re: What makes a good Detail Brush?
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2009, 10:35:39 PM »
Smaller isn't necessarily better.  It can get so small that you just can't hold enough paint to really bother doing anything, or the paint simply won't transfer from the brush.  Having more brushes is definitely more flexibility, but there's not necessarily a link forever and immutably stating that the finer the brush the finer the finish.
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