About Me

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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

WIP: Tamsin's Equine Development Facility #8; Brushes; Shinies Ordered


Tack is now completed on all 81 non-barded horses. Later on I'll make a start on painting the metalwork (bits, decorations on the tack, etc).

My mojo seems to be coming back!! :)


There has been some discussion of brushes on a number of blogs that I follow in the last few days. I think it was Big Lee who kicked this off with his "slap self around head" post after buying some GW brushes for his travel painting kit.

When I returned to gaming about 10 months ago, I was initially using cheap-ish Revell brushes, but soon found that they lost their points and went ratty quite quickly. That made me decide that I should try some decent brushes from art shops.

The first ones I tried were the Pro Arte Acrylix range. These have synthetic fibres and quite long handles. They held paint adequately, but the tips did start to curl after only a short time.

I'd seen a fair number of figure-painters blogs, websites and YouTube channels where they were recommending Kolinsky sable brushes from various manufacturers, particularly Da Vinci and Winsor & Newton Series 7.

At my local art suppliers, Jacksons in Stoke Newington, I was able to get a few of the Da Vinci Maestro series (1, 0, 2/0, 3/0) but they only had a 1 from the Winsor & Newton Series 7 at the time. I tried them and I liked them. They retain their point well, the paint flows smoothly onto the surface you are painting and they don't seem to be going ratty even after several months of hard usage.

The main difference between the two ranges is that the Winsor & Newton Series 7 seems to hold more paint than the Da Vinci Maestro series. Overall I prefer the Winsor & Newton brush, so I bought a couple more (0, 2/0 and 3/0) from London Graphic Centre in Covent Garden yesterday.

A note on Kolinsky sable brushes:

These are designed for use by watercolour rather than acrylics artists, so care needs to be taken when using them with acrylic paints. You need to ensure that you have thinned the acrylic paint to a milky consistency, otherwise it will tend to get drawn up into and clog the ferrule, causing the bristles to splay. Rinsing the bristles frequently whilst painting (I tend to rinse after every two paint loads) helps to prevent this from occurring.

You also need to clean the brushes thoroughly after every session, preferably followed by use of a brush preserver/restorer.

Remember: look after your brushes and your brushes will look after your painting.

Shinies Ordered:

As I've been a good girl, not ordered much metal so far this year and I'm getting close to finishing the Sarmatian cavalry, I decided to splash out a bit on lead. I also need some more cavalry (ZOMG! more horses?!?!?) -
* 24 light horse for when I use the army as Alans at Campaign in May
*Scythians - 24 light horse, a command group (noble, standard bearer, heavy lancer) and 12 heavy lancers/cataphracts for use as allies for my Sarmatians (nb - can also be used as allies for a few other armies in FoG).

The above have been ordered from Donnington

I also wanted to add some more not-Wookies to the Chumbondas I've started painting up. I've ordered a couple of packs of Yeti Infantry from Black Hat along with a couple of packs of their Tolero Infantry (not-Ewoks) for games in my SF solo campaign when I finally get round to it. Why the not-Ewoks? Let's face it - what better annoying race is there for shooting to bits as stress relief? (Note - Ja Ja Binks and C3PO may be just as or even more annoying, but are individuals not races!!)

Along with these I ordered some more flex-steel sheets (for lining box files) and magnetised MDF bases from Tiny Tin Troops. I've got 3 box files that need lining and once all the cavalry are finished (including the stuff I've just ordered) my stock of bases will be almost gone.

I've still got my 15% discount voucher for GZG from their December offers. I need to decide in the next 2 weeks what I want to use it to buy.


  1. I use 4 for £1.99 brushes from the Works. They come in 3 flavours: detail, round and shader and are so cheap I buy 5 packs at a time. If they get a bit un-pointy, I sling them in my used brush box and then they get used for mixing paint and block painting.

    1. Brand name is Boldmere ("The Artists Choice" allegedly)

      Detail brushes are sizes 10/0, 5/0, 3/0 and 0
      Round brushes are in sizes 1, 3, 5 and 6
      Shaders are sizes 3 and 5 round, 4 and 8 rectangular

  2. Psst Tamsin, why should you run a solo SF campaign? Some of my grunts would just love to shoot at Ewoks...

  3. You are definitely a glutton for punishment buying more cavalry to paint!!!

  4. After a good "shoogle aboot" in water, I use clothes pegs to suspend my brushes in a jar of clean water between uses. I find that this prevents any clogging of the ferrule by paint build up. Kolinsky sable to my mind...simply the best, and worth the extra cost.

  5. @the Marmer of Felons - I think we all have our own foibles regarding brushes. If those work for you, then they work for you :)

    @Seb - I see no reason for not bringing them to the club as well for more people to have the fun of shooting up! Might need more than I've ordered though ;)

    @Kingsleypark - errrmmm, you've caught me! I'm a hippophile

    @Geminian - my concern about that would be the potential for water to soak up into the handle over time, distorting the ferrule and causing the bristles to splay

    1. Are you free for a tomorrow's war game next Thursday? I could design the scenario.

  6. I use a lot of the Pro Arte Acrylix range, they do curl at the end. but they're well worth the money.

  7. I also use Kalinksy Sable and would never go back to anything else.


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