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For priming and base coating, I use just some hobby store brushes of varying sizes (generally size 2 for priming, varies a bit for base coats depending on how small the detail is).

 

For additional layers, blending, etc., I generally use Winsor & Newton Series 7. I have sizes 0, 1, and 2, again for various purposes/surfaces. 

 

Finally, I have a couple of dedicated hobby store brushes for metallics since they can destroy the brush pretty quick.

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For Priming and most basing, I use cheap no-name #0 or #1 brushes I bought on eBay(got several 10packs so I'm set for a few years)

For large area basecoating I use a #2 filbert. 

For the detail work I usually use a Rosemary & Co Series 33 size #0.

 

Other popular brushes are Winsor 6 Newton Series 7 or Raphael 8404 or 8408. I think there's a few other brands also mentioned sometimes.

 

But you don't NEED expensive brushes. @Nakatan for example use only cheap brushes, but his works are... yeah... stunning. 

 

Good brushes just makes it easier. 

 

How you use and treat your brushes also matters. 

(we need to have a few pinned treads about brush selection and care, really. These questions show up regularly)

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My #2 Rosemary & Co Series 33 does the bulk of my work, including a lot of the fine detailing. My #1 R&C isn't as good as my others for some reason. My #0 R&C is great for narrow areas and fine detail. I really like blending using I think a R&C #1 Sable Flat/Filbert/Cat's Tongue. I like the shape of it for blending. 

 

I have a #0 Winsor and Newton Series 7 that I really like. 

 

My #1 Raphael 8404 doesn't get a ton of use; it is nice, but so darn soft it can be irritating. 

 

I also have a handful of junkers for mixing, drybrushing, priming, and sealing. 

 

Also a fan of Virtuoso Synthetics; they feel nice, haven't curled, and are good bang for the buck. Not as good as my others, but they're great for mid-range work and training newbies. 

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For priming, I've completely switched over to an airbrush (Iwata).  Zenithal priming and occasional basecoating as I'm still learning control and technique.

 

I've got a selection of "Plaid" brand cheapo synthetic brushes I use for basecoats.  Sizes go from 10/0 to about 3, with a couple flats.  These are used in addition to a selection of other old synthetics, depending on how many brushes I've thrown into the rinse pot (yes, these brushes I treat horribly, pretty much as a warning to any brush that dares to not place a highlight where I demand).

 

For "good painting" including layering and details, I'm using a daVinci size 1, although I've also got a Reaper size 1 and a Windsor & Newton size 1 (my favorite).  The daVinci is not very stiff, as opposed to the W/N brush.  There's a Windsor & Newton size 2 for larger stuff.  I've also got a couple Windsor & Newton miniature brushes, but they're only used for things like very fine dots, as there's no belly to hold a large amount of paint.  Somewhere there's an old Vallejo sable brush that still has a pretty good point I'll use for some details, although for the pieces I want to excel at I'll use the daVinci or W/N

 

I've got a synthetic liner 10/0 brush that I use for long streaky lines, like what you might find in marble or woodgrain.

 

For drybrushing, I'll use the synthetics, or a very very old and very beat-up Windsor & Newton size 1 - I accidentally left it at a paint-n-take and it was destroyed by the next morning.  I keep it to remind myself to never ever leave a brush behind.

 

I've got a selection of larger flat "red sable" flat brushes I'll use for terrain projects.  The bristles are very soft, so they're great for drybrushing terrain features.

 

Finally, I've got a few synthetics I've had since I started painting ~30 years ago.  They are used for applying glue, or paint that I don't need to worry about where it goes (like terrain).  Seriously, I've never seen brushes as beat up as these, but they're for glue, so they still serve a purpose.

 

I like my expensive brushes, but I've decided that if I am asked by a beginner which brushes to start with, I'll point them to cheap brushes first.  If they like the hobby, they can move up. 

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Right now?  It's a mixture of older Citadel brushes from the early to mid 2000's (including a tank brush that I think has never seen paint), although I've been using the Reaper brushes that came in the two learn to paint kits.  Eventually I plan on giving some of the fancier ones a shot, but I figure I'd rather chew through a few cheap ones learning various techniques (including building up a decent brush maintance and care routine) before upgrading to ones that are $20-26 CAD a shot....  And even then, I plan on having some inexpensive ones for base layers, dry brushing, glue, and whatnot.

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1 hour ago, Cyradis said:

Also a fan of Virtuoso Synthetics; they feel nice, haven't curled, and are good bang for the buck. Not as good as my others, but they're great for mid-range work and training newbies. 

 

I agree with this. I used these to learn with and for 90% of my Maal Drakar. They're cheap enough that I don't worry about wrecking them but nice enough to work pretty well.

 

I just bought some Rosemary and Co. brushes and they're really really nice. My eyes have already gotten miles better just by using those brushes, but I still plan on using my Reaper and Virtuoso brushes for base coats and large areas. Before I got the Rosemarys I used mainly 10/0s for detail work, and 0s for base coats. With the rosemarys, I find that I like a 0 for detailing since those points are so nice and small.

 

For drybrushing, sealing, and priming I use some cheap synthetics that I think I got in a big bag at Michaels. Usually I tend toward a 2 flat.

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I mainly use my Rosemary & Co. series 33 round size 0 brushes for majority of my work. For other shapes (filberts, flats, angled) I like their Eclipse line. I've also got tons of cheap synthetic brushes in various sizes from the craft store for primer, dry brushing, etc.

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I hear you shouldn't use your expensive hobby brushes with metallic paint. This still true?

 

I use cheap natural hair brushes for everything but details. After that, it's a Raphael 8404 size 0. Since I sit on a yoga ball, I anchor my wrists to the desk and wet palette, so it's easy to re-load my brush with paint.

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13 hours ago, ced1106 said:

I hear you shouldn't use your expensive hobby brushes with metallic paint. This still true?

 

 

I think it is. However, I don't have issues with it though, probably because I rinse so often when using metallics. If you're really worried about it I would use something cheap or synthetic (or both) to use them.

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I've heard this, too, along with the reason being that the metallic flakes in the paint will damage the bristles of the brush.

 

I've been using the good brushes with metallic paints, and there has been no issue with damage.

 

There also shouldn't be metal in your paint, unless it's a special paint - I had a paint loaded with iron specifically for rust effects.  The first bottle was the metallic paint (metal with binder) while the second bottle was the corroder.  The longer you left the corroding agent on the paint, the more rust you'd generate. 

 

Metallic paint should have mica flakes to simulate the metal color.  Mica is just about the softest mineral there is, so I'm not worried.

 

Now, how you use metallic paints is probably a larger issue. Lots of times, drybrushing is involved.  That will destroy your brushes. 

 

Now, I'm no expert, but I would think that having metal in paint is a less-than-optimal choice.  The metal would settle to the bottom of the bottle fairly quickly, and after application it would likely discolor as the inevitable oxidation process occurs (or even oxidize in the bottle, given enough time).

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My current go to brushes are a Holbein Series SD-Short #1 (or in a pinch a Jackson's series 1205 #4) and, if I need better control, a W&N Series 7 Miniature #4.

When space is tight I'd grab my Jackson's 1205 #2 or S7 standard #1.

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My workhorse is a W&Ns7 #1. I have a W&Ns7 #2 that gets a lot of use for slathering washes and big basecoats and a W&Ns7 #1 miniature that still sees a lot of use for little things, although the normal#1 has a better point now.

 

The #1 mini is close to 10 years old and still has a good enough point to dot eyes.

 

For primer and metallic paints, I have some el cheapo synthetics from Hobby Lobby (just about the only reason I ever walk into Hobby Lobby). They're something like 12 brushes for $4, and they work well for what I use them for. I found out about them because they're what Jim Wappel uses ( he gets better results than I do, certainly!)

 

I use separate brushes for metallics because I have noticed metallic flakes in my non metallic paints even after the brushes have been well cleaned. So now metallics are just totally segregated... Different brushes, different rinse water. I use cheap brushes because it means I don't have to get a separate cake of Master's soap to clean my metallic brushes. Might be I'm being paranoid, but it works for me.

 

I use cheap, separate brushes for primer because primer seems to eat brushes for breakfast, and it's hard to clean off brushes.

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On Wednesday, February 07, 2018 at 4:47 AM, ced1106 said:

I hear you shouldn't use your expensive hobby brushes with metallic paint. This still true?

 

I use cheap natural hair brushes for everything but details. After that, it's a Raphael 8404 size 0. Since I sit on a yoga ball, I anchor my wrists to the desk and wet palette, so it's easy to re-load my brush with paint.

 

Metallics are not much trouble if you thin them, outside of watching where the glitter goes (so rinse well, don't use metallic rinse water for regular paint).

 

The trick is thinning it, since metallics tend to separate easily.  I've had tremendous success using Frontline Games Capillarity Agent for this, and Reaper's wash medium should also work.

 

That said I'm not sure I would recommend it as a first choice, only that I use my good brushes (Rosemary & Co) with metallics out of laziness and it hasn't been an issue so long as I do glitter control.

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