The Army painter brushes review | Are They Good?
Brushes are an essential tool when using the paintbrush technique for painting miniatures and scale models, and that’s why Army painter offers two lines of a paintbrush, the Warhammer and Hobby line paintbrushes.
If you’ve used their paintbrushes, you know how flawless they are. From style to finesse, Army painter brushes don’t lack these features, but are they really worth it?
The Army Painter brushes are good for miniature painting
The best features of Army painter brushes are that they retain their shape, even after heavy use, can hold a lot of paint, and has excellent paint capacity, good spring, and point.
Besides this, their design is top-notch. Army Painter designs their brushes with nickel-plated brushes, which are crimped to enable easy handling. They also have pointed tips and are usually designed with protected straw sleeves so that the brushes don’t lose their pointed frames.
Most importantly, they have paint brushes in different sizes, making it easy for miniature painters to get accurate sizes for their layering, highlight, edge highlight, and detail work.
Their wargamer paintbrush line also has superior handles making handling more comfortable when painting miniatures.
All in all, The ArmyPainter brushes are good for miniature painting.
The army painter brushes are synthetic, sable, and synthetic-sable
The most significant difference between a sable brush and synthetic brushes is that sable brushes originate from animals. This means they have natural bristles and often have some color. Synthetic brushes have artificial hairs of nylon, polyester, or other synthetic materials. Plus, they are naturally white and colorless.
Army painters’ line of paints is a mixed bag with the Hobby line designed with Toray, a synthetic fiber, and the Wargamer line having a mix of sable brushes and some synthetic mixtures.
For instance, their best seller, the Regiment brush, mixes synthetic and sable hair. Hence, the bristles are a hybrid of natural animal hair and synthetic fibers.
Is it considered a quality bristle?
Any miniature painter who has used a synthetic hair brush knows that synthetic hair brushes are often a hassle to deal with, but easy to maintain.
However, Army painters’ Wargamer line of brushes designed with a mixture of synthetic and natural hair is high quality.
For instance, although the Army painter’s Regiment brush is a mixed bag, they have good spring and stiffness, making it easy to control and handle brush strokes.
Besides this, Army painters’ brushes help with detail painting, blending, and glazing paint due to their “softer” feel.
Are the army painter brushes professional?
One reason Army painter ranks top of my favorite is their exquisite design and size chart.
While like Citadel, they forgo the number sizing system of paint brushes making it less confusing to find a brush for the appropriate task. The fact that they forgo the number system means many people would think they are more beginner-friendly than seasoned painters.
The truth is that this brush will work better for professionals because beginner painters who don’t know how wide or long a size 2 or 1 brush should be will get confused even with the method of use written on it.
So, if you are a beginner painter, you easily understand what brush to use for which purpose but may find it difficult to know how the size affects the area you aim to paint them on.
Questions to ask before getting an Army Painter brush
- Will the bristles keep their shape?
Of course, if you use the brush for long periods, it will show some wear. But, I’ve painted over a hundred troops with my set of Army painter brushes, and even now, they still hold their shape well.
- Can they hold a lot of paint?
Since their brushes have some sable components, it means the bristles will love water. Simply put, they will have a good paint capacity so that the paint flows well.
- Are they precise?
Army painter brushes are perfection when it comes to precision. They have a good spring and long handles that makes brush control effortless, giving way to precise and detailed painting.
With the Army painter brush, you can make consistent brush strokes.
- Do they have a good ‘springiness’ and stiffness?
Another advantage the synthetic bristles in Army painter brushes offer is their awesome springiness. Of course, you won’t enjoy the same peak spring qualities you get with a pure sable brush with a mixed breed.
- Will they survive hard use?
Army painter brushes aren’t as robust as pure sable paint brushes. They will help you paint large troops but demand more care since their springiness isn’t on par with the pure natural bristles.
- Will they last a long time?
Pure natural sables can last a lifetime with the right use and care, and since Army painters have some amount of sable mix in their bristles, they will hold up decently over some time. The sable inserts help you maintain the brushes when handled.
the army painter brushes’ size range
As mentioned earlier, Army painter brushes don’t use a size chart to identify their brushes. Rather, they name them for their purposes.
The good news is that since I’ve painted over a hundred miniatures, I could easily define the sizes by feel when I used them on my tabletop figures.
For instance, their Wargamer Monster is a large brush and feels like a size 4 or 5 of Escoda and Da Vinci brushes. The Wargamer Small Drybrush is a bit larger than Citadel’s small drybrush but smaller than their Medium Drybrush.
On the other hand, the Wargamer Regiment feels more like a size 2, but with a little lighter. Army painter’s Wargamer Character looks a lot like a size 0, while the Wargamer Detail brush looks about a 2/0 in size.
They also have a Wargamer Insane Detail brush which I felt looks more like a size 5/0 brush, making it the smallest brush in their range.
the army painter named their brushes according to the use
The Army painter brushes are named after their use. So, they are good for various purposes.
For instance, the Wargamer: Regiment paint brush is perfect for everything from basecoats to highlighting. I even use them to paint eyes on figures when I don’t feel like getting a smaller brush.
The Wargamer: Character is also a good highlight brush, and I use it more for highlighting boots, belts, and some super tiny details.
On the other hand, the Wargamer: Detail brush works well to create finer detail on the eyes and faces.
The Wargamer: Insane Detail is a small brush and is ideal for micro details like an eyeball or small details on a cloak, medallions, and jewelry.
Are army painter brushes way better than generic brushes
Army painter brushes are far superior grade than generic brushes.
Army painter brushes, while cheap and a mixture of synthetic and sable hairs, have better springiness and precision, hold their shape well, and last quite some time.
Most generic brushes have really tiny handles that work well for anything. They have many loser heads that will result in less precise bristle movement. This can cause you to cover essential details by mistake. Besides this, they are quite stiff with hard bristles.
The army painter brushes’ price
Army painter brushes are one of the cheapest brushes in the mixed range. They typically range between $4.99 to $29.99 for their brush set.
However, compared to regular craft brushes, they are expensive. You can get a generic brush for less than $2.
On the other hand, when compared to brushes from brands like kolinsky, Rosemary Co, Raphael, Da Vinci, and Windsor Newton synthetic brushes, they are a must-have. These brands are some of the top paintbrush brands in the industry. So, it’s no surprise they are more expensive than Army painters’ brushes.
Do famous mini painters use army painter brushes?
Yes, many famous mini painters use Army painter brushes for their miniatures. Some include Duncan Rhodes of Fauxhammer and Travis Pasch of Spikey Bits.
wrapping up this review
The Army Painter paint brushes are good quality brushes.
They have the standard size every mini painter needs for their project, even if they don’t use a paintbrush size chart. Army painter brushes can also easily handle advanced painting techniques without hassle thanks to their precision, decent springiness, durability, and ability to hold their shape. They are also low-cost, accessible, and suitable for various purposes.
So, I highly recommend Army painter brushes for any miniature painting project.