13 Best Brushes for Miniature Painting & Wargames Models
Top Brushes For War Hammer Model Paint [Brushes under $20 included]
Any artist’s toolkit should include paintbrushes. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and types to meet the needs of various artists.
Painters of miniatures require a certain brush that is best suited to their job. In this article, I’ll go over the greatest miniature paintbrushes on the market right now and what you should look for when deciding which one is right for you.
The best miniature painting brushes are made for detailed work (sizes 0 to 2), have good capacity synthetic or natural sable bristles, and have a nice pointed round shape that is easy to grip.
Because there are so many popular brands, I’ll go through the greatest high-quality brushes on the market today and what you should look for when deciding which one is right for you.
The Best Miniature Painting Brushes
The following is the table of contents:
- How to Pick a Miniature Painting Brush
- The most durable miniature paint brushes
- Under $20 Miniature Paintbrush Sets
- How to Keep Miniature Paint Brushes Clean
- FAQ about the best miniature paint brushes
For your convenience, affiliate links have been added. You will incur no additional fees, but I will receive a little compensation to help fund my blog.
How to Pick the Best Miniature Painting Brushes
The appropriate brush makes miniature and model painting easier and faster, as well as giving you better control over the paint, which is especially crucial if you’re a beginner.
For painting models, a pointed round brush (also known as a detail brush) is perfect. The point of a good brush should be sharp.
Sizes of brushes
- Brush sizes #0 and #1 for detailed work, size #2 for larger areas, and basecoat. If I had to choose only one size, I would choose #1.
- Bristle length of 8-12mm is good, however this should not be the deciding factor.
- A belly diameter of about 2mm.
Brushes from different hair types
Fine details can be painted with both synthetic and natural brushes.
For beginners painting acrylics, synthetic brushes may be easier to work with and clean.
Natural bristles are typically more expensive and more vulnerable to acrylic or oil paint damage. The most prevalent natural hair brushes used by miniature painters are Kolinsky sable brushes.
The brush must be adaptable. Bend the bristles and watch them return to their original shape to see if it works. Snap is the name for it.
The spring of a brush is the ability of a brush to maintain its shape and hold a point throughout a painting session. Both snap and spring are necessary for excellent paint flow control.
BRUSHES FOR MINIATURE PAINT
I won’t compile a comprehensive list of the greatest miniature painting brushes, but I will help you narrow down your options based on your skill level, preferences, and price. I separated the brushes into smaller groups:
- Natural tiny brushes used by professionals
- Synthetic miniature paintbrushes of good quality
- Sets of miniature paint brushes for less than $20
UPFRONT LIST OF THE BEST MINIATURE PAINTBRUSHES
- Pro artists’ favorite small paint brushes OVERALL — Raphael 8404 Series size #1 and Winsor & Newton Series 7
- Golden Maple Set is the best miniature paint brush on Amazon for around $20. Brushes come in a set of ten
- BOSOBO (pack of 10 brushes for under $10) is the best cheap miniature paint brush for little projects.
- The Army Painter Set Most Wanted Brush Set is the best beginner miniature paint brush set
1. Winsor & Newton Series 7 — Professional artists’ favorite miniature paint brush
Winsor & Newton Series 7 size #1 Kolinsky sable brush is an outstanding winner among natural brushes for working with tiny paint. Handcrafted and known for its high-quality natural hair, flow, and snap.
Because of its exquisite fine bristles, resilience, and delicacy, this brush is great for watercolor and miniature painting. Every brush is produced by hand and is a proud product of North America.
- Bristles are 10 mm long
- A 1.9 mm belly diameter.
The price, on the other hand, may not be as tempting as the quality. A single #1 brush will set you back approximately $15.
Consider purchasing a set of 5 kolinsky brushes in various sizes from Series 7. This bundle will set you back over $100 and covers sizes #0 through #4. I wouldn’t recommend it because you’ll almost certainly only use size #1.
Maintaining the natural brustles is more difficult than cleaning a cheap synthetic brush, but it is well worth the effort. The more you take care of your brushes, the longer they will last.
2. Series 10 Da Vinci Maestro
The Da Vinci Maestro Series 10 Size #1 is a kolinsky red sable brush for skilled model painters. It’s a cheaper alternative to Winsor & Newton, but not by much. The exceptionally sharp brushes by Da Vinci are quite costly.
Natural Siberian Kolinsky Red Sable bristles are of the highest quality. The large brush capacity, snap, and string ensure excellent control over paint flow and outcomes.
In reality, this brush is one of the best natural brushes for miniatures and models on the market, thanks to German quality standards that have been passed down through three generations.
It’s worth noting that this model has a short handle.
- Bristles are 11 mm long
- A 2.1 mm belly diameter.
Da Vinci Series 10 brushes come in a variety of sizes. While I recommend the most common size, feel free to experiment with other options that best suit your project.
3. Brush Set for the Army Painter’s Set – Most Wanted
Based on their extensive experience and skill in wargaming hobby painting, Army Painter produces excellent all-purpose brushes for miniature painters. Brushes for base coating, fine detail, dry brushing, and more are included in the Wargamer Series.
The Army Painter Set does not use standard sizes; instead, they use particular names for brushes, such as Army Painter Insane Detail, Detail Brush, or Regiment Brush for detail work.
Regiment brush (sort of a universal brush, near to #1 size), Insane detail (approximately #00 size), and Small Drybrush are included in the Most Wanted Brush set for model painting. Every brush is handcrafted and hand-inspected in Germany, ensuring high quality and paint flow control for layering and applying a base coat.
One of these brushes’ features is the triangular grip, which makes it simpler to hold. However, I believe it is a matter of personal opinion; I favor conventional grip.
4. BrokenToad Mk3 Miniature Paint Brushes Set
The BrokenToad MK3 Kolinsky paint brush set is a high-quality, handcrafted natural hair brush set. The male Siberian Kolinsky sable is recognized for his incredible snap, control, and capacity.
The brush set comprises four sizes: 2, 1, 0, and 3/0.
These brushes are trusted workhorses for miniature painting in the UK, although they may be difficult to get in the US. To begin with, the set of four brushes is fairly costly — 45 euros.
5. Raphael – Series 8404
The Raphael 8404 Series from France comes in several sizes. To ensure an incredible capacity, all brushes are made with high-quality and durable Kolinsky Red Sable.
A Raphael 8404 Series size #1 brush is recommended, although any other brush starting at size 3/0 will suffice. Raphael brushes are ideal for fine details and precision work. After months of painting models, they will keep their shape.
- 2.5 mm belly circumference
- 13 mm bristles length
- Handle is short.
It appears that finding these brushes is also difficult. They’re commonly accessible on Amazon UK.
Another point of worry is the price, which, like all other natural hair model brushes, is not cheap; but, if you’re a professional model painter, it’ll be a terrific investment. Raphael brushes are thought to be superior to Winsor & Newton brushes by certain hobbyists.
6. Series 22/33 by Rosemary & Co
Brush size #1 from series 22 or 33 from Rosemary & Co is a natural, high-quality bristle brush for miniature painting.
The conical form and thick belly ensure a large capacity and consistent paint flow. Longer bristles in Series 22 are great for detail painting.
- 1.59 mm in circumference
- 11.6 mm bristles length
- You have the option of a short or long handle.
Given that this is natural hair, the price is fantastic – roughly $9 for a brush – making Rosemary a more affordable alternative to Winston & Newton, Da Vinci, and Raphael.
7. Artis Opus – Series S Brush Set
Artis Opus creates high-end natural hair tiny paintbrush sets that are both pricey and exquisite. The Series S package includes four brushes in sizes 000, 00, 0, and 1, as well as a small brush soapbox and brochure.
Each brush is handcrafted and features Kolinsky Sable hair.
The S series set costs $80.99 to begin with. For an additional cost, you may customize each set by selecting the wood and engraving. As a result, these brushes are a thoughtful and unique gift. If you’re looking for a brush for yourself, though, I wouldn’t pay more for a gorgeous wooden box with soap.
8. Citadel Medium Basing Brush by Games Workshop – Best miniature brush under $10
Games Workshop’s Citadel Medium M Basing brush is an inexpensive ($6-8!!) workhorse for speed painting and those that work with a big number of models and need to knock them all out swiftly.
This synthetic medium brush does not have a pointed tip and is great for applying the base coat and layering. For fine details, it might not be the ideal option.
Other good Games Workshop brushes for painting Warhammer include:
- Medium Artificer layer — sable hair of the greatest quality for layering.
- Synthetic brush for precise details in medium glaze.
9. Monument Bomb Wick Brush – DET. CORD
Monument (previously Creature Caster) brushes are noted for being excellent for fine details, with sizes ranging from 1/0 to 10/0.
The brushes are Kolinsky Sable synthetics, which are less expensive than natural hair equivalents. Bomb Wick brushes apply and finish paint in a smooth and nicely filled manner. Natural bristles retain paint and form better than synthetic brushes.
However, these brushes are uncommon and difficult to come by. As usual, I’ll go with #1, and here’s the link to save you time.
UNDER $20 MINIATURE PAINT BRUSH SETS
Model painting is not for everyone, and spending $15 on each brush may seem excessive. It’s also entirely understandable. This is why I included a set of inexpensive synthetic craft brushes that will suffice for your first project.
10. Golden Maple Set of 10 brushes: Best miniature paintbrush set under $20
Are you looking for a low-cost set of miniature brushes that Games Workshop recommends for Warhammer? Easy!
The Golden Maple Detail Paint Brushes Set is a must-have for budget-conscious hobbyists and beginners.
The total cost of the ten brushes is less than $20!
- 10 brushes of various sizes 5/0, 3/0, 2/0, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8
- Ergonomic design and easy-grip triangular handle.
- Included are protective tubes.
- Synthetic hair
Unfortunately, because these are not professional, costly brushes, the snap and flow control will deteriorate over time. However, they are simple to use for beginners and provide good value for money.
11. D’Artisan Shopee (Set of 4)
Games Workshop has a listing on Amazon. The D’Artisan Shopee Brush set of four #000 brushes is an inexpensive alternative to Monument brushes for painting fine details. Yes, there are four brushes that are identical.
You can preserve your Kolinsky pricey brushes and use an inexpensive brush like D’Artisan Shopee if you don’t have a lot of little details to paint.
- 7.5 mm synthetic bristles
- triangular handle
Some model painters manage to work in such small spaces. However, it comes down to personal preference, experience, and comfort. It’s best to start with smaller sizes and less expensive brands, and if you truly need it, you can upgrade to a natural hair 3/0 brush later.
12. D’Artisan Shopee (Set of 12)
D’Artisan Shopee is currently offering a set of 12 brushes in sizes ranging from #0000 to #1 in three different shapes: 5 liners, 5 round brushes, and 2 flat brushes. The entire package is relatively affordable (around $30) and will meet all of a beginner’s miniature painting needs.
Despite being synthetic, these brushes are handcrafted and well tested, and should have adequate paint hold capacity as well as snap, ergonomic, and sturdy handles.
Because it contains a brush holder and a bag, the package makes a great present. Hobbyists searching for brushes for Warhammer 40K, Dungeons and Dragons miniature painting, or other game models will love this bundle from D’Artisan Shopee.
13. BOSOBO 2 brush sets (10 brushes each)
The cheapest alternative for craft projects is the Bosobo brush set, which costs less than $10 for 20 brushes. I’d recommend this set to a complete beginner on a budget, but if you’re serious about painting or your hobby, invest an extra $10 on a nicer brush.
Beginners sometimes attempt to buy the largest brush set available, but you won’t actually need all of them! Consider the costs of producing a set of ten brushes that will sell for $6 on Amazon.
It won’t last long and will most likely begin to lose bristles soon.
Of course, this kit comes in handy for anyone on a tight budget or working on a DIY project. If you’re unsure about your new activity, start with inexpensive brushes and gradually enhance your equipment.
How to Keep Miniature Paint Brushes Clean
Maintaining the shape of your paint brushes will guarantee that the fur or bristles do not fray or rub off prematurely, and that you get the greatest results for your artwork. Paintbrush failure is mainly caused by a defective ferrule composition or drying out from inappropriate storage over time.
Cleaning model paint brushes
To clean your miniature paintbrushes correctly, run them under hot water and then scrub them with a light dish soap. Avoid using harsh items that could harm your brush’s bristles, such as detergents and abrasives.
To get the greatest results, put the brushes in a cup or bowl with warm water and a little more dish soap than you would normally use. Make sure the brushes are gently swirled around in the liquid.
Allow them to sit for a few minutes before gently cleaning with your fingers. Keep the brushes dry!
Before putting them away, give them another rinse with warm soapy water and let them air dry.
Brush cleaner for model paint
A professional brush cleaner soap or/and a special bucket brush washer are other options for cleaning small brushes. The artist’s brush soap not only cleans the brush, but also preserves it over time or allows you to save certain dried and stiffened brushes.
Although the special soap is inexpensive and long-lasting, the washer jars and cups may be costly.
- Masters Cleaner & Preserver is the greatest paint brush cleaner.
- Paint Brush Rinse Up by Paint Puck is the best model paint brush washer.
The best method to keep miniature paint brushes organized
Place your little paintbrushes in a cup or bowl with their bristles facing up to keep them appropriately. The bristles can then be placed in a protective case to maintain them in good condition until they’re ready to use again.
Brushes should be stored level, clean, and dry, rather than curled up like a lost caterpillar.
Make your own paintbrush holder or purchase one (Mont Martre brush holder as a good example).
FAQ on miniature painting brushes
What brushes are most commonly used for miniature painting?
The best brush for tiny models is a quality natural or synthetic brush with a pointed shape and sizes #0 to #2. Synthetic hair is used by beginners since it is easy to use and maintain. Professional miniature painters use sable hair brushes since they are more expensive.
Is it possible to paint miniatures with synthetic brushes?
Synthetic painting brushes are ideal for miniature painting since they are inexpensive and high-quality, making them ideal for detail work with acrylic paints.
Which model paint brush is the best?
Natural brushes in size #0 are perfect for tiny details. If you need something even finer, go with #000 (also referred to as 3/0) or even smaller, but I doubt you’ll need it. Use size #0 for fine details and #1 as a general brush.
What is the best paint brush for a nice finish?
Sable brushes from Kolinsky have the best flow and finish. Natural bristles hold more paint and help you to produce fine, continuous strokes.
Alternatively, consider airbrushing your models to achieve a professional-looking finish.
What brush size is ideal for miniature painting?
For miniatures, the general brush size is #1, but you may also use size #0 for fine detail and #2 for huge areas. Although #3 is included in some small brush sets, you are unlikely to utilize it.
What Warhammer brushes do I require?
Warhammer figures can be painted with any miniature painting brush. Choose Winsor & Newton Kolinsky Series 7 brushes if you’re a professional painter willing to invest more money. Try the Golden Maple set of Warhammer brushes if you’re seeking for a less expensive option.
I hope you can now make an informed selection when purchasing miniature painting brushes or sets for your favorite Wargaming models, knowing that they will last a long time!
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