Reader submitted photo
I absolutely love the emails I get from folks asking hobby questions. If you are one of those people, thank you! It's a way for me to share what I've learned and it helps push me along in my work as well.
One the past week or so, I've been involved in a couple discussions. One on brushes and one on primers.
About paint brushes
The discussion about brushes came from a reader email who is trying to figure out why the tips of his brushes keep curling up on him. Here's the question he sent me:
|"My question is this ... as I paint in a batch, a squad at a time, my brush seems to get more and more "splayed" at the end. It doesn't seem to hold a nice point. I try to keep my paints thinned, but I don't know if maybe they're not thin enough. Do you have a suggestion for this issue? Oh and I don't use cheap brushes either.|
I rinse and clean after every painting session, using a brushing cleaning solution. I store them correctly, handle down. I really try to take care of them... In these situation I've just used my Xacto and trimmed off the stray bristles... In all cases I can start painting and it might be ok for a while, but as I working a squad, the last one of 5 or 6 marines ... it gets harder to get a good coat on there because the brush just seems to be out of control at the tip."
If you're thinning your paints and you're using higher end brushes like he does in this case, it might be in how you apply the paint to the model. Do you use careful stokes where you pull the brush along the surface towards you or is it more of a dabbing and poking the model with the brush to get the paint where you need it?
In this case, it sounded like he was using the tip of the brush as more like an applicator and adding paint to the model instead of using smooth brush strokes.
He answered me back with some additional information:
|"I think I'm tending to push the paint into the nooks and crannies of the model detail as opposed to always using a stroke motion and pulling the brush along. I'm going to work on that tonight see if I see a difference.|
As for brand, I have Da Vinci and Blick Master mostly. I do have one Windsor Newton but use it rarely for only the smallest detail."
These days, I use a Raphael 8404 Kolinsky Sable Brush - Size 0 that I picked up from Secret Weapon Minis. I've tried to kill it too, I'm at the point where I use it for everything from basecoating to super fine detail painting... all on the same model. I clean it once a week with brush soap which equals about once every 3 or 4 painting sessions.
It's made my painting time (which is significant) much more enjoyable. The fact that it's held up like it has makes it all the better.
I'm sure that higher end primers are better in some respects, but I don't have any experience with them to say. I do know that the color primer you use can make a difference in how your colors appear in the end.
I will say that I've even cut out primer before and gone right to the basecoat. And to be honest, I didn't notice much difference. I was using regular colors though... I don't know as though I would try it if I were using metallics. That and it was with a test model so it wasn't anything I was particularly worried about. But... it can be done if you need to.
Here's the question I got:
|"I was wondering if you had a specific primer brand that you preferred using. I've been wanting to switch over to a light grey rather than the white and black I've been using over the years, but I haven't really had a lot of luck poking around some of my local hobby shops with finding one that didn't seem overpriced. Silly question, but I've been wanting to start at the basics again."|
The primer colors that I use
Black for when I'm painting to a tabletop standard, have a dark color scheme or want to use the black left over in the recessed areas as my "shadows."
White when I am doing white armoured models. I rarely use this color for anything else.
Light grey for the majority of my work. It doesn't affect my base colors like black can do, it doesn't turn them splotchy like white can do to some semi-transparent colors.
Alternate ways of priming
I used it on the Nurgle model there on the right. While I like the gesso, I've never used since then as I feel like I can get quicker results with the spray paint.
I had the problem with the gesso partially obscuring some of the sharper details despite reading that it would not do this. You can load it on and when it dries, it shrinks up and you can make out all the details.
My problem was that I needed to do two coats to get complete coverage and while the details weren't completely obscured, my sharp edges were gone. It ended up being like a thick layer of paint on the model and that was the biggest disappointment for me.
Ultimately, I stripped the gesso off and went with a brush on black paint so that I could keep all the sharp edged details we all know and love with Forge World models.