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Differences in Tamiya brushes

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  • Member since
    February 2021
Differences in Tamiya brushes
Posted by MJY65 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 11:28 AM

I'm looking for some fine detail brushes and am a bit confused about the Tamiya line.  It looks like the HG series are synthetic, but both the Pro and Pro II are Kolinsky Sable.  So, what makes one a $10 vs $20 vs $30 brush?

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 12:03 PM

MJY65

I'm looking for some fine detail brushes and am a bit confused about the Tamiya line.  It looks like the HG series are synthetic, but both the Pro and Pro II are Kolinsky Sable.  So, what makes one a $10 vs $20 vs $30 brush? 

Kolinsky sable makes a brush more expensive.  Depending on the brand and the size, they can get very expensive.  I've found individual brushes for $25 at shows, and felt fortunate to get them at that price.

If you're going to paint figures, then it's a good investment to buy a Kolinsky sable brush; the material is generally considered, among figure painters at least (I'm one) to hold its shape the longest, particularly its tip.

When painting a figure with acrylics, the body of the brush acts as a reservoir, and the tip is like the tip or nub of an ink pen; you can deliver a fine amount, precisely.  The same principle holds true when using oils, which are popular with figure painters, too.

A 0, a 1 and a 2 round is the combination that many of us use.

If you're going to use your brushes for painting a scale model, and will be using it with various types of paint, such as enamels, or lacquers, and so, using various harsh solvents to clean the brush, you probably don't need Kolinsky sable, though I still do prefer natural hair brushes for that work, myself.  I have started using brush soap to condition my brushes, after using a solvent to remove the paint.

I've bought cheap Red Chinese brushes that use fox hair.  They're sold in sets of 5, each of a different size.  I have a couple of Tamiya brushes, too, but haven't found any particular advantage to them, over other brands.

For that matter, there are pretty good synthetic-fiber brushes sold at the craft stores, like Michael's or HobbyLobby, for reasonable prices.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    December 2020
Posted by TheDemiGod on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 2:59 PM

Buy Red Sable brushes... Don't settle for anything cheaper. You can find them at Hobby Lobby or Michael's

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 5:49 PM

Can't really comment on the Pro brushes, as I have all 4 of the Pro II.  All I can say is that they're the best brushes I have ever had.  They hold a point much better than any other brush I have tried.  Recently painted details such as wire bundles, control cables, and hoses on my Su-25M1 cockpit with it and was able to get a result as close to perfection as I think my skills will allow.  Also used the finest of the 4 around the dial face on my Spitfire MkXVIe panel after missing the part in the instructions that said the area around 1 instrument is ringed with red.  Tiny ring, which I could barely see under 6X magnification and bright light...and I had already epoxied the clear bezel piece into the panel, and put the dial face decals on the back!!!  IMPOSSIBLE!!!  Well, I gave it my best shot with the Tamiya Pro II Ultra Fine brush, and it came out perfectly, without a single stray bit of paint on the black panel or clear bezel.  To me, they have all definitely been worth the higher cost and have made it possible for me to do things I honestly didn't think I was capable of doing.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 6:44 PM

Eaglecash867

Can't really comment on the Pro brushes, as I have all 4 of the Pro II.  All I can say is that they're the best brushes I have ever had.  They hold a point much better than any other brush I have tried.  Recently painted details such as wire bundles, control cables, and hoses on my Su-25M1 cockpit with it and was able to get a result as close to perfection as I think my skills will allow.  Also used the finest of the 4 around the dial face on my Spitfire MkXVIe panel after missing the part in the instructions that said the area around 1 instrument is ringed with red.  Tiny ring, which I could barely see under 6X magnification and bright light...and I had already epoxied the clear bezel piece into the panel, and put the dial face decals on the back!!!  IMPOSSIBLE!!!  Well, I gave it my best shot with the Tamiya Pro II Ultra Fine brush, and it came out perfectly, without a single stray bit of paint on the black panel or clear bezel.  To me, they have all definitely been worth the higher cost and have made it possible for me to do things I honestly didn't think I was capable of doing.

 

well if that doesn't make you buy a Tamiya pro II I don't know what will.  I hope you can see that detail after the fuselage is closed up.  

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 7:23 PM

And I just bought some.  Nothing like a really good fine brush

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 8:11 PM

wpwar11

well if that doesn't make you buy a Tamiya pro II I don't know what will.  I hope you can see that detail after the fuselage is closed up.  

Should be able to.  I know it'll be visible on the Frog when it gets closed up...pretty wide-open cockpit on that one.  The Spit, on the other hand, its my first WWII type aircraft, so I'll have to wait and see.  The brushes feel a little awkward in your hand at first, but that quickly goes away, and I found they actually gave me more precise control.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, March 4, 2021 1:43 PM

Yeah, if they're Kolinsky sable, the material itself is top of the line.  Take good care of them, and they should last a good long while, and maintain their shape.

I didn't use to use it, but I do recommend using a brush soap.  You can go all out and get a product made for the art & hobby trade, or you could use saddle soap.  But it's a good idea to use something to help preserve the bristles, after you clean the brush.  I know a painter from France who actually uses olive oil to coat his brushes after he cleans them.  I used to rub my thumb and forefinger on my nose, to pick up skin oil, and then rub that onto the bristles.

Remember that the bristles are hair, and hair has natural oils that protect the fiber.  After using a solvent to remove the paint, apply the soap or whatever you choose to use, shape the point, and it should keep a point for many years.

Also, for water-based acrylics, I recommend trying a wet palette.  As a trial, you can make your own, from an airtight container, a sponge, and a piece of kitchen parchment or brown packaging paper.  I made one for myself, when I first started using a wet palette.

You just soak the sponge, put the paper over it and let it soak up water, then put dabs of paint on this palette.  It makes it easy to keep the paint at a good consistency, and to blend colors, if you're doing that.  Also, you can use a batch of paints over several sessions, as necessary; the palette will keep the paint "fresh".  If you like working with it, then you could consider moving to a commercial palette.

I use mine with all my water-based acrylics, from Andrea and Vallejo, to craft store brands American, Apple Barrel, and Folk Art.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, March 4, 2021 1:48 PM

I have a post-script...

I thought the Tamiya brushes I have were the synthetics you referred to, but they're not, they're natural fiber:  horse-hair.  They were in a pack of 3; one the guys in my club gave them to me.

You can see them in Tamiya's catalog:

https://www.tamiyausa.com/shop/finishing/flat-brush-no3/dc714/

https://www.tamiyausa.com/shop/finishing/pointed-brush-sml/dc717/

https://www.tamiyausa.com/shop/finishing/flat-brush-no5/dc713/

I do stand by my comment, though, that these aren't really superior enough to any of the other brushes I have, to make me order these brushes specifically.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, March 4, 2021 5:09 PM

Didnt know Tamiya made sable brushes.  I've been a Windsor Newton series 7 fan for years and concur that sable brushes are the finest. 

Thanks,

John

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