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Brushes and applicators, What is your preferred brand


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Having just returned this year to model building and figure painting I had roughly 20  brushes that while not in terrible condition were going to be replaced. These brushes were made in the USA and have held up fairly well over the past 30+ years even though they are Sable, camel and red sable hair brushes. So I decided to try various new brushes to have on hand both Synthetic and hair brushes. I have to say I was deeply disappointed with ones being made in China, The hair brushes would splay, and shed. They are poorly made and the synthetic ones also made in China were on the "meh" scale such as flat brushes that were not exactly flat more of filbert shape even though they are listed as flat and pointed brushes having strands that were curled and slightly longer than the tip. The latter ones were not noticeable till I used them. Needless to say I will end up trashing them or abuse them as dry brushes. These new brushes didn't even compare to my older brushes.

I did also get new brushes from AmmoMIG and a Marta Kolinsky. The Ammo ones I like and I'll be using the new 5/0 Marta this weekend. 

I am interested in hearing what brushes Brand wise other modelers are using. Synthetic or Hair? 

Also using applicators I have used toothpicks for applying glues in tight spots but sometimes it's a a pain and I wonder if some the applicators I see online in the hobby stores are worth using or is their another trick/technique  I might be missing 

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I have never had a problem with applicators, or ever paid for any.  I use the left over ends from stretched sprue.  You can make as thick (for a big drop of super glue) or thin (for a small drop) as you require.  They are also excellent for spreading super glue along seams.  Just use whatever thickness (glue) you need.

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For figures, I will still splurge for the Windsor and Newton Series 7 brushes, and use them ONLY on figures with artists oils--despite them being labeled "watercolour" brushes.  If it was good enough for Shep Paine...

I have tried a bunch of the others.  The Grumbacher line is pretty good, as are the Royal & Langnickel and Daler-Rowney brushes--these are all available at Michael's.  Some are sable, some are synthetic.  The "store brands" (Artists' Loft, etc.) are hit and miss, so shop carefully.  Incidentally, I find that shopping in person is important when buying brushes... 

SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!

However, if I have to go online for brushes (or any other art supplies like pigments, oil paint, etc.), I like using The Merri Artist in McMinnville, OR.  I have ordered from them several times, and they are great.  The fastest I ever got anything from them (normal shipping) was two days from Oregon to South Carolina.  https://merriartist.com/

If The Merri Artist doesn't have what I need, I turn to Blick Art Materials.  https://www.dickblick.com/

I'll always support the smaller business first.  But that's just me...

In the hobby world, the Army Painter brand gets high marks (I have yet to try them).

You can do the sprue nub trick Rusty outlined above, you can use the eye end of a sewing needle or a short length of wire shoved into the eraser end of a pencil as a glue applicator.  I break a sewing needle in half--the pointy end gets chucked into a #1 handle and is used as a scriber.  I then cut the "loop" end of the eye (leaving a fork), shove the shaft end into the pencil eraser, and I have a glue applicator.  The smaller the needle, the smaller the eye, and the smaller the eye, the smaller the drop of CA that it will hold.  When I use wire, I'll put a slight kink in it--that helps it "grab" a bit more adhesive.
Cheers!
Ralph

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Thanks Rusty The Sprue for applicators is a great idea! Looking at my storage shelf of future kits I have ample stock

Ralph, thanks have to agree If its good enough for Sheppard.  I'll check out those sites for sure. My wife agreed she uses those sites for her brushes as well as Jerry's Artarama The eye of the needle is another excellent idea. I'll have to get a set that I can modify. I have used wire for alot of different things I'll have to restock my wire supply Paperclips will now get repurposed and reshaped into applicators as well. WE can never have enough tools. Yes in person lets you see whether it meets the standard. A lot of places like Michaels and the closest hobby store (hobbyhut) are 50 miles away. We have a local Clubb store here but the quality is not there as far as brushes and other items. They don't have much in their hobby aisles. Anyway I'll have to make the trip there after the holidays 

I was wondering about Army painter I'll have to check them out

Thanks guys great idea's 

 

Thanks again

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