Super-expensive Sable Paint Brushes--Worth the Price?

I did a search on Armorama and I didn’t find any topics on this.

In searching online, I discovered that there are a few sable paint brush sets that miniature and figure painters admire: Windsor and Newton Series 7, Rosemary & Company, Artis Opus, and BrokenToad.

BrokenToad went out of business. Some painters believe that the very expensive Artis Opus brush sets are repackaged Rosemary & Company brushes.

My questions are: Has anyone bought and used the Artis Opus Series S and M brush sets? They’re very expensive with brushes costing around $20 each ($100+ USD for five brushes). How about the Windor and Newtown Series 7 sable brushes? Amazon sells W&N sets for even more than Artis Opus.

I don’t paint wargaming miniatures, just figures, but I’m just wondering if these brushes are durable and worth the high prices. The internet says that they are worth the steep prices; however, I have a few sets of Kolinsky sable brushes from the UK that I use regularly.

Thanks in advance.

Windsor & Newton below (photo from Amazon)


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I bought the below brushes from Blick’s (I think on sale) but haven’t used them yet. I actually haven’t painted a figure since 1984!

Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brush - Pointed Round, Size 0 $20.69
Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brush - Pointed Round, Size 00 $19.19
Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brush - Pointed Round, Size 1 $23.69
Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brush - Pointed Round, Size 2 $28.28

When I was doing research (I did a lot) on brushes I came to the conclusion bang for buck W&N were tops. The common thing I always hear is buy the best you can afford. The same W&N bought in Canada would cost close to $200 so at $91 USD its a bargain IMO. Hope this helps a bit?

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I’m just going to chuck my 2 pence worth in…

Inside that jar are 2 sets of brushes I got from Mr Bezos empire … I think the most expensive set was maybe £9 or so for 8 or so brushes of various shapes and diameters… The other set was the same but the brushes slightly finer for detail work… Also in there are various others I have bought over the years, never spending more that £2.50 max on an individual brush.

I thoroughly clean each brush after each use, and they have literally lasted years and served me well…

Now each to their own, but for me …a set of brushes that costs $90 let alone potentially $200 is a waste of money… I know some will argue, and as I said,each to their own… But I am super content with my collection that cost under £30 and I have had them for years…


I used to swear by W&N Series 7. I had a couple that were indestructible (I do take care of my brushes pretty well, but still) but finally wore out. The last time I bought a pair they didn’t hold their point nearly as well. Right now I have a set from Rosemary and Company that are holding up fairly well.

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Get some… ‘The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver’

—mike …:paintbrush:

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I think high quality brushes are more important to figure painters than general model building/painting.
One look at Ski’s work here painting figures with plaids and argyles will make this obvious. I don’t know if that kind of work would be possible with average brushes . Perhaps he’ll chime in on this subject .


I have several friends painting figures and they all say good brushes are worth the price, Winsor & Newton Series 7 being some of the best (it is not Win"d"sor, by the way).
There is a difference on how they paint and keep the tip. They are durable, providing you care them appropriately.


Coming at it from the other end, brushes that drop hairs or lose their point or generally flare out are of course useless. They’re typically the cheapest kind. Any brush that does none of the above is good. I’ve had no such problems with what I’d call average sables, meaning I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than around US$8 for finer types required for 1:35 figures & I don’t differentiate by brand. I can’t really remember, which is my point – it’s been a long time since my last purchase and they’re all still in good shape after a lot of use.

Incidentally I’ve had similar experiences with the typically cheaper nylon/synthetic alternatives, I keep both to hand.

As has been mentioned it’s really all about treating brushes like a good woman. Always be gentle & never scrub; caress them against the object; don’t leave them lying around with paint on them, wrap them tight in cling-wrap/film if you need to use them intermittently over several hours….er…; wash them thoroughly in mild soapy water after use and rinse twice; always leave them standing upright to dry off. And if you take them to bed don’t roll over as you might bend them out of shape.

Yeah I should make parole in 2034… :roll_eyes:


I use Masters brush cleaner and it helps my brushes a lot!!

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HI Tim, I have found this to be the case too. I won’t use cheap brushes per se, and instead go to my local Blick’s art store and get a few moderately priced brushes - that is, not that expensive. Usually 0 to 2 for the tips. I’ve had really good luck painting figures and details with them. I wash them with water and a little bottle of Vallejo airbrush cleaner (I should note, I only paint with acrylics). Some brushes have lasted quite a while.

I’ll also note what you say above, about the tips, even on those at the store. I always check, if there are a few hairs sticking out, I just wont buy them. Messed up tips don’t ever get better - and even though it might be only a hair or two pointed the wrong way, trouble seems to follow - especially if you are trying to paint faces! Ask me how I know that???

I also have some brushes with very firm bristles, a few sizes, that I really abuse - use them to add dust washes, rust, grime, and so on to vehicles and they do fine - mashed, and frayed heads and all. I’ve had three or four of these for a long time, and still use them.

Something else I’ve figured out, is that with enough practice, quality goes up, and brushes seem to last longer. And, I’ve found that I can hit most details pretty well with a 2, 1, and 0 brush (painting 1/35 figures and engine details). I used to fret over using various 00, 000, 0000 brushes - and well, I don’t anymore.



You can also use…don’t hate me purists…dish soap. Or any mild soap, or even shampoo. Then when clean, put a tiny bit of cooking oil, as in literally a drop or two, of olive, sunflower, canola, etc. on the bristles to keep the shape.

I have some trivia about Canola oil if anyone wants to ask…, but I won’t volunteer it so as not to annoy. (My wife would be pleased with me, I’m learning!)


Agreed, does the job whether after acrylics or enamels.

Not touching that one, given my previous metaphor – I stopped short of saying I just slide the tip between my lips to keep it in shape :face_with_peeking_eye:


I’m asking :grin:
Curiosity killed the cat and all that …


First, thank you for asking! “Answers brought it back” is the second part of that, so, yeah!

I wish it was a pun (even bad), or something clever, but it’s just trivia. The short version: Years ago Canada had a heap of Rapeseed plant. They decided to make cooking oil from the seeds, but they didn’t think the name was great. “I’ll just add some Rape…seed oil to the pan.” So they called it CANola oil, from “Canada.”

“That’s it?” A reaction similar to what my wife usually says, although the clean version.

Yeah, pretty interesting, huh?



There’s a weird beauty product advertised on Aliexpress when you log in. Well, they SAY it’s a beauty product. It’s supposed to make a woman’s cheeks look healthy or something. It doesn’t look like that’s what it’s for.



Whatever works!

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I use Winsor and newton series 7 brushes as well for my figure painting only- I use cheaper brushes to paint other details on my armor and other things. They are excellent brushes if properly taken care of . I clean them with soap and water after every use and put them back in the cylindrical container with the tip protectors on after each use as well. Then I put them in a plastic container with the lid closed to keep them dust free. I have a 000, 00, 0 , and 1 sizes and that covers everything I need for figure painting. All 4 cost me $42 at an online art store based in Connecticut.

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Sounds like a nice setup. I have 3, a bit like your set. I have separated them to only use for details as you say. Taking care of them is key!

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I also use a product from Folk Art called Brush Plus. I use it during my painting session. I use Vallejo acrylics and this stuff cleans off any dried paint as I go along.

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My last experience painting figures was with enamels and with crappy brushes that probably cost 10p lol. I bought some of those Bezos two pack brushes as well :grinning:.