Today, I have been having a brush cull. I say that matter-of-factly, but when you have been dabbling in the hobby for over three decades you tend to accumulate a lot of brushes. Even worse, if like me you really hate throwing away a brush. There is always some task it can be put to, be it mixing paint, dry-brushing, applying weathering or that final sad role … glue brush. Suffice to say I reached the point today where I accepted there was going to have to be a bit of a drastic culling.
Even I was a bit unprepared for just how many brushes I managed to round up from all corners of the workshop. Below is the pile that had quite simply reached the natural end of their life and had been propping up stuff or just plain getting in the way. These were given one final sort through to remove what could be salvaged for other duties before being ‘retired’ permanently. Those remaining (shown below) didn’t make the cut.
A few large dry-brushes that could be salvaged for a deep clean and restoration went into the ‘terrain’ pile to continue serving in the department of terrain painting, weathering and such like. Often I just use cheap decorators brushes for terrain work, but for those smaller areas these serve very nicely.
Next up, a few brushes that had provided years of service and still had a good bit of life in them yet. I may not use these anymore in preference to my red sable, but they are still functional and don’t deserve a grizzly fate yet. These will be restored and used for mixing and such like.
The next lot are the Games & Gears brushes I received via their Kickstarter a few months ago. These are the newest brushes I have and are in perfectly fine condition being almost brand new. They are also a massive let down. I so much wanted to like these brushes, but after spending the past couple of months working with all of them (including additional brushes that were sent to replace the defective ones) I have come to the disappointing conclusion that they are pretty hopeless at holding shape. I have now stopped using them as day-to-day brushes and am using them for applying mineral based filters and weathering effects instead. It’s such a shame as Games & Gears come across as a really friendly and enthusiastic company, but I just cannot reconcile that with the poor construction quality I’ve experienced in their products.
Finally, at the other end of the spectrum are those brushes still in their prime that I know I can rely on to perform consistently. In the main they are a mix of Games Workshop and Windsor & Newton Series 7s, but there are a couple of other manufacturers in there as well that are still holding a point and going strong. Still way more brushes than I really need, but at least I have got rid of the deadwood and sorted everything else into tasks they are fit for. I think it’s safe to say I probably don’t need to buy anymore brushes anytime soon.
Now, if only I could cull my bitz boxes as effectively.