Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Winsor & Newton Series 7 Brush Review

Good evening faithful followers of the Plague Father and thank you once again for joining us in the darkest reaches of Nurgle's garden. As I am sure you are all aware we are currently in the midst of a challenge to paint up three Nurgle chaos lords for our 50th follower give away and if you have been cut off from the warp and missed this please click here.

For those of you familiar with my dedication to painting miniatures I am sure you all expected me to keep putting this off until I really had to. To get around this I built this model up pretty much as soon as I got it and left it with a can of primer at the top of my painting pile for the first sign of decent weather. That wasted about a week of my painting time. However this did give me the chance to use Army Painter black spray as my previous can when I tested it before spraying the model was spraying clumps of paint so was binned.

Now the army painter spray goes on well but is very high gloss and would say more just a paint like Games Workshop than an actual primer. After that I filled in the block colours and he was left to relax on my desk.

Last night however I decided that instead of continuing another story on SWTOR I had to get some paint on the model as I was being teased by Mighty Simo & Dorn's Arrow with pictures of their models approaching completion.

As I planned to paint for an hour or two I reached for my brushes and remembered about my Series 7 size 1 brush and how it still looked brand new ( no it wasn't actually just brand new it has had a fair bit of use ). So with my trusty work horse in hand I was off and managed a good three hours of painting and have almost finished the model minus the base.

I tried these brushes out as I was sick of synthetic brushes from Games Workshop going frizzy and having bristles stick out at funny angles as found a basing brush quickly went to the size of a detail brush after sorting it out. Don't get me wrong these are not cheap but I have been using this for the last 6 months and it still looks new ( apart from some paint on the handle and is holding its shape ).

Using guides I found with different suggestions on how to use the brush has helped to minimise damage but I am not a particular delicate painter and keep it flowing in the right direction at the right angle rarely happens. However it hasn't collapsed into a heap of dead bristles or had the all too common lean to the left my previous brushes developed.

I thought it would be too big to use but so far I have only used this on my Nurgle lord from base coating to detail and it has performed well as it has a nice strong point and lets me use the pressure I want. It seems to suck up a lot of paint without developing a ball of paint on the tip either so is a nice bonus.

It is recommended to use these with brush soap however I have only cleaned it with water as I hadn't tried the soap before. I wasn't sure if it was worth the money and if anyone has experience with brush soap please let me know.

Overall I am very happy with these brushes, I have a size 1 & 0 and both perform very well and while they won't make you turn into a professional painter I do believe they have improved my painting by giving me greater control.

Until next time keep spreading the message of Nurgle throughout the warp.



  1. Brush soap is DEFINATELY worth it if you're using good quality sable brushes.

    I've been using series seven for decades, literally, and If you look after them two years from a brush isnt unheard of, thats sooo many hours of use that cost per hour is less than pence :)

    I use the master's brush cleaner and preserver and it can literally bring brushes back from the dead. I dont use it every time, but lets say every batch of models of a different colour, i'll clean my brushes with it.

    the main thing with WN is to protect the ferrule. NEVER use hot water, and never leave caked paint in the ferrule end of the bristles, (actual advice is to keep paint away from that bit of the brush, but seriously, who can do that?) that will stop the bristle splaying.

    anyways, ive been using em ages, i cant recommend them enough so if you want to know owt else, give us a shout :)

  2. Thanks for the info on brush soap I'll have to pick some up if it prolongs the life of the brushes by such long time.
    I noticed with my first brush I ruined it was trying to get paint out if the ferrule so have tried to avoid that since then.
    It's nice to know that decades later you're still using series 7 brushes.

  3. Colour me convinced.
    Im off to pick up some new brushes

  4. I use Raphaël 8404 brushes and I can recommend them too. They have a slightly different shape with longer bristles. I've yet to try a W&N due to not finding one and haven't bothered to order online :)

  5. @Hendybadger: Glad to see my post ( and the vast experience of Karitias, check out his blog his painting is amazing ) managed to convince you to give them a go.

    @Flekkzo: Funny you use the Raphael 8404 those were the alternative ones I looked at but I wasn't able to find any in the UK without online ordering so went with W&N.

  6. Might have to get some, they could give me the push i need to do a bit of painting again, i hate the GW ones and how they loose bristles and go all slanty after you use them for a while

  7. I've used both Raphael and davinci, I even did a post on them a ways back.. Now I don't know if it's juts first love syndrome but neither seemed to have close to the bristle quality of the WN. The davinci weren't far off tho,

    The other thing to bear in mind is that brush sizes aren't standard... A Raphael size one is massive compared to a WN

    All tat said, I can't inane anyone moving from synthetic to sable to regret it.

    Well maybe if they buy a crazy small one and mistreat it... It won't last long if you do that and feel line false economy.

    Anyway, thanks for your kind words about my painting, and glad I could contribute to this comment thread :)

  8. >It is recommended to use these with brush soap however I have only
    cleaned it with water as I hadn't tried the soap before. I wasn't sure
    if it was worth the money and if anyone has experience with brush soap
    please let me know.

    I have been using brush soap since I started with watercolors. Besides properly cleaning my sable brushes, I also find the activity to be comfortingly therapeutic. I use "The Masters" Brush Cleaner and Preserver and it's always thoroughly cleaned my brushes without any kind of damage.

  9. While many love synthetics (and I use 'em
    myself occasionally), kolinsky the finest;
    like most great things, though, they cost a
    I sometimes utilize synthetics, because I
    do occasionally require, at times, to nood-
    le or model delicate areas, and can't al-
    ways swing the fees for genuine kolin-
    skies - but, believe me, if I could, I would.
    In watercolor, I believe they best; al-
    though, in oil, they also terrific, in their
    proper sphere.


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