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"Paintbrush for 6mm?" Topic

17 Posts

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cabin4clw17 Mar 2017 10:01 a.m. PST

I need some help, please. What is the "best" type and size to paint my 6mm figures? I put a little bit of paint on the tip of my brushes but after awhile, the hairs start separating even after many rinses.
Any help would be great.


Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2017 10:06 a.m. PST

Avoid synthetic fibers like nylon and go for sable or some other hair based bristles. Otherwise, welcome to painting – those conditions affect us all!

MajorB17 Mar 2017 10:58 a.m. PST

Same type and size as you use for any other figures. Just make sure they are good quality and can hold a point.

Vigilant17 Mar 2017 11:21 a.m. PST

Good lighting is probably as important as the quality of the brush and will certainly help with smaller figures.

14Bore17 Mar 2017 11:33 a.m. PST

Small or very small, or take your pick. 🍻

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Mar 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

AVOID the temptation to buy tiny brushes. They don't hold any paint so they really, really slow down your progress.

I use a simple #1 round for 90% and then a 2/0 for details. It's the point that matters!

22ndFoot17 Mar 2017 12:42 p.m. PST

Cleaning your brush with brush soap when you finish a session preserves the point on your brush a bit longer too.

Fat Wally17 Mar 2017 2:24 p.m. PST

With 6mm in particular the point is everything. Windsor and Newton Series 7, size 1 or 2.

Toronto48 Inactive Member17 Mar 2017 3:09 p.m. PST

If you are doing figures that have plain uniforms like ACW- -paint them in a base color
-then use an older brush to dry brush in light grey
-finish details with a fine pointed brush

The key with 6mm forces is mass – hold a primed figure about half a meter/2 feet in front of your face in the type of lighting you will have for the game. You paint what you see

Charlie 12 Inactive Member17 Mar 2017 5:46 p.m. PST

Going to sound repetitive… But the MOST IMPORTANT thing is the point. I use high quality #1 brushes for all my 6mm and 1/2400 sailing ship painting. The thing is to have a brush large enough to hold a good quantity of paint with a good, tight point. And splurging for a good brush is money well spent.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member18 Mar 2017 5:21 a.m. PST

Great advice so far, particularly the "stay away from nylon/synthetics" part. Got into a bit of a discussion on this point last week on the Tabletop Commanders' Paint and Chat. Some like to use #1 or #2 Rounds like some of the people above. I prefer a #0 for horses, and other large areas and then a #00 for the main work, as I find I can control the paint flow better. Others find the larger paint well on the bigger brushes does the same thing for them. Also, if you just lay the paint on the figure, instead of trying to use full brush strokes, it'll save quite a bit of wear and tear on the tip with these small figures. Then, paint consistency becomes the important item.

Gazzola18 Mar 2017 5:49 a.m. PST

Yes, the point is the important but not all of the brushes keep the point well. For that reason, whenever I am in the area, I always try to nip into the Art shop and buy more brushes. I tend to go for 20-0, 10-0 and 5-0.

cabin4clw18 Mar 2017 6:15 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the advice. Heading to Hobby Lobby, today.

Glenn Pearce Inactive Member18 Mar 2017 3:16 p.m. PST

Hello Joe!

Everyone has their own system and although most are similar what works for you might not be what's popular. You will have to find your own way through trial and error. I never found quality or expensive brushes worked very well for me.

I've been painting 6mm figures for almost 40 years. I now buy the cheapest brushes I can find and as soon as they start to fray I toss them. I use all sizes from 2 down to 10-0 depending on what I'm painting. Large areas get mainly the big brushes and most of the detail get the 10-0. Some last a week (I paint a lot) while some actually last a month or two.

A lot also has to do with your painting style. If you paint back and forth on the base for example that's a very rough surface and your brush will wear out very fast. If you only paint in one direction that will give you a little more life.

Always clean your brushes when finished and try to get them straight. Once they start to fray you can usually trim them slightly one time. After that their toast.

Best regards,


GROSSMAN31 Jul 2017 12:29 p.m. PST

I use cat whiskers for fine detail. The wife hates that.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Aug 2017 7:49 p.m. PST

How does the cat feel?

The H Man05 Sep 2017 8:05 p.m. PST

Ditto with Glenn. Although I do buy good brushes, I have a bunch of 30 cent ones that are really great. They take forever to die and are a great work horse. So do keep an eye out.

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