I had the very lucky opportunity to attend GenCon this past July and there were some particular reasons for wanting to attend. Aside from partaking in some FFG tournaments, I wanted to find some new products for the painting studio. Leading up to the event I knew that there were going to be some smaller miniature/games companies and I also knew that there were going to be some painting hardware that I wanted to lay my hands on.
I had seen numerous Facebook posts about Games and Gears brush sets and unsure about preordering a set, I ultimately decided to simply walk up to the booth at the ‘con.
With a solid plan, I scoured the vendor hall and found booth #718 that had the brushes on sale. There were two sets that I spied and picked up, The GenCon exclusive Collectors series (of which a review will come soon as it contains the very special brush named the Xtreme Kitana) and The Ichiban Synthetic brush set, of which this review is based around.
The set of three Ichiban synthetic brushes, with their brush tips being protected in a “closed” position
I really liked the feel of the brush in my hand, weight-wise at the ‘con. It seemed to be balanced very well and the construction of the handle, being made of what looks to be a type of aluminium, lends itself to being weighted well. The Ichiban set came as a set of three, in a leather pouch, so I decided to pick up a set, along with the GenCon exclusive set.
I got these brushes home to Canada and started to use them in a current commission that I had to put on hold whist I attended what is touted as being “The best four days in gaming” (trademarked by GenCon). With no hesitation, I decided to use the size #3 for work on a Landraider Crusader hull for a Deathwing army. This brush was able to give me great coverage over the larger panels, with minimal stress to the brush. As I got further along, I needed to employ the size #2 to the main bone work of the hull for the crusader. This brush quickly took a hit to the tip. I have found that with many brushes, the make or break of the brush, for me is just how the tip holds up to my painting. I know many painters dislike Games Workshop brushes for the quality, but if a brush can’t keep it’s tip, then that caused me more hassle than I need. I then moved onto the finest brush of the set, the #1. The size of this equates to something inbetween a Standard Games workshop brush and their Basecoat brush, so it was perfect for getting some finer details on the hull panels for the Crusader. This brush has really kept it’s point while I edged all of the panels of the Crusader. I am really happy with this brush.
This is the size #1 brush
Closer shot of the superb tip from this synthetic brush
All in all I am somewhat, to pleasantly pleased with the overall set of brushes. I really wish the brush sized #2 kept its tip, as that is the one I really wanted to have do the majority of the Landraider Crusader armour, but this is something I am finding with synthetic brushes, so maybe I am working them too hard? I had barely been using the brush for 12-20 hours of work and found a poor result here.
- The brushes are weighted extremely well, so my hands don’t get tired, or cramp up when painting for long periods of time. This is one of the main selling points for me as I tend to do some super long painting sessions
- The way in which the handle switches back to provide a cover for the brushes, is a great idea, especially if I should transport them to painting classes.
- They come in a great case to protect them.
- The size #3 gives really good, smooth coverage, with a great paint yield. Perfect for doing medium, to large panels for vehicles.
- The size #1 holds a point well, and this is really good for highlighting larger panels. This size, once again, gave me great paint yield, before I had to re-dip onto my palette for some fresh paint.
- Size #2 lost it’s fine tip much faster than I expected, but I did put it to work very hard once I started.
Overall I am pleased with the set, and if I could purchase the size #1 individually, I would, since it is a really great in between size for me, and one that would see a lot of application for me. If Games and Gears were to allow an individual purchase of the brushes, I would be all over that. If this was the case, then the brushes would score a solid 8/10, but seeing as I must purchase them as a set, I would rate them a 7/10 as I cannot afford to have one brush die so fast, with the other ones left laying around.