Thursday, February 10, 2022

Tyler's Tools of the Trade

I assemble, convert, and paint a lot of models, as you may have noticed. Every now and then I get asked about what brush I'm using, or something along those lines, so I figured I would give everyone a quick rundown of some of my most commonly used tools while hobbying!


Let's start with the stuff I get asked about that most, my painting supplies. I'm not going to go into paints, since I almost use entirely Citadel paints, with a few Reaper thrown in here and there. Although I did invest in the Kickstarter for Duncan Rhodes' paint line, so I'll be excited to try those out when they arrive. The number one question is always about my paint brushes though, so here's my rundown:

I currently use a Windsor and Newton Series 7 Size 1 brush for all of my detail work. Basically, once I get to a point where I'm doing anything that requires me to be precise I'm using this guy. I really like the size 1 as I find it's long enough to get into tighter areas on a model, holds a good point, and also hold enough paint on it that I don't run into issues of the paint not flowing off the brush. In the past I've used Citadel Artificer Brushes as well as Scharff brushes for this same thing. Both are good as well, but in the end I decided I like the W&N Series 7 best. I usually get these a few at a time as I go through my brushes rather quickly (maybe half a year if I'm lucky), even with proper care. This way I don't have to wait for a new one to arrive after my old one dies.

Redgrass Games was kind enough to send me some of their brushes to try out, a Size 2 and 0/2. I don't use the smaller one a whole lot, but I use the larger one for more careful base coating, as well as some broader layering and highlights. It's a good brush with a good point, but just larger than I normally use.

Once I get past those brushes I move onto my "hardier" brushes. I'm currently using my Citadel STC brushes for messier base coating, washes, and with paints that are tougher on your brushes, like texture paints and some technical paints. I also have an older Citadel Medium Shade Brush, which I still quite like for larger quantities of shades. I also use the Citadel Dry Brushes. I have a cheap makeup brush I bought to try out since so many people have recommended them. It's okay, but is a bit too soft for a lot of dry brushing.

For my palette I'm currently using the Redgrass Games Wet Palette, which you can read my whole review on here. I also use an old piece of tile. This is what I used all the time before the wet palette, and now I use it for metallics, dry brushing, and when I'm feeling lazy.

A good brush soap is essential when you're using nicer brushes. I use the "The Masters" Brush Soap by B&J. This a really good brush soap, and can be found at most hobby stores and online. I clean all of my brushes that I used at the end of every session.

For my water pot I actually have the Citadel Water Pot. A regular cup works just fine, but I like this one quite a bit. I went out and bought this on my own. It wasn't sent to me as a review item or anything. I really like how the base flares out as you're never in danger of accidentally knocking it over.

Lastly, I have a arc light that my brother-in-law built for me that stretches overtop my painting area. These are the ideal types of lights as it helps cut down on shadows. Whatever type of light you're using I recommend using daylight bulbs in it to accurately see the colors. Before I had my current light I used an OTT lamp, which again, can be found at most hobby and craft stores.


Honestly, I don't have anything crazy here and I should probably up my game a bit. I don't even remember where my hobby clippers are from and they're not the best. I should invest in a high quality pair sometime soon as it can make a huge difference.

My hobby knife is from Gale Force 9, but really any Xacto style knife will work here. I use this for scraping down my mold lines too.

For my glue I use the ubiquitous pink super glue available at most hobby stores. They leave part of the label blank so that the store can put their own label on it. I use super glue for everything over plastic glue. This way I can snap off pieces later if I need to, which you can't do with plastic glue since that melts the pieces together. I can't tell you how often I've gone back to older models and snapped off pieces either to change the model or to use on a conversion for another model. This super glue is pretty cheap, and you can also find the tops sold seperately, so once it gets too gooped up you can just swap out the top.

Lastly, I have a small cutting mat to protect whatever surface I'm working on.


The last category I'm going to go over is sculpting. I primarily work with greenstuff as my sculpting medium, but these will work with any "clay" type substance.

My main tool is actually a GW sculpting tool that I've had for probably 15 years, if not my whole hobby life. Honestly, this might still be the first tool I bought from my local GW back in the early 2000s. I vaguely remember losing it at one point though and having to buy another. It has a "blade" on one end, and a flat circular part on the other. I use this a TON.

The next set of tools, and equally important, are some clay shapers. You can find these online pretty easily, which is where I got these. The two different colors are two different levels of hardness, and honestly, I've forgotten which is which. I use the grey one the most though. The set usually comes with about 5 different shapes, but this rounded point tool is the one I use 99% of the time. It's fantastic for blending putty and gently sculpting in detail.

Lastly, on the sculpting front, I have a set of dental picks I also bought online. This is the one I use the most, but again, the set comes with several options. I use this for hard lines, holes, hooking and pulling putty, etc.

That concludes my tour of my main set of hobby/painting tools. I do have a bunch more random brushes and tools and such, like hand drills, larger saws, larger brushes, etc, but the ones listed above are the ones I use on a day to day basis. Hopefully this was helpful and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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