3 Colours Up Review – Prince August Brushes

October 12, 2011 by elromanozo

Another brand for brushes and other accessories, Prince August, was readily available to me… I believe it’s mainly available in France and some of the rest of Europe, but you can get similar brushes from Vallejo.

I’ve been working with those brushes for a while, and they’re good enough for most of my miniature painting needs… I’ve always found them good enough, even though they’re clearly a brand specifically designed for miniature painting and a step below “real artist” brushes… They’re also a bit cheaper.

That said, depending on what they’re looking for, some painters won’t even give them a second look…

The PA range is divided into several types of bristles, synthetic (toray), sable, and kolinsky sable. You can find pretty much every brush size in each “quality” of hair, including drybrushing brushes, flat brushes, short hair or long hair…

The cheapest are, of course, the synthetic ones. And they’re very good indeed, for synthetic brushes. They last a good while, they don’t fork, they don’t crook (if you wash them properly), and although they don’t hold that much paint, their bristles are only slightly stiffer than sable.

This can allow for more control if you’re a beginner. Price, fine point and durability will seduce you !

The Kolinsky sable brushes are excellent, and not too expensive considering what you’re getting… They keep their sharp point, they last for months (years even!), and they stay perfectly supple in all but the most dire of circumstances.

An even more expensive alternative to these brushes are the special Tobolsky Kolinsky Sable “Master” brushes, packed individually in clear cylinders… They’re great, but they’re expensive, and I didn’t see that much of an added value to the “regular” Kolinsky sable brushes (even though they are indeed better).

Sadly, I’ve always be very disappointed with the non-Kolinsky sable brushes from Prince August, as they don’t always have a fine point, even in the store, especially the smaller sizes (0, 3/0, 5/0, etc.). That’s unfortunate, to say the least…

I’ve tested them again for this review, and I found myself reverting to a Kolinsky Sable brush because its point was finer and didn’t have hair going all over the place… Even though the Kolinsky Sable brush was technically larger!

But it was always their weakness… Let’s not dwell, let’s just avoid this part of the range. Here’s how the prince August brushes fared in my little grading system :

I got the “Brush Set number 2″ for this review… For 20 euros, you get seven brushes, including two very good Kolinsky sable ones, some non-Kolinsky sable ones, a synthetic flat brush (for big jobs) and even, unexpectedly, a swine hair stippling brush (much safer than nylon for your minis !).

They’re all quite good, especially for this price : You can always use the non-pointy sable brushes for fine drybrushing or rough washes, and the set will definitely serve you well, whether you’re a beginner or not… As will the rest of the range.