So, here it is finally, a review of the new Mk2 Brushes from BrokenToad!
First of all, if you’ve not heard of BrokenToad before, then you will soon, because the business is going from strength to strength, now with an impressive roster of busts to go along with the hobby supplies.
2 years ago BrokenToad started by selling a range of high quality weathering pigments (I think i’ve mentioned them in a previous post, but they are rather good) and then soon after branched out by offering what is now known as the Mk1 brushes.
Anyone that follows me on Facebook will know that I’m a big fan of these original brushes and have had several sets due to a great combination of quality, affordability and durability. I’m notoriously hard on my brushes (described by friends as ‘brutal’) simply because of the volume of models I paint, and it was nice to find something that wouldn’t break the bank when i needed to replace them, lasted longer and performed easily as well as Windsor & Newton’s series 7 (this is probably a point of contention for some of you, I’m aware that a brush is a very personal decision for a painter so just take this as my opinion based on my experience rather than gospel).
When BrokenToad announced the imminent arrival of Mk2 brushes earlier this year I knew I had to have some, and now, I have.
So how do they compare? Well, first of all they come in the same nice box that the Mk1 brushes had, with the same brush care note inside.
Its off to a good start inside because the brushes themselves instantly look like a higher quality product, the lacquer on the handle is slightly thicker which gives a smoother, more professional appearance.
The brush handles are also slightly longer with a touch more weight at the end, this gives it more balance than previous versions.
At the business end of the brush things are also good, with longer bristles made from Kolinksy Sable and a slightly larger belly (the middle section of the bristles between the tip and where they meet the ferrule, also called the ‘heel’) on the size 1 and 2.
One thing I will note is that the 3/0 is a lot narrower now, making it a true fine detail brush rather than the general workhorse I’ve always used it for.
Here’s the results of me playing with the brushes.
The bristles on the brushes have excellent flexibility and bounce back into shape nicely once pressure is released, if you have a brush that has no ‘bounce’ and is too soft you have no feel and can’t judge brushstrokes accurately.
Price wise the full set is the same excellent £24 for all four brushes, available from brokentoadstore.co.uk
All in all they’re an excellent improvement over the Mk1’s, even though strictly speaking you’d need to be painting 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to notice the extra weight, but as that’s what I generally do I though it worth mentioning!
Normally I try to pick up on any negative aspects when doing a review, to try and give the fairest, most honest review I can, but in this case there’s not a great deal I can say, my only comment would be that I’ll probably move from the 3/0 to the 0 as my workhorse brush, but even this is a personal choice based on efficiency as a commission painter, I pick the brush with the widest range of abilities that suits me best.
Thanks for reading
I’d like to do more reviews, so if you have any thoughts about the review itself (too long, too short, way too wordy for a review of brushes?) let me know in the comments