The Citadel Medium Base Brush: A Brush for Speed Painting (Review)

Citadel Medium Base Brush Review - Games Workshop Brushes for Professional Miniature and Model Painting - Best Brush for Painting Miniatures

The Citadel Medium Base Brush is the most used brush in my miniature painting arsenal. The Citadel Medium Base Brush reviews like a car that sells itself. It has wide tuft surface that applies a good amount of paint, while providing you good control. Because the brush is made of synthetic fibers, you can use it with all of the harsher art mediums, such as metallics and varnishes. The brush can also withstand vigorous cleaning and scrubbing, which is essential for a long brush life.

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In this article, I review the Citadel Medium Base Brush. As a commissioned miniature painter, the reliability and consistent performance of this brush has served me well.

Read on for my thoughts about the Citadel Medium Base Brush.


The Citadel Medium Base Brush: A Brush for Speed Painting (Review) - Professional Miniature Painting - Best Brush for Painting Miniatures and Models - Games Workshop Brush
So many brushes to choose from!

I am a commissioned miniature painter, and of the many questions that I get asked, the answer to the following question gets the most raised eyebrows:

“What brush do you use the most?”

My answer has varied over the years. The brush I most enjoy using is the best brush for basing. Basing models takes time and I prefer the biggest bristled tool that can do the job.

But, I’ve settled into a speed routine for most projects that require large numbers of models in the 28-35mm scale.

The Citadel Medium Base Brush: A Brush for Speed Painting (Review) - Professional Miniature Painting - Best Brush for Painting Miniatures and Models - Games Workshop Brush
These models are painted entirely with inexpensive synthetic brushes, including the Citadel Medium Base brush. The photo was taken in a photo light box. Notice how some of the details aren’t fully painted. Most of the finer lines are applied through careful use of washes and dry brushing.

Here are the 3 reasons why I love the Citadel Medium Base Brush:

  1. Durable
  2. Applies Paint Effectively
  3. Simple to Use and Clean

1. Durable

The Citadel Medium Base brush is a durable workhorse.

I have a spare medium base brush sitting in a drawer that I’ve kept just-in-case I need a fast replacement. But, I haven’t had a problem, yet.

Fair warning, the bristles may curl a bit on the tips, but it’s manageable with The Master’s Brush Cleaner and Preserver.

My real-world testing has been over the course more than a year. I’ve painted hundreds of models with this brush.

The Citadel Medium Base Brush: A Brush for Speed Painting (Review)
For models painting jobs that require speed, a brush that can handle the abuse of hundreds applications is important. I’ve had painting jobs where I had to literally paint the same model over and over, hours on end. The kind of tools required for this kind of workload need to handle that kind of rigorous, sustained workload.
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The Citadel Medium Base Brush: A Brush for Speed Painting (Review) - Professional Miniature Painting - Best Brush for Painting Miniatures and Models - Games Workshop Brush
A close-up view of the bristles on my brush after more than 18 months of use in highly productive commission work
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2. Applies Paint Effectively

I want to paint effectively and smoothly.

The brush needs to hold paint, then let it go in a predictable manner. The brush must also cover a large surface area in a single stroke, and in a pinch with a turn of the handle, be able to squeeze paint-soaked bristles into the nooks and crannies without spilling into unwanted areas.

The Citadel Medium Base Brush: A Brush for Speed Painting (Review) - Professional Miniature Painting - Best Brush for Painting Miniatures and Models - Games Workshop Brush
This synthetic brush is great for painting really small surfaces, but lacks the paint holding capacity for true surface coverage. I’d suggest going much larger for general use painting.

3. Simple to Use and Clean

The simplicity of a “one brush mentality”.

BEST WATER POT FOR CLEANING BRUSHES?

I have used a variety of brushes. Every size, shape, and make. Filberts, rounds, liners, and pinstripers.

With the Citadel Medium Base brush, base colors and mid-tones can be applied quickly. For speed painting, this brush is awesome!

In many cases, when I just want to go, go go.

I prefer using a regular brush over an airbrush (which requires a bit more planning and control).

A good brush lets you play with color!

The Citadel Medium Base Brush: A Brush for Speed Painting (Review) - Professional Miniature Painting - Best Brush for Painting Miniatures and Models - Games Workshop Brush
A simply stand-out brush for painting miniatures

I think it’s understated that when you’re trying to get things finished, speed combined with simplicity lets you enjoy your progress.

You can see my gallery where a lot of work was done with this medium base brush.


What is the best workhorse brush for painting miniatures and models?

The brush I reach for when I need speed and efficiency is the Citadel Medium Base Brush. I think this is the best brush for basing (and speed painting) any 28-35mm scaled model.

Citadel Medium Base Brush ($8)

  • Speed: This is the biggest brush that does the most work for me in the shortest amount of time.
  • Durable: The brush has durable mixed-synthetic bristles that hold a good amount of paint. It’s great for paint application on pewter, plastic, and resin.
  • Versatile: The brush handles all the jobs I throw at it. I use the medium base brush for base-coats, layering and glazing, and applying heavy washes.
  • Promiscuous: The brush doesn’t care what kind of painter you are. It doesn’t matter if you’re a wet blender, or simple base and dark liner. This brush will adapt to whatever application you need.
  • Cleans up well: Synthetic bristles aren’t as fragile as sable. You can really scrub this brush clean on a paper towel (not too hard), and use brush soap to simply re-shape the bristles (see below).
The Citadel Medium Base Brush: A Brush for Speed Painting (Review) - Professional Miniature Painting - Best Brush for Painting Miniatures and Models - Games Workshop Brush
This is my brush after more than 3 years of work. It’s still going strong and I’m happy to report that it’s still kicking.

Final Thoughts

I’m always on the lookout for the ONE BRUSH TO RULE THEM ALL.

Does such a brush exist?

I don’t think this question is unique to our miniature painting hobby. The idea that a single tool in our lives can help us do all things is a mirage. For example, a golfer may seek the one club that handles all the swings, but there’s a reason why golfers have golf club sets.

For painting miniatures in the 28-35mm scale, a common size for modern wargaming or tabletop strategy board games, I lean toward getting the largest brush that will do the job.

I can certainly recommend the finer, detail pointed rounds (check here). But, for the most part, I don’t start the first coats with those brushes.

If you want a paint brush that you can always reach for and know will help you along, grab a tool that does the job effectively, won’t fall apart on you, and cleans up easy.

This will save you time.

Time is all you have!


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