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?”

untitled shoot-9774-2
So many to choose from!

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 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 any 28-35mm scaled model.

  • Citadel Medium Base Brush ($8)
    • This is the biggest brush that does the most work for me in the shortest amount of time.
    • It has durable mixed-synthetic bristles that hold a good amount of paint, and applies that paint onto every surface I’ve worked on: pewter, plastic, and resin.
    • It is versatile; handling all the jobs I throw at it, from base-coats, mid-tones and layering, and applying heavier amounts of washes.
    • It’s technique ambiguous; it doesn’t matter if you’re a wet blender, layer and glazer, or simple base and dark liner. This brush will adapt to whatever application you need.
    • It is easy to clean; 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).

Piggy Backs (Grymkin Faction | Privateer Press)
Painted entirely with inexpensive synthetic brushes, including the Citadel Medium Base brush

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.

Hundreds of models.

Bristle close up of Citadel Medium Base brush
A close-up view of the bristles on my brush after more than 18 months of use in highly productive commission work

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 simplicity of a “one brush mentality”

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. 

Citadel Medium Base brush (my copy)

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.



If you found this article helpful and enjoyed the photos, please let me know!

I’m always opens to new suggestions for topics on photography and miniatures.

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