Brushes review: Winsor Newton series 7 vs Rosemary and Co

I’ve been using brushes from Winsor & Newton series 7 for over two years now. I think it’s a good time for me to write a brushes review.
In fact it’s been the same lot of brushes all this time, and that’s quite big thing, that they have lasted so long and kept a really good shape. I guess it’s one of the best recommendations I can give to the Winsor & Newton brushes, especially because I don’t really treat them too good….

Unfortunately though, nothing lasts forever, and I’ve noticed recently that my brushes are dying on me slowly, losing the shape and point. So I was forced to buy new ones. And because I like to experiment a bit from time to time, I decided to give a try to Rosemary & Co brushes series 33. I read a lot of good stuff about them and they are fairly cheap compared to Winsor & Newton series 7, and way more easily available in the UK than Raphael brushes, so I thought, “why not”?

I received them a few days ago and already had a chance to try them. I’m still not sure yet if I’m gonna love them or hate them, but because I know that choosing a right brush is very personal thing and things that aren’t working for me could be awesome for someone else, I’m not gonna judge here, instead I’ll try compare both sets I have in hand.

The competitors

Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sabre.

Size: 00, 0 and 1

Winsor & Newton website.

Brushes review: Winsor & Newton series 7 vs Rosemary & Co. (1)

Hand made brushes for water colour & gouache. Known in our miniature world as one of the best, Winsor & Newton made quite an effort to describe them for us in detail, so I’ll just show you some links: Here’s a short description of Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brushes and here you can find a description of making Winsor & Newton Series 7 Brushes.

Winsor & Newton series 7 brushes come in two series: standard and miniature, the difference between them is the size of brush head, miniature are shorter and I prefer those, but like I said, this is a very personal view.

Rosemary & Co Pure Kolinsky Sabre, Series 33 Pure Kolinsky Pointed

Size: 00, 0 and 1

Rosemary & Co website

Brushes review: Winsor & Newton series 7 vs Rosemary & Co. (2)

There is not as much detailed information about these brushes, but as the manufacturer states, they are also handmade from the finest Kolinsky hair.

I read that for miniature painting two series are the best: Series 33 Pointed and Series 22 Designer. I decided to buy Series 33.

Ok, time for some actual comparison

On the picture below you can find accordingly from the top: W&N series7 and Rosemary & Co size 00, 0 and 1 (the top brush met my cat at some point and you can see how lucky I was that Mr Bombel decided to eat the rear end of the brush).

Brushes review: Winsor & Newton series 7 vs Rosemary & Co. (3)

As you can see the Rosemary & Co brushes have slightly shorter handle and visibly longer brush head (all of my brushes are short handle, but then Winsor & Newton only comes like this, with Rosemary & Co for an extra few pennies, you can choose a longer handle).

The difference in the shape of brush heads is even more visible on the close up below:

Brushes review: Winsor & Newton series 7 vs Rosemary & Co. (4)
From left hand side: R&C 1,W&N 1, R&C 0, W&N 0, R&C 00 and W&N 00.

W&N series 7 (miniature I believe) are more triangular in shape, significantly shorter, and seem a bit more solid, but still pointy at the end (remember I’ve been using them for over two years!). Rosemary & Co are slimmer and longer, and thanks to that seem to be a bit bigger than the equivalent from Winsor & Newton7. It’s especially visible with size 00.

When it comes to painting, the longer hair in the Rosemary & Co brush seems to be softer than Winsor & Newton7 head, and gives you different level of precision (it’s hard to say if it’s better or worse – just different).

I understand that sizes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and everyone needs to choose sizes that fit them best within every range, but I guess the pictures of brush heads will give you some ideas what you can expect:

Brushes review: Winsor & Newton series 7 vs Rosemary & Co. (5)
Size 1
Brushes review: Winsor & Newton series 7 vs Rosemary & Co. (6)
Size 0
Brushes review: Winsor & Newton series 7 vs Rosemary & Co. (7)
Size 00

Brushes review: conclusion

I can’t judge the endurance of Rosemary & Co brushes so far (ask me in two years), and I can’t tell you what’s good for you when it comes to the shape of the brush head, so there is no conclusion as such:)

I can only tell you that for me, I’m more comfortable with the shorter hair, so I’m probably gonna buy a new set of Winsor & Newton series 7 pretty soon (with maybe extra brush or two – size 2 or 3, for larger scale miniatures). It’s absolutely not because Rosemary & Co are worse brushes, they’re just not for me. However, if you prefer longer hair then these might be the brushes for you.

At this point, the only thing I can think of that Rosemary & Co brushes may be better at than Winsor & Newton series 7 for me personally, might be freehands. They gather more paint in them (due to their shape), so they should allow longer strokes between refilling paint. But at the moment it’s just speculation, I haven’t tried them this way yet.

I hope this short article will help you make a more conscious decision when it comes to buying new brushes, especially if you need to buy them online, without checking how they feel in your hand. If you have any comments about the differences between these brushes or your favourite ones, please share with us, so we can all learn more.

Cheers

— ‘eM

Hell Baby from Maow Miniatures – Review

It’s high time I posted at least one Maow Miniatures review. Fortunately I have a chance to review one sweet but tiny miniature from them – a little devil in a nappy: Hell baby.

Packaging

This little beauty came to me as a gift form Slawol (thx sooooo much mate!) in a little plastic bag.

Photo: Hell Baby from Maow Miniatures - review

That’s the standard Maow packaging as far as I know. At least when it comes to those tiny minis (that’s my 5th Maow mini for now btw). Maybe they use blisters or something else for bigger pieces, I don’t know.

Inside the bag

      The mini is

17mm tall

    and in 3 pieces (you use just two of them):

  • body
  • hand with a rakes
  • hand with a little trident

Photo: Hell Baby from Maow Miniatures - review

Photo: Hell Baby from Maow Miniatures - review

Photo: Hell Baby from Maow Miniatures - review

Photo: Hell Baby from Maow Miniatures - review

Quality

As you can see on pictures, cast isn’t extremely clean, there are some specks of resin that looks like residues after casting and two or three delicate mold lines. But is should be easy enough to clean. In fact good old toothbrush and warm soap should do the trick with the little thingies and few minutes with scalpel should be enough to get rid of the mold lines. As far I can see there is just one little air bubble on his little toe, but a drop of Mr Surfacer should fix it.

I don’t see the point of describing every and each of my Maow minis. They are pretty much the same quality: funny concepts, beautiful details, a lot of character, small mold lines sometimes, a bit of ‘resin dirt’ and air bubble from time to time.

Maybe not perfect but still good enough and enjoyable.

My personal opinion about the company

    I guess with 5 minis at home I can afford some generalization:

  • brilliant ideas
  • funny minis
  • good enough quality (all the issues are easy to fix)
  • reasonable prices

I’m really looking forward to buy more of their minis, maybe some monster bottles this time??

Where to buy

The company itself sells minis only in France (mostly because of the shipping costs), but on their website you can find list of online stores in other countries where you can buy their stuff.

— Marta

JMD Miniatures: Succube – Review

I guess there is no need to introduce JMD miniatures, French company that released such great sculpts like: Demon, Persian Assasin, Huri Khan and plenty others (even historical pieces).

Quite recently I bought from them 3 minis: two busts (ghoul and octopus) and Succube, maybe not classically beautiful but very powerful mini, at least for me.

Photo: JMD MIniatures: Succube - review

Succube is scale 54 mm, sculpted by Allan Carrasco, and of course cast in resin.

The mini comes in a box in which you can find 6 parts: body, two arms, sword, hair and base.

Cast quality

First impression:

WOW!! Beautifully cast mini, almost flawless with a lot of details (even few quite disturbing ones).

Photo: JMD MIniatures: Succube - review

Photo: JMD MIniatures: Succube - review

Photo: JMD MIniatures: Succube - review

Photo: JMD MIniatures: Succube - review

Photo: JMD MIniatures: Succube - review

Photo: JMD MIniatures: Succube - review

Second impression:

Quality of the cast is very good. After a long time I mangaged to find just one small mold line on the shoulder pad, and sword’s hilt. The second one will take me a bit longer to fix, because of the fine details in this area, but still it’s not such important part of the mini, so it shouldn’t be a big problem.
The only thing that might be an issue are sprues of resin coming from the left hand. Especially the one next to the elbow. But still I think the quality of the cast is pretty amazing.

Assembly

As far I can see assembling shouldn’t be a big problem. Parts seems to fit quite nicely.

Painting

For a painter, well it can be a tricky mini to paint. She’s basically naked, with strong, for some people ugly, face. But on the other hand, her naked body is a nice place to do some freehands, maybe animal patterns or tatoos:)

Target

Definitely not a mini for everyone.
First of all, she’s naked with all the anatomical details.
Second: her face – it’s not classically beautiful, some people might even say she’s ugly.
Third: because the mini is so simple, with static pose, there is nothing that can turn the attention from the paintjob itself.
But if you think that she’s the one for you, go for it 🙂 It’s really beautiful piece

Where to buy

I bought mine from Jama (thx Nameless for great service :P) but if you want you can go to the JMD Miniatures company site.

— Marta