Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 Brush Review for Miniature Painters

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Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 Review - Featured

The Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 is a small set of 4 synthetic brushes. Each brush has a needle-like point and is well suited for painting tiny details on models. These brushes are more complementary to your main set of go-to brushes.

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All of the brushes are small handled and are much shorter than a regular brush. This gives them the perfect control for painting the tiniest of details. The handle is also wider and has a flatter edge to prevent it from rolling off your hobby table.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 Review – Summary

The Da Vinci Micro Nova brushes are nicely shaped and have a fine point. As they are high quality synthetic, these brushes are a good alternative to the Kolinsky Sable Da Vinci Micro Maestro series 100 brush set.

Size Comparison

Each brush has a polished black handle and are made from high quality golden synthetic fibres. Da Vinci are offering a detail brush with an excellent level of control, with an easy to grip, short handle.

In this set I found the smallest brush, #20/0 most difficult to use as it didn’t hold much paint. After only one stroke I needed to go back to the palette.

Da Vinci – The Company

Da Vinci are a brush manufacturer based in Nürnberg, Germany. The company produces a huge range of different brushes suited to the needs of their customers. They produce Cosmetic, Nail, Dental and most relevant to this review, Artist brushes.

Da Vinci strives to manufacture the highest quality tools, combining traditional craftmanship and quality materials. The company has years of experience and works to meet the versatile needs of their customers.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 Brush Set Overview and Design

The Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 brushes come in 4 different sizes ranging from #5/0 to #20/0. They are designed for table-top and micro painting.

They are made from high quality synthetic fibres with an easy to grip black polished handle, shaped to prevent rolling. Every brush is finished with a red painted band at the base of its silver ferrule. This makes them quick to locate amongst all your other brushes.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 – Brush Tests

To showcase each of the brushes’ performance, I put them through a series of tests. These will expose any potential issues such as splaying, (lack of) manoeuvrability, pigment distribution, etc… In each individual section I will explain in more detail.

For the tests I used Vallejo Model Colour Brown Sand.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 – #5/0

#5/0 is the largest in this brush set with a nicely shaped point. It performed generally well in all the tests and is good for painting details and highlights on minis.

Please note that some of the unevenness of the brushstrokes are due to the thick acrylic paint, not the brush itself.

This brush performed well in all the tests. It maintained its fine point and evenly distributed pigment. The loops show that it had a slight movement problem when going around the tight curves. However when the paint is thinned more, the splaying almost stopped completely.

These brushes don’t handle thicker paint well.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 – #10/0

#10/0 is marginally smaller than #5/0 and has a very fine point. Once again, this brush is suitable for small details.

As the brushes get smaller, it became more difficult to perform the tests. Each brush held very little paint.

#10/0 performed well – it returned to its original shape after being pressed down and it evenly distributed pigment throughout. However it did splay. This is only a minor problem though.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 – #15/0

This brush is well shaped with a needle-like point.

#15/0 can produce incredibly fine lines.

Overall this brush performed well. The issue with the splaying can be mostly ironed out by using very thin paint, but this does make the paint harder to control. It maintained its shape fairly well. Pigment distribution wasn’t as good, but this isn’t a major problem.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 – #20/0

Being the smallest brush in the set, it has the finest point. Unfortunately this is my least favourite brush in this set because it holds hardly any paint.

I used this brush the least when painting minis as the larger brushes in this set hold more paint and still give a similar level of detail.

The brush maintained its shape, but poorly distributed the pigment in the washes. It produces extremely fine lines and is perfect for tiny highlights in lenses and gems on models.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 – Mini Painting

Both of these models showcase well how each of the brushes perform. And I can say that they performed brilliantly.

The ‘Before’ image shows the model with only its base layers. For this I used the Da Vinci Maestro Series 10 brushes. The ‘After’ image shows the same model with added shading and highlights using only the Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 brushes.

For the above comparison, I painted a Namarti Reaver model. I used all of the brushes, using the smallest, #20/0, for the tiny highlight in the gemstone. Every brush performed well. I did prefer to use the two larger brushes for most of the highlights. That’s just personal preference though.

The above model is a Skeleton Warrior. The ‘Before’ image is both the base coat and a simple wash. The brushes built up nice layers of highlights and are very nice to work with, producing excellent results.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 – Will they improve my hobby?

Together with a main set of hobby brushes, these tiny handled brushes will add more to your painting, allowing you to get that extra level of detail. They are well suited for edge highlighting and for painting the tiniest of details. So, yes, they will improve your hobby.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 – Availability

The Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 brushes are widely available in the UK, US and Europe.

Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 – Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Pros:Cons:
Short Handle
Rounded Brushes
Small Size
Needle like point
Maintains shape while painting
Great for fine details and highlights
Good control
Widely available

Some splaying, however this is a
minor issue – thinning paint helps
Holds very little paint
Lacks body
After a couple of uses the brushes
bent out of shape. This can be
reduced by reshaping with brush soap


Overall, the Da Vinci Micro Nova Series 170 brushes are a good addition to any set of hobby brushes and will help make painting tiny details easier. As these brushes are synthetic, they are a nice alternative to Sable. They are short handled with an incredibly fine point, making them well suited for highlighting and freehand details.

This set of brushes have helped me to produce nicely painted models with a high level of detail.

There are some imperfections. Splaying can be an issue, but this can be minimised by using thin paints. Each brush holds very little paint so you’ll need to constantly be turning back to the palette. The brushes bent out of shape after a couple of uses. Reshaping them with brush soap reduces this problem.

However, these brushes are still a worthy addition to your collection.


Da Vinci provided these brushes free of charge for a review

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Author

  • Lauren lives in rural Somerset, England with her parents, younger brother (also a Warhammer fan), cat, tortoises and chickens. She has been painting miniatures for the last two years and is collecting mostly Warhammer 40K, but does have a small collection of Age of Sigmar.

About Zeniphix 3 Articles
Lauren lives in rural Somerset, England with her parents, younger brother (also a Warhammer fan), cat, tortoises and chickens. She has been painting miniatures for the last two years and is collecting mostly Warhammer 40K, but does have a small collection of Age of Sigmar.

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