Element Games Kolinsky Brush Bundle Review for Miniature Painters

Today, we’re taking another dive into Element GamesElement Essentials range for a look at their own-brand Kolinsky sable brushes. How will they compare to others on the market?

Click this link & buy your hobby stuff from Element Games for the UK & Europe to support FauxHammer.com – Use Code “FAUX2768” at the checkout for double reward points.

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Element Games Kolinsky Brush Bundle  Review – Summary

Whilst they lack the substance and wow factor of many market-leading sable brushes, Element Games’ Kolinsky Brush Bundle is a cheaper and reliable alternative for people perhaps unsure about sinking big bucks into a set of sable brushes.

Element Games Kolinsky Brush Bundle  Review – Introduction

Regular readers will probably have noticed by now, but over the last few weeks I’ve slowly been munching my way through a large part of Element Games’ Element Essentials range.

At the time of writing, these are the last product in the range I’ve been sent to review. I’ve no idea what order these will be published in, so I’ve no idea if this will be towards the beginning of the series or the end.

But I have to say, time and again Element Games have proved that their essentials range is a decent budget-conscious go-to for the hobbyist looking for a bargain. Whilst their products might not blow minds, they will certainly fill holes in your hobby arsenal – and do so for very reasonable prices as well.

I was quite surprised when I saw these brushes: usually, Kolinsky sable brushes are synonymous with high-quality hobby, and cost an arm and a leg. So finding out that Element Games do their own little pack of budget-conscious sable-tipped brushes was a bit of a shock. Could they maintain the good-quality, budget-conscious approach to hobbying that the rest of their range exemplifies?

Element Games Kolinsky Brush Bundle  Review – Design

As one of the most budget-conscious sable brush bundles available, it’s perhaps no surprise that their design is nothing particularly revolutionary.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle All Far

Yup. Black brushes. Steel ferrules. A scheme known as the “Classic Wargamer”.

Still, first impressions remain good. At a glance, the brush heads look to be reasonable lengths for their proposed level of detail, and they’re definitely smart.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle All Near

The Stubby Detail brush in particular appeals to me: a lot of smaller brush sizes tend to favour thinner brush bodies in favour of ensuring a sharper tip, but the fatter body on the Stubby Detail brush should ensure better paint flow to the figure, and less time spent going backwards and forward between palette and plastic, which is the last thing you want when dicing with extreme detail.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle All Nearest

Soo, on the surface, these brushes look decent enough, if nothing special.

How do they paint?

Element Games Kolinsky Brush Bundle  Review – Testing

I decided to test these brushes on my final Indomitus/Command Edition figure – my second Primaris Captain. With everything else now painted (okay, apart from the scenery…), his completion marks the end of a lot of work.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle Primaris Captain Primed

To this day, this chap remains one of my all-time favourite models, recently seconded by the C’tan Shard of the Void Dragon. He’s covered in intricate details and plenty of varies textures, so he’s perfect for testing brushes on.

Let’s see how Element Games’ budget-conscious sable brushes measure up.

The Regiment

It’s perhaps to be expected, then, that these aren’t going to be the best sable brushes on the market.

After my first coat of Caliban Green on my Dark Angels Primaris Captain the point on the end of the brush had disappeared. The head was completely flat and looked more like a flat-topped basing brush.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle Regiment Far

Time and again, the tip would not hold. After only a few pulls of paint across the surface of my figure and the point had totally disappeared. I caught myself constantly having to re-shape the brush, which had become a little tiresome around the later coats of green.

To touch, and compared to some other sable brushes at my disposal, it seems to be because the sable bristles on the EG brushes are a little softer than some of the other sable brushes. Foremost amongst which are the RedgrassGames brushes, which are comparatively rock-solid.

That the bristles are so soft means the brush yields to the texture of the figure much faster than other sable brushes, and thus loses its point quickly.

That said, the brush was more than keen to be re-shaped with a little water and a good twist on a palette – but I had to do this far more than I would’ve liked to.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle Regiment Near

Vanishing tip aside, the brush head itself is a reasonably good size and can retain a decent amount of paint. Flow to the figure is also not interrupted too severely by the brush’s insistence on not holding its point, and on the whole, I was able to retain a decent amount of accuracy whilst applying my larger basecoats.

It was also adequate for applying some Citadel shade paints to those areas it base coated – in fact, I felt this was where it came into its own. The brush head is a good size for applying watery shades, as the brush head isn’t so large that you risk accidental saturation.

Still, it’s misbehaving bristles are still vastly superior to the majority of synthetic brushes, so it wins points there.

Here’s how the captain was looking after using the Regiment.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle Primaris Captain Based 1
…And after receiving a good drybrush with some Waaagh! Flesh and Warpstone Glow.

The brush is very much alright. It more-or-less does what you tell it to, though it does have a few irritating quirks and foibles that count as marks against it.

Not perfect, but not terrible.

The Character

I did the majority of the painting with the Character.

Of the three brushes, this one is my favourite. Whilst it suffers from the soft bristles and disappearing tip issue that the Regiment was also afflicted with, the more controlled and detail-oriented painting this brush is intended for means the problem isn’t so pronounced.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle Character Far

Because the brush is intended to be used for more gentle and specific work, there’s less strain on the bristles, and thus it’s a little bit happier to hold its point than the Regiment.

In fact, for its price it’s a rather decent little sable brush

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle Character Near

With a slightly smaller brush head than the Regiment, the Character is a decent all-rounder kind of brush. It’s fine enough to base and shade all the more intricate details on a figure, which you would struggle to manage with the Regiment, and is also adept for any edge highlighting you may want to do.

After a brush with the Character, here’s how the Captain was looking.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle Primaris Captain Further Basing 2

One brush remains. How will the Stubby Detail compare to its larger brethren?

The Stubby Detail

Last but not least, we come to the Stubby Detail brush.

Compared to a lot of other smaller detail brushes of similar size, it has a much fatter head. In terms of painting miniatures, this is excellent as it’s larger belly will hold more paint, plus any paint on the tip will be slower to dry. More time to crack those details!

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle Stubby Detail Far

As is to be expected, it suffers from the same problems as the other brushes in this set: it doesn’t hold its tip well, and whilst it’s a good size for some extreme edge highlighting, the tip disappears after very little use.

Aside from that, though, it’s not all that bad a brush. I was able to get the rest of the details on my figure with no issues (aside from the aforementioned disappearing tip).

So, here’s the finished figure.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle Primaris Captain Finished 1

One stand out feature of the Stubby Detail worthy of mention is that is it, by far, the best brush I’ve ever used for painting text onto a figure. In the past, no detail brush – or any brush, for that matter – that I’ve had has ever been able to get a good, consistent letter-shape I’ve not immediately painted over and hidden with transfers.

Element Games Colinsky Brush Bundle Primaris Captain Finished 2

Sure, the tip had disappeared by the end of each letter, but I was pretty pleased with the overall effect.

The Stubby Detail brush is nowhere near as versatile as the Character, but what it can do it does quite well. That fatter head does make a difference, and whilst the tip pulls an incredible vanishing act, up until that point the brush is easy to control and maintains a good consistent flow of paint.

So, there you have it.

Whilst these aren’t the best brushes I’ve ever used, they are also not the worst – not by a long way. There are some minor issues across all the brushes in this little trio, but in the grand scheme of brushes – and price of brushes – these really aren’t that bad at all. Certainly better than most equivalently prices brushes from some of your fave miniature brands.

Will Element Games Kolinsky Brush Bundle  Improve my Hobby?

This very much depends on where you are in your hobby. An absolute beginner? They’re probably a little soft for you. That said, because they are reasonably inexpensive, they’re certainly something for you to consider as you start to improve.

An intermediate painter looking to get better? A painter starting to get a little more serious with their hobby? Yes, these would be a good shout for you – especially if you’re still using synthetics.

However, if you’re a medium to advanced painter already with some reasonable brushes at your disposal, these won’t be worth much of a look. Stick with what you have and what you know (and what you’ve probably spent fifty quid on).

Element Games Kolinsky Brush Bundle  Review – Price and Availability

You can buy the Element Games Kolinsky Brush Bundle directly from EG’s website. Priced at £22/€24.20/$25.96USD, this is a steal for three sable brushes.

If there’s a specific size you’re after, you can buy each brush individually as well. The Stubby Detail Brush is priced at £7.25/€7.98/$8.56USD, whilst the Regiment and Character brushes are £8.50/€9.35/$10.03USD each.

Element Games Kolinsky Brush Bundle  Review – Final Thoughts

Very affordable for sable brushes
Better than more expensive sable alternatives
 Bristles are extremely soft
Vanishing points

It’s not often you’ll come across a bunch of sable brushes for anything less than forty quid, so that Element Games are offering three perfectly reasonable sable brushes for a little over twenty should be raising eyebrows.

Considering that a decent sable brush will set you back almost as much money as this entire bundle costs, you can’t expect the world when paying £22/€24.20/$25.96USD for three sable brushes. That said, Element Games’ Kolinsky Brush Bundle do maintain a reasonably good standard of performance – particularly when compared to synthetic brushes.

These are a great place to start transitioning from synthetic or other cheaper brushes into sable. As an intermediate or beginner hobbyist, you might find yourself looking at the price tag of a set of top-end Kolinsky Sable brushes and wincing at the thought of shelling out upwards of £50 for some brushes. As such, a £20 set is much more appealing, and can begin to introduce you to just how good sable brushes are.

Because EG’s sable brushes aren’t great when compared to much more expensive sable brushes, but when placed in the wider frame of all brushes available to hobbyists, do a fine job of landing slap-bang in the middle. They’re considerably better than a vast amount of brushes, but not good enough to come close to stepping on the toes of the top-end market.

And, at the end of the day, whilst there are considerably better, more aesthetic, and finely-crafted sable brushes out there, the Element Games Kolinsky Brush Bundle undercuts their competition in one major field: they are really quite spectacularly affordable.

Click this link & buy your hobby stuff from Element Games for the UK & Europe to support FauxHammer.com – Use Code “FAUX2768” at the checkout for double reward points.

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FauxHammer – Latest Video on YouTube

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Rob has spent most of the last 20 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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