Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review

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Brushes are a fundamental part of this hobby, yet the scale, range and variable quality of what is on offer is staggering. Let our Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes review guide you towards some of the better products on offer.

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The Best Brushes for Miniatures & Models

This article is part of our series looking at the Best Brushes for Miniatures & Wargames Models.

Best Brushes for Painting Miniatures

If you want to check out what the best brushes are for your projects, please check out our Best Brushes for Miniatures article by clicking the image above.

Monument Hobbies: Bomb Wick Brushes Review – Summary

Forsake the Igniters and Det. Cords at your peril: these are some fantastic brushes and are perfectly suited for the up-and-coming painter, and whilst the DB2 from the Artillery range isn’t as versatile as its description would have you believe, it’s nonetheless a decent brush in its own right.

Whilst there are far better brushes available for the pro painter, if you’re an intermediate or beginner hobbyist looking for your first set of decent brushes, don’t overlook Monument Hobbies’ Bomb Wicks.

Monument Hobbies: Bomb Wick Brushes Review – Introduction

In the first meeting of the new FauxHammer team, which involved the Dark Wizard FauxHammer of Nottingham placing various hobby-related items inside pentagrams drawn in Blood for the Blood God,  some of those summoned by his invocations took the opportunity to compare the brushes they use on their models. As I’m sure you can imagine, with as much talent and skill on offer as there is amongst my colleagues, lots of fancy brand-names were thrown around: Winsor and Newton and Artis Opus were amongst the oft-cited, and when everyone started talking about airbrushing, I stopped listening…

So, when the conversation swung back towards me and I was asked what brand of brushes I used, I somewhat sheepishly had to admit that I’d spent a total of £15 on two sets of paint brushes, bought straight from Amazon. When it transpired that I was using the exact same brushes as those FauxHammer buys for his primary school-age children, everyone had a good laugh at my expense (it wasn’t the first, and I doubt it’ll be the last).

Whilst my colleagues bonded over my painting inexperience and general brush-related ignorance (you should’ve seen how they responded when I told them I hadn’t heard of putting rattle cans in warm water), I was left wondering just what the big deal was. Surely there can’t be that much of a difference between a “good” brush and a “bad” one? They’re all just sticks with varying amounts and different shapes of hair glued on to the end, after all.

Eager to prove me wrong, the Dark Wizard FauxHammer decided it was my time for me to be educated and granted entrance into a darker sphere of the miniatures hobby. As such, a few days later, a package containing some Monument Hobbies brushes to review arrived at my door.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review for Miniature Painters - Packaging

The set contains:

Pretty neat, I guess?

Monument Hobbies: Bomb Wick Brushes Review – Design

Well, even I can confirm that they’re definitely brushes.

To look at, there’s nothing exactly stand-out about these brushes. They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel – or the brush, or whatever – but that’s not the point of them. The Long Wick/Igniters and the DB2 are ergonomic enough, but some of the finer detail brushes have painfully thin handles which, to a gigantic troglodyte with hands as heavy as anvils like myself, seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

That they’re colour-coded is a nice touch: one issue I had previously had with my cheapies was that they were all black, all the same shape, and all had their size written in small numbers on the handle. This meant rooting around my hobby supplies every time I wanted a different brush, muttering “no” repeatedly to myself as I continually pulled out the wrong size. At least with the Bomb Wick range, the different colours can help guide your eye to the brush you’re after.

They don’t look particularly snazzy, though, but that’s not necessarily the point of a paintbrush, is it? When you’re using a paintbrush, you’re looking at the thing you’re painting with it, not the brush handle thinking “damn, this brush is lookin’ fine.”

At least, I don’t, but maybe that’s what separates those of us who paint for a hobby from those who win Golden Demons.

Monument Hobbies: Bomb Wick Brushes Review – Tests

If like me, you don’t really give a hoot as to whether or not your brushes look glamorous, this will be where the review really begins for you.

Knowing absolutely nothing about Monument Hobbies (or, as I found out, paintbrushes in general) I turned to my assistant, Google, and ended up on Monument’s website. As a novice and a recent initiate to the Great Painting Cult, I decided to let Monument Hobbies’ descriptions of their brushes shape how I used them.

The range with which I had provided was certainly more than enough to get all the usual bits I’d do when painting a mini done, and, as if by fate, my next delivery of Mortal Realms arrived as I was preparing to begin testing these brushes, so I was furnished with the figures I needed.

I completely benched all the other brushes I would usually use in favour of only using only the Monument Hobbies brushes in order to really put them through their paces. I resolved that, no matter how well or poorly I was getting on with the brushes, I would stick with them until the figures were totally complete.

So, without further ado, here we go.

Monument Hobbies: Bomb Wick Brushes Review – Painting

First off, I am not the best painter in the world.

I enjoy painting with brushes. I love the process of watching a grey plastic figure become something with life and personality, and although I love the process, I would still describe my ability as “tabletop-but-reaching-hopelessly-for-parade-ready”. I’ve a long way to go before anything I paint drops any jaws.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review Sequitors Primed
Primed and ready.

As such, I decided not to punch above my weight. Loosely following the paint scheme used in Duncan Rhodes’ battle-ready Sequitor paint guide, but with a few extra steps added steps to ensure all the brushes were tested, I had three Sequitors – courtesy of an uncharacteristically well-timed delivery from Hachette Partworks – ready to be sacrificed in the name of this experiment. Once primed with the Retributor Armour rattle-can, it was time to do some basic shading.

Monument Hobbies: Long Wick/Igniter #2 & #3

What I have branded as “Long Wick” brushes appear to have been renamed to “Igniters” in the time it has taken for these brushes to be sent from Monument to FauxHammer (the guy not the site), and then from FauxHammer on to me. Monument seem pretty proud of these brushes, and bill them on their website as being “great for use with acrylics as well as other thin mediums, Igniters will allow you to blend easily and create the finest details at any scale.”

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review for Miniature Painters - Long Wick Brushes

With this in mind, the Long Wick/Igniters seemed the obvious place to start. With larger Kolinsky sable brush-heads than the Det. Cords, these brushes are designed to be able to hold a sizable amount of product, so the size 3 should be fantastic for any early-game shading. To put this to the test I began by shading my miniatures in Reikland Fleshshade Gloss.

And, well, they kind of were.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review for Miniature Painters - Long Wick Brush Tips

The good news is these Long Wick/Igniters glide over the miniature something lovely. The bad news is that they really just don’t seem to hold GW Shade Paint as well as I’d hoped. Though the brush distributed the colour it held well, I found I was constantly returning to my palette to load it up with more – the brush just seemed to be drinking the paint.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review Sequitors Shaded
Shady-looking.

I’ll return to the Long Wick/Igniters again in the moment for some basecoating with acrylics, as I wasn’t quite prepared to give up on them after just one test.

Monument Hobbies: Artillery DB2

With my test subjects now shaded and the Long Wick/Igniters set aside for a moment, it was time to drybrush these chaps with a coating of Sigmarite. The DB2 is a 1/4″ angled drybrush, described as being the ideal brush “for everyday priming, weathering, drybrushing, washing, basing and other harsher techniques,” so it seemed only fair that this is what I used it for.

But, in spite of being sold as capable of drybrushing, it became clear very fast that this brush was far from suitable.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review for Miniature Painters - Artillery

The DB2 is a nice brush to hold. Of the sample I was sent, this one has the largest handle. It feels sturdy – far sturdier than any of the other brushes in the range. But it’s bristles are too fine, too smooth and far too soft for drybrushing.

When trying to work my metallic Sigmarite paint into the bristles of this brush, I found I was instead wiping it off. Whilst after quite a lot of persistence I did manage to build up a fairly subtle drybrush edge on my miniatures, but it really was not as straightforward as I would have liked. The bristles are far too soft and fine, and any extended use as a drybrush would almost certainly wreck the bristles.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review for Miniature Painters - Artillery Tip

At the end of the painting process, I decided to give the DB2 another chance with drybrushing my bases with Tyrant Skull, and this time it performed far better than it had previously with the metallic Sigmarite paint – this is something to bear in mind when choosing what colours your planning to use with this brush.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review Sequitors Drybrushed
Drybrushed – not that you’d know it.

It’s a shame, really. The DB2 is a great brush to have in your hand, but it’s really not up to snuff. This brush isn’t the best for drybrushing, but would be suitable for large-scale basecoating on, say, vehicles, or priming with a brush. As mentioned above, any extended use as a drybrush would almost certainly ruin the DB2, as it’s bristles are far too fine and soft to put up with the sort of punishment that most harsher techniques will deal it.

I returned to the DB2 and used it to basecoat a couple of larger black areas on some Nighthaunt miniatures shortly after writing my first draft of this article. For this, it was fantastic: it applied a smooth, even covering over the area, and it was glorious to control. To me, though, this also served to emphasize just how poorly suited this brush is for anything else. It’s basecoats or nothing.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review Nighthaunt Pair
In spite of being large and tough-looking, the DB2 is a sensitive soul. Unlike these chaps, whose black shrouds were based with the DB2.

It’s a real shame. The DB2 simply isn’t as versatile as it’s sold as being: whilst it’s a decent basing brush, it’s really not up to drybrushing anything properly and, though you’ll get a few uses out of it using it as such, you’ll wreck it pretty quickly. As a result, I’d be hesitant to use it for any of the more strenuous parts of the painting process – and I definitely won’t be swapping my Citadel M Dry for the Artillery DB2 (especially given that they’re more or less exactly the same price, give or take a few pennies or cents).

Monument Hobbies: Long Wick/Igniter #2 & #3 Continued

I returned to the Long Wick/Igniter size 2 and 3 to get the remainder of my base colours on the larger areas of my models. Perhaps a little dissatisfied with my first experience of them, I was hopeful they would handle the acrylic paints better.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review Sequitors Based
Base colours down, you could call it done here.

Indeed, they did.

The Long Wick/Igniters came into their own. These were lovely to use, especially over the larger areas. The #2 in particular was fantastic for the tabards and even handled some of the finer detail, such as the chains on the pendants (usually pained with Leadbelcher or another grey metallic paint, but I do mine with Mephiston Red to give them a more traditional Catholic rosary look), though I did touch these up with a Det. Cord #x10 later.

They’re also reasonably chunky, so holding them for any lengthy period of time isn’t an issue. Whilst they occasionally lost their points during heavier use over some of the larger areas, such as the back of the robes, they were easy enough to reshape with a little water and a palette and showed no inclination of starting to split.

I was also painting some Castigators at the same time, and basing their under-robes with Corax White – a process I previously struggled with using my old brushes – was actually a genuine pleasure to do. If making painting white bearable doesn’t put a big tick next to the Long Wick/Igniters, then nothing will.

The Long Wicks/Igniters are smashing for dealing with your base paints and other acrylics, and in spite of their larger brush heads, can even manage to touch some of the finer detail, as long as you’re careful with the brush tip. As some of the larger brushes in the set, they’re also nice to hold, and their sable bristles make them easy to control on any texture – though they aren’t all that great for using with shaders.

Monument Hobbies: Det Cords. Sizes #1, #0, #00, #000 and #0x10

For basing some of the finer details on the image above, such as the lightning bolts on the shoulder pads, pendants and shields in Corax White, the gems in the hammers in Mephiston Red, and some of the smaller details on the shields, such as the parchment in Zandri Dust, I began to use the Det. Cords. I was a little tentative at first, given the mixed feelings I had about the others brushes in the range (here’s looking at the DB2) but was pleasantly surprised by them.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review for Miniature Painters - Det. Cord Brushes

The Det. Cord rage is sold as being “great for everything from smooth blends and edge highlights to texturing and dotting those eyes. The ultimate brush for basing, fine detailing, and finishing!” and, to be honest, I agree. These are actually rather lovely to use, and the smallest size, the x10, handled the paint and pressures of dealing with those tiny details very well.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review Sequitors Close Up
The Det. Cords will keep help you keep your details as neat as they need be.

I had two issues with the Det. Cords. The first was the paint drying on the bristles before I got it onto the model – such is how small the brush-head is. This is a common enough problem with a lot of brushes, but I really noticed this with the x10 and the 000. The only other issue I had with the Det. Cords was that the handles are very small and not particularly ergonomic.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review for Miniature Painters - Det. Cord Brush Tips

Once all parts of my minis had received a thorough basecoating, it was time to move onto the detail and further shading. I decided to give the Long Wick/Igniters another chance with the shade paints, and exclusively used the Det. Cords for all edge highlighting and fine detail.

As before, the shading went reasonably well (aside from a Seraphim Sepia spill whilst shading the parchmenty bits and running out of Agrax Earthsade – the results of which can be seen in the final photo), but this served only to reaffirm that the Long Wick/Igniters are definitely made for handling paint over GW Shade Paints.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review Sequitors Detailed
Fin.

Yet it was the Det. Cords that really shone through at this stage, particularly when edge-highlighting the blue areas with Teclis Blue and Lothern Blue, or doing the red stripe on the edges of the figure’s tabards (again, in Mephiston Red). I found getting these little details down on the miniatures to be far easier than usual, and this was without doubt due to the smaller Det. Cord brushes.

Will Monument Hobbies Brushes improve my Hobby?

After only a few hours’ worth of work, I was reasonably happy with the outcome, and overall pleased with the Monument Hobbies brushes. Of all the brushes tested, the Det. Cords were the stand-out for me, as they really allowed me to really get into some of the finer details.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review Nighthaunt Single
Just hangin’ around.

As with the other brushes in this review, I returned to these a few days after writing the first draft of this review, and once again the Det. Cords performed admirably. The fine points on the brushes allowed me to really get into some of the fine detail on the new batch of minis

I was painting, such as the highlights on the weapon, mask, and noose on the miniature above, and the face-mask and candle on the model below, whilst the Long Wick/Igniter size 2 was my go-to for just about all the other basecoating on all these models.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review Nighthaunt Single

On these mode – The simple rust effect is achieved with a Leadbelcher basecoat, then with a stippled layer of Dryad Bark over the rusted areas, then a little more selective stippling of Skrag Brown and a very careful drybrush of Ryza Rust. Finally, pick out any areas you want a shiny metallic highlight with Stormhost Silver.

Monument Hobbies: Bomb Wick Brushes Review – Final Thoughts

ProsCons
Good range of products
Det. Cords are great for detail
Long Wick/Igniters hold acrylics beautifully
Lightweight and easy to use
Move well over the miniature
Not ergonomic
Larger brushes do not always hold shape

I went into this test with exceptionally high expectations, but also very little prior knowledge of what constituted a good brush. I had heard the legends frequently told on Facebook groups of how certain people had bought high-end brushes and their painting ability had increased exponentially as a result, and reading up on Monuments’ website, they clearly hold their products in high regard. Was I going to be able to nab myself a Golden Demon or a Slayer Sword with these brushes?

Well, no. In fact, quite clearly not. But that’s more down to me than Monument’s brushes.

It’s important to remember that brushes alone do not make the painter, and whilst the quality of your weapon of choice will no in doubt aid you in your quest to improve your painting, painting is more about your ability, knowledge, and techniques than the stick with hairs glued to the end of it you’re using to blob acrylics onto your little plastic dude or dudette.

Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes Review Thorns of the Briar Queen
Thorns of the Briar Queen

Was I disappointed? Yes and no – but far more no than yes. The Monument brushes really stand out in some departments, but don’t hold up so well in others: the Det. Cords are perfect for detail and I will definitely be using them again. Their only serious downside was that they aren’t the best to hold given just how narrow they are, but with patience and smaller and more gentle hands than mine, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with these brushes.

But, all things considered, for someone like me, new to the hobby and fairly ignorant of brushes, the Bomb Wicks felt like a good and solid step in the right direction. If you’re looking to upgrade your brushes and begin taking your painting more seriously, then the Det. Cords are definitely worth considering in order to help you start nailing some of those finer details, and I would strongly recommend considering a look at the Long Wick/Igniters on offer and picking yourself up a #2.

As mentioned elsewhere in the article, I went back to these brushes a few days after writing this review to give them another run for their money and see if my opinions changed at all, this time on the Nighthaunt Thorns of the Briar Queen, running with a slightly more non-typical colour scheme. Here’s the complete finished squad, painted entirely with the Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes.

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Author

  • Rob has spent most of the last 15 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.

  • Self-appointed Editor in chief of FauxHammer.com - But I need to thank the team for existing and therefore enabling me to give myself role - without them, I'm just a nerd with a computer and a plastic addiction.

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Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes
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Monument Hobbies Bomb Wick Brushes
About VoltorRWH 23 Articles
Rob has spent most of the last 15 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.

1 Comment

  1. I got some Monument brushes about eight months ago and had a generally similar experience. Det Cords are great for detail work, and are an absolutely phenomenal value when considering that most competing brands’ small brushes are two or three times more expensive. Igniters do what they do pretty well, but I was not sufficiently impressed that I’d want to go out of my way just to buy them. Fine addition to an existing order from their store though. And, yes, I got one of their big floppy dry brushes and was similarly disappointed. I also got a regular, non-DB Artillery brush and found it to work well for basing and a notable improvement over the cheap Walmart brushes that I normally use for rough stuff, but again not really a standout compared to the similarly priced and ubiquitous Citadel line.

    A lot of people like their Jentastic’s Drunken Brush Goop. I found it to perform about the same as the more common Masters brush soap for a similar price. The logo is hilarious, so it has that going for it.

    So my general appraisal of Monument Hobbies products is: come for the Det Cords and don’t shy away from filling gaps in your brush collection with their other stuff while you’re at it, but those products are best treated as alternatives to Citadel and Masters, not necessarily improvements. Skip the DB1/DB2/BAB unless you just want them for basing.

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