Ichiban Paint Brushes – A Review

With a week to go of Ichiban Painting and Games & Gears’ kickstarter to go we’d had the opportunity to take a look at the brushes themselves and report back on our findings. With the kickstarter (at time of writing) 1907% funded it may seem arbitrary to do a review but far from it.

Whilst we go way back with Hugo and I had great fun writing some rules for one of his Golden Demon entries in 2012 we pride ourselves on impartiality and that means reviewing them.

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So first impressions? Pretty good. The case is a nice touch and finds the balance between size and practicality. The logo is a little cheap and I kinda wanted to see Hugo’s on there as well. But to be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered, something embossed would have been more in keeping with the premium feel the guys are shooting for.

The brushes are beautiful. Slim and elegant, they look more like a set of writer’s pens and there’s something incredibly satisfying about putting the brush together. It’s the smooth action of a fountain pen. And they’re so very light. I can’t decide if they’re lighter than wooden brush but I could care over a gram either way. And they look way cool in black. My problem is that the paint doesn’t appear that hard-wearing and the brushes will scrape and chip against one another in the pouch. Or anything else I imagine, such is the price of working with metal. That and they’re going to get covered in paint anyway so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

They’re wider, too than a standard brush but this is a good thing for two reasons. The first being they sit far more comfortably in the hand than a standard brush, again more akin to a pen, and that dramatically reduces hand fatigue. Which means you can paint for longer. Huzzah. The second is, thanks to the wider handle, there’s a wider barrel so there’s more bristles which has two benefits. A better point and a better charging.

This all adds up to a rather well-rounded painting experience. The brushes are comfortable and the sable bristles stand up to punishment well. They keep their shape better than anything I’ve ever purchased from a hobby shop or a Games Workshop and they retake their shape well. The one thing that would have been really cool is if the handle, that the painty end slots into, to form the cap, had a point shaper built into it so you knew every time you put the brush away it was going to come looking beautiful and perfect.

The stand available is a nice touch. If I’m honest I’m not sure how much I’d use it as I have to pack all my hobby stuff away between uses so a stand is just another thing to find a home for when the brushes tuck so nicely away. However it does make life that little bit easier when it comes to finding them and finding the right one. It’ll also help with the chipping issue as they won’t be rolling around on a tile or table. It’s a simple solution to the problem and easy to put together it just doesn’t jazz me. But I’m a fluff gamer, painting is something I do if I find myself alone for a few days without a wife and child and I’ve exhausted all the really good porn. So hardly ever. Lee, however, who has a space and a table and likes to get his hobby on regularly I imagine will really see the benefit.

However, one of the best things about the paint set is that they’re so nice you’ll want to use them. Next generation brushes is a tad gimmicky for me. They’re still sticks with bristles in the end at the end of the day, but what they are is good quality, comfortable and with good coverage. That makes for an easier time painting. So I’d say more of an evolution.

You’ll also be paying twice what you’d pay for a set of the same size brushes from someone like The Army Painter. However, you get what you pay for and, on the basis that they brushes are far more durable than anything I’ve seen elsewhere, I’d say they’re worth the money. But the defects like the paint scratching so easily does cause an eyebrow to be raised when the word premium gets used. If you’re paying twice the price for something I expect twice the quality. A better powder painting coating process (or one at all if they weren’t powder coated) should solve the scratching issue though when the brushes go into full production. Mine are a review set after all.

So is the kickstarter worth your hard-earned coin? Yes. Yes if you’re like me who hardly ever paints: because it’ll encourage you to do so. Yes if you’re regular painter and you’re fed up with your brushes knackered out after basecoating 30 marines.  And yes you fancy yourself as a pro because one of the minds behind the brushes is a pro. If you’re a tight git who’d much rather get em cheap and throw em out then this probably isn’t the kickstarter for you.

To read more or to pledge go here.

Ichiban Painting Kickstarter Update

We reported, just prior to it going live, on Ichiban Painting and Games & Gear’s Kickstarter for their range of paint brushes. For those that haven’t seen them, they’re a pretty awesome set made from aluminium and designed to be the perfect balance of quality, affordability, and convenience as the brushes come part to allow for ease of transport whilst protecting the bristles. They really are quite special. So much so that two of our number at The Shell Case have pledged real cash money.

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I’m pleased to report that the project was fully funded in 9 minutes. It was at almost 400% funded in the first hour. And how, 4 days on the campaign stands at 1282% (at time of writing) funded with 16 days to go.

Hugo and the team are currently working on some new stretch goals as they’ve been caught a little off guard with the overwhelming amount of support the community has shown them. As someone who supported this site in its early days, Hugo deserves every penny towards his endeavours and I am proud to lend what support I can.

I have the great fortune to review these brushes which I’ll be doing in the next couple of days (really it’s just an excuse to paint) and I’ll be sharing my findings with you all to help make up the minds of anyone sitting on the fence.

For now all I can do is urge you to check out the Ichiban/Game & Gears Kickstarter and buy yourself a swanky set of paint brushes. Their page can be found here.

 

Ichiban Paint Brushes on Kickstarter

Today is a big day for friend of The Shell Case and Golden Daemon Slayer Sword Winner, Hugo Matte aka Ichiban Painting as he launches a Kickstarter for his own range of pro paint brushes. The professional painter has done some truly inspired work for paying customers as well as his Golden Demon entries over the years and he’s put his knowledge to good use to design a range – with the help of the guys at Games & Gears – that will offer lasting quality. Below are the details of the Kickstarter given to us a little early. Because Hugo’s just that kinda guy…

We’re all really excited about this and rest assured we’ll be reviewing the brushes very very soon.

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The brushes are High quality hand made sable hair brushes. The brushes are all aluminium which gives them a super balanced weight in the hands.

The design process that went in these brushes was quite simple, I wanted to have a brush that was super comfortable for someone that spends extensive periods of time behind the brush and also make it a good travel brush. Basically one brush that can do it all perfectly but still keep the brush very affordable.

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There will also be a synthetic brush available if the stretch goals are unlocked. This synthetic brush will be the same construction as the normal sable Ichiban brush but with a different color and synthetic hair. The reasoning behind it is pretty simple, for all the situation where a synthetic brush is needed! Using oils, oils washes, enamels etc. 

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The prices for the brushes are:

1 set Early Bird

Pledge £28 or more

Limited to 250 sets

Sizes 00,0,1 & 2. So 4 Games & Gears Ichiban Brushes. 

High Quality Sable Hair, with innovative high-end handle and cap design. 

1 set Standard delivery

Pledge £30 or more

Sizes 00,0,1 & 2. So 4 Games & Gears Ichiban Brushes. 

High Quality Sable Hair, with innovative high-end handle and cap design. 

2 sets Early Bird

Pledge £48 or more

Limited 250

2 sets of Sizes 00,0,1 & 2. So 8 Games & Gears Ichiban Brushes. 

High Quality Sable Hair, with innovative high-end handle and cap design. 

2 sets normal delivery

Pledge £50 or more

2 sets of Sizes 00,0,1 & 2. So 8 Games & Gears Ichiban Brushes. 

High Quality Sable Hair, with innovative high-end handle and cap design. 

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There will be 7 stretch goals for this KS

No 1 – £10,000 – Leather Brush Case (free if unlocked)

No 2 – £12,000 – Synthetic brush no1 KS (unlockable add-on) 

No 3 – £14,000 – Basic brush technique Video (free if unlocked)

No 4 – £16,000 – Synthetic brush no2 KS add-on (unlockable add-on) 

No 5 – £18,000 – Glazing technique Video (free if unlocked)

No 6 – £20,000 – Synthetic brush no3 KS add-on (unlockable add-on) 

No 7 – £22,000 – Weathering techniques Video (free if unlocked)