So while it is great fun to (finally) have the sons (and their friends) involved in painting miniatures, it is absolutely devastating on the brushes. So to stay mellow, I've tried out a few, cheap, alternative solutions and this post is my review of these cheap brushes from China.
A great place to read more on the other side of the issue - the brilliant but truly expensive brushes - is here: http://arcanepaintworks.blogspot.dk/2013/12/all-about-brushes.html.
While I would love brushes like these, I myself have so far only bought medium quality brushes (ca. 8-12$ each), but these are still a bit too expensive to be ruined by the kids after a few hours of painting (and trust me, they will be ruined quickly - according to my estimates by a six year old in half an hour and a nine year old will also, with time, destroy any brush).
So I've bought the following brushes, via Aliexpress, as a way of preserving my smile while the kids have fun painting minis.
The first are these:
Aliexpress description: "3pcs Tiny Liner Drawing Painting Pen Brush Acrylic Nail Art Detailed Design Tool set" (whatever that means...)
Three brushes, of various sizes, total prize (including the (free) shipping): 2.99$ or 1$ each.
Quality: Actually surprisingly nice brushes - I love the thick grip and the brush itself keeps its point fairly well.
This is after app. three hours worth of painting by a nine year old:
They have now given up their point, but each was able to paint two minis before quitting on us.
Verdict: I actually used the small one of these quite a bit and have found them to be respectable brushes (within their price range) and will definately consider purchasing more of these, particular at 1$ each.
The next brushes are these:
A set of twelve "nail brushes", dirt cheap: 4.47$ for the set or 37 cents each!
Quality: Not great, but not that bad either. They are useful for blocking in colours and absolutely great for kids. They will with heavy use loose their point within hours, but each will give a kid ca. three hours of painting time and can afterwards be used for drybrushing or base painting. I must admit I've found myself reaching for these (the new ones) when needing pinpoint accuracy and at 37 cents each these are wonderful to have available.
This is after app. two hours of heavy-duty painting by a nine year old:
and by a six year old:
They are more or less destroyed - although they will be used for drybrushing etc - but at a price of 37 cents each, they have done their job.
So, if you find yourself with kids who would like to paint and share "daddy's hobby", which is some of the best quality time possible, I really recommend buying some of these or similar brushes - they'll make your smile genuine rather than grusome :-).
All the best,