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Review: Brush Clash Kolibri vs Winsor & Newton

Review: Brush Clash Kolibri vs Winsor & Newton

Are you hungry for spilled paint? Ripped hair, broken handles? Another fight of the century is upon us! Today, in the left corner, we have a Kolibri 88 ‘3’! This, standing 7 inch tall, 2 grams of a brush is ready to fight till death against a half inch taller and one gram heavier – Winsor & Newton Series 7 ‘2’! Will ~8$ Kolibri prewail or will it be crushed by ~12$ Winsor & Newton? Both fighters seem to be in shape so let us begin!

Brush Clash 2 4

Both brushes used are of similar properities, tips shape and size so I decided to clash them against one another. For the purpose of this clash I used Warhammer 40,000 Tau miniatures. Got plenty of those on my desk, awaiting further paint job – so I seized the opportunity. I also used a mix of Vallejo Rust, Bright Bronze, Black and Thinner (Which I called the ‘Underrust’). After checking out the paint and preparing some working space – I’ve started with Kolibri 88 ‘3’, painting ten miniatures with the ‘Underrust’. The surface being painted was rather small, but I tried to compensate by quantity of the miniatures being painted…

Kolibri after 10

Kolibri went through this test really nice. Regardless of not cleaning the brush with water mid-testing, the tip stayed sharp with no hair being separated (Remember Citadel Layer S from the last figt?). Head worked very well, but at first I had to get accustomed to it’s softness. Painting with Kolibri for the first time in my career was a pleasant experience.

I switched to Winsor & Newton Series 7 ‘2’, checked the tip and went all ahead full with another ten miniatures…

Winsor and Newton after 10

The painting experience was almost identical to Kolibri. At some point a single hair split from the tip but rolling it in the paint reshaped the tip to it’s former shape. This happened two times during the ten-miniatures test, but other than that I did not encounter any alarming behaviour of the brush. Main difference between these two brushes was the softness of the head. While Kolibri was pretty soft, W&N stayed firm throughout the test.

I counldn’t decide which brush performed better thus I decided to continue the test. This time I went all-in and painted the entire collection of miniatures with four layers of paints including wash. I grouped the miniatures into two similar groups of over 30 pieces and started my work. It took almost four hours to complete (Oh how the time comes and goes)…

Brush Clash allin

Here’s the video from the fight – I filmed the first round so you can see that the fight was a real deal 🙂


This was a really long battle between two very good brushes. In the end I was able to test both brushes to the extent of their capabilities. I really liked and will certainly paint with both of them from now on, but there can be only one winner of the ‘Brush Clash’. During these four hours of painting I grew accustomed to Kolibri – it felt somehow more pleasant to paint with it. The price, size and weight of the brush have nothing to do with it – it’s just my personal feel. I’m sure it’s because the head of the brush is softer and it was easier for me to operate – at least in this kind of paint job. That is the reason for me to deem Kolibri the winner of the secong Brush Clash, with Winsor & Newton being defeated just by the margin.

If you have any experience with either of these brushes – be sure to leave me a comment with your opinion on it’s performance.





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