June 06, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Survival Weathering Brushes Set by AK Interactive

Trench Runner Steven Lowenthal takes a look at the Survival Weathering Brushes from AK Interactive which are available once again after a prolonged absence from the market place.
To assist in applying weathering effects, AK Interactive has released a set of five brushes whose use are specific to the different tasks. 
Called The Survival Weathering Brush Set, it includes:
Saw Shape Brush – For making plain strokes and streaks with oils and enamels
Fine Long Brush – Applying washes. Especially useful in hard to reach areas
Diagonal  Brush– for wear strokes. Made easier by the angled tip
Rounded  Brush– For dry brushing and weathering with oils on horizontal surfaces
Fan Shape Brush – To fix, sweep and remove dry pigments
The brushes have the same handles as their round and flat brushes and use the same synthetic hairs. Being synthetic, they are able to handle harsh mediums like oils and enamels.

I used the brushes on an AFV kit I put together for testing. Here’s my initial impressions;

AKI-576 Saw Shape Brush
Having a tip shaped like the teeth on a saw allows for multiple points of contact. It creates several streak marks at once. Adjusting the angle of the brush as you work alters the thickness as you streak. After a little usage, I found it pretty easy to vary the streaks and keep them irregular. I felt I was able to work a little faster streaking with this brush and liked it enough to use it further on future builds. Click HERE for AK's For How To Product Use Guide ref. 576
AKI-577 Fine Long Brush
Used to apply washes, especially in hard to reach areas, this is a rather long brush with a fine pointed tip. Because of its shape, it holds a good amount of liquid and keeps its’ point as you work. I liked this brush better than the ones I currently have for this purpose. After several uses, the fine tip curled a bit. After a thorough cleaning with a brush cleaner, I was able to reshape the tip. While the tip has held up so far, I am not sure how long it will stand up to reshaping. Notwithstanding, I liked this brush better than my others and plan to use it as my go to brush for pin washes for now. 
Click HERE for AK's For How To Product Use Guide ref. AKI-577

AKI-578 Diagonal Brush
I found the angled tip made brush strokes a little easier. However, I feel that anyone familiar with using a straight edge brush probably wouldn’t find this brush makes a significant enough difference to change. Finding other uses for it instead. This is a good brush for a novice to learn control quickly and attain better results. 
Click HERE for AK's For How To Product Use Guide ref. AKI-578
AKI-579 Rounded  Brush
I first used the brush to apply weathering  to the horizontal surfaces of the AFV. The brush accomplished the task well and I thought the size was just right for the 1/35 scale kit. Completing the models weathering left the brush with some minor, but noticeable wear. Later, I used it for drybrushing. The round shape makes it easier to vary my strokes. The drybrushing noticeably wore it further. I was able to get it looking better after a thorough cleaning but not quite as good as the Fine Long brush.  Again, I have not been able to see how it holds up under the long haul but I am thinking I may get more use out of the brush if I use one for weathering and another for dry brushing.
Click HERE for AK's For How To Product Use Guide ref. AKI-579

AKI-580 Fan Shape Brush
This brush is perfect for working with pigments. The layout of the bristles easily allows for a deft hand. Not much to say. It worked like a fan brush should and again, is a good size for 1/35. While I only used the brush on pigments, fan brushes are also great for painting wood grains.
Click HERE for AK's For How To Product Use Guide ref. AKI-580

The Fine Long and Fan brushes have slightly thinner handles then the other brushes.  However, I found all of them a little small for my hand and plan to put a soft grip on them which will make them more comfortable.  Of course, this is a personal preference and you may not feel the same. I can’t speak to how the brushes will hold up over time, but other than what I’ve noted, they held up fairly well under my testing, and I was intentionally heavy handed. While AK seems to have specific tasks for the AFV modeler in mind, I can see several uses for them with other genres. As primarily an aircraft modeler, I’ll be using the brushes for pin washes , weathering and blending. For me, the Long Fine Brush will get the most use. The reasonable price and uncommon shapes make the AK Interactive Survival Brush Set worth adding to your tool chest.

All brushes are available individually or as a complete set: ref.AKI-663 Survival Weathering Brushes Set
Steven Lowenthal
View to Order HERE

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