Looking like a hybrid between a water cooler and a Soviet municipal building, or an executive desk toy from a ’70s sci-fi show, the Greenstuff World Brush Rinser is an answer to a question no-one asked – how can I clean my paint brushes, without just putting some water in a pot? Surprisingly, it answers the question well enough that I’m convinced some people will find it useful – people who make painting the core of their Warhammer hobby.
I received a basic model Brush Rinser to review, graded for use with water and water only – solvents would eat right through it. They ordinarily retail at around $18USD / £15GBP. Construction involves screwing a lever-arm into place and attaching a spring-loaded button to create a trapdoor mechanism inside the base. My sample didn’t come with instructions, but after decades building minis from the various Warhammer 40k factions, it wasn’t hard to put together.
To set the Brush Rinser up, you fill the pot with water and attach the empty base to it, then invert the whole thing. Water will run down a channel into a small well, and pool there. When I first did this I was sure that the water would either overflow, or was already seeping around the edge of the rubber seal at the bottom of the well and into the base of the rinser. But no. Through some miracle of plumbing, the water level stays consistent, just enough to fill the tablespoon-sized water well.
Despite being shallower than the water pots I normally use when painting miniatures, I had no trouble using the rinser for cleaning my brush. The edge of the well even has little ridges that make it easier to massage paint out of the bristles.
Whenever you want to change the paint water, press the button beside the well – the rubber seal will drop just enough for the well to drain. Release the button and the seal springs back into place, and the well will fill up again from the water pot. Simple.
It works. I’ve got no qualms about the product quality – it does what it sets out to do. Perhaps, in the long term, the lever arm will become stressed enough that it doesn’t bend back into its original position, but I haven’t had it long enough to check.
The question for most people will be, who needs this? Paint-water can be held, without complaint, in an old tin can, glass jar, or tea cup. Although I usually treat my brushes like the Astra Militarum treats conscripts, I’m pretty au fait with advanced painting techniques, and I’m confident that if you’re really into painting, the Brush Rinser has things to offer.
First, using fresh water ensures you won’t cross-contaminate your paints, as you rinse off one paint in your water pot and then use that water to thin down the next colour. For most painters, using separate water pots for regular acrylics and metallics is sufficient to deal with the biggest and most likely contamination issue, but the Brush Rinser will let you totally quarantine each and every paint from all the others.
Keeping your paint water pure will also prolong the life of your brush. Acrylic pigments creep up the bristles of a wet brush through capillary action, eventually collecting under the metal ferrule. As pigment builds up it forces the bristles apart, destroying the brushpoint. Washing your favourite Windsor & Newton No. 7 or Rosemary & Co. Series 33 in fresh water every time you use it will help keep it combat ready for longer.
The Green Stuff World Brush Rinser will be useless for most hobbyists, but for dedicated painters it does exactly what it sets out to do – upgrading your brush cleaning water from a grubby bath-house to a luxury spa. You should already know if you’re the kind of painter who will see a benefit from that.
As Warhammer 40k 10th edition looms ever closer and the viability of different list builds becomes questionable, now might be the time to crack out the special edition miniatures from your pile of plastic potential and go to town on them with your best brushwork.
A spa day for your brushes
Perfectly meets a need that only the most dedicated model painters will have – perfectly clean water each and every time you rinse your brush.