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When I started out painting minis about a year ago my boyfriend at the time SWORE by black primer. Well I have taken it upon myself to try different painting techniques over the past year and have found some to be helpful. Using white primer was a good suggestion from someone because now I can achieve brighter colors and not have to layer as much. One problem I have had recently though is I have bought two cans of white primer, Citadel Colours and Armory Paints, and both of them dry with a grainy texture. When this happens, more often than not, if you even touch the mini the primer sluffs off to the touch. When some of it does happen to stick the paint absorbs into the primer giving a splotchy look.


I don't know if I have just bought two defective cans of primer or if I am doing something wrong. If its me I can't figure out what I am doing. I always shake the can before using the primer, I never get too close to the figures when I am spraying them, I am always outside (no ventilation in my apartment) when I use it, and I always do two light coats so some of it actually sticks.


I have never had this problem with black primer and have done everything the same. Is white primer more finicky than black primer? Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do?

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I have only started to use spray on primer. I generally spray on first then use a brush to blot the mini. This has worked well with me and I don't get that grainy look that you described.


There has been many discussions about this topic. You can also use the "My Assistant" in the upper right hand corner of this window. Search for "primer". The assistant is a fast way on find them. ^_^


Hope I helped

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I myself use citadel primer, but like your boyfriend I swear by black. I have however used white. When you get a new can you have to shake it for quite a long time to get them mixed. I have had the results that you are speaking of with black primer though. If you are diong a lot of filing, converting or general hands on handling of the mini the oils on your hands and keep the primer from sticking well leading to the need for two coats. Wash them in some hot soapy water and let they lay on a paper towel. When they dry I tend to only handle them with a pair of needlenose to lessen the chance of them getting dirty.

Heat and humidity also affect the priming. If it is especially hot or you are in direct sunlight the preimer may partially dry as berofe it gets to the mini. That is an occasional problen for me. When I get a gritty priming I scrub it with a toothbrush (after it dries) and prime again. I have never had a problem with that.

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I've had Armory white do this to me. I trashed it. I know stick with brush-on white primer (mainly because I live in a very hot and often humid climate).


The Armory black that I have goes on fine. Most people swear by the Tamiya Fine White. It's supposedly very good but I've never used it myself.


I've heard various reasons why the primer does that, from heat and humidity to having been previously frozen during shipping.

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Well, there are generally three causes for grainy coats in my experience.


1. Shaking the paint can. I always try to follow the directions, which suggest shaking the can until you hear the rattle, and shaking for two minutes once you hear the rattle. I also shake the can again between coats, and while applying coats over a longish period of time.


2. Monitor the distance between the spray can and the minis. If you shoot from too far away, the paint will dry out before it hits the surface, and you'll get dry grains of paint adhering to your miniature. Of course, if you shoot from too close, you can get drips. The message here is to find the sweet spot. Also, it's best to spray miniatures in small batches. If you do big batches, you can get overspray leading to grainy coats on the minis in the back row.


3. Certain formulas of primer just seem to have problems with grainy coats. Armory is notorious for this, and certain Citadel formulations also seem to be problematic. I experiment with various non-hobby primers, and I've had problems with Krylon H20 primer, as well as had a bunch of minis pretty much ruined by Kilz primer (the name is literal, don't use it!).


It is possible to partially rescue a grainy primer coat without completely stripping the model. Just give it a thorough scrubbing with a toothbrush. That should remove the loose grains. Rinse it off, let it dry, and apply a coat of a glossy paint or gloss varnish. You should now have a usable paint surface again.


I recommend the following two white primers: Krylon white spray gesso (very good, increasingly hard to find even in art supply and hobby shops) and white automotive primer, such as Duplicolor. There are many, many car owners, who invest a lot of money in their cars, and they would get very, very angry with companies that sell crappy primer. (Unlike miniatures enthusiasts, who seem surprisingly willing to bend over and take it when hobby companies sell crappy products.) Ergo, automotive primer is very good quality. Easy to find in most respectable auto parts stores.

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ive noticed that on a friends primer (citadel white)


ive stopped using citadel primer period..lol


i use a grey primer i bought at walmart for $1.97, works great, its Color Spray, premium enamel, comes in a textured can. its by "Chase products"


http://www.chaseproducts.com/chase_spec.cfm?lookup=4125037 heres the info page


ive not had any bad experience with this primer, but when i bought it, i figured if i did, i was only out 2 bucks..lol

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Thanks for the advice guys. I have been reading previous threads on this topic and have come to the conclusion that paint on white primer might be the best thing.


More tips are welcome though.

Armory primer is very inconsistant. I used to use it a long time ago, but then they started have quality issues. Maybe they changed formulas. Some cans would work fine, others would have the grainy problem. I refuse to use Citadel white. I have never been able to get a smooth coat, its always grainy. I've heard people say the black works fine and its only the white with this problem.


For sprays, my two favorites are Tamiya Fine White Spray Primer (the label 'Fine' is important as they have regular and fine sprays) and Floquil White Spray. Both spray on super smooth and will not fill in any details. They are at least 3 times better than any spray I've used.


I recently bought Mr. Hobby's Mr. Base 1000. It comes in the same mostly Japanese spray can as Tamiya and as far as I can tell they are the same, or near same, formula.


I've heard good things about auto primers but have never tried them. You have to be careful with non-hobby primers because they are usually thicker and you can fill in details if you aren't careful.


For cost, I think Krylon white is ok. Not great like Tamiya, but ok. I'd use it for hordes of gaming standard minis and scenery, but never a competition piece.


I personally don't like brush on primers. Most, because they are acryllic base, don't bond to the metal like a lacquer based spray does. Gentley rubbing with my thumb will usually peel brush on primer right off. Tamiya, on the other hand, once fully cured, is super tough. You need to thin brush on primers slightly to get smooth coverage. Application usually takes longer. Even by hand with thinned brush on primers, I've never been about to get a coat as silky smooth as Tamiya or Floquil.


The last option is to airbrush a primer on. This can work great if done right.

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Ergo, automotive primer is very good quality. Easy to find in most respectable auto parts stores.

Auto primer is also *cheap*. Like $2-3 bucks for an 11 or 12 oz can cheap. Apparantly, you need a *lot* of spray-on primer when you are touching up your car. :)


Plus it works well on minis, for sure, as long as you've cleaned the mini and follow Chogokin's three points.

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Another excellent one I've found is a stuff called SLS Etch primer, from hardware store. Sticks on any metal, dries for painting in about 10 minutes. It's a nice even grey, and goes on so thin you wouldn't believe. I've usually found white primers are glossy, which sucks for painting, and the black was too easy to lose details.


Etch primer... the only way to dry!

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So this is what happens when ReaperCon makes me miss checking the boards for a week and a half...primer can fuzzies, people recommending black, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!! :;):


Black primer is all well and good, but like you, fieldarchy, I went white long ago and never went back. :) I'm now addicted to Floquil white spray primer (produced by Testors). You will find that it doesn't go fuzzy, no matter what the humidity or temperature, because it is an enamel-based primer that is fluid enough that it self-levels. It doesn't dry right away like Citadel--it takes a minute or two--but it also isn't grainy. Loves it, we do. ::D:


A small tip to prevent fuzzies in primers and dullcotes--spray outside, but then quickly duck back inside to let the primer dry in a more homogeneous "climate". I've had no problems with Dullcote white fuzzies (the dreaded!!) since I started doing this. Before that, I noticed fuzzies from extreme temps and humidity. Sometimes both!


Hope that helps, though lots of people also swear by airbrushes or the Tamiya white. The problem with the Tamiya (I just found out at ReaperCon last weekend) is that they've had to stop shipping it to the USA 'till they get the labels on their cans re-printed in English--at least for the health hazard warnings. :;):


--Anne ::):

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