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Priming suggestions?


Mojoman
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I was wondering if you wonderful folks could give me some suggestions on good priming methods. I currently use white acrylic gesso, and it works ok, but I would like something a bit more advanced. I have painted quite a few minis now, and while I'm not as good as a lot of you that post here, I think I can hang a little.

 

So, if you have a suggestion, I'd like to see it! The more specific the better!

 

Thanks for the help!

 

Mojo

 

 

BTW - is dipping a good method to use for priming? If so, what materials and technique should I use?

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John (GoldenEagle) told me to get Floquil. It's a spray primer. It's (now) made by Testors. I think that Reaper may becoming out with a spray primer...but don't quote me on that...I'm sure the guys and gals here will fill us in better.

 

By the way...the only place I could find Floquil yesterday was a FLGS (friendly local gaming store). I'm in the 'burbs NW of Chicago. Blick's didn't sell it in the store and Hobby Lobby near me is a joke.

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There are a lot of spray primers that may work better for minis than gesso. Floquil Figure Flat was already mentioned. Tamiya Mr Metal Primer is another. many painters have good luck with automotive primers like Plasti-cote and Duplicote. Much is a matter of personal preference.

 

When applying primers as with base coats, etc, two light coats are better than one heavy coat and will not clog up detail. Letting it dry for a sufficient amount of time in a dust free area helps. Small dust particles may often be removed by rubbing surfaces with a piece of paper towel without removing the primer.

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Mojo, the others have answered the "which brand" question (although to be complete I use GW stuff (shhh...)).

 

As far as technique goes, there are a few trains of thought. The white vs. black primer has been a long standing debate. The black primers have the advantage of making the deep recesses of the mini dark, which allows you to not worry so much about getting every nook and cranny of a mini covered with paint. Unfortunately, certain colors, particularly yellow and white, are hard to get good coverage over black. Some feel that it can be more difficult to see all the details well with black primer. White primer has the advantage of being better if the mini is going to be a light colored mini. Personally I do feel it is a bit easier to see the details with white. In the end, as with so much of this little hobby, it comes down to personal preference.

 

Now that being said, things are not always black and white (insert groan here)::P: . Krylon and others I imagine make colored primers. Some folks use a gray primer to get the best of both worlds in the black/white primer debate. Others use green or red or whatever color to prime. If you were going to paint a predominately red themed mini, wouldn't it be nice to prime in red? Make that basecoating easy, huh? Finally, a technique I have been playing with more recently is called the "zenithal" method. It involves primering the mini in black first, and then reprimering with a light white primer from above to pick out the highlights. Przemas (MalleusMiniArt) uses this technique extensively and there is currently an ongoing demonstration thread here.

 

Hope this helps,

Jabber

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I have tried many primers over the years, Krylon (which is good), Games Workshop (which is not so good), Floquil (decent) etc. The primer I have chosen to be the best is Armory. I have used the Armory primer in black, grey, and white and I find that it dries quickly and paint goes on it very well. My only complaint with it is that when you start to prime you have to spray out quite a bit prior to actually spraying the miniatures to get a good result. Also when the can is almost empty occasionally the primer will go on chalky, but overall I have had good luck with it. One question I have for you Mojoman do you wash your minis in warm soapy water before priming them?? Washing them and letting them completely dry is a good idea cause sometime some of the mold release is left on the mini and you don't want that.

 

Anyway good luck and welcome to the boards!!!! ::D:

 

ps post some of your work we wanna see it ::):

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Welcome to the boards. I thought I'd chime in to add a flip side to the equation. A bunch of mini painters are spray primers, and I'm an inveterate acrylic gesso brush primer. :poke:

 

If you get a good spray primer, it can leave the most perfect, amazing smooth coat ever, and cover a LOT of minis very quickly. I've tried two before, GW's white, which chalked up all over - may have had a misfunctional can, maybe not.

 

And one amazing product which was recommended by someone on these boards, Darkstar, I think. Design Master Floral Tools Colorspray, or something like that. It's a floral paint, doesn't eat foam let alone plastic, covers remarkably smoothly on both metal and plastic. I can heartily recommend it, which is saying something from a brush primer guy. The only thing I'm sulky about is that I could only find one can of grey (not white, not black) in the only shop I could locate which carried the brand, pathetically stocked as it was. Hooray for painting in Asia. And I had to go to some completely desolate part of town to get it too. If I had a more reliable supply, I might convert, or at least use it more often. It's apparently much more accessible in America in your craft stores.

 

Alas, all spray primers also STINK, and should be used in well-ventilated places. Inconvenient for me as I have to get out of the cramped room I paint in. But worth a try to see if you like it.

 

Another option is to try black gesso primer. People keep telling me that gesso isn't supposed to stick to non-porous surfaces, but I've managed to scratch and not scratch spray and gesso equally, I don't see much difference in adhesion. Coats of varnish would protect both.

 

The black gesso I'm using is interesting, as it seems to have a much smaller particle size than white gesso. Coats more smoothly, but with a grit that you can feel with your hands, so I'm sure paint will cling beautifully.

 

Sometimes what I do is black prime, and then drybrush with a thin layer of white gesso. The chalkiness from the white isn't so evident then, you get brightness and shade all at once, and a little impromptu black-and-white statue to sit and watch you, wondering when you'll ever paint it in color. :lol:

 

No, I don't talk to my minis...I think...

 

P.S. Dipping would probably not be a good idea. Dips are usually meant for shading minis with a wash - ie, a very thin, dark shade of paint. You want even, good coverage when you prime, and that means either spraying, or being good at pushing fairly clumpy primer around with a brush so that it covers without obscuring detail.

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I use GW or Krylon (because that is all that I can get around here). I don't have a problem with either. What I have found is that you need to do two light coats (spray... dry... rotate figures... spray... dry) and make sure the weather is good. It can't be too hot (if it is more than 80 degrees outside, I don't prime) or when you prime it will "dust" the figures.

Side question.... Mojofan... Permian?

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I recommend DupliColor automotive spray primer - auto parts stores carry it, sometimes WalMart. Awesome stuff.

 

I set up a line of minis, then sweep across them lightly from four diagonals, above/front, and above/back. Start spraying before you reach the first mini, and continue past the last one (don't start or stop the spray pointing at a mini).

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The best I've found is Grey Etch primer. Used for preventing rust and corrosion. It's epoxy based not enamel. It goes on incredibly thin. I haven't seen it cover-up any detail. Dries in about 10 minutes ready to paint on, and the grey is a nice compromise between the black and white. It's also matt, so it hold's paint incredibly well. As it's an Aussie brand, I'd say won't bother naming it.

 

Find it at your local hardware store. Which makes it oh so much more convienient.

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John (GoldenEagle) told me to get Floquil. It's a spray primer. It's (now) made by Testors. I think that Reaper may becoming out with a spray primer...but don't quote me on that...I'm sure the guys and gals here will fill us in better.

 

By the way...the only place I could find Floquil yesterday was a FLGS (friendly local gaming store). I'm in the 'burbs NW of Chicago. Blick's didn't sell it in the store and Hobby Lobby near me is a joke.

I also live in the Chicago suburbs (Wheeling) and use Floquil white for my priming needs. It is regularly available at Venture Hobbies and Games Plus (the price is better at Games Plus)

 

It is a bit expensive, but it works perfectly in conditions that other primers (specifically Armory) won't work.

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First off... thank you all for your comments. You have given me a lot to consider!

 

I just tried some spray on primer for metals that I picked up at the hardware store, and it worked ok. I'm not impressed. I need to check out some of the brands suggested on this thread. Since I am working on a small (tiny, even) budget, it will probably next month before I can try anything else.

 

Also, Ugluck... I will try to get some pics with my digital and upload them here sometime soon!

 

Mojo

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