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How do I spray Primer?


Newt
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I was out at lunch yesterday buying my LTP #1 and a few other things. While in Michael's I picked up Krylon primer - Gray. They didn't have white or black, so I decided what the heck, I'll try it. I was out of time so couldn't get to Wal-mart or anywhere else.

 

I didn't do a good job with the primer on the Rat from LTP #1. Could someone please describe in detail how to correctly prime a mini with a spray can? I already have one of those clip-on things that gives me a trigger.

 

Keep in mind I know nothing on the subject.

 

-Newt

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I don't use the trigger device myself, nor do i use the grey paint, usually the white but here is what I do.

 

1) Shake can for thirty seconds. Then I flip it upside down and rotate it so the ball makes a little paint tornado inside the can. Then i flip it again and do the other side of the can. (bout 20 seconds.)

 

2) I prime from about 8-10 inches from the mini. Shorts sweeping bursts of paint. Start spraying well before you would sweep the mini and stop well after. This avoids clumpies.

 

3) Dust the mini with paint from a few different angles. (this is where that bottle cap idea works well!) Let dry for several minutes then prime again if there are large areas of no coverage.

 

 

Hope that helps Newt!

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Hope that helps Newt!

 

Sure does. I was pretty sure I read in another article that the can should be closer to the mini and I think that is what screwed me up.

 

I'll hold it further away next time. Thanks for the info.

 

-Newt

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Hello Newt!

 

First off, I don't know what you mean by a clip-on trigger, I'm assuming it's an attachment that goes over the spray nozzle. As long as it doesn't interfere with the paint flow I'd guess it's ok, but if it messes with the way the paint sprays you may want to get rid of it.

 

Now, on to how to prime a mini (as handed down from Vaitalla to me, and who knows where she got it from). You never want to actually aim a can of primer directly at a mini and press the button, as you run several risks. First, there could be old paint/gunk in the nozzle, and that first spray is going to launch it straight onto your mini. Second, you run a much greater risk of overspraying, or getting too much primer on the mini and spoiling the details.

 

The best way I've seen is to get a nice, large paper plate and lay the mini face-down on it. Shake your primer for a long, long time and take it outside (depending upon the weather) or a garage. If you think of the paper plate like a clock face you're going to want to hold it in your non-spraying hand at 6 o'clock. Hold the can of primer the recommended distance away (it should say on the can, 6-12" or so) and aim for around where the number 3 would be on the clock face. What you're going to do is, instead of aiming at the mini and spraying directly at it, start spraying on the plate next to the mini and make several light passes back and forth with the can. So, you'd depress the button (or trigger) aiming at the 3 and sweep the spray area to the left, passing over the mini that's face down, and ending the spray at the 9 o'clock position. That way you're neither starting or stopping directly on the figure, eliminating a lot of the risk of overspraying.

 

Of course, you can go 3 to 9 to 3 to 9 to make a couple of passes, depending upon how much primer the mini picks up. These should be very quick passes; as a guesstimate I'd say you should be able to go from 3 to 9 to 3 to 9 in one second. What you want is for a very, very light coat of primer on the mini. Since you're only spraying in one direction not all of the surfaces will get primer on them, which is ok, because there's more.

 

Once you've made a few passes you're going to turn the plate by about two hours. Take your imaginary 6 o'clock hold and shift to 8 o'clock. Rotate the plate so you're holding it at the bottom again, and do another spray from the new 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock position. Once you've made a pass or two or three, rotate the plate again, and repeat. After four or five rotations you should see that all of the areas have been hit with primer; if there's a stubborn or weird spot make a special run just for that area. Since you're doing multiple light coats you're building up your primer in a very thin layer, so you're making sure you're not obliterating detail.

 

Set your mini aside and let the primer dry thoroughly on the figure (as well as the plate). Once it is, simply flip the mini onto its back and repeat the process.

 

Now, I know, I know, spraying that way wastes some primer. I'd rather waste a small amount of primer than have to strip and re-prime a mini, as it takes me much less time to go out and buy a new can of primer than it does to scrub a little piece of pewter ::D:. As long as you have a decent primer, using the above method will give you a nice, smooth coat every time. Before someone asks, I use Tamiya Fine Surface Primer, which can be bought in hobby stores or online. I think, though, there's already a thread on what primer to use, so a quick search for those curious about that part will find it.

 

Does this help Newt?

 

(Heh; Redhand beat me while typing all this out ::D:)

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Keep in mind that spray primer behaves differently in dry weather versus high humidity, like in the steamy tropics of a Philadelphia/East Coast summer.

 

1. Shake the can even longer than the directions indicate. I usually put on a CD, and go for at least a single of vigorous shaking, cigarrette burning.

 

2. Put out the cigarrette to avoid catastrophic explosions.

 

3. Go for quick sweeps about 10 inches away from the model, and try to keep things even. If the weather is dry, you can get away with spraying until the model is shiny i.e., oversprayed, as it will evaporate faster. High humidity is bad--it leads to clumping, lumpy primer, and that rots.

 

4. Learn from your mistakes. We've all overprimed, gotten a bad can that clumped, or missed a few spots. Use Simple Green to stip'em if you want to start fresh, and good luck.

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Before someone asks, I use Tamiya Fine Surface Primer, which can be bought in hobby stores or online. I think, though, there's already a thread on what primer to use, so a quick search for those curious about that part will find it.

 

 

Haha! Another convert!

 

I love the way that stuff smells as well. Yummy!

 

 

PS: Yes, I'm serious. Yes, I'm also crazy. :wacko:

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My technique is similar to Redhandstudios except that I shake for 2 minutes (up and down, and in a circular fashion) and I make 3 passes (straight on, from a 45 deg angle above, from a 45 deg angle below) for each side of the mini (front, left, back, right).

 

I do spray in my garage in a cardboard spray booth consisting of a small cardboard box sitting in a large one. The mini (on its holder/stand) goes on the small cardboard box, and the large one catches the overspay. I sometimes spray outside, but then I have to worry about wind.

 

Before you start spraying, check the humidity. High humidity is bad for priming and sealing. I usually don't spray prime or seal if the humidity is above 65% (which is midling for Houston).

 

After the mini is spray primed and dried, I check to see if I missed anything. If I did, I touch up with MSP Brush On Primer.

 

Ron

 

PS: Also, remember to wash your mini before priming. Take an old toothbrush, put some dishsoap on it, wet the mini, and lightly scrub all over. Rinse, and then fully dry before priming (I do at least overnight).

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Great information, thanks everyone. Exactly what I needed to know.

 

I primed it in the kitchen because it was very humid outside yesterday after the nasty drizzle. Don't tell my wife! Shhhhhh...... I just couldn't wait!

 

-Newt

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I've found that priming with a spray on primer is pretty much idiot proof so long as you keep a distance from the mini. As long as I've kept, say 10 inches or so, the mini's come out decent enough. Perfect, maybe not, but still paintable. In my experience, the rest is just details, almost unimportant for beginners, but something you want to learn and perfect as you go along. This is especially true if you start to get into commission or contest painting.

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My method:

 

Start shaking the can. Once you've got one full shake in, start counting. One thousand one. One thousand two. One thousand three. Try to keep a steady beat- I've found nodding your head with each number helps. Get up to one thousand one hundred twenty. Now pick up your mini (preferably on a surface you can rotate- personally I use the UPS boxes my figures come in) and hold it out like you're in Hamlet and holding a skull (Alas, poor Yorick), about eye level with the mini. Meaning you're now in a staring contest. Generally I give the can a couple more shakes just to be sure. Bring the can to about your opposite shoulder- so if you're holding up the mini in your left hand, the can should be about even with your left shoulder. Then start about 6 inches to one side of the miniature, pull the trigger and slide it across to about 6 inches to the other side. Speed should be smooth, measured, like you're reaching for something on a shelf. Bring it back the other direction, same distance, same speed. Turn the mini 90 degrees, repeat back and forth. 90 degrees, back and forth. 90 degrees, back and forth.

 

Now, things get a little more optional. Check the mini to see if there's any 'gaps' you've missed, like the underside of arms or the inside of curled capes. Move the mini so you can hit those spots, then do a quick pass to keep from flooding the surrounding areas that are already sprayed. About the speed of tossing a wadded up piece of paper underhand at a wastebasket.

 

Once you're satisfied, let it dry for a good couple hours. It'll be dry to the touch in maybe 20 minutes- but if you want the best results, give it time. Also, if you have an object that you can't get at, like an arm that's laying flat or a shield or something else, do not immediately flip it and keep spraying. Let it dry for at least the 20 minutes, then do the whole process again. If you flip it, the wet primer's going to deform, ruining detail, or it'll just grab onto whatever it's in contact with and you'll have bare spots that'll cause you no end of headaches.

 

Golden rule of painting: If there's a quick way and a longer way, the longer way will turn out better.

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I'm not sure what the humidity is usually like in your neck of the woods but it's fairly dry here which gives me the interesting problem of getting a grainy texture when I spray from too far away and the primer dries in mid-air. Once you figure out where that sweet spot is (not too close, not too far away) and go in multiple thin layers you're good to go.

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I use a stick.

 

I have a bunch of 1 inch square and 3 inch long dowel bits that i put a bit of blue sticky tack on. Then put the mini on that. I shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake that primer, shake that primer (yes this is quite funny to watch) until my arm hurts. Then I take it outside and spray left to right starting before and ending after the mini, then making a 90 degree turn and repeating. With the stick I can turn the mini upside down and get the underside bits and face the top of the head towards me and get the top that way.

 

You can also use this for shield arms and such, because the sticky tack comes right off (make sure the primer is dry or the paint will too) and then you can flip it over, prime the other side, and when it dries TaDa, no funky splortchy bits.

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I'm not sure what the humidity is usually like in your neck of the woods but it's fairly dry here which gives me the interesting problem of getting a grainy texture when I spray from too far away and the primer dries in mid-air. Once you figure out where that sweet spot is (not too close, not too far away) and go in multiple thin layers you're good to go.

 

Here I get several effects: grainy, like you're saying. Gloss, which is basically what it sounds like- the primer goes on smooth and glossy... and then is tacky and shiny for several days, after which painting it is like trying to paint watercolor on glass. This is often accompanied by heavy pooling on the figure, much like if you were to wash a figure a half dozen times- the higher areas are translucent (you can still see the metal under the primer) while the low areas lose nearly all detail. And then finally there's the bumpcoat or orange peel coat, where the surface of the primer ends up distorted and textured, which ruins washes and metals on broad areas.

 

Now granted, to some degree this is probably due to how much the primer can is shaken, and how old it is, but still- I have, overall, gotten better results in a controlled environment than I have outdoors using the same techniques.

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I primed it in the kitchen because it was very humid outside yesterday after the nasty drizzle. Don't tell my wife! Shhhhhh...... I just couldn't wait!

 

If it's humid outside, it's humid inside, just less so. I would NEVER prime in the kitchen-it's just too dangerous.

 

Also, be aware of the temperature range. If you plan on priming several minis for winter painting, I would get them ready now, and spray on one of the few nice days that may be left to you this year. That way, you can continue to paint while the weather turns to crap for several months.

 

Make sure you have cleaned the mini thoroughly before you prime. Dishsoap and an old toothbrush work well to remove dirt, grease from your fingers, and mold release agent. Dry the mini thoroughly after washing. I use a hairdryer.

 

FYI, I also used gray Krylon for years, with decent results, but have recently switched to a brush on primer that gives me a much smoother basecoat.

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