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Where can I get some primer for painting miniatures?


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Hello,

 

For the last two months I have been looking everywhere in my city and even neighboring cities for some black primer and white primer. I have checked everywhere from my local Michaels, to hobby shops, to car part stores (as suggested from both IRL people and a thread suggested here), to Walmart, to Home Depot, to Lowers, etc. I am about ready to throw away the paints and miniatures I recently bought because I just can't use the damn things.

 

I have read some threads on here about which is best, and I have even called Reaper twice for help and advice. From what I understood I have been looking everywhere for either Krylon Ultra Flet (the employee at Walmart insisted and convinced me that there was no such thing, and sold me the normal plain Primer, now my minis look like they freaking glow. I was told "Ultra Flat" was a must by the woman at Reapers which mixes your paints), Testors Flat primer (I found two stores which sell Testors, but neither had any that said primer), or two other brands of primer which I can not recall their names anymore (I believe one started with a V).

 

I considered just using Reaper's brush on paint, which I figured would also be convenient due to the humidity here in Florida, but the guy I talked to at Repears told me himself that it would be too fragile for playing use, that is unless I sealed it with some Krylon product, but I am not going through this headache twice to look for this stuff.

 

The only thing I have found near me is some Games Workshop primer sold at a gaming store near me, but I flat out refuse to buy any more GW products, since I bought about $100 worth of paints from them in the course of two years and almost all of it is already unusable (I thought that was the norm until I visited your forum. Thanks for that guys!). Also, the stuff is super expensive in comparison, and I have to agree with some of the comments I have heard/read about its quality. Plus I dislike the store it is sold at immensely.

 

I frequent both MiniatureGiant.com and MiniatureMarket.com, but sadly neither sells primer.

 

I really have no idea what to do anymore.

 

 

I just came across this set at Paizo.com (during the course of making this post):

http://paizo.com/store/gameAids/paintingSu...paint/theArmory

 

However I do not know a thing about this brand, and I recognize those characters as being from a D&D parody something, so I am not even sure if this is a joke product. Plus Paizo's shipping is extremely expensive, and I have had bad experiences with their lack of padding/protection on their shipments.

 

 

Any help at all would be appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

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Assuming you can't get the armory primors, duplicolor IS readily available in almost every auto parts store... autozone, oreilleys, advance auto all carry their product i know... and it's just under 5 bucks a can of the stuff.. you'll want the duplicolor black/white sandable primer. It's what I use, and i've not had any problems with it back when i was living in florida, or home in texas.

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All of the places that you have mentioned have or should have primer.

 

Michaels and Hobby Lobby carry the Krylon spray primer (though probably only in white). The Krylon spray primer goes on a bit fast and requires a faster sweep than the Dupliclor.

 

Auto parts stores (O'Reilly, Autozone, etc) will carry Duplicolor Sandable Primer (a spray primer). I use the white and sometimes the gray, but black is also available. Not all stores will carry all of the colors (Autozone never seems to have white in Houston).

 

I think that Home Depot and Lowe's will have Rustoleum, but I've never tried that for miniatures.

 

For spraying primer (or varnish for that matter), you will generally need to start spraying to one side of the mini and then move the spray across the mini without stopping or releasing the spray until you are past the mini on the other side. You'll need to develop a feel for how quickly to "sweep" across the mini. And, of course, shake the dickens out of the can first.

 

Miniature Market carries Reaper Master Series brush on primer (in white and black), Vallejo Game Color Primer (in white), Reaper Pro Paint Primer (white), and Armory spray primer (white). Type in "primer" in the search box on the home page.

 

Miniature Giant carries the Master Series primers. Again, type in "primer" in the search box.

 

You can also order the Reaper primers directly from Reaper.

 

Any mini used for anything other than display ought to be sealed, preferably with a gloss coat followed by a matte coat. Even display minis ought to be at least sealed with a matte coat. I use Krylon UV Resistant Gloss and Krylon UV Resistant Matte when spray varnishing and Liquitex Gloss and Matte Varnishes (and Reaper MSP Brush on Sealer) when brush on varnishing. The Krylon and Liquitex varnishes are available at Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

 

Ron

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i actually have been using the cheap black flat paint to prime with, for table top speed painting. I have been for over 8 years now and never had a problem. Just make sure you wash and clean your mini properly. If the mini has been cleaned the paint will stick no problem. I always clear coat with Krylon gloss followed by Floquil flat.

 

As for display pieces i use a primer. Like krylon grey primer.

 

I have also just painted on paint as an undercoat also. Alot of it has to do with proper mini preparation. Such as removing all the mold release agents.

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I use Tamiya Fine Surface Primer in white. It can be difficult to find though- you may have to call around or mail order it. It's pricey too, even more than GW, but it lays down a very smooth finish. I've tried everything else and this is the best stuff I've ever used. I have heard that it can be troublesome in humid climates though (I live in Colorado, so it's not a problem for me).

 

I am NOT a fan of GW for the most part either, but their white primer is pretty good. If you have trouble finding some of the others, this may be your best bet. If I can't find my Tamiya primer, I'll use this in a pinch.

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Actually you are making this all much more difficult than it is. I have been painting rounds, flats and mini's for 20 years or more. You can prime with latex housepaint if you want. All you want is to cover the metal with something that has a little "tooth" to hold your paint. In the old days, when figures were actually lead, you used to seal to avoid "lead rot." The new alloys don't rot. Go to Walmart buy a can of flat whie or black and "dust" it on your figure. The paint should almost be dry before it hits the figure. Every painter you talk to will give you their thoughts on the "definitive primer." There ain't no such thing. Now paint!

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Honestly, I've used several different brands of primers in several colors over the years, and I've never really had a problem with any of them. I am currently working my way through my first can of the infamous white Tamiya Fine Surface Primer (due to having heard of its superiority so many times, then finally finding a (model railroading hobby) store that carries it), but that is the first time I've ever sprung for one of the expensive hobby brands - any kind of spray primer you find in the paint aisle will definitely work better than no primer. You'd pretty much have to have tried numerous different kinds over the years to be able to notice much difference, IMO.

 

Of course, there are always those who swear by one brand or another, just as there are always those who'll swear you can just use paint instead. There probably are things to be said for one brand being better than others for priming minis, but I've tried many and still have trouble telling any difference (even with the Tamiya). Of course, I don't exactly crank out hundreds of minis a year like some people... More like a half-dozen a year or so, and that's on a good year. So that's probably why. But I will say that I am utterly convinced that using paint as primer is just asking for all your work to gradualy chip and wear away over the years... if you don't keep them in a display case all the time. Paint on unprimed minis can even start rubbing/chipping off before you finish painting, so even that display case isn't a totally safe bet.

 

Your choice as to whether you'll use white, black, or grey primer is almost certainly going to have a much bigger impact on your results and the painting style you develop than the brand you chose.

 

One thing though: don't pick one that says "gap-filling" or anything else that sounds like it will clog up the details on your minis, turning that chainmail skirt into a cloth tabard. Go figure. Such primers do exist and you should take care not to accidentally pick up one of those. Aside from that, until you discover the brand you want to keep using forever, whatever spray primer they have in the paint aisle at Canadian Tire... er, I'm probably the only Canuck around here right now, eh?... I mean at Home Depot or Wal-Mart or wherever... should be fine to work with.

 

Kang

 

 

R.I.P., E.G.G.

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You can prime with latex housepaint if you want. All you want is to cover the metal with something that has a little "tooth" to hold your paint. In the old days, when figures were actually lead, you used to seal to avoid "lead rot." The new alloys don't rot.

 

Lead rot is caused by exposure to air. Any painted figure will not be subject to this; primer doesn't do any better than any other paint in this regard. Also, primer is specifically formulated to stick to bare metal, paint is not. Also, primer is specifically formulated to have the tooth you mention; regular paint is designed to provide a smooth coat.

 

Primer is cheap & readily available; I wouldn't substitute regular paint for it.

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just to chime in one more time here. I do agree that primer will deffinately be better than regular flat paint, but i do have to say that i have painted thousands of minis (table top quality) for the LGS and have always used flat black spray paint. that is what he requested/recommended i use it. He has been using it for about 30 years now and hasn't had a problem. I think it is also important to state that we always use at least 3 coats of clear coat, the first layer being gloss.

 

honestly i don't see it being that big of an issue as long and you clean the mini, don't handle the paint surface while painting and get it clear coated before touching it. i have a mini i paint 8 years ago with a black spray paint undercoat that has yet to get a single chip. even after being dropped.

 

if it were a bigger surface like a model car or dragon miniature i will always use primer!

 

but after much babble and rambling on my part my final input is: use primer. better safe than sorry.

 

for my primer i use krylon gray. got it at wal-mart.

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Hobby Lobby is where I got my stuff. Granted, it's in the locked spray-paint cupboard, and it's a pain in the behind trying to find a staff member to open it. Krylon is the brand I think

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I hope you people understand that my mention of Latex housepaint was in jest but this just isn't rocket science nor does one have to spend as much time as the guy that tested 15 different kinds of primer. When does he get around to painting? In my opinion that is either anal or having entirely too much time on your hands. Or he's an engineer :rolleyes: If you have a choice get a $2.00 can of primer and start painting. Personaly I use brush on Humbrol flat white or Model Master flat white. I have 20 year old flats in my collection that still have all their paint. In the end, It's the paint that is on-top of the primer that counts. A very famous flat painter once said, "the paint may fall of my figures in 50 years, but what do i care, I'll be dead."

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I hope you people understand that my mention of Latex housepaint was in jest but this just isn't rocket science nor does one have to spend as much time as the guy that tested 15 different kinds of primer. When does he get around to painting? In my opinion that is either anal or having entirely too much time on your hands. Or he's an engineer :rolleyes: If you have a choice get a $2.00 can of primer and start painting. Personaly I use brush on Humbrol flat white or Model Master flat white. I have 20 year old flats in my collection that still have all their paint. In the end, It's the paint that is on-top of the primer that counts. A very famous flat painter once said, "the paint may fall of my figures in 50 years, but what do i care, I'll be dead."

 

 

Just so you know, the guy who did the primer test is an active member of these forums.

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