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Where can I get some primer for painting miniatures?


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I think Thrush did the primer test both out of curiousity, and as a service to the rest of us. If you've ever wondered if there is a difference, his test results show in a very easy to see fashion that there is.

 

Using a proper primer helps the overall durability of a figure - and that's very important for figures destined for the tabletop battlefield, and even more important if they are transported frequently. While I too have scores of figures from 10-15 years ago that use flat Krylon paints as a "primer", and most of them are doing just fine, many of them are not - they're showing excessive chipping of paint. I'm pretty confident now that this is a direct result of not using a true primer.

 

You are right in one aspect - the important thing is to just get painting. But if you're looking for the best possible durability of your paint jobs you can get, you're better off starting with a good primer.

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

 

And engineering is a *very* important profession. Of course, some people are happy sliding through life with whatever gets them by.

 

That was a friendly jab, but the primer test was a useful piece of information to me, and I appreciate it.

 

One of the most deeply rooted problems the US faces today is a lack of decent math & science education. I don't just mean people who major at it in college, I mean in grade school & high school. It's just not "cool" to be good at math or science, and it's costing us.

 

People in other countries laugh at us because so many Americans think evolution is "just" a theory.

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"I am about ready to throw away the paints and miniatures I recently bought because I just can't use the damn things."

 

When all the in-coming stops my basic point is that the original poster seems to think he needs to give up the hobby because he can't find primer in Florida!

 

I do have to hedge my comments a bit. I forgot about you gamers. In my end of the hobby if you pick up one of my figures you better be a judge or have me standing next to you. Otherwisw it could get very messy :angry:

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When all the in-coming stops my basic point is that the original poster seems to think he needs to give up the hobby because he can't find primer in Florida!

 

More an issue of not looking for primer then IMO. Some of the best primers for using on minis can be found at almost any Automotive parts stores and even big box stores like Walmart carry them (not the best - but definitely top 5 material for my money).

 

Primer ends up being important for more than just gamers as well - this past week I pulled some minis out of cold storage which were painted back in my dorm days - cheap primer...most likely Krylon rattle can. The paint had actually cracked and pulled away from the metal minis. The plastic ones faired much better. Concerned for the rest of the collection, I started popping open boxes and looking at other minis - although there was a lot of variation...ones which used a good quality primer didn't suffer from the paint flaking problem. Keep in mind, this was a bit of an extreme situation - we had several days of -20 out here...but if you sell a mini and ship to the frozen north, you will have an unhappy customer if the paint is flaking off on arrival.

 

In terms of testing - I wish there was more being done (would allow me to do less). Much of what is discussed by miniature and model painters is junk science at best, plane old ignorance at worst. Very few actual comparisons are done in regards to paint, materials and other resources used by hobbyists - and the vast majority of reviews are simply personal opinion without any repeatable, measurable information that backs up the reviews. This ends up doing a disservice to both the consumers and the manufacturers (who also do not normally do any significant testing from what I have seen and heard). Without testing, the same junk continues to get past about for years (some of the myths are going on decades) with people not knowing why they should do something - merely that someone told them to when they first started painting.

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The three primers I use are Tamiya white & grey, Dupicolor white & grey (thou not the filler one it's tends to cover up details) & cheap-O Walmart blue can primer. All 3 gives me good results in whatever I prime, whether it's minis or models.

 

RM

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Thank you all for the help.

 

I was about to let this go, but a few days ago I was at a gaming store so I just grabbed a bottle of Reaper brush on primer (black) out of impulse, since I really needed/wanted a figure done for a campaign which was about to start.

 

So, can you guys please explain to me how to properly use this type of primer? I tried thinning it, but I failed miserably and ended up just slapping a very think layer on to get the job done.

 

 

Thanks in advance!

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I was about to let this go, but a few days ago I was at a gaming store so I just grabbed a bottle of Reaper brush on primer (black) out of impulse, since I really needed/wanted a figure done for a campaign which was about to start.

 

So, can you guys please explain to me how to properly use this type of primer? I tried thinning it, but I failed miserably and ended up just slapping a very think layer on to get the job done.

Shake for about 15-30 seconds or so. Dilute to 4 drops primer and 1 drop of water. Mix. Then brush on in a relatively thin coat, making sure that the primer goes on smoothly and does *NOT* collect in the recesses.

 

You may want to apply more than one coat (after the first has dried) if needed.

 

Ron

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Thank you all for the help.

 

I was about to let this go, but a few days ago I was at a gaming store so I just grabbed a bottle of Reaper brush on primer (black) out of impulse, since I really needed/wanted a figure done for a campaign which was about to start.

 

So, can you guys please explain to me how to properly use this type of primer? I tried thinning it, but I failed miserably and ended up just slapping a very think layer on to get the job done.

 

 

Thanks in advance!

It's hard to tell if a "think" layer is a thin layer with a superfluous 'k' or a thick layer with an 'n' instead of a 'c'... I only nitpick (this time) since the 2 possible meanings are exact opposites, which will greatly affect what sort of advice would be appropriate. Can you clarify this?

 

To cover both bases, basically, if it was too thin, it might be fine as-is - I've read you don't have to get the primer fully opaque for it to do its job. Personally, I use a spray and always seem to accidentally use more than I need... or so I believe. You could always add another/more thin layer(s) if you're in doubt. If it was too thick, try adding more water next time... Or strip this one and try again if it's so thick you've lost details.

 

Anyhow, assuming you're not an airbrusher, you basically just paint it on the bare metal with a brush like you would any other sort of paint, after removing any mold lines and/or flash metal. Not a bad idea to wash the mini first either - an old toothbrush and some dish detergent seem to work well for me. If you notice more mold lines after priming (this happens a lot), just remove them with a needle file (or whatever you use) and touch up the damaged primer coat with more brush-on.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Kang

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Yep, our brush-on primer is best thinned about 4 or 5 drops of primer to one drop of water, just like the Master Series Paints. You *can* use it straight from the bottle, though; just be sure to pay attention when you are applying it so it doesn't pool and wipe out small details. ::): A brush with a stiffer bristle, such as a Taklon or other synthetic, can be ideal for applying unthinned primer to areas with lot of fine detail without filling it in (they tend to discourage pooling and thick paint application more than a softer natural bristle does).

 

Though I have been known to agree with people who ask if they can get primer cheaper at Wal-Mart or auto supply stores, if you must have sprays I recommend Tamiya Fine Surface Primer or (Testor's) Floquil White Primer, both of which are normally found at hobby shops and model train shops and such. In Florida, though, sprays run into big problems with all that humidity...you may want to just stick to the brush-on!

 

--Anne (She Who Makes The Reaper Paint)

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I use the Reaper brush-on white primer.... All you need to do is just brush on one thin coat over the whole piece, let it dry, and then go back to put on another thin coat, particularly over the parts where the first coat was a little thin.

It doesn't matter so much if the primer coat's perfectly even and opaque, just as long as everything's covered, and it's not pooling or glopped on so it covers/fills in details on the mini.

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Much of what is discussed... is junk science at best, plain old ignorance at worst. Very few actual comparisons are done... and the vast majority of reviews are simply personal opinion without any repeatable, measurable information that backs up the reviews... Without testing, the same junk continues to get passed about for years (some of the myths are going on decades) with people not knowing why they should do something - merely that someone told them...

 

This bears repeating, although in a more generalized format. I really wonder if many people actually stop and think about just how retarded some of the things posted on the Internet are.

 

My old email signature - "In days of old, people who could not speak were considered dumb. Now, the Internet allows those who do speak to prove they are."

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One of the purposes of this forum is to communicate tips and advice. Telling someone, "you go try it out experimentally and decide what to do from there" isn't terribly helpful to most folks in most situations. As a result, some incorrect information is going to be communicated.

 

This bears repeating, although in a more generalized format. I really wonder if many people actually stop and think about just how retarded some of the things posted on the Internet are.

 

My old email signature - "In days of old, people who could not speak were considered dumb. Now, the Internet allows those who do speak to prove they are."

I suggest caution about judging folks so harshly. It is very easy to get a very skewed if not outright incorrect, opinion of who someone is based on a very limited set of data (whether this data is based on a few postings on the net, a disembodied voice on a con call, a few emails, or an appearance on reality tv).

 

Ron

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I suggest caution about judging folks so harshly. It is very easy to get a very skewed if not outright incorrect, opinion of who someone is based on a very limited set of data (whether this data is based on a few postings on the net, a disembodied voice on a con call, a few emails, or an appearance on reality tv).

 

And people posting on the net, speaking on conference calls, emailing or going on reality TV (which in and of itself speaks greatly of who they are) should consider what they are putting forward.

 

(Testor's) Floquil White Primer

 

Testor's Model Master Primer is now the same as the Floquil (or Floquil is the same as MM depending on how you want to look at things). It is normally easier to come by as Floquil tends to be a bit of a specialty item - but Model Master Primer is normally stocked at big boxes as well as stores like Hobby Lobby. The MM primer also gets sold at a bit lower price point than the Floquil does (marketing alone - same stuff in the can). Regular Testor's Primer though is about equivalent to Krylon primer...better than no primer at all, but there are a lot of better primers available.

 

In Florida, though, sprays run into big problems with all that humidity...you may want to just stick to the brush-on!

 

Which is one reason I am such a big proponent of using an airbrush to prime with. You can pick up a cheap Aztek or similar airbrush kit for under $50 with a compressor. While I wouldn't recommend using it for doing detail work - it will still do wonders for primer and clear coats without the most of the problems related to rattle cans. In the long run when you consider the cost savings versus rattle cans...you can't beat it. Not to mention that it normally will provide a smoother, more even primer coat than brushing on by hand.

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And people posting on the net, speaking on conference calls, emailing or going on reality TV (which in and of itself speaks greatly of who they are) should consider what they are putting forward.

Hey now! What are you saying about my appearances on tv!? :;):

 

Unfortunately, the image/impression that we want to send and the impression that is received isn't always the same thing.

 

Which is one reason I am such a big proponent of using an airbrush to prime with.

I got bit by the airbrush bug last year at GenCon, and I've become quite fond of using my airbrush for priming and varnishing. I'm still learning how to use the airbrush well (even for simple things like priming, initial (one color) base coating, and varnishing. Certainly a time saver when doing something larger or a number of small minis at the same time. I will still probably use a brush or a rattle can on the occasional single figure.

 

Ron

 

PS: I really have been on reality tv (Animal Cops: Houston) but only wandering in and out of the background of a few shots while I was helping in the barn or at a horse adoption.

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