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Kang

RMS white Brush-On Primer

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Getting ready to prime/paint 03180: Cadirith, Colossal Demonic Spider, after a nightmarishly long (yet oddly fun) process of cleaning and polishing, pinning, gluing, leg-bending (followed by a bit more pinning and gluing - oops!) and puttying. Actually, I still have to fill in the hollow underbelly - perfect excuse to save some (relatively expensive) green stuff and stuff a bunch of (relatively cheap) Billy Mays' Mighty Putty in there before giving it a final thin layer of green stuff that will take a little fur texture. It's possible to smooth/sculpt the Mighty Putty to some extent, but the stuff starts to cure so fast that I don't trust it for anything more than bulking up areas that will be covered by something else. I've used it in the past for things like building up bases before adding Woodland scenics terrain products and green stuff for more exposed textures. But I digress...

 

I'm going to use RMS white brush-on primer, as all my spray cans have been sitting around for ages or are empty or are suspected of having been left in my garage during sub-freezing weather, plus the fact it seems to always be too humid for spraying primer where I live lately, at least whenever I actually want to do some priming. This will be my first try at using this type of primer - my first time using a brush-on primer of any kind since my 1980's Testors enamels days, if truth be told.

 

I have done a little homework and seen how Anne has recommended using 1 drop/brushful water to 4-5 drops RMS white primer in a few different threads, so I have the ratios covered, but I still have a few questions about using this stuff before I go and mess up such a huge mini.

 

- I have read that primer works by micro-etching the metal surface, giving the paint a surface that is easier to stick to. Will this etching be harmful to my brushes? I see no reason to use my good kolinskies for priming anyhow, but I still wonder how badly I'll be punishing my lesser brushes by using this stuff. Questions about whether or not I will effectively be consigning a brush or 2 to priming duties forevermore are rattling through my head, and the answers will help me decide which brush(es) to use (or whether purchasing a cheap new one or 2 might be in order) when I do get to priming this beast.

 

- How opaque should the primer be when I'm done priming? I know a couple coats thinned at the ratios Anne mentioned is what's recommended, but I have read several differing takes on how opaque a finished primer coat should be in various places on the net - everything from slather it on thick (dubious), to just barely enough that it's opaque & you can't tell by looking if it's a metal or plastic mini (could be - this is what my spray-primed minis have tended to look like, other than the nooks that got missed. But I have always sucked at spraying so who knows...), to all metal covered but you should still see a fair bit of pewter-grey through the primer when it's dried. Anyone know if one of these is more right than the others?

 

Thanks,

 

Kang

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1. Priming is a little rougher on good brushes for several reasons: it's thicker (Kolinsky saber seems to do better the thinner the paint), chemical factors (such as you asked about), and when priming we tend to want to do stuff like push our brushes into spaces to get primer into them! :lol: For this reason, I prime with a cheaper synthetic brush. ::):

 

2. I have found that this is entirely to personal taste. You want a thick enough coat of primer that it doesn't rub off when you breathe on it, and a thin enough one that it doesn't obscure detail, and those are the only criteria. If you do decide to use a thicker coating, apply it in several thinned layers and make sure that each layer is dry before you put on another (and watch your fine details--primer does a far better job of filling in gaps and detail than paint does!).

 

Other advice, shake your bottle like crazy, make sure you can hear the little skull rattling around. If you can't hear it, add an additional piece of trimmed sprue or something to aid it in loosening up. NEVER use things like BB's or any metal that can rust! You can ruin your paint that way pretty easily.

 

--Anne ::):

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Thanks for the answers and advice, Anne! I know just the brush I'm going to use. I'll definitely shake the bejeezus out of the dropper before using it - I'm aware of the pitfalls of using BB's etc., and so I have some glass beads I use for extra agitators whenever needed. I wish they were a bit heavier, but they work OK and they fit into a dropper bottle. And they won't discolour the paint (er... primer in this case), so looks like I'm good to go. (I should add one or 2 of those to my brush-on sealer dropper too, given what I've read about the stuff... just a matter of finding them is all). The Mighty Putty is in place and hard as a rock, so I just have to add and texturize a final thin layer of green stuff on the belly and I'll be on my way.

 

Thanks also to the helpful forum member who sent me a more stealthy reply via PM.

 

Kang

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With regards to applying a couple of thin coats of white brush on primer.... how do you apply it smooth and consistantly? Take a smooth cloak or dress for example. Whenever I prime surfaces like this I get areas that are thinner than others.

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With regards to applying a couple of thin coats of white brush on primer.... how do you apply it smooth and consistantly? Take a smooth cloak or dress for example. Whenever I prime surfaces like this I get areas that are thinner than others.

 

Are you flooding the mini? Does the primer release and run away from you, pooling in the recesses? You might be over loading your brush.

 

Generally speaking, as long as the surface is smooth it doesn't matter much if it is thicker on one area or the next. Thin it down and apply a couple/few layers. Does the whole thing look a little frosted? Yes? You've got enough coverage. If the raised areas are not frosted but the crevices are then apply more primer to the raised areas only, just like you would apply highlights, controlled and in shrinking concentric circles.

 

Thanks also to the helpful forum member who sent me a more stealthy reply via PM.

 

 

Stealth is over rated....

 

:poke:

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I use Reaper white brush-on primer most of the time and normally thin it 1/1 paint to water. Depending upon the figure it will normally cover in one coat that is smooth and does not cover up details.

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Hmmm. I did some searching of the forums before posting this thread and found a few hits where Anne said she thins the RMS white primer at a ratio of 4 or 5 parts primer to one part water, and suggests maybe using a couple of coats. A single coat at 1:1 sounds like so little primer in comparison! JimL - you haven't had any trouble using this method, ie. paint rubbing off, etc.?

 

Just when I was starting to think I had my head all wrapped around this whole primer thing...

 

Kang

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Lurker: It does not run or pool. Just covers better in some areas compared to others. That's an interesting point about shrinking concentric circles; I wonder if my real problem is technique and not the primer... How should I be brushing on paint? Do I lay the brush on to an unpainted area and brush into my last stroke? Do I start brushing in the paint of the last stroke and pull out in to unpainted parts? My real question is ... how do I lay down a smooth, consistent, layer?

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Are the "uncovered areas" showing any primer at all or does it pull away from the naked shiny metal like oil on water? If that's what happening it could be that you have some residues or oils on the surface. Try cleaning your minis with windex and give them a good rinse with hot water before you prime.

 

I wonder if you might be sweating the details too much. Some people have a hard time with the idea that you don't have to completely drown your mini in primer in order to make paint stick. A smooth coat does not need to be thick and uniformly opaque. The minis I do with brush on primer look a little splotchy before the first layer of basecoat. Most of the time I can still see the general color of the pewter (but not the metallic gleam) through the primer. White primer over new pewter = grey mini. In my opinion the goal of priming is to give the paint something to stick to, not to be used as a base color. "More" is not always better... But that just my opinion, and not everyone agrees with me.

 

That being said, if you really prefer a completely solid undercoat then the technique is no different than base coating. Working quickly with a wet (but not overly saturated) brush, sweep from one side to the next, and maintain a wet edge. Once it starts to thicken and dry you need to just leave it alone and let it dry. You don't want to piddle around with the primer (or any paint for that matter) as it's drying. Futzing with it when it's half dry can create chunks and streaks.

 

If after a few light coats you still have an area that is a little skimpy then you can do the layering thing on selected spots. Yes, start your stoke in a previously covered DRY area and drag it into the virgin territory. When you lift the brush away from the surface you will automaticly be depositing more paint there than you did at the beginning of the stroke. (just like when you're sweeping the kitchen floor)

 

I hope that made sense....

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Great post, Lurker. ::):

 

As she says, for a smooth coat, thin your paint, get a good portion on your brush (I actually prefer to over-load the brush a bit and then pull the excess across the area I'm priming/painting), start at one edge and work quickly across the area to the other edge. Ideally you will finish your basecoat as your beginning strokes on the area are just starting to dry. At that point--DON'T TOUCH IT! Let it dry and THEN add another thinned layer. That's how we all get the super-smooth results.

 

For priming, use the largest brush you can get away with--I mean it! The bigger the brush, the faster you will cover the surface, the less likely you are to get brush strokes. Quick and dirty and then use a smaller damp brush to wick away any excess that might glob up details before it dries. If the mini is larger and you don't think you can cover the surface fast enough then do it in sections.

 

Kang, yes you are over-thinking the thinning issue. ::): Remember, I said that the only criteria were that the primer had to be thick enough to not rub off easily, and thin enough not to glob up details. So if a 1:1 ratio gives a good result for people, it's equally as valid as my own 4:1 or 5:1 ratio. I just like my primer to be a "background color" instead of just a mist to help the paint stick. Others disagree and many of them paint just as well or better than I do!!

 

Put a dozen national-level award-winning painters in a room and they will all tell you they do it differently. But obviously they're all very good, so that implies that the only criteria you should judge a painting tip by is your own. :;): EXPERIMENT! And have fun. Painting is fun. Fun is more important than ratios. Just get out there and get some paint on stuff! ::D:

 

--Anne

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Lurker: Nail.. head... you got it. I'm sweating the details of priming and it really helps that you said yours come out uneven or sometimes splotchy which doesn't effect your layers of paint on top of it.

 

Also great tips on technique.

 

Vaitalla: I'm slowly learning how a bigger brush with an awesome tip is better than a smaller brush. It never really occured to me but I read some other threads where people were expressing the same. Now that I have some quality brushes I'm finding how true it really is. I'm amazed with what can be done using #2 and #1 sizes when they are quality brushes.

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I'm glad that you're making a brush breakthrough, Morgan! Though using a smaller brush can sometimes benefit a painting style (it makes you focus on each small section at a time, which sometimes will improve things like layering or detail work), using a larger brush with a good tip adds up to painters everywhere not pulling out as much hair over painting frustrations. :;):

 

--Anne ::D:

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