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Bones: The First Coat is the Difference

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Be aware that differing results with spray primers can be as much about the weather/climate as the product itself. Aerosol products are heavily influenced by temperature and humidity. One person's positive experience with a particular product doesn't necessarily guarantee anyone else the same thing. (Nor even that the first person will have a duplicated experience on a different day of spraying.)


The most guaranteed way to spray prime Bones is to spray acrylic paint through an airbrush. US residents should be able to pick up an airbrush and compressor fairly cheaply at Harbor Freight. (If you have 2 full Kickstarters worth of Bones, the price might not even be that far off from cans of primer, but I haven't sat down to do that math. ;->)


I'm not saying there's no chance of using an aerosol spray primer on Bones successfully, just advising a little caution and testing of your own before getting too invested in a particular product based on other people's reports.

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It is safest to stay away from aerosols. If you do want to use them, test on one or two figures and see how it goes.


Any variety of brush-on acrylic paint will very likely work. I don't think I've heard of one that doesn't yet. Vallejo Model Color may not be the most durable, but this is a general issue with that paint, it's designed for figures that are put on display rather than figures that are played with.


You can apply an all-over coat of something to act as a primer if you want to because you like to start with a particular colour. Or you can just start painting colours on individual areas and not bother with a primer step. Either way, just don't add much water to any paint that is applied directly to the Bones surface.

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I haven't used those brands myself. I have friends who have, and to my knowledge they haven't mentioned any problems with adherence and such. I will try to check in with them to double-check on their experiences. I would suspect a fair number of people have been using them on the larger terrain pieces like for Dragons Don't Share.


From a general point of view, you will likely find that a few colours in your craft paints either take tons of coats to build up an opaque coating of colour, or that you have a few that seem grainy/gritty or a little too thick. Those are the colours you might want to consider buying versions of in a paint designed for painting miniatures. I know miniatures paint seems like it's a lot more expensive compared to the amount you get, but the experience a lot of people seem to have is that painting with it can be faster and less frustrating than using craft paints. The paints are pretty pigment rich, so you generally need less than you might think, and you can also stretch them farther by using a wet palette (quicky home version - put wet paper towel on a plate or in a Tupperware style container, put parchment paper, also called baking paper but NOT wax paper, over the paper towel, then put your paint on top of this.)



The friend I've heard back from so far says you can use them directly on the Bones surface, but it often takes many coats, and the first few coats can't be thinned. The more she uses the Reaper paints, the more she prefers them, and has been using the craft paints less often or only as undercoats to Reaper paints. Durability seems to be about the same (anything will chip if you just throw it all into a bag or box together was her comment basically. ;->) My experience has been that you just need to keep the Bones from rattling around in storage and transport, so just bubble wrap or paper towel layers in a box will work if you add enough at the top to keep things static.

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