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Base coating issues

Iron Knight

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I've met with some pretty bad first results on my bones minis. I think where I am going wrong is base coating. Undiluted I am having to do several base coats and it ends up killing the model's detail (and it also might be making the mini's really shiny...). I would really like to find a reliable method to get the model covered so I can paint like 'normal' with out all the beading. Could anyone recommend a paint line that work in a pass or two to base coat that's worked for you? Gray, black and white are my usual colors but any colors would be great too.

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I see you mentioned "beading" in your post. Have you washed your bones minis in warm water with an old toothbrush and dish soap? The problem could be the mold release agent on them that is keeping your paints from sticking to the plastic correctly. I'd also recommend you use more layers w/ thinned paint (distilled water) to keep the details from being obscured.

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I have spayed a layer of testors dull coat as a primer base as a test on bones and I did not have any problems with coverage. With that said I have just painted them without a primer but you do have to wash.


If doing multiple layers for a base coat just make sure you are letting the first coat completely dry before applying the second. If you don't it can cause the first coat to peel up or not adhere... I do think you have to be a little more patient with your base coats for Bones but from there its like painting any mini

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I use Vallejo and I do scrub the minis before hand pretty well... I may not be giving enough time for drying but I rotate through 5-6 minis at a time so I didn't think about that. I'll give reaper a try (guess that's the logical next step...) Could it be that the age of my paints is effecting its quality? I haven't painted in a while...

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Age could be a factor. Myself, I found slightly older Vallejo paints to actually be very good for base coating for that very reason - they're just thick enough for a one-and-done base coat.


Same here (sort of). I still have to thin my Vallejo Game Color paints a little before using them on Bones (even for basecoats).

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Vallejo seem to be hit or miss. Some people report no problems, other people report very poor adhesion.


As Talespinner noted, the Reaper liner colours make for very robust basecoats. Theoretically, using vallejo over a liner basecoat should work just fine.


The liners are thin enough to not cover up all the detail, really stick on tight, and will act as a barrier between Bones and paint. Since you already have vallejo colours, it's probably the option to try first.

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I use Vallejo and I do scrub the minis before hand pretty well... I may not be giving enough time for drying but I rotate through 5-6 minis at a time so I didn't think about that. I'll give reaper a try (guess that's the logical next step...) Could it be that the age of my paints is effecting its quality? I haven't painted in a while...


I use a lot of Vallejo as well and beading is a serious problem. I soaked them in soapy water overnight and scrubbed them. That didn't work. What worked for me was putting them in boiling water for just a few seconds. I haven't had problems with the last 4 I painted since doing this.

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Note that while Dullcote will provide a paintable surface, it does NOT create a very durable surface. If you are painting Bones to use for gaming, I strongly recommend that you do not use Dullcote as a 'primer'. Of the figures I've tested, the one with the Dullcote 'primer' has experienced the most damage, and it's the type of damage that will continue to get worse. (As compared to straight paint, brush-on primer, a spray primer that mostly cured, and several other brush-on surface preparers. See The First Coat is the Difference in the pinned section of this forum for more details.)


If you are painting something to be used purely for display or as part a diorama, then use of Dullcote might be less of an issue for you.

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