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Since your figures are already primed black, partially spray them grey primer (or acrylic spray paint), then lesser white, for a shadow effect, similar to zenithal airbrushing:     If you want fu

I am actually doing the whole "black with progressive lighter shades from zenital position" with the airbrush now, still experimenting (here halfway through):     I really like how it defines sha

The only consensus we have here is that there's no consensus about the "one true way" to do anything. 

 

Here is an excellent tutorial from Massive Voodoo site:

http://massivevoodoo.blogspot.com/2014/05/tutorial-painting-colour-black.html?m=0

This is a great tutorial, Gassy, but it has nothing to do with the question actually asked... ::P:

Bleh, I misread it. Was tired after early travel today. Went and took a nap afterwards.

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Grey, by the way, really strikes me as the worst of both words. Just as glaring as white... no dark shadows like black. Sure, you can see details a little better than you can with straight black - but still not as good as you can black-with-white-drybrush. :unsure: There was a point near the end of my Warmachine playing/painting (just before I went dormant until Bones I woke me up again) that I thought grey primer was the bee's knees, and I still have heaps of grey models laying about.

 

I need a gallon jug of Simple Green, and a really big bucket... <_<

 

I strongly prefer gray primer, though darker than the Tamiya Fine Surface gray. For me, it has all the advantages of both black and white and none of the disadvantages. And I've painted many figures primed black or white as well. But then I mostly paint in a grimier, more historical-miniatures style.

 

For that matter, rust-red primer works quite well for predominantly brown figures (I used it for an army of Sumerians to pretty good effect).

 

When I'm teaching, I recommend that a new painter try all three (the rust-red is a special-effect for me, so I don't usually recommend it) and see what works best for their own styles.

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I used to belong to the Cult of Black Primer.  Once I started to try and improve my painting, I switched to white.  I still sometimes prime black though, depending on the figure (full armor guys and such).

 

I too Aaron Lovejoy's Army Painting class at RCon and he primarily primes black for army painting.  For commission army painting it's all about time per mini.  Priming black allows can act as dark lining and shadows.  Prime black and use a zenithal spray of white and you have your highlights already worked out.  Quite a few good lessons from that class.

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I am actually doing the whole "black with progressive lighter shades from zenital position" with the airbrush now, still experimenting (here halfway through):

 

IMG_0552.JPG

 

I really like how it defines shapes early, and need to test thin layers over it, which actually suits my paint style.

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I prefer to prime black as well, and I have primed gray before and just hated it, ended up painting over the gray with black :-p.  For minis that are going to end up with very light colors I do prime those in white.  What I don't do is prime them black and then sell them on ebay  :lol:

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I think the real question is whether you like painting up from the dark colors or down from the highlights. If you like doing your lightest colors first, prime white. If you like layering up from your shadows, prime dark. (I'm a devotee of Brown Liner as a basecoat, which I think is a more natural shadow color than black, most of the time.) I don't understand gray primer at all, but I guess it seems to work for some people, so more power to them.

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I work with all three, mostly defaulting to black for Bones and white for metals.  Grey sometimes - like Wyrmgear has a metric ton of silvery bits so I'll "prime" him by painting him all grey first.

 

Regardless of the primer coat, I find the problem colours (red, yellow, sometimes purple, whatever) will require an intermediate undercoat anyway.  Red will be pink and splotchy over white, yellow will turn green over black.  My solution for this is to make a neutral color, usually by throwing in some light brown into the problem colour, as a step in between.  This helps make the problem color easier to work with when it goes over this, and makes the top color the same regardless of primer.  Generally this neutralizer lightens dark primer and darkens light primer.  It works for me, and saves me a lot of frustration with the trouble colours.

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Yep, problem colours are less problematic if you can match them to a brown they like.

 

Grey is OK, but these days I tend to go "white then wash" as my primer step.

 

Black is great for speed work, generally speaking, and you can drybrush it white for zenital-like effect.

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My Rule of Thumb on black or Grey Primer is...

"What do I have in my hand".

Right now I have a metal mini that is primed in black, I feel no difference that any other primer.

I adjust to the base color.

I won't paint a mini with a white primer, that really upsets me when I try to do a red.

Its all "De Gustibus Non Desputamdum".. "You can't argue with taste".

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- bigger problem even: I seem unable to see all the detail if a miniature is primed black ... all I see is a black glob ... yes, I can use liner or drybrushing to bring out the detail, but that sounds like an additional step of work ...

 

 

Any thoughts?

I find prime black, drybrush white saves me time in the long run. It's like free shading on each colour I apply later.

 

Light grey used to be my default too, but it doesn't do enough anymore for me. It doesn't hide spots I miss with paint like black does, and it doesn't make light colours 'pop' as much as white does.

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Regardless of the primer coat, I find the problem colours (red, yellow, sometimes purple, whatever) will require an intermediate undercoat anyway.  Red will be pink and splotchy over white, yellow will turn green over black.  My solution for this is to make a neutral color, usually by throwing in some light brown into the problem colour, as a step in between.  This helps make the problem color easier to work with when it goes over this, and makes the top color the same regardless of primer.  Generally this neutralizer lightens dark primer and darkens light primer.  It works for me, and saves me a lot of frustration with the trouble colours.

I'll concur on the highlighted bits.

 

I've tried white, grey, and black primers, and black gets the best results overall... for me. Especially when i use browns to "neutralize" the black primer.

 

With white and grey, I spend as much time adding the right buit of shading as I would building up the right bit of highlights over black, so either way, it's a time-consuming process for me. With the black, I get a bit of grittiness to work over as opposed to having to build it in, if that makes sense.

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