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For Bones: Brown Liner + Linen White (or similar color) Drybrush

 

For other materials: Reaper Brush on Primer + Base coats --or-- Reaper Brush on Primer + Brown Liner + Linen White (or similar color) Drybrush.

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Thank you all. I'm glad I'm not totally the only person who uses grey ... and that priming black is not "the only correct way" (i.e. there are different methods, there actually is a discussion ... makes me wonder why all the figures I get on ebay are - if primed - primed black ... never seen a mini that was primed white).

 

Some of the ideas here are a bit over my head at the moment (but I'll remember them and come back to them) ... I'm more of a hack when it comes to painting (so I do not really have a plan whether I want to go from shadows to highlights or from highlights to shadows ... I usually paint a mini like I was dressing it). But I have learned quite a bit from all the contributions here, they gave me ideas, things to try out ... so thanks again for all that.

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I tend to switch back and forth between black and white primers, depending on the model type. I've also had good luck with TAP colored primers for larger projects (Goblin army, etc.)

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I suspect the reason you see so many black-primed figures is that black is a good base for many speed-painting techniques:

 

Prime black, then drybrush the most common color and pick out any details you want to spend time on. Since army speed painting isn't so popular with most of the active posters here, you'll probably not hear much about it unless you ask.

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for me most of the time i do  black for my troops due to them being massive amounts of miniatures and they are usually evil armies. heros i differ. some are grey primed. others are black primed with white primer or grey primer at the light angle i'm looking for. white primer i use for DnD characters or pathfinder characters.

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I just dry brushed linen white over brown liner for the first time. I like it. Thanks, Talae!

Depending on what it is, I will do a light or heavy drybrush. It was one of the first tricks I learned (although back when we started the Bones process it was Walnut Brown. Brown Liner is so much better).
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So don't know if anybody has thought about this, but maybe if you're priming black, but then want to paint a bright colored something on it, just prime that spot with white primer on top of the black.  I myself always prime white, don't really have any experience with black or grey primer.

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So don't know if anybody has thought about this, but maybe if you're priming black, but then want to paint a bright colored something on it, just prime that spot with white primer on top of the black.  I myself always prime white, don't really have any experience with black or grey primer.

 

Yep, that is the usual way to go when doing gritty paintjobs, as far as I know. But usually it is a light brown, as said above, because it tends to go much smoother than pure white with the brush.

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Howdy. Just going to throw in my two cents worth. I have not accomplished much in the terms of finished minis. I airbrush reaper paint on primer. When doing a bones figure I will add a few drops of black to the primer. The reason being so I can notice if I have missed a spot. I also use gray duplicolor and white. I have noticed with the grey it tends to show more details. It also makes painting the harder colors easier. I do believe it is all a matter of opinion. To define your own style it is best to experiment and find your balance. Hope that helps someone.  

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Yes, primer is definitely a very personel choice. Black is a very useful as an army primer as mentioned in several previos posts and leads to a darker "dirtier" mini. White lends itself to brighter colors and I think is the way to go for most competition miniatures because it forces you to pay attention to the details more. I prefer grey because its neutral, in other words the color I apply is the color I get. Its neither lightened by a white base or darkened by a black base. Its the primer color and I usually come back to it for most of my work.

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I prime Grey, as it suits my eyes and painting style better. 

 

I tend to be able to push paints the directions and vibrancies I want when I prime grey rather than black.  Are there exceptions?  Absolutely.  Offhand (and in my tired state), I am having trouble thinking of one, but metallics seem to be on my mind for black primer.  I can't stand white primer except for the most brightly colored of figures or for glowy bits.

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