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MSP Advice - Black Primer


japenny_902
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Hello Everyone,

 

I'm seeking a little input for my spring paint purchase.  I'm considering going over to Reaper Master Series and phasing out P3 and GW.  My concern is how well do master series paints cover over a dark primer?  For units and faster style painting, I find it suits my tastes to use a black primer over a white or gray.  I do kind of a dark to light, loose to tight style of work.

 

Any input would be appreciated.

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These days I paint over a white primer.

 

But sometimes I use black.

 

I painted these girls in bright colours with Reaper paints over a Black Primer.

So they work well.

 

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/60449-02967-alastriel-elf-sorceress-by-glitterwolf/&/topic/60449-02967-alastriel-elf-sorceress/?hl=alastriel

 

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/60458-02986-eldessa-necromancer/&hl=eldessa

 

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Most paints will coat over black given enough coats. My impression of your question is that you're looking for as few coats as possible to maximize speed of painting. I am not at all familiar with the current line of GW paints, and it's been a while since I used P3s. I have 'em, I'm just more accustomed to my Master Series so reach for those first. 

For trying Reaper paints, my advice to you would be to select from the HD lines. This includes the original HD (paints starting with SKU numbers 29***) and the Bones HD paints (which start with SKU numbers 094**). These are formulated to paint with fewer coats than some of the Master Series Core line would. Note that these are not the triad system paints, so if the triad system is what is interesting you to try Reaper paints, the triads may not suit your other preferences. Between the two HD sets there is a pretty nice colour array, and many colours will have a range from light to dark that is similar to the idea of the triads. 

It's also worth noting that pigments limit the opacity of any paints. Bright yellows, reds, and greens tend to be transparent in any paint line, because of the nature of the pigments. One way to mix a paint to look more opaque is to formulate the colour with a bit of white and/or black added, but doing so tamps down the intensity of the colour. So the HD reds are more opaque than most of the core MSP reds, but they're still going to require a few coats to cover, and that's likely true of your GW and P3 paints, too. (I love the HD reds and use them pretty much exclusively unless I"m being really specific about colour choices.)

 

Likewise, there are certain pigments that are by nature much more opaque. Most browns, neutrals, and skin tones are on the more opaque side, including those in the MSP core line. Colours that are more muted also tend to be more opaque, and the core MSP line has plenty of those. There are exceptions (browns with a lot of yellow or orange pigment tend to be more transparent), of course, but it's a decent guideline for choosing colours between the lines.

All three of those paint ranges should mix together just fine. So you should be able to buy a few Reaper paints to try out to see if you like. There can be some differences between paint lines, and some people will notice that more than others, depending on your painting style and how used to your current paints you are. I had trouble working with the P3 when I first tried them just for lack of familiarity. I found it helpful to use a mix of the new paints and ones I was more familiar with to start getting used to them. Though conversely it can also be helpful to get to know a paint line by painting a few figures with just the new paint and pushing yourself to figure out how to use them well with how you like to paint.

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Thank you guys for the replies.  I can see how I gave the impression that I wanted it for speed painting.  I guess what I kind of mean is I'd like a good paint system that would work well both higher quality single jobs that have smoother blends/layering etc., as well as faster table top work when I want to churn out a pile of troops at a time etc.  I also make a lot of mistakes lol, so I do find corrections easier to do with a more opaque base.  When I used to paint minis years ago I tended to do a lot of ultra thin layering for higher quality work that took forever, but I found it catastrophic when I made a blunder.  9ish years later I guess my patience and spare time limit me for doing that kind of work.

 

I assume the more opaque colors would be the highlights in the triads due to the addition of white or other light opaque pigments. 

 

But I also have a small concern that relying on the triad systems may make for a sterile look in ways.  Like sometimes I add a bit of different colors to steer a highlight to a warmer or cooler temperature, same with shadows.  This sounds contradictory to my initial inquiry but it is something I did think about.  Makes me go in circles in my head lol.  Probably overthinking it. 

 

I know the ideal would probably be a mix of both  HD and MSP, although if HD can be thinned and worked will for reasonable layering then that alone might be the way for me to go. 

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I find for me at least the triads don't have enough contrast between the shadows and highlights. I would base coat with an HD paint with a cooler hue (grays and browns tinted with blues, greens and purples) and then use whichever paint looks right for the body color and highlights, freely mixing HD and MSP. For instance a dark red-brown for firery reds and a wine color for richer reds like blood. The hard one is yellow, so for that I would start with an ochre yellow. That pigment is an earth tone and will cover black fairly well, at least compared to straight yellow or orange.

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The HD paints thin just fine with the caveat that you won't get the same opacity if you thin them.  (Obvious, I know.) Similarly you might need to thin them a tad more or perhaps add some matte medium to get glazing results similar to standard MSP.  

 

Honestly the biggest difference I've noticed is that HD reds cover much better and that the HD lines work better for base coats on Bones.  The flesh tones in the standard MSP line are far more varied, so I generally use those.  They all mix and match great, so I use whatever works for the task at hand.  

 

Started to ramble a bit, hope some of that info is useful to you.  ^_^ 

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The HD and MSP paints are very similar apart from the fact that the HD aren't in triads and tend to be on the more opaque side. I use them interchangeably and freely mix them in painting and don't really pay much mind as to which is which. Almost all of my painting is to high display level, with very occasional game piece painting thrown in.

 

I tend to pick what colours I use between the two lines purely based on hues, other than the preference for the HD reds for fewer coats. (Also the HD black called Solid Black is my true love of black paints. Seems to make for easier blends than other blacks I've tried. This is among actual black paints, not near blacks or deep darks or what-have-you.) Reaper paints thin well, and are designed to thin well for layering and glazing. Some HD paints might require more diluting, but that's the main difference you're likely to notice.

For the triad system, you will often need to go beyond the triad to get an appropriate level of contrast. Sometimes I use the triads as they are adding in some dark for deeper shadows and something lighter for brightest highlights. Sometimes I pick my own layer steps from all the Reaper paints. Sometimes I mix in non-local colours for highlights and shadows. 

I have the luxury of having all the colours. (I think I'm missing two promo colours...) That's hundreds of bottles of paint. You probably don't want to buy hundreds of bottles of paint straight off the bat. ;-> So I recommended the HD line(s) as a way to narrow down from hundreds based on your stated parameters. That's not because the HD line is 'only' for gamers. You mentioned speed painting being something you'd like to be able to do, and the HD line paints are overall better suited to that purpose.

If you want an easy purchase, buy the Bones HD set. It's 54 colours that give you a pretty good colour spectrum and it includes some of the nicest metallic colours in the entire Reaper catalog. If you've got a bit more cash to spend, add in the other HD set for a more complete colour spectrum.  (Bones HD came second, and it was formulated to both work on its own and fill in colour gaps in the original HD set, which does not include metallics.) I actually have swatches of the Bones HD colours that I posted online when they came out if you're interested: https://www.facebook.com/pg/wrenthebard/photos/?tab=album&album_id=854201311373054

For MSP paints, I recommend you try at least one liner (and both Blue Liner and Brown Liner if possible). Liners are designed to paint the lining between sections, but they are also terrific for mixing into colours to get deeper shadows. I use pretty much all of the liners, and Blue Liner most often. Then you might try a triad or two that seems like it would be useful or convenient to you - red hair, or a skin triad like bronzed skin, ivory or bone, stuff you paint a lot of or that look like interesting colours. Linen White is very popular as a light colour for mixing highlights. I also like Maggot White as the cool colour version of that.

Additives wise, ones to look at are Flow Improver, Wash Medium, and Brush-On Sealer. Flow improver helps paint feel less sticky coming off the brush, which is useful for detail work. Wash Medium is the clear part of paint. So if you want to thin for a wash or glaze, you can use Wash Medium instead/as well as water and the resulting mix will be transparent, but not feel as runny and hard to control. These should work with paints you already have, too. Brush-On Sealer is useful as a sealer when the weather is bad for spraying, but I use it even more for prep. Got a figure with some metal pitting on the robe or something like that? Fill in the surface imperfections with Brush-On Sealer and get a lovely smooth surface.
 

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Solid Black is slightly better coverage. I feel as if layer mixes with Solid Black are easier to blend more smoothly. I occasionally had some cracking on base rims (and only base rims) using Pure Black. Now to be fair, I have used Solid Black pretty much exclusively for years now, so some element of this could be improved skill or usage on my part, but I fell in love with Solid Black pretty much as soon as I tried it. The base rim cracking I had can be avoided by slightly thinning the paint and glopping it on less, also.

There are differences between the various whites in terms of brightness. One is glossier, which reads as whiter. I think there might actually be a range of white, whiter, whitest. Pure White is the least bright, but I cannot recall whether Dragon or Solid is the brightest. Will try to remember to test again. I do not use true white very often apart from painting actual white or highlights on light coloured NMM

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