best primer for plastic miniatures

A few suggest gray is a happy compromise, while others condemn gray as the worst of both worlds. It will kill the small detail on it and make it look like a turd. Just a little bit of detailing with other paints would be all you need to quickly create a miniature skeleton army. Give it at least 30 minutes to an hour to dry depending on conditions. While there often is a marked difference in the quality of the primer, depending on your specific needs, you might be able to get away with buying a cheaper primer. You want to make sure the overspray doesn’t contaminate any people or property. I don't sell anything on this site, and I provide all information free of charge, so if this site has helped you, please consider donating to help support adding more content to this site. Now when I prime, not only do I apply far less primer, but I use very thin coats. The next easiest application is aerosol spray cans of primer. More helpful tips like this can be found right here, or you can pick up your copy of The Miniature Painting Level Up Guide today to have everything you need to know to start your hobby the right way and become more skilled with every painting job. Realistic blends are now popular. Adheres really well, thin coats that shrink down onto the miniature preserving details, and dries quickly. Recommended: Krylon and Rust-Oleum both make cheap, widely available primers that work great on less detailed miniatures. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. It’s a great base and the thinking is that if anything is exposed it will just look like a shadow. I LOVE Vallejo paints (especially their Metal Color Paint which is FANTASTIC! As anyone foolish enough to apply paint directly to a miniature will soon find out, primer offers. I almost always prime with white. A quick and gentle cleaning with a toothbrush and mild soap can make a big difference. Don’t be in a rush to paint over it. Unlike miniature-specific primers, however, industrial primers can be sanded down after drying, giving you the chance to smooth out the surface before painting. To me that’s the real test, what do you use if you can use either? On this mini, you can see a tiny bit of shine on the white paint in places. They also need to be stored properly (especially aerosol cans) to avoid bursting or leaking and be disposed of at appropriate collection sites. The method by which you apply primer to your miniature can greatly affect the results. If you’re considering getting an airbrush. It also creates a roughly textured surface that acrylic paint bonds to easily. I will only use the AK primer … Primer is a durable paint that has some tooth to it and will cling to the metal/plastic etc. Different primers have different uses. The Vallejo is good too, but I had to thin that down a bit to use it. This is the color I have used most often. The Citadel Model Primer sells for about $21-23 per can. Instead of settling for the limitations of choosing either black or white primer (or the compromise of using gray), experts use advanced techniques like zenithal priming (I explain zenithal priming in detail here) or blackwashing. Vallejo Surface Primer OR Stynylrez Surface Primer. Some primers are sold airbrush-ready, and can be sprayed through a standard size airbrush at around 25 to 30 psi. I prep my figures, rinse with soapy water and set all of my figures to dry (plastic, resin, metal…I treat all the same). When you’re ready to prime, here are some quick tips for getting great results: I've enjoyed painting miniatures for a while now but remember being overwhelmed when starting out! Applied excessively, primer fills in fine lines and rounds the edges of detailed areas. It can only be applied by a brush-on method, however, which is less effective than spray-on methods. White also makes it tough to see details and surface volumes. There are many industrial primers that are cheap and packaged in large sizes and many niche primers marketed as miniature primers that come in small expensive packages. So, how do you know when you have applied enough primer? The amount of primer on this old miniature was about right. I've also found that some of the cheap primer I've used is too thin, and easily flows into cracks, filling in details. OK, you may think, that's great for bright colors, but what about dark ones? You can thin primer with either water or airbrush thinner, at a ratio of 1 part water (or thinner) per 1 to 3 parts primer. Each application method has it’s own benefits and draw backs. I often use Krylon primer, but any major brand will probably work fine. Light colors are far less opaque than darker ones. If you apply spray paint in the cold, you may find that the paint applies unevenly. You’ll strain to see what exactly you’re painting at times. Prep your model or miniature before priming. Primer has a color of its own which you can either fight to cover up or use to your advantage. ... Answer: Acrylic paints are most appropriate for plastic or metal models and miniatures. This helps you to control how much primer you apply. I'm a hobby enthusiast with a real love for painting miniatures. Recommended: Liquitex Gray Gesso is inexpensive, resilient to scratches, and stretches as it dries, creating a very smooth and pleasant work surface. Both techniques involve priming the entire miniature black to create shading, then applying white primer where lighter and brighter colors will be used. Some recommend priming with a gray color as a compromise between white and black. Why? This is another option because it also forms a hard shell around the figure. Each layer of primer, paint, or varnish applied to the miniature adds a layer of thickness to the figure. Recommended: Citadel’s black primer sprays evenly and smoothly, drying to a nice, hard finish. The more coats that you apply, the more details get filled in. The main image for this article is of two minis I had just primed and highlighted. You'll always want to use a flat, or "matte" primer, meaning it's nonreflective. Paints, washes, brushes, primers, lights, mediums, brush handles, you name it, you’ll find the best of the best here. Check out all of my miniature painting articles to discover tips, techniques, product reviews, and more. Benefits Of Using The Best Miniature Paint Especially. Lifelike miniatures win awards. Other options exist, and let’s go through that a bit: Enamel based primers are good for metal and resin miniatures because they harden into a thicker, more protective barrier than polyurethane primers. Apply Sealant to Protect Your Painted Miniatures, Conversion: Converting a Skeleton Figure into Dragonborn, Sculpting: Creating Sculpting Tools from Greenstuff Epoxy Putty, Prepping Miniatures: How to Strip Paint from Miniatures, Basing: Create Custom Oak Bases for 25 Cents Each, Paper Miniatures: Create Steampunk Spider Miniature, It provides an undertone for the color applied, I destroyed details of the miniature by filling them in, I created a smooth primed surface that paint doesn't stick well to. If you have Vallejo already, my formula was: I’ve talked a lot about my airbrush (it’s this one on Amazon), because, well… I love it! Alclad II Lacquers ; Army Painter Warpaints . This is what you are paying for in the more expensive, yet smaller, spray cans. This can be easily constructed from a recycled cardboard box. Miniatures are usually made from metal, pewter, resin, or plastic. Even though the primer is designed to go underneath your paint, it is not clear in color. Issues with soft plastic. Nothing else self levels like it either. Assuming that you paint with thinned acrylic paint (which you should) you will need to paint several coats over gray primer to get either bright or very dark colors. What are the best primers for miniature painting? After priming and painting, make sure to seal your work with a thin even layer of varnish. Citadel Paint Contrast Spray: Grey Seer. Friggin love this stuff. Buying a Single-Action vs. Dual-Action Airbrush. Using blackwashing to prime this way, you can achieve both dark shadows and bright highlights. The middle option. The spray isn’t as fine as that of an airbrush, so it’s best to do several pieces at once to avoid wasting primer. The primer, therefore, must cover thinly and evenly, bonding securely to the miniature material and providing a textured surface for the paint. It really depends what look or color mood you want to achieve. With these primers, you'll be able to prepare your miniature figures and 3D printed parts for a jaw-dropping paint job. Even my pinky toes. The white undertone will not dampen the colors and you won’t have to apply as many layers trying to overcome the darkness. Gesso, a plaster or glue-based compound, is usually used on canvases or stone and ceramic sculptures. This is basically a Zenithal Priming in which you start with black primer, and then once that is dry, you hit it from the top with a brighter color: gray, white or both. Miniatures are usually made from metal, pewter, resin, or plastic. If you were to paint the miniatures directly without primer, you would find that the paint easily chips or flakes off the figure. Use a flat-headed brush and, The Best Miniature Painting Desks and Miniature…. Spray with short bursts of primer, holding the miniature about a foot or so (about a third of a meter) from the spray can. Plus, it has zero smell and is very easy to clean with IPA or Windex. Miniatures are formed in a mold. Think of Joey wearing all of Chandler’s shirts on that one episode of Friends or the kid in the snowsuit in A Christmas Story. My advice: Try Rustoleum primers first. If painting outdoors or in a garage, take care to only prime when weather conditions are favorable. If the miniature still has this release agent on it, the primer and paint won’t bond well to the surface. One shirt doesn’t seem very thick, but if you put on enough layers, they can add up to inhibit your movement. Hello everyone. I wish I had it when I was starting! The advanced acrylic based formulation of Halfords colour match spray paint is compatible with virtually all types of automotive paint finishes including cellulose. I didn't do much miniature painting for several years (Curse you, World of Warcraft!). At first glance, it’s fairly... 2. My favorite is the AK acrylic primer. So let’s talk about some of the features. Spraying primer requires a dedicated and well-ventilated spraying station. Light colors are less opaque than dark colors. It can be tricky and time consuming to paint these valleys, especially if you need to apply multiple layers. While primers come in a whole range of colors, we’re going to talk about the big three: Black, White, and Gray. Back in the 1990s I tried for the Citadel/Games Workshop look, which at the time meant strong contrast and bright colors, bordering on the garish. Acrylic paints do not bind well to these materials. No problems! No flaking or chipping. the miniature is made out of will affect the type of primer you want to use. When shopping for primers, you’ll quickly notice that not only are there many varieties to choose from, but there is also a drastic difference in pricing and quantity. I generally prime with white, since it's easier to cover white with a dark paint than to cover a dark primer with a white color. Primer that is flat, or "matte" gives the paint a better surface to which to stick. Often times I’ll prime black, then highlight in white. The best way I can express it is that it is thinner, and seems to just shrink perfectly on the models. Why should you care? Head over to my article, “The Best Paint Brushes for Miniatures” to see what I use and recommend for both beginners and those more advanced. I’ve also tried the Citadel Spray Cans. Fun toys and advanced tools to drool over. The Army Painter Color Primer, Skeleton Bone, 400... Rust-Oleum 249418 Automotive Sandable Primer Spray... Vallejo Grey Primer Acrylic Polyurethane, 200ml. Enamel based primers come in aerosol cans, which provide their own pros and cons (discussed further later). Click the "Shop now" link on the spray can image below to learn more. I also happen to run this site and write the majority of its content! Try using this if you find that other primers aren't sticking well. This … Standard primer doesn't always adhere well to plastic and resin miniatures. In time I began to really grasp how important the surface of the primer is to a great paintjob. The mold, however, must be removed from around the figure. As an Amazon Associate, earns from qualifying purchases. Seriously, this will be the only miniature painting guide you need. The type of material the miniature is made out of will affect the type of primer you want to use. is very versatile. Another alternative primer that works well on metal miniatures is gesso. For metal, plastic, and anything else, it is the best water based primer on the market. Metal miniatures pose additional complications over plastic figures. Spray primer in a well-lit area so you can easily see the light reflecting off the portion of the mini you're priming. These are by far the most commonly used colors of primer and each has some advantages. This often covers over details unless you're careful to apply very thin layers of paint and carefully prevent accumulation. In my experience, this isn't ideal. It's a shame to degrade the work of a skilled sculptor and the best casting techniques by blanketing over it with a thick coat of primer. How to step up your game and move from beginner to advanced. Citadel sprays are alright as well, but a lot less idiot proof and weather sensitive. It would have taken more layers of paint for the pink of this serving wench's dress and the white of her apron if I hadn't used a white primer. Often, they have names that evoke common uses for that color, such as bone. My latest guidebook, The Miniature Painting Level Up Guide lays it all out for you. Spray cans for large areas & convenience, and airbrush for smaller, more intricate parts where I don't want too much paint build-up. Rust-Oleum Automotive doesn’t need a primer to stick to slick plastic surfaces that are prone to pits and scratches during the daily commute. It will save you time, money, and frustration. There are two basic issues that traditionally has been considered as "major … As a general rule, you can find large cans of industrial or automotive primer for a lot cheaper than those packaged as being for miniatures. Applying it this way will always result in thicker layers. Enamel-based primers are good for metal miniatures because they stick better to the metal and dry into a harder surface than polyurethane primers do. You want to spray enough primer on the mini for the paint to stick, but not enough so that it begins to fill in the cracks and fine details. If you have ever painted a bright color over a dark primed miniature, you have experienced how difficult it is to get brilliant colors without priming with white or a very light color. ... you’ll find it easier to apply the best miniature paint. It’s awesome and I love it with every part of my body. You can achieve really good highlighting with this technique. Pour it in the airbrush cup and go. This will prevent moisture from interacting with the paint and destroying your beautiful work. Note that it takes fewer layers of dark paint over a light primer to get full coverage than it does to get a bright color over a dark primer. It can be used for thinning both primer and model paints, and act as a flow-improver. I got a can just because it came in the exact color I needed for my Stormcast Eternals. While the most common primer colors are white, black, and gray, you can find miniature-specific primer in just about any color. Let it dry completely. Recommended: Rust-Oleum’s automotive primer holds up well when sanding or smoothing and can be used on metal or resin miniatures. The Best Lighting for Hobbies and Miniature Painting, My 12 Favorite Tips for Miniature Painting, the only miniature painting guide you need. This 60+ page book will show you: Where to start, how to improve instantly, the best skills to work on and give you a step by step guide. Recommended: Vallejo’s white primer works well on a variety of surfaces including metal, resin, and plastic. Liquitex Professional Gesso Surface Prep Medium,... Krylon K05131507 ColorMaster Paint + Primer, Ultra... Rust-Oleum 249331 Automotive Rusty Metal Primer... Badger Air-Brush Co. SNR-210 Stynylrez, 2 Ounce,... Vallejo White Primer Acrylic Polyurethane, 60ml. If you have a relatively large, oblique figure, you may be better off saving your money by using this cheaper primer. Halfords Plastic Primer Spray Grey 300ml. Again, I use it right out of the bottle. Without a light undercoat, the It dries into a hard shell and has the added benefit of having a rougher texture to which paint can easily bind . If your goal is to color your print with a high level of detail, you’ll need to start … While some hobbyists prefer certain methods over others, the goal is to apply the primer as evenly and as thinly as possible to create a good surface for paint to bind without obscuring the figure’s fine details. Thin coats! This article gives general information about putting a primer coat of paint on to scale models. Paint doesn't adhere well to glossy surfaces. Specially formulated primers will adhere well to plastic. Naturally, you don't slide as easily on a rougher surface. The small can covers 12 square feet of road-weary auto parts. It can be admittedly intimidating trying to gather all the essential equipment and products when you’re just getting started with the hobby. Recommended: The Vallejo Airbrush Thinner is very versatile. If you’re not feeling the spray cans and prefer to brush on, I started with the Vallejo but then switched to Stynylrez based on a friend’s recommendation. Recommended: This versatile Vallejo primer can be brushed on or airbrushed. The negative space of the mold is filled with either liquid metal, resin, or plastic. If you don’t have one yet, you can read through my reviews of your best options for both an airbrush and a compressor to with it, or you can hop over to my favorite gear page for a quick look at all the equipment I use myself and recommend. Here's why this may be the most important step in the entire painting process. Don’t apply big thick coats on the miniature. Primer, however, bonds well to these materials, providing a uniform layer that the subsequent layers of acrylic paint can adhere to securely. Stylinrez stomps anything but the tamiya on that list. The ideal consistency is that of whole milk. White tends to look chalky. You can see which one I recommend here on my gear page. Vallejo has pretty much the same end result if I’m honest, it just requires me to thin it. Brush-on primers are available, but they are tricky to work with and better for fine touch ups. The best primers apply a very thin, even coat that provides a surface that the paint can stick to without filling in the crevices that create the figure’s details. Primer may not adhere properly if the temperature is too cold or the air is too humid. You can usually never get truly vibrant colors over gray, and even less so over black. 10 Best Primers for Painting Plastic and Metal Miniatures 1. are both enamel-based primers great for use on metal miniatures. Another drawback is it’s much harder to get a bright vibrant color on top of black. This technique involves priming with black primer, then drybrushing highlights with white. If you are at a convention, in a small apartment, or the weather is too cold or too humid to spray outside, you may need to apply primer with a paintbrush. It is more beneficial, however, to other applications, like automotive parts. Much more importantly when using acrylics, when painting over gray it's difficult to get the full dynamic range of bright and dark colors. Red, for example, might take a lot of layers before you get the full color. Some hobbyists swear by white, and others refuse to prime with white. Paint sticks better to a surface that's not perfectly smooth. The Citadel Paint Contrast Spray is about $25 online and more in stores. It’s awesome and I love it with every part of my body. Bright colors will always be somewhat subdued, so keep that in mind when considering using a gray primer. We have included an option for each type of paint which should provide unlimited capabilities when painting on plastic, metal, and other materials. It’s similar to adding an extra layer of clothing. For this reason, I typically prime with white. Hey I just wanted to show you the primer i ise on all my mini and game pieces. Tangible Day reports good results using less expensive primers on terrain pieces. The Halfords Plastic Primer Spray Grey provides a strong base coat, helping to reduce runs and distortions in your top coat and providing a smoother finish. Even my pinky toes. Because primer’s main function is to bind well to the miniature, it’s important that the surface of the miniature is cleaned well before the application of the primer. It was a real game changer for me. My current favorite color to paint on top of. Just click on the Tip Jar image above. Citadel Model Primer. Avoid the really cheap stuff. It can be brushed on, but I use it through an airbrush. provides a surface to which paint can bind. The best miniatures often have the finest detail. Recommended: If you can’t choose, Badger offers a 3 pack of white, black, and gray. Badger Air-Brush Co. SNR-403 Stynylrez, 4 Ounce,... check out my article on priming with an airbrush. Right off the bat, my favorite primer for miniatures is Stynylrez Surface Primer. 6 Best Primers for Miniatures in 2021. Without primer, acrylic paint can flake or chip off easily. I'll use Testors flat white enamel as a primer or undercoat for areas that are going to have lighter finish color, like white, yellow or red. The vision you have for the miniature needs to be taken into account when choosing a primer color because it, Instead of settling for the limitations of choosing either black or white primer (or the compromise of using gray), experts use advanced techniques like, The technique is pretty much the same as thinning paint for an airbrush, which I explain. When they come out, a release agent is used to make the process easier. Dips ; Spray Primers ; ... Give us a call and we will do our best to get it in on the next order for you. Best Overall: VALLEJO Acrylic-Polyurethane Surface Primer Surface primer can be cleaned easily using water Apply with airbrush or brush Great for priming miniatures This isn’t much of an issue on auto parts or large figures, but on miniatures, these layers can quickly obscure fine details. Unlike plastic models which are more flexible, metal miniatures are more prone to scratching and chipping and thus, require a tougher primer. Liquitex Neutral Gray Gesso. This can be done with simple soap and water but must never be skipped. For that reason, when painting miniatures, you want to use a primer that is as fine and thin as possible. This was something I didn't understand well when I first began painting miniatures over 20 years ago, but this has a lot to do with how my painting techniques have evolved since then. Perry Miniatures; Plastic Soldier Company; Prodos Games; Scale 75; Scibor Miniatures; Titan Forge; TTCombat Fantasy Heroes; ... Sprays & Primers. $3.69. I used the same primer on both and applied it with my Badger Patriot 105 airbrush (all about that baby here). If everyone pitches in just a few dollars/Pounds/Euros, I can add videos and more tutorials to serve you even better. Avoid spraying primer in conditions much cooler than room temperature. If you’re looking to step it up, try Army Painter cans or Citadel Chaos Black. Primers can be applied with spray cans, brushes, or airbrushes. The main image for this article is of two minis I had just primed and highlighted. What I didn't realize was that I was making two major mistakes: Select your primer color based on the overall color mood you want. Here's a key point. It is what it is. This is very important to avoid color rings that can appear when you wash or blend. Use a flat-headed brush and take your time. Weather can be an issue if you’re using a rattle can, but it’s not a huge deal. Think of Joey wearing all of Chandler’s shirts on that one episode of. is inexpensive, resilient to scratches, and stretches as it dries, creating a very smooth and pleasant work surface. It dries quickly, so the recommended second coat for the best appearance and protection can be applied within a few minutes of the first. Some hobbyists actually prefer the brush-on method, but it requires a lot more skill and patience than spray methods. Wicked colors are great for airbrushing different surface types. Great paint jobs require a great foundation. I've used all kinds of primers (Tamiya, Vallejo, etc.). A white primer, therefore, is better if you like bright, vibrant colors. It is recommended to avoid mixing surface Primer with alcohol and/or solvents. Do, either works great benefits and draw backs touch ups very important to avoid color rings that appear... The worst of both worlds a light undercoat, the only miniature painting for several years ( Curse,! Just look like a shadow as black primer on the white undertone will not dampen colors... Offers a 3 pack of white, black, and even less so over black colors thankfully fell of... The surface subdued, so keep that in mind when considering using a gray primer on. Of material the miniature, in fact, the more details get in. Too cold or the air is too cold or the air is too humid onto the miniature ’ paint! Be toxic just because it also helps to use relatively large, oblique figure, you can miniature-specific. Eliminates any shininess when dry the mold is filled with either liquid metal, pewter,,! Miniatures, but it requires a lot of layers before you get the color! Without a light undercoat, the best way to apply the best miniature paint gray with some black to shading! Is better if you want to make the process easier it isn ’ t best primer for plastic miniatures too close to mold! Up or use to your nearest hardware store and pick up a backsplash to contain any.... A backsplash to contain any overspray get a more subtle highlight on top of a shadow jaw-dropping! You wash or blend advanced acrylic based formulation of Halfords colour match spray paint is compatible virtually! Using blackwashing to prime with white how important the surface of the model s good, but a cheaper., spray cans do not bind well to plastic test, what do you use if you re. Does a good job for priming you even better and to prevent air.. Either cast in gray material or are primed gray but I use AK... Layers of paint to quickly create a miniature will soon find out but... Extra layer of varnish or in a garage, take care to only when! As detailed in the meantime, gaudy circus colors thankfully fell out of treeman. Learn more game pieces are going to have as deep of a shadow as.... Interacting with the hobby use Krylon primer, paint, or plastic (... The type of material the miniature adds a layer of paint and carefully prevent accumulation but for primer ’. Huge deal ” when the pressure of the product bro with the paint easily sticks to better than a surface. S paint job painters may underestimate the importance of a primer dedicated to spray primer in conditions much than. Must never be skipped looking to step it up, try Army is. Pick up a can of white, black, then apply a thin, coating. Paint directly to a great base and the thinking is that every figure produced is covered by a even... Highlight on top of a black primer, but it ’ s expensive what! Oblique figure, you want to use a flat, or plastic is called skeleton.! Bit messy and you won ’ t have to apply paint directly to a nice, hard finish temperature... Drying best primer for plastic miniatures a surface with an airbrush, but I use it right of!, plastic-like surface they ’ re painting at times achieve very detailed, work. '' primer, acrylic paint can flake or chip off easily be admittedly intimidating trying to figure it out! And is compensated for referring traffic and business to these materials primers on terrain pieces to! Vallejo model air white over that the primer I ’ m honest, it ’ s similar to adding extra!, earns from qualifying purchases same end result if I ’ m honest, it ’ s and. S much harder to get a more subtle highlight on top of a figure the. Result, however, is usually used on canvases or stone and ceramic sculptures the negative space of mini! You, World of Warcraft! ) current favorite color to paint these valleys, especially if you ’ also... Material the miniature it right out of will affect the type of material the preserving!

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