One shirt doesn’t seem very thick, but if you put on enough layers, they can add up to inhibit your movement. Gesso is inexpensive, forms a protective surface for applying paint, and smooths out surface imperfections. ... Rust-Oleum 290971 Zinsser All-Purpose Primer, 13 Oz Aerosol Can, Liquid, Gray. My advice: Try Rustoleum primers first. They make several colored primers that exactly match their paint from the rest of their line. It comes in a small can, but lasts a long time. Other than that, I actually can’t find a weakness in the actual primer itself. There are plenty of situations in which you are unable to spray primer. In some cases, I’ve used this as a brush-on primer for 3D printed pieces. A respirator mask (organic vapor P95 rated like this) or spray booth could help when you’re spraying in more enclosed areas. Don’t be in a rush to paint over it. Recommended: Seriously, this primer by The Army Painter is called Skeleton Bone. I use many brands of miniature paints for my work, e.g., Scalecolor 75, Citadel, Master Reaper Series, P3, Badger paints, Vallejo Model Air and Game Color, but only keep a few primer types on-hand. Personally, when I have a lot of models or miniatures to wash in this manner I use an ultrasonic cleaner filled with soapy water (see my article on cool ultrasonic cleaners, which I also happen to use for cleaning my airbrushes). Note that there are times when you want a brush-on primer (more about this below). That means you can easily over spray this primer and obscure details on miniatures. Although this Krylon Primer is durable, versatile for many surfaces, and inexpensive, it sprays on pretty thick. 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. I used the same primer on both and applied it with my Badger Patriot 105 airbrush (all about that baby here). The Liquitex Neutral Gray Gesso is a gesso compound that sells for $9. I would recommend neutral gray as a color for most primers when I’m not sure what colors I’d like to paint my miniatures with. White primer will help you see details in the surface of the model. Get this primer and give it a try, even if you don’t airbrush it. Liquitex Gray Gesso is my preferred gesso medium for priming larger models and terrain pieces. This can help you speed up your overall paint job by priming and painting the base coat at the same time! Colors may be topcoated within an hour or after 48 hours. Make sure you shake the can vigorously to mix the primer with the aerosol contents for a proper fine spray. It’s a lot less noticeable if you miss anything. It will kill the small detail on it and make it look like a turd. Primers can be applied with spray cans, brushes, or airbrushes. Unlike miniature-specific primers, however, industrial primers can be sanded down after drying, giving you the chance to smooth out the surface before painting. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. It can certainly be worth the cost if you are trying to achieve very detailed, high-quality work or are painting competitively. Give it at least 30 minutes to an hour to dry depending on conditions. This lube does allow the miniature to be ejected easily from the mold, but it inhibits the application of paints, primers, and glues. Many miniature painters use gesso for priming miniatures and models. This is what you are paying for in the more expensive, yet smaller, spray cans. These should be generally used outdoors (in low humidity for best results!). I would only suggest the use of this primer on large models. The Krylon Ultraflat Primer is a very versatile spray primer that sells for $10. This website uses cookies to ensure it delivers the best web experience for you. The caps tend to clog up, and little drops of liquid dry on the edges of the opening, which makes them hard to close. Many primers for miniature and models also act to smooth out imperfections on the unpainted surface. Gesso is especially useful for metal or resin miniatures. Other times you’ll want the finest mist of primer to keep all those beautiful facial lines and wrinkles intact on that 75mm scale resin bust. Not only is it inexpensive, it is resilient to scratches and stretches out as it dries on models, providing a very smooth and pleasant surface to work on. The Vallejo is good too, but I had to thin that down a bit to use it. Don’t apply big thick coats on the miniature. The main image for this article is of two minis I had just primed and highlighted. You’re looking to create a primer “mist” that settles on the model. Ideal for metal surfaces in heavy-duty and commercial environments. Some primers work best on plastic, whereas other primers work best on metals. The Citadel Model Primer sells for about $21-23 per can. Metal miniatures pose additional complications over plastic figures. Note that if you’re using an airbrush with a nozzle size of 0.3mm (or smaller), you may want to thin your primers with water or dedicated thinner mediums. Note that there are many colors of Citadel Primer. They are generally less costly and come with a lot more primer for your money. White also makes it tough to see details and surface volumes. Simply add a few drops of the primer to your airbrush, set your air pressure to about 25-30PSI, and spray away. Apply the plastic primer according to the directions on the back of the can. It will fit into most side bags, or model cases with little trouble. For painting miniatures, choose a primer that you can apply in thin coats. As an Amazon Associate, TactileHobby.com earns from qualifying purchases. The advantage of an automotive primer is that it is strong. Yes, Vallejo is fine too, but I have both and I use Stynylrez. Black is the best primer for speed painting! In general, this is similar to the Citadel primer. 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. Is this the best primer you can use for miniatures? This is the perfect primer for MDF pieces, such as laser-cut terrain pieces. I write more about how primers work throughout this article. For most hobbyist, this is the best primer because of its accessibility and easy of use: just shake-the-can, hold back a few inches (6-12″), and spray in quick bursts. In other words, the best primers for painting miniatures are those that provide a solid foundation for your best paint job work! But, if you’re having trouble with using water to thin your primer, you can use an airbrush thinning medium. The best primers for metal models include the Tamiya Surface Primer and Testors Enamel Primer. As a spray, you’ll also find that a lot of the primer is wasted if you’re not careful to direct it at a fairly large surface area on a model. It’s a great base and the thinking is that if anything is exposed it will just look like a shadow. The primer I have here says primers may be topcoated immediately. This is especially important for gunpla models, where you need to preserve panel line and rivet details. Choose from a variety of top coat colors. This is the key primer for most miniature artists who take the hobby seriously. Primers are used as a preparatory coat over unpainted metal, plastic, or resin and prevent the absorption of subsequent layers of modeling paint. In some cases, Gesso has rougher texture to it, or ‘tooth’, that is useful for some characterful types of miniature painting. It will strongly bond to the clean, bare surfaces of plastic, metal and resin miniatures and models. The Ultraflat version of this primer is a key feature because it provides some texture for your acrylic paint to adhere. You can let some of the primer show through in the shadowed recesses! are both enamel-based primers great for use on metal miniatures. Read on for the review of the 10 best primers and more information with tips for using primers on your miniatures and models. This function is sometimes helpful for miniatures because they can become scratched or dented from use and wear. Most of the models you see on this site were first primed with Vallejo Surface Primer. Many colors. In comparing different primers to paint miniatures and models, you might be wondering why you need a primer. It can be tricky and time consuming to paint these valleys, especially if you need to apply multiple layers. Using this with a brush allows me to apply thicker coats that are useful for hiding print lines in 3D prints. Sometimes a model might need 2-3 layers of a brush-on primer. Many figures are made in casts. Fun toys and advanced tools to drool over. Thin coats! It is even good on models made of wood or cardboard surfaces (e.g., MDF terrain) as it seals with a solid coat, filling and sealing off porous surfaces. Not sure if you’re using the right brush? AK Interactive recommends that you use their thinner. As a primer, it works well and provides a very smooth surface for applying overlying model paints. Believe it or not, primers can have specific-use scenarios. An acrylic layer of paint can absorb moisture, which can lead to subtle warping and expansion of the paint. Makes for super quick priming and the finished product is another level. No flaking or chipping. Most of those first undercoat colors won’t show up. Additionally, the lubricant also repels glues, too (you can read more about how to resolve issues with glues and adhesive here). It is a technical skill to properly apply brush-on primer (which is why I suggested the best primers for miniatures are spray-on). Spraying also prevents bubbles from forming on the surface of your models. Because of these downsides, aerosol spray can primers are best used for large set pieces and miniatures that, Applying it this way will always result in thicker layers. The quality of the final undercoat with Tamiya surface primer is top-notch. The Vallejo Airbrush Thinner is super versatile, because it is also useful for thinning model paints as well, acting as a flow-improver (check it out here). A word of caution about using cheap primers that are not designed for miniature and scale modeling work. Cheap spray primers are especially useful for MDF terrain, laser cut parts and terrain pieces, gaming boards, and 3D printed pieces, e.g., PLA or resin 3D printed pieces, which are larger than smaller scale models. Acrylic paints do not bind well to these materials. For example, you can get “flesh’ colored primer if most of your model is flesh-toned. Similar to primers for plastic miniatures, the best primers are those that you apply using a spray application. These can either be miniature specific or general, industrial primers. In general, I recommend sticking with the neutral colors: black, gray, or white. The white undertone will not dampen the colors and you won’t have to apply as many layers trying to overcome the darkness. Here’s my thinking about black primer. Leave a comment below! It’s a small can, and priced at close to the same as the other premium modeling primers out there. These ones… not the little dropper ones), but for primer I’m a Stynylrez guy. In my opinion, though, Testors spray primer is a solid product (just make sure you shake it well and spray in a preferably cool, low humidity environment). It’s just my favorite and that’s that. Testors enamel primer is a premium product for modeling, and is priced as such. Red, for example, might take a lot of layers before you get the full color. I have used spray paint as a primer without any problems. It's dry to the touch within a few minutes. For brush-on primers, the advice is also the same – brush-on primers are situationally useful, but in my opinion secondary to spray primers. This is my favorite primer for most miniature and modeling jobs. Gesso is the perfect alternative to normal primers designed for miniatures. Another alternative primer that works well on metal miniatures is gesso. Easy to find at local hobby shops or game stores. Wet or dry sand. It is best applied with a brush in layers. Work in layers for maximum effect without losing model details when you’re priming. A quick and gentle cleaning with a toothbrush and mild soap can make a big difference. Ultimately, the purpose of a primer is to provide a thin even surface in preparation for paint. A cost-effective and airbrush-ready primer for miniatures and models. I’ve often left gesso on my models to dry for up to 24 hours. Vallejo makes a great surface primer (my favorite) that you can either brush-on or use with an airbrush. These are by far the most commonly used colors of primer and each has some advantages. So, you want to be careful in choosing a primer that you can apply thinly on your plastic miniatures. Aerosol or rattle can primers also pose an issue because of the odors and potentially harmful vapors. In miniature and model painting, gesso is particularly useful for metal or resin because of its durability. Simple, effective, and very inexpensive! In other words, do you like painting something to make it lighter; or, would you prefer to darken a model as you make progress? Games Workshop’s Citadel range is well known and you can also pick up Primers from Army painter & Privateer Press. Here’s why: Gesso is a hard compound, usually plaster or glue-based, that is traditionally used on canvas, or stone and ceramic sculptures, before painting. Miniature-specific primers, on the other hand, are designed to spray a very fine mist that coats the figure with as thin a layer as possible to preserve the intricacies of the miniature’s design. The pockets in the figure will simply appear darkly shadowed. Also, if the humidity or temperature deviates too much, you could find yourself with primer that doesn’t dry or primer that creates a textured, clumpy surface, e.g., orange peel bumps. Use a large, flat headed brush and coat in thin layers. Filling in the shadows before you add paint will help you finish those first few base coats quicker. As I mentioned above, I use the same primers on metal and plastic. It also helps you see where light and shadows will naturally fall. Gap filling properties. Other colors are available. As an enamel-based primer it is very useful for a variety of surfaces, forming a durable undercoat layer for subsequent painting. 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. Colors you paint on top won’t be quite as bright as white primer, and any empty spots will be more noticeable than black primer. Recommended: Liquitex Gray Gesso is inexpensive, resilient to scratches, and stretches as it dries, creating a very smooth and pleasant work surface. Priced as such, they have names that evoke common uses for that color, such as.... Painting miniatures, you ’ re painting at times plastic miniature will soon find out primer... 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