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TOPIC: Primer or not ?
PM schippernl
Standard User
Posts: 9
Primer or not ?
26th Jan 2016 04:42:04

Thanx for the miniatures guys awsome ! 2,5 weeks and its in the Netherlands i have a question about the minitures to the players did you use a primer befor you can paint them ?

PM Uhbas
Standard User
Posts: 6
Primer or not ?
26th Jan 2016 06:33:13

Yes, I do use primer, and i think the models look a lot better with black than with grey or white primer

PM chopperboydan
Standard User
Posts: 12
Primer or not ?
26th Jan 2016 06:39:51

ALWAYS, I use a black or earth brown primer depending on the colour scheme of the finished figures

its as important as varnishing to finish


PM Fenton
Standard User
Posts: 44
Primer or not ?
26th Jan 2016 08:32:28

Yup always prime


I use a grey one from Halfords


You might find this blog useful





PM themobius
Standard User
Posts: 3
Primer or not ?
27th Jan 2016 04:08:54

I found priming helps bring out all the details that are otherwise obscured by the shinyness of the metal and makes painting so much easier. I would also recommend (not nessasary) giving them a wash with washing up liquid and warm water and a gentle scrub with an old toothbrush then rinse with water thoroughly . Just make sure you have the plug in the sink hole as you don't want to be digging a gun carrage out the u bend!

PM I am a spambot
Standard User
Posts: 47
Primer or not ?
I am a spambot
27th Jan 2016 10:12:30

Yes, I prime my figures with diluted Humbrol matt enamel. I used to use black, but unless I am adding to an existing army that I want to use the same painting style for, I usually use white now.

I agree with themobius's advice about washing the figures first, even though it is a bit of a nuisance getting them wet and waiting for them to dry.  I rinse them with water as hot as my hands can stand.

PM Glenn Pearce
Standard User
Posts: 178
Primer or not ?
Glenn Pearce
27th Jan 2016 02:16:12

Hello schippernl!

It's certainly wise to wash the figures first with just plain dish soap and hot water. It removes the chemicals used during the manufacturing process. Although they are generally very low you can experience some paint removal when applying certain finishes. So you have to repaint some spots if you don't wash them. Sometimes this still happens even if you did wash them, but very limited.

Make sure the figures are completely dry before applying your primer. If your planning on doing a fast paint job then black primer works best as you don't have any white showing where you missed the paint. The down side of using a black primer is that all of your colours will be darker. Which does not help make the colours pop on a small figure. To get the maximum colour pop you need to use a white primer. I now only use a white primer as you need every advantage you can get to help make a 6mm stand out. I would also add that although marginal the details are a little eaiser to pick out on white figure when you are painting them. I can tell the difference in which units I used a black primer and those where I used white. The white ones just seem to look brighter and fresher.

Best regards,


Email Extra Crispy PM Extra Crispy
Standard User
Posts: 109
Primer or not ?
Extra Crispy
27th Jan 2016 02:38:53

In general, I've never found using primer necessary. However, as has been noted, an initial coat of paint reduces the glare of the metal and makes the details easier to see. I generally do a coat of black. But lately I've tried making the first coat the primary color. So if I'm painting Napoleonic French I'll use white (pants, vest are white). If I'm painting WW2 Germans I use Field Gray.

This saves a lot of time I've found. After the first color I do flesh then start on the details.

Mark "Extra Crispy" Severin

PM peter
Posts: 352
Primer or not ?
27th Jan 2016 10:36:14

Lots of people beat me to it.  ALWAYS prime.  It gives a good key for the subsequent paints to grip and strut their stuff.

- The Overlord
PM Poniatowski
Standard User
Posts: 9
Primer or not ?
28th Jan 2016 09:41:23

For my two-pennyworth, i have always primed my lead. Once the castings are cleaned up and buffed with a fine wire brush, a good wash in soapy water and a rinse in clean water removes dust and sticky finger marks. This is followed by a coat of gloss varnish which helps to level the surface and protect against lead-rot (not such an issue with most modern castings with lower lead content than in the past), lastly a coat of white primer to make the figure stand out. It is also good for ancients & predominantly white uniforms as it saves having to build up multiple layers of colour to hide the black. The downside for me is having nowhere indoors to do the airbrushed varnish, though I now use Army Painter white priner as its quicker than airbrushing Humbrol matt white. I just have to wait for a good weather 'window' to get it done, which can be a luxury here in the UK. Good luck and happy painting!

Mr Pearce, I think you may have me at a disavantage. i suspect you are thinking of a different Poniatowski!?



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