They are flexible and can be applied in thin layers to conform to a variety of textured surfaces without cracking. Recommended: Tamiya Surface Primer and Testors Enamel Primer are both enamel-based primers great for use on metal miniatures. I shoot it through my airbrush right out of the bottle. But, if you’re willing to wait for an overseas delivery this may be a great primer for any model you’re preparing to paint. Some of this is due the environmental conditions in which the primer is sprayed. I love this stuff. Primers form the prerequisite foundation for any painting. The Badger Airbrush Primer (Stynlrez) is about $8 per primer bottle or $16 for a set of 3 colors (black, gray, and white). Fun toys and advanced tools to drool over. The Army Painter Color Primer, Matt Black, 400 ml, 13.5 oz - Acrylic Spray Undercoat for Miniature Painting. As mentioned, AK Interactive primer is a little hard to find in the United States. Traditionally, one of the main functions of primer is to fill in small scratches and imperfections in order to create a uniform surface onto which paint can be applied. Metal and to a lesser extent resin models are prone to scratches and deeper bumps, because their surfaces aren’t as flexible. Miniatures by design are covered by intricate details created by small etches in the surface of the material. The type of material the miniature is made out of will affect the type of primer you want to use. Start the spray away from the miniature and then spray over it in short bursts from at least 6 inches away. Dries to the touch … Acrylic paints do not bind well to these materials. The caps tend to clog up, and little drops of liquid dry on the edges of the opening, which makes them hard to close. Gesso is a durable compound that is easily applied with a brush and seals all types of surfaces in preparation for paint, e.g., wood, MDF, plastic, metal. You should apply a primer only after washing and drying your models. Color. But, if you want the best primer for miniatures, you should strongly consider Tamiya’s Surface Primer. This is my favorite primer for most miniature and modeling jobs. Spraying also prevents bubbles from forming on the surface of your models. 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. Often times I’ll prime black, then highlight in white. Again, I use it right out of the bottle. Works well as both a brush-on or airbrush primer. It’s similar to adding an extra layer of clothing. The shadows are taken care of for you. The varnish from Testors Dullcote spray dries into a … Useful for any surface and is the best primer for plastic, metal, or resin miniatures. Bubbles can form if you try to apply thick layers of brush-on primer. You can cover a lot of surface area for the cost of this rattle can primer. For example, you can get “flesh’ colored primer if most of your model is flesh-toned. Be warned, however, that these cheaper primers do not coat as thinly as dedicated hobby primers for modeling. I usually put figures in the oven for a half hour or so at 200 degrees. It's dry to the touch within a few minutes. As above, it is an aerosol based spray primer and will require proper ventilation for safe use. Some heavier primers can easily cover these details. It comes in many colors and functions easily as a spray on primer. Here’s my thinking about black primer. Gray is obviously the halfway point between black and white, and it actually does a good job for priming. Pro Tip on white in general: if you find you’re having trouble, look into White Acrylic Ink. The solution here is to wash your metal and resin miniatures with soap and warm water. Keep the can more than 6-12 inches away from your working surface of the model. The white undertone will not dampen the colors and you won’t have to apply as many layers trying to overcome the darkness. These are allowed to cool and harden, forming the miniature. The thinner viscosity of the Liquitex version of gesso makes it amiable for preserving the fine details on miniatures. As with other aerosol sprays, it requires a ventilated area for safe use. Unlike plastic models which are more flexible, metal miniatures are more prone to scratching and chipping and thus, require a tougher primer. Gesso application requires some patience as it will take a little longer to dry than other primers. These can either be miniature specific or general, industrial primers. I should note that the can is small, which is useful for portability. Leave a comment below! Pour it in the airbrush cup and go. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Good utility and versatile. If painting outdoors or in a garage, take care to only prime when weather conditions are favorable. Many colors. This means that, in general, it will take more coats of a light color paint to cover a dark color than it will for a dark color to cover a light one. Automotive primers tend to emphasize the filling-in-scratches aspect of the product. Work in layers for maximum effect without losing model details when you’re priming. This is what you are paying for in the more expensive, yet smaller, spray cans. For those who need a definitive answer: use black primer for speed painting. The less expensive alternative to Citadel primer. Other than that, I actually can’t find a weakness in the actual primer itself. The most difficult parts of a figure are the tiny crevices within the fine details of the model. The color primer you should use depends on your goals and preferences. As I mentioned above, I use the same primers on metal and plastic. If you apply too much primer, then you may lose some fine surface details as the primer fills them in. 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). It comes in many different colors. It’ll easily obscure things like panel lines, rivets, and small folds in sculpts that are in the 28mm scale. A spray primer is the best choice, since spraying is the easiest way to apply thin layers over a model. Recommended: The Vallejo Airbrush Thinner is very versatile. Your call. Use a flat-headed brush and take your time. Much more so than painting wood or something else which has already been painted. As an enamel-based primer, it forms a solid, smooth undercoat in preparation for modeling paint application. If your airbrush nozzle is 0.3 millimeters or smaller or if you want to use a thicker, brush-on primer with an airbrush, you’ll need to thin the primer. Stynylrez black primer, and Vallejo model air white over that. For display or highly detailed miniature painting, use white primer. Black primer lets you just paint lighter colors. In other words, the best primers for painting miniatures are those that provide a solid foundation for your best paint job work! Simply, you apply this to a model as a primer coat. You can easily lose details on small models with an automotive primer like this. These are by far the most commonly used colors of primer and each has some advantages. Why type of paint will give me the best protection for something that is going to … This function is sometimes helpful for miniatures because they can become scratched or dented from use and wear. Recommended: This versatile Vallejo primer can be brushed on or airbrushed. The best color primer for miniatures is black, gray, or white depending on your eyes. It dries fast and auto-smooths on the surface of both plastic and pewter miniatures. Gesso seals off porous surfaces effectively, and forms a solid foundation to apply paint. Metal and resin models don’t have as much flexibility as hard plastic models. Perfect for large models and 3D prints. Both techniques involve priming the entire miniature black to create shading, then applying white primer where lighter and brighter colors will be used. I suggest spraying more than a single model at a time to make the most use of this primer. The primer, therefore, must cover thinly and evenly, bonding securely to the miniature material and providing a textured surface for the paint. I got a can just because it came in the exact color I needed for my Stormcast Eternals. 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. Gesso will help make nearly any surface into a paintable-one with most art mediums (oil- or water-based). A single bottle has lasted me a few months, and I paint a lot! Badger is a US based company with a great reputation for their line of airbrushes and accessories. Gesso can often be thick. Primers. But, if you’re having trouble with using water to thin your primer, you can use an airbrush thinning medium. It’s awesome and I love it with every part of my body. The Army Painter Primer sells for $16. It’s fun trying out new tools and art mediums. Maybe you do want to hide fine scratches, bubbles, or imperfections on your models. Acrylic paints do not bind well to these materials. Versatile for many surfaces and resilient to environmental insults. It can be used for thinning both primer and model paints, and act as a flow-improver. Given their price and the reputation of the Badger company, I would recommend them as the best airbrush ready primer for miniatures. The Citadel Model Primer sells for about $21-23 per can. The Rust-Oleum Automotive Primer sells for around $5 per can, which makes this the cheapest aerosol spray primer on this list. Although this Krylon Primer is durable, versatile for many surfaces, and inexpensive, it sprays on pretty thick. In most cases, the proper thinner is simply water (1:1-3 ratio for my needs). I happened on AK Interactive’s black and white sprays recently. I’m not a fan of the bottle caps on these Badger paints and primers. As an enamel based primer, it is also durable for plastic and metal miniatures. Try using a self etching primer first. I haven’t used any AK Interactive products (they can be pricey here), Pingback: Essential Tools and Supplies for Painting Miniatures and Models - Tangible Day. Choose from a variety of top coat colors. As a shortcut, black primer also lets you use zenithal highlighting. Often, they have names that evoke common uses for that color, such as bone. I use the brand that is on sale when I walk into the store. 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. You should always do this with metals. These make it easy to apply very thin layers of primer easily. As anyone foolish enough to apply paint directly to a miniature will soon find out, primer offers several functions that are crucial for the long-term condition of the miniature’s paint job. 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. RELATED: LEARN MORE ABOUT FILLING GAPS IN MINIATURES AND MODELS. We are a participant in the affiliate advertising programs for Amazon Services LLC Associates, KEH Camera,, and Blick Art Materials. That means it’s an aerosol based spray that should be used in well-ventilated area. It works on everything I’ve thrown it at, except large MDF terrain. Weather can be an issue if you’re using a rattle can, but it’s not a huge deal. Versatile, cost-effective, and easy to use. The ideal consistency is that of whole milk. It’s a rattle can primer. 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. Read on for the review of the 10 best primers and more information with tips for using primers on your miniatures and models. For me, Testors is more available in local art supply stores than Tamiya’s product (which is billed as more specialized). The best way I can express it is that it is thinner, and seems to just shrink perfectly on the models. And, I’m not sure why except that maybe these primers are not advertised as much as the others and are fairly new on the market. A ready-mixed painting ground, Liquitex Gesso can be used with any kind of paint. The Spartan looking bro with the shield is metal, the Ghostly looking guy with the staff is a Citadel plastic model. It’s a small can, and priced at close to the same as the other premium modeling primers out there. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. I’ve used this automotive primer to great effect on 3D printed parts and larger terrain pieces made of MDF or plastic. This comes in a 12 oz spray can, completely different from the drop bottle as our previous option. Apply directly to plastic mailboxes, lawn chairs, storage lockers and more. Brush (3) Primer (15) Sealer (2) Spray (12) Surfaces. Ask me how I know this…. It’s a lot less noticeable if you miss anything. We carry a wide selection of building materials, decking and yard-care products as well as supplies for hunting and fishing enthusiasts. I’ve often left gesso on my models to dry for up to 24 hours. The Citadel Model Primer is a primer that is useful for plastic and metal miniatures. As an enamel-based primer it is very useful for a variety of surfaces, forming a durable undercoat layer for subsequent painting. Primers can be applied with spray cans, brushes, or airbrushes. Hold the nozzle about 6-12″ away from the miniature while you spray. Use a flat-headed brush and, The Best Miniature Painting Desks and Miniature…. It doesn’t matter if you’re painting on plastic, metal, or resin miniatures, a primer coat provides a universal surface for you to work on. Airbrushing primer is the most cost-effective way to applying primer. It is a new formulation designed for use along with the Citadel Contrast Paint line. Not sure if you’re using the right brush? This means that these primers are created to spray-on in thick layers. But….If you are speed painting, black is the best primer color! 1 Like. Vallejo makes a great surface primer (my favorite) that you can either brush-on or use with an airbrush. Aerosol or rattle can primers also pose an issue because of the odors and potentially harmful vapors. Traditionally, gesso is used on canvas an undercoat before painting (with oils or acrylics), or on stone or ceramic sculptures. Enjoy this article? MORE: GREAT AIRBRUSHES FOR PRIMING AND PAINTING MINIATURES. Rusty Metal Primer transforms heavily rusted metal into a paintable surface that topcoats can easily adhere to. This is what gives this primer its anti-rust capability. As with any primer with filling properties, be careful you don’t over-coat your model. I mean, it’s good, but it’s expensive for what it is. I've had no problems gluing to it either, however I mask off the wood edge that will be glued if I am spray painting while the pieces are still flat (which is easiest). I had looked at Gesso as a primer for 1/72 soft plastic miniatures. The nice thing about automotive primers is that they are designed specifically to smooth out imperfections on surfaces. This will prevent moisture from interacting with the paint and destroying your beautiful work. 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. Good primer is there to help paint stick. As with any aerosol, there is also the need for good ventilation. Primers are used as a preparatory coat over unpainted metal, plastic, or resin and prevent the absorption of subsequent layers of modeling paint. Regardless of the side, you’re on concerning the debate of Krylon vs Rustoleum, you can’t deny that the other is a good product in its own stead. Recommended: If you can’t choose, Badger offers a 3 pack of white, black, and gray. 1-16 of 212 results for "spray primer miniatures" Amazon's Choice for spray primer miniatures. Howard Kester of Philadelphia founded what was then the world’s first aerosol paints, today Krylon Inc is the largest supplier of aerosol paints in the whole world. Recommended: Krylon and Rust-Oleum both make cheap, widely available primers that work great on less detailed miniatures. For example, if I am doing a mini with a lot of metallics I generally prime black, since I like to put my metals over black. It can lead to splattering or “spider-webbing” when the pressure of the spray starts pushing the wet primer on the surface. Testors is a direct competitor of Tamiya’s product. White also makes it tough to see details and surface volumes. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! High Performance Flat Gray Oil-Based Interior/Exterior Metal Primer (2-Pack) High Performance Flat Gray Oil-Based Interior/Exterior Metal Primer (2-Pack) Model# K7781402 So, it may be harder to find more established miniature painters from recommending them. Black is the best primer for speed painting! A word of caution about using cheap primers that are not designed for miniature and scale modeling work. This is a very fast way to add contrast. Overall, it’s a toss up between Army Painter and Citadel branded primers. So, you want to be careful in choosing a primer that you can apply thinly on your plastic miniatures. This is great for 3D prints and large models. The Ultraflat version provides durability to overlying acrylic paint jobs, by adding surface area to your paint layers. I’ve had good results with cheaper primers for terrain pieces. Gesso is especially useful for metal or resin miniatures. This means you probably want an enamel-based primer. Another benefit of primers is that they help smooth out the texture of the surface. Gesso is fairly hard compound formulated with plaster or some type of glue-like substance. It’s a great base and the thinking is that if anything is exposed it will just look like a shadow. It is also possible to use wet or dry sanding methods to further smooth and prepare a surface for paint. When in doubt, thin your primer (just like you would your paints). It makes it easy for me to travel with my painting kit and always have primer with me. Even my pinky toes. This is great, and perhaps this is one of the most under-rated, largely ignored primers on the market. It applies thinly when sprayed from a proper distance from the model. This means you want the first layers of the primer coat to be super thin. The quality of the final undercoat with Tamiya surface primer is top-notch. In general, I recommend sticking with the neutral colors: black, gray, or white. It can be brushed on, but I use it through an airbrush. Rust-Oleum primer is also known to protect against environmental exposure, blocking out ambient moisture. How to step up your game and move from beginner to advanced. I much prefer the color of Necrotic Flesh and the other Army Painter primer colors, but their price tag being 5-6 times more than what I can get other brands for has me searching for alternatives. Auto-smooths as it dries on any surface, including plastic and metal models. Spray with your rattle can primer in short bursts, sweeping the nozzle back and forth over your model(s). Applying gesso can also be difficult because it is prone to making bubbles in the surface. It’ll happen fast if you’re not careful. Vallejo makes this surface primer in many colors, but as with most primers, I prefer to default to gray. 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. Thin coats should be applied in several layers, waiting for each layer to dry before applying the next. Gesso is inexpensive, forms a protective surface for applying paint, and smooths out surface imperfections. Many colors are available from Army Painter for this primer. It is probably the best deal in terms of volume of primer. In general, rattle cans have more limited use than compared with polyurethane-based primers, which come in larger volume bottle for less cost. Golden Gesso is ready-to-use liquid grounds formulated for the use of acrylics on any commonly used painting surface. Not all primers are the same. 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. When they come out, a release agent is used to make the process easier. This lube does allow the miniature to be ejected easily from the mold, but it inhibits the application of paints, primers, and glues. This Vallejo Surface Primer thins nicely with pure water or Vallejo’s airbrush thinner. Expensive as a primer. For miniatures, automotive primer is perfect for smoothing out imperfections and filling tiny gaps in models or 3D prints. Top Primers for Tabletop Miniatures. Testors enamel primer is a premium product for modeling, and is priced as such. This is the color I have used most often. Check out the best black primer for miniatures. How much primer should I apply to a miniature? The first step in miniature painting, therefore, is always to wash the figures. I coated the miniature with a coat of gloss lacquer, I think I was using Rustoleum. The white primer seems to cause some individuals some problems with the quality of the final surface. The best primer for painting miniatures depends on the surface material. Colors may be topcoated within an hour or after 48 hours. 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. I used the same primer on both and applied it with my Badger Patriot 105 airbrush (all about that baby here). My experience with this primer for metal miniatures is also good. I’ve tried each of these primers over the years. Remember, don’t apply too many layers of primer. Liquitex makes an easy-to-dispense bottle of this Gray colored gesso. Tamiya fine surface primer provides a very thin mist that finely coats your models, preserving all the small details. A poor foundation leads to problems later. It’s less accurate, so if you’re adding a highlight coat with a rattle can it’s not as easy. Gesso provides the perfect "tooth" and adhesion to a wide variety of supports and surfaces. To my knowledge, I don’t know if there is an airbrush ready enamel-based primer designed for miniatures. The best enamel based primers are those in rattle spray cans (aerosol based primers). Another drawback is it’s much harder to get a bright vibrant color on top of black. By using this website you agree to our use of cookies. Recommended: Vallejo’s white primer works well on a variety of surfaces including metal, resin, and plastic. Recommended: Seriously, this primer by The Army Painter is called Skeleton Bone. A cost-effective and airbrush-ready primer for miniatures and models. So getting some rustoleum primer white/black for some of my miniatures and Armada fighters, but also looking to paint Zombicide Black Plague. It is what it is. Rustoleum 2X Primer in Black and White. The best primers for plastic miniatures, such as those from Games Workshop Citadel miniature lines, may not be the best for metal surfaces. The next easiest application is aerosol spray cans of primer. If you’re a traditional painter as well as miniature artist, you can use this for all sorts of projects. Metal miniatures pose additional complications over plastic figures. The Best Lighting for Hobbies and Miniature Painting, What Is a Color Wheel? 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