Gesso (here’s a quality gesso to try) is a glue- or plaster-based primer typically used on canvases or stone and ceramic sculptures. This is the primer that I use. Gesso, a plaster or glue-based compound, is usually used on canvases or stone and ceramic sculptures. A primer or undercoat is a preparatory coating placed on the surface of a miniature before painting. Primers can be applied with spray cans, brushes, or airbrushes. Recommended: The Vallejo Airbrush Thinner is very versatile. 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. Novice miniature painters may underestimate the importance of a primer. My advice: Try Rustoleum primers first. What Tools Do I Need for Miniature Painting? You want to make sure the overspray doesn’t contaminate any people or property. What are the best primers for miniature painting? For epic sized monsters, however, it does a … Some models come as snap-fit figures, which are very simple to put together and don’t require glue.There’s other kits out there, namely those from Games Workshop, that are multi-part miniature kits. Check out all of my miniature painting articles to discover tips, techniques, product reviews, and more. The color primer you should use depends on your goals and preferences. This enamel-based primer provides an extremely thin foundation layer that helps you preserve the smallest details in the model you’re painting, making it one of the best primers for miniatures. 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. The best way I can express it is that it is thinner, and seems to just shrink perfectly on the models. Some hobbyists actually prefer the brush-on method, but it requires a lot more skill and patience than spray methods. Enamel based primers come in aerosol cans, which provide their own pros and cons (discussed further later). Many miniature paint brands offer primers in a wide selection of colors that can make your job easier. Miniatures are usually made from metal, pewter, resin, or plastic. 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! Recommended: Seriously, this primer by The Army Painter is called Skeleton Bone. 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. both make cheap, widely available primers that work great on. Rustoleum 2X Primer in Black and White. It will save you time, money, and frustration. A good primer, therefore, will coat these surfaces as thinly as possible, so as not to obscure the fine details of the figure. I know that spray primers need to have very good conditions to work properly and I don't think I can prime indoors without making my house smell horrible. Anything over that gets weird and fuzzy, below 40% the paint dries before hitting your model and your priming gets dusty. I use white if I am painting something yellow or red, black for some buildings and grey for everything else. Use a flat-headed brush and, The Best Miniature Painting Desks and Miniature…. These ones… not the little dropper ones), but for primer I’m a Stynylrez guy. It can be used for thinning both primer and model paints, and act as a flow-improver. The Army Painter Color Primer, Skeleton Bone, 400... Rust-Oleum 249418 Automotive Sandable Primer Spray... Vallejo Grey Primer Acrylic Polyurethane, 200ml. Just be aware if you’re out in freezing cold or crazy humidity, your results might be crappy. 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. Miniature Primer is Essential. While primers come in a whole range of colors, we’re going to talk about the big three: Black, White, and Gray. My current favorite color to paint on top of. This can be done with simple soap and water but must never be skipped. It can lead to splattering or “spider-webbing” when the pressure of the spray starts pushing the wet primer on the surface. The humidity and temperature effect how quickly the primer dries and how it’s finished surface looks. I got a can just because it came in the exact color I needed for my Stormcast Eternals. 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. However, if you take proper precautions, you can prime in either very hot or cold weather. Not sure if you’re using the right brush? One shirt doesn’t seem very thick, but if you put on enough layers, they can add up to inhibit your movement. Both techniques involve priming the entire miniature black to create shading, then applying white primer where lighter and brighter colors will be used. Small details like claws, swords and such now flex a little bit before they break. Paint does strange things at -5°c, at least that's the claim. If you start with pure white, bright colors will be much easier than black. Fun toys and advanced tools to drool over. Applying it this way will always result in thicker layers. Each application method has it’s own benefits and draw backs. Where to find the best gear and whom you should be following on social media. It’s awesome and I love it with every part of my body. Having to strip a bunch of miniatures to reprime is an annoying time-waste. In rattle cans and even surface primers you brush or airbrush on, white can be very chalky. To keep things this way, we finance it through advertising and shopping links. The middle option. The link that I am providing you is for a 3 pack (individually the cans run under $4 USD). Disadvantages are that with everything primed black, it’s hard to see the details. Often, they have names that evoke common uses for that color, such as bone. It was a real game changer for me. Think of Joey wearing all of Chandler’s shirts on that one episode of. If you purchase using a shopping link, we may earn a commission. Pour it in the airbrush cup and go. I'm up here in the middle of a typical Canadian winter where temperatures range anywhere from 0 Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) to -38 Celsius (-36.4 Fahrenheit). I’m still leaning Stynylrez though. How to Prepare a Citadel Miniature for Painting Painting miniatures is a fun and fulfilling hobby, but before one can be painted, it must be properly prepared. It’s hard to quantify exactly why I love the Stynylrez so much. I can’t tell you the exact science of what makes a primer effective at what it does, but I can tell you that it does make a difference. The best primer for plastic models is mostly sprayed on, the models being around 28mm-35mm. The multi-part kits have a lot of pieces, often various options, and require more work to assemble.In either case, you’re going to need something to cut the parts for the model from the sprue. No more waiting for time/humidity levels etc. Applying primer with an airbrush is the easiest way to apply very thin, even coats of primer and to prevent air bubbles. Step 2: Priming your Miniature. Recommended: Krylon and Rust-Oleum both make cheap, widely available primers that work great on less detailed miniatures. It still amazes me how many hobbyists forgo primer and will instead either paint directly on the surface, or will use a matte spray paint as their base coat. The technique is pretty much the same as thinning paint for an airbrush, which I explain in this article. I shoot it through my airbrush right out of the bottle. How Do You Use It in…, the only miniature painting guide you need. Use a flat-headed brush and take your time. I have primed some of my miniatures with painted on Gesso in the past but want to know if this is the best method. The use a primer ensures that paint adheres to the surface and helps paint durability. The advantage of the latter is that they are cheaper and available in larger quantities. 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. The sun will melt your models. To me that’s the real test, what do you use if you can use either? Thin coats! 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. Recommended: Citadel’s black primer sprays evenly and smoothly, drying to a nice, hard finish. Since I came to brush priming as a way to avoid spray cans I also apply varnish with a brush as well. Although this too can be enjoyable, doing it well is more difficult to learn. The primer, therefore, must cover thinly and evenly, bonding securely to the miniature material and providing a textured surface for the paint. It’s just my favorite and that’s that. Friggin love this stuff. Ask me how I know this…. If painting outdoors or in a garage, take care to only prime when weather conditions are favorable. For that reason, when painting miniatures, you want to use a primer that is as fine and thin as possible. Stynylrez black primer, and Vallejo model air white over that. Now, getting the paints and the brushes needed are fairly easy and it won’t take long to figure out what you’ll need there. A few suggest gray is a happy compromise, while others condemn gray as the worst of both worlds. No flaking or chipping. It can be brushed on, but I use it through an airbrush. Don’t apply big thick coats on the miniature. 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. I LOVE Vallejo paints (especially their Metal Color Paint which is FANTASTIC! It’s similar to adding an extra layer of clothing. 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. During initial denaturation at 95C and denaturation at 95C DNA is completely becomes single stranded. It dries into a hard shell and has the added benefit of having a rougher texture to which paint can easily bind . These are allowed to cool and harden, forming the miniature. 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. A quick and gentle cleaning with a toothbrush and mild soap can make a big difference. White also makes it tough to see details and surface volumes. How to step up your game and move from beginner to advanced. The result, however, is that every figure produced is covered by a thin, invisible coating of lubricant. 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. Automotive primers tend to emphasize the filling-in-scratches aspect of the product. You are using a … To enable this to happen easily, the mold is first coated with a mold-release lubricant. The first step to good results for any print is bed leveling. If it is too cold or hot, the aerosol formulation in spray cans won’t mix properly. Spray Priming in Cold Weather. Yes, Vallejo is fine too, but I have both and I use Stynylrez. Good old Liquitex clear flat is the best experience ever. Unlike miniature-specific primers, however, industrial primers can be sanded down after drying, giving you the chance to smooth out the surface before painting. 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. Badger Air-Brush Co. SNR-403 Stynylrez, 4 Ounce,... check out my article on priming with an airbrush. the miniature is made out of will affect the type of primer you want to use. 22. 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. Acrylic paints do not bind well to these materials. Right off the bat, my favorite primer for miniatures is Stynylrez Surface Primer. A black primer can be useful if you don’t want to spend a lot of time fussing over your miniature. The Best Primer for Miniatures. By priming with a black primer, on the other hand, these areas can be mostly left alone because the dark areas can act as shading. These can either be miniature specific or general, industrial primers. Recommended: Rust-Oleum’s automotive primer holds up well when sanding or smoothing and can be used on metal or resin miniatures. If you were to paint the miniatures directly without primer, you would find that the paint easily chips or flakes off the figure. 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’m no expert. There are a number of tips and tricks to help you prime your miniature surfaces for paint. The type of material the miniature is made out of will affect the type of primer you want to use. Could anyone give me some tips on how to prime my miniatures in very cold weather. Why spend the time and energy covering the miniature with primer when it is just going to be covered by subsequent layers of acrylic paint? I don’t have this problem with the airbrush, but rattle cans yes. Unlike plastic models which are more flexible, metal miniatures are more prone to scratching and chipping and thus, require a tougher primer. This will prevent moisture from interacting with the paint and destroying your beautiful work. 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. 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. Makes for super quick priming and the finished product is another level. White tends to look chalky. Miniatures are usually made from metal, pewter, resin, or plastic. This article is free for you and free from outside influence. You may also need some help on selecting the best primer shade for your project. If you have to prime outdoors below 60 degrees F (like 15 in socialist degrees?) This function is sometimes helpful for miniatures because they can become scratched or dented from use and wear. Primers and paints should only be used in a well-ventilated area as the fumes can be toxic. In most cases, you can use any primer on larger models, as we will discuss further on. If you are obscuring detail, brush the primer … Vallejo has pretty much the same end result if I’m honest, it just requires me to thin it. The mold, however, must be removed from around the figure. Depending on the miniature will depend on the preparation needed. Miniatures by design are covered by intricate details created by small etches in the surface of the material. 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. 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. The ideal consistency is that of whole milk. 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. So, in summary, the best primer for miniatures gives you a stable base on which to work so you can create your finest piece. If the miniature still has this release agent on it, the primer and paint won’t bond well to the surface. This is the color I have used most often. I’ve also tried the Citadel Spray Cans. As an Amazon Associate, earns from qualifying purchases. Let it dry completely. The most important step of any miniature paint job is priming. The Best Lighting for Hobbies and Miniature Painting, What Is a Color Wheel? I also happen to run this site and write the majority of its content! Adheres really well, thin coats that shrink down onto the miniature preserving details, and dries quickly. Priming After assembly and cleaning, the first thing you’ll need to do is prime your bare plastic miniatures (unless you buy ones that are primed ahead of time). It’s going to stink of propellant but the primer won’t do weird things. Give it at least 30 minutes to an hour to dry depending on conditions. What are the best primers for miniature painting? Each layer of primer, paint, or varnish applied to the miniature adds a layer of thickness to the figure. If you want to use a zenithal priming technique like I teach in my Introduction to Painting and Modeling class then you might also use Black (and grey) primer, but this is not necessary to get a good surface prime. Spraying primer requires a dedicated and well-ventilated spraying station. 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. Red, for example, might take a lot of layers before you get the full color. Enamel primers are available in aerosol spray cans, but not in an airbrush-ready formula. Primer has a color of its own which you can either fight to cover up or use to your advantage. 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. Some hobbyists swear by white, and others refuse to prime with white. Priming a mini is the process of undercoating a model, ... try to ensure you only spray when the temperature is moderate and humidity is low. I'm a hobby enthusiast with a real love for painting miniatures. Weather can be an issue if you’re using a rattle can, but it’s not a huge deal. 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. The type of material the miniature is made out of will affect the type of primer you want to use. Prep your model or miniature before priming. Acrylic paints do not bind well to these materials. If you have a relatively large, oblique figure, you may be better off saving your money by using this cheaper primer. As such, they may apply in thicker layers or runoff of smooth surfaces and settle in cracks. I have primed some of my miniatures with painted on Gesso in the past but want to know if this is the best method. No more 'missed spots', clotting, hazing, stink etc. 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. Tangible Day reports good results using less expensive primers on terrain pieces. Even though the primer is designed to go underneath your paint, it is not clear in color. Recommended: Liquitex Gray Gesso is inexpensive, resilient to scratches, and stretches as it dries, creating a very smooth and pleasant work surface. Even my pinky toes. It’s less accurate, so if you’re adding a highlight coat with a rattle can it’s not as easy. The method by which you apply primer to your miniature can greatly affect the results. provides a surface to which paint can bind. Note that the best temperature to prime miniatures with an aerosol rattle can is about room temperature (75F or 24C). After priming and painting, make sure to seal your work with a thin even layer of varnish. 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! is very versatile. The primer can often be used as both the primer and the base layer of paint. The main image for this article is of two minis I had just primed and highlighted. Some primers are sold airbrush-ready, and can be sprayed through a standard size airbrush at around 25 to 30 psi. It will kill the small detail on it and make it look like a turd. The primer will show you the parts of the model that need to be painted. It’s a great base and the thinking is that if anything is exposed it will just look like a shadow. Often times I’ll prime black, then highlight in white. But the UK is having an unusually cold winter so far, and more snow than we normally experience this side of Christmas. If you’re considering getting an airbrush. ... Primer may not adhere properly if the temperature is too cold or the air is too humid. This video explains the best way to get great results on the I3 Mega This will show you other problems too. Primers with melting temperatures in the range of 52-58 oC generally produce the best results." It can be admittedly intimidating trying to gather all the essential equipment and products when you’re just getting started with the hobby. The best miniatures often have the finest detail. 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. Miniature painting is a popular hobby and many gaming enthusiasts have taken to this leisure activity. The Vallejo is good too, but I had to thin that down a bit to use it. Before you can apply the primer, however, you must ensure that the surface of your miniature is completely clean and dry.