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War of the Ring (second edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Priming Miniatures rss

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John Pham
Canada
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So I've decided to take the plunge and am quite determined to paint all my WOTR miniatures, albeit just monochrome with shading and highlights. I've trimmed, straightened, and washed all 205 figures, and have just begun to first step - priming. I've found it unexpectedly difficult.

For reference, I'm new to painting miniatures, but not totally foreign to the arts. I did not expect the amount of trouble I've come across so far.

My first choice was Vallejo Surface Primer in Grey, a primer that seems to be almost universally lauded. I started to prime an Isengard regular, and immediately hit my first speedbump. The paint seemed very runny and thin, and barely covered the red plastic. Yes, I did shake and roll the paint vigorously, and even popped the cap and stirred the bottom to make sure it was well mixed. I eventually did get it to cover the red plastic, but only after 5-6 coats, waiting for the paint to dry in the meantime. At that, I was beginning to worry that the details would get obscured, since this was only the primer layer. There were also a lot of bubbles in the paint, though I suspect that was my fault, as I later learned paint should be rolled or stirred, not shaken.

Anyway, next day I go and grab an inordinately expensive can of P3 White Spray Primer. I worry, because it's a hot and humid summer here, but I wait until night and test by priming a couple Mordor regulars. The red plastic beneath is still showing through, but it's definitely going on a lot thinner and more evenly, even if not going into all the crevices. I gain a bit of hope and start priming all the figures. I get not even halfway through and the spray can runs dry. I'm not even considering paying out for that $$ can again, at this rate I would need 2-3 to thoroughly prime all 205 figures.

Now I'm considering gesso, as a cheap alternative not dependent on humidity. Opinions seem to be rather split on this, and there seems to be a consensus that black gesso definitely primes better than white gesso, but I'm willing to experiment.

Anyway, my main issue seems to be getting decent coverage over the Shadow force's red plastic. The Free People's powder blue seems to be a bit more amenable to coverage.

Now, I'm aware that to prime a miniature you don't need 100% coverage, but I'm going for bright, primary colours for the final paint scheme, so I'd like to be able to a paint a basecoat over white or grey primer.

Thoughts or suggestions? Thanks, I know I rambled, just frustrated. I've done so much work that isn't actually painting the miniatures, haha
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Pierce Ostrander
United States
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Hi,

You will get several opinions on how to do this. I'm just going to tell you how I did it. I am happy with my result. You can see it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9S1-pXl_ZY

If you are doing monochrome with a wash and highlights, then why are you priming? Start with the base color - red, green, blue... instead of a primer.

If you still want to prime, use this (less than $4 per can for 12 oz):

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Oleum-Painter-s-Touch-2X-12-...

However, if you want to take my suggestion and put down a base coat of color strait away, use the same brand of paint - it comes in a wide assortment of colors and is sold at both Home Depot and Walmart.

http://www.homedepot.com/s/Rust-Oleum%2520Painter's%2520Touch%25202X?NCNI-5

You will need nitrile gloves (don't use latex, the will "melt through" rapidly), a respirator and a large plastic sheet to cover the work area beneath your feet. I also wrap my forearms in plastic (and tape) to keep from painting myself.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/3M-7178-Dual-Cartridge-Respirator-...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cardinal-Health-Powder-Free-Nitril...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Husky-Plastic-Drop-Cloth-9-x-12/19...

IMPORTANT: Before you spray, dip the figure in mineral spirits:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Klean-Strip-Green-Odorless-Mineral...

Put all the figures that will get a particular color in a bath of mineral spirits, swish them around to thoroughly coat. Pull them out and set them on a piece of cardboard. Pick them up one by one (with your gloves and respirator on). Shake off the excess mineral spirits - they should be quite damp with mineral spirits, but not dripping wet.

Then, at close range (2-3 inches from the figure), spray the paint you have chosen onto the figure. The mineral spirits is in the crevasses, and will draw the paint into every nook and cranny of the figure. It also thins the pain as it hits the figure. Don't overdo it, but don't under-do it either.

Use a chip-brush (something cheap that you can throw away after you are done) to spread the paint around and remove excess. This is a quick slap-dash go-over just to enable full coverage and also to remove excess paint.

Set the figure on another piece of cardboard, on it's base. Do this with all the figures of that color then set aside that "flat" to dry. You can move on to the next color.

Once the figures are "tacky" break them free from the cardboard (just move them around a little). After an hour or so, knock them over onto their sides to let other parts dry. every half-hour or so, flip them over, move them around so that air makes contact with all surfaces.

If necessary, 24 hours later, you can stand them up and spray them again, very lightly to hit any areas that may not have enough paint on them. VERY LIGHTLY.

Then, let them dry for a few days. The likelihood is (especially in your climate) is that they will still be tacky. Don't worry about it. The next steps will deal with that.

Next step is to hit each figure with a coat of ink wash in a darker version of the color of each figure (dark blue ink over sky-blue figure color for example). When coating with ink, make sure you dab off any ink that is in locations that you don't want it... typically you want the dark ink in the crevasses. Then do your highlights, if you feel it is necessary.

http://www.miniaturemarket.com/searchresults?q=ink

Once your figures are "done" let them dry again for several days. They will probably still feel a little tacky, but less than before.

Now for the final step - clearcoat. Use this product and spray a light coat on each figure:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Jet-Spray-Clear-Lacquer-Dead...

This product is amazing. It is relatively inexpensive (compared to what you will pay at a hobby store) and works wonders. Once you have done this final lacquer coat, let everything dry again for a few days and you are done. All tackiness will be gone.

Very important: do not try to do this in a high-humidity environment. If you live in the south or east, wait until fall when the outdoor humidity is back to reasonable levels.

This whole process is time-consuming and expensive. By the time you are done, you will have spent at least $100. The one time I did this, I did 4 sets of figures all at once, and I still had a little spray paint left in each can. Doing that - I got a little economy of scale, sold off two sets and gave a set to a buddy.

Good luck!

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Salman Qaisar
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Wow! Amazing post, really helpful.
This deserves loads of respect...
Have 5GG as a token of that

Anyone know how to bookmark a post or thread, so I can find it easily?
... if I ever have the courage to paint a set blush

Sal
 
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Mattias Elfström
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I primed my models with Citadel spray and painted them with Citadel paint. One can of primer was enough for this



and this



and this

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Bernd Weber
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Zalman wrote:
Anyone know how to bookmark a post or thread, so I can find it easily?

Use the "bookmark" link to bookmark.
Use the "Bookmarks" link to see a list of your bookmarks.

Both links are at the top of this page.
 
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Kristofer Bengtsson
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Aubigny wrote:
Zalman wrote:
Anyone know how to bookmark a post or thread, so I can find it easily?

Use the "bookmark" link to bookmark.
Use the "Bookmarks" link to see a list of your bookmarks.

Both links are at the top of this page.


Or you can click "subscribe" to be notified every time a new post is posted in the thread.
 
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Ron Price
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fubar awol wrote:
Put all the figures that will get a particular color in a bath of mineral spirits, swish them around to thoroughly coat. Pull them out and set them on a piece of cardboard. Pick them up one by one (with your gloves and respirator on). Shake off the excess mineral spirits - they should be quite damp with mineral spirits, but not dripping wet.


Don't mineral spirits melt plastic minis? Is it just that it's not on there long, and it roughs up the surface to take the paint?
 
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Pierce Ostrander
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puzzlemonkey wrote:
fubar awol wrote:
Put all the figures that will get a particular color in a bath of mineral spirits, swish them around to thoroughly coat. Pull them out and set them on a piece of cardboard. Pick them up one by one (with your gloves and respirator on). Shake off the excess mineral spirits - they should be quite damp with mineral spirits, but not dripping wet.


Don't mineral spirits melt plastic minis? Is it just that it's not on there long, and it roughs up the surface to take the paint?


No.

No.
 
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Ron Price
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I guess I always thought it would act like acetone. What an amazing technique to use the paint thinner on the target's surface!

It just goes to show, no matter how many 'tips and tricks' threads you've read, there's always something new out there!
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Pierce Ostrander
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puzzlemonkey wrote:
I guess I always thought it would act like acetone. What an amazing technique to use the paint thinner on the target's surface!

It just goes to show, no matter how many 'tips and tricks' threads you've read, there's always something new out there!


Acetone is extremely agressive, but also - evaporates much more quickly. Not something to ever put on anything that you aren't certain can stand up to it. It WILL melt plastic.

Mineral spirits won't - it is the base for some paints.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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I always use water based paints. It is so much easier and quicker to work with.
 
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Pierce Ostrander
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I use the volatile-organic-based paints for primer because they adhere to plastic extremely well - it is a permanent bond.

Over the primer, I use acrylic for color, it is not as volatile a base - more like water-based.

Over the Acrylic I go back to a clear lacquer - once again, a volatile-organic based paint. The clear lacquer seals the color acrylics.

At the end of this 3-step process, not only does the paint not chip or scrape off, but it becomes hard to get the paint off even if you are trying to! Even if soaked overnight in something nasty and with the assistance of a wire brush.
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Mattias Elfström
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I find that my water based colours stick well enough even without coating.
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Nicholas Smith
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Mattias wrote:
I primed my models with Citadel spray and painted them with Citadel paint.


I'm thinking of using citadel paints to do my set as well. Did you have any of the tackiness issues that a lot of other people seem to have had?
 
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Mattias Elfström
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ducksboy wrote:
Mattias wrote:
I primed my models with Citadel spray and painted them with Citadel paint.


I'm thinking of using citadel paints to do my set as well. Did you have any of the tackiness issues that a lot of other people seem to have had?


No tackiness at all. For full disclosure note that my models are from the 1st edition.
 
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Nicholas Smith
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Thanks for that. Citadel paints are expensive but they're what I'm used to, I've painted a lot of GW miniatures in the past with them and never had any issues, good to know they'll work well for WotR as well
 
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