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Conan» Forums » General

Subject: Expensive vs cheap primer for minis rss

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Chris Poor
United States
Dexter
Kentucky
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Looking at the sheer numbers of minis to paint, I am purchasing primer. I see cans online and at FLGS for minis that are $15-18, and cans at Lowe's for plastic that are $3-6. Is it worth the difference?

If you think that it is, please tell me what it is that makes it worth so much more. I have used both in the past, and have not seen any difference.

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Shawn Garbett
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I used to paint a lot of miniatures, looks like I'm in the game again. My experience was that price had no correlation to quality. I've bought $15 bottles that were terrible. I've bought $4 bottles that were perfect. The experience doesn't always repeat a couple years later with the same brands. You have to find out who, in the current market, is making primer that doesn't come out gritty and won't melt plastic.
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glen bruton
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your local game store ones are probably guaranteed to work but of course you pay through the nose. I use Tamiya grey and it works pretty well, you'll find it at model shops and its priced somewhere between Games Workshop crazy and Lowes cheap.
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Byron Stingley
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Cary
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Buy a hobby specific primer, I use Army Painters, and avoid the sticky mess that never dries you find at hardware stores. Learn from my frustration.
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Sarah Crater
United States
Crowley
TX
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We always buy cheap and dress it up to fit our needs. laugh After the protective coat it doesn't seem to matter much on what kind of primer we use.
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Nick Johnson
United States
Coon Rapids
Minnesota
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This guy has a pretty good video regarding different primers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1srek0pono


Personally I use Krylon Flat Black primer and Army Painter Uniform Grey. I try to avoid white primer because I find it doesn't cover as well.
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Rick Vinyard
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Las Cruces
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Personally, I much prefer gesso to spray primers, and it is significantly cheaper. I used to be a fan of GW and Army Painter spray primers. An 8 ounce bottle (about $14) will go a long, long way because you'll probably thin it with water for minis. You should be able to do all of Conan + expansions on part of a bottle.

I've found gesso to have much better tooth, and usually thin it a bit. I've used both regular brush and airbrush to apply. Initially, it may look a little thick, but it really thins out after drying, and I think it preserves much more of the original detail.

For brush work I think about 1 part gesso to 1 part water. Sometimes 1 gesso to 2 water. For airbrush I do about 1 gesso to 3 water, sometimes 1 gesso to 4 water.

The biggest downside is that you need to let it sit at least 24 hours after priming before painting.

I've had the best luck with the Liquitex Professional gessos. I didn't realize at first that they had two lines and always had better results with my black gesso than my white. It turned out the black was a pro gesso, and the white was regular. The regular wasn't bad, but the pro was better.

You can also tint the white gesso with acrylic paints if you want to start with a colored gesso, or mix white and black to get a desired gray.

I'll be priming all my Conan stuff with gesso. I don't think I'll tint anything... airbrush with zenithal technique to establish shading.
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Freelance Police
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PillarofAutumn wrote:
Buy a hobby specific primer, I use Army Painters, and avoid the sticky mess that never dries you find at hardware stores. Learn from my frustration.


I use zenithal priming. A flat black primer from the hardware store, followed by an Army Painter color primer, then an Army Painter Quickshade Ink wash. Nice results before you even paint!



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United States
San Antonio
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I use automotive primer $10.00 a bottle, fine spray. It works well.
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Nicholas Aldrich
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Wausau
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I used to always use games workshop primer (now $15 a can. It is virtually the same as krylon Maxx matte primer from walmart. Except krylon Maxx is less than $3 a can. The only difference is the spray nossle. The cheaper cans will clog easier, so you have to make sure you take care of your cans and purge them when finished.

Buy a can of black and a can of white. Prime all black and give a trace zenith coat of white. This makes painting with thin paints easy and gives natural highlights and shading.
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Jesse Carr
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Texas
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Yeah, the $15 primers are way overpriced. I've used both GW and Army Painter and had good experiences with both (though my latest batch of Army Painter has been giving me trouble) but I've had exactly the same good experiences using Krylon. Some cheap primers do suck, and some are pretty good. Kyrlon is great.
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Chris Poor
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Dexter
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Thanks for all of the helpful answers. That video was very good, I think I'll watch the whole series.

Primed them today with a variety of paints, including the Army paints and Krylon. They look pretty good to me.

 
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