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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
Best primer on the market?
kaiyudsai
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: October 30, 2011
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Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 - 05:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I use Floquil Railroad enamel black- clings nicely to all media and specially so to brass, gives a tight, slightly satin micro-fine coat, sprays great, reveals all imperfections "perfectly" , smells (does want proper venting). It does NOT obscure fine detail and texture- something critical to us AFV modelers.

For me, works as a great primer AND provides a nice dark undercoat that helps me in "preshading effects".

Cheers! Bob



Im totally with Bob on this one... He suggested it to me at a meeting and I have been hooked ever since. Great thing is they have black, white, and gray so you can really get nice preshading..
retiredyank
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Arkansas, United States
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Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 01:12 PM UTC
The best spray can primer, I have come across is Rust-o-Leum's self etching. It has a dark grey/green color, but is good with just one coat. It applies evenly and doesn't drown the detail, as some do.
Thudius
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Uusimaa, Finland
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Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 06:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Im kinda late with this, but the best primer ive used to date has to be Games Workshop chaos black primer. In the UK a large can costs about £8.00 and theres enough in a large can to prime about 10 1/35 models. The stuff is just perfect and I simply cant recommend it enough. It comes out incredibly fine and gives the best surface coverage of any primer ive used (and trust me ive used a lot)of course another benefit of using the black primer is it provides the deep shadow base. They also do a white one if you want something lighter.



I've been meaning to try this stuff, how's the smell? One of the reasons I've started using Vallejos is that they don't stink up the joint and brush well. No airbrush and won't be getting one in the near future either.

One thing I've noticed with Vallejo primers is they don't sand at all, Model Color does seem to though. The light grey is very translucent and needs a good 3-4 coats, whereas bronze green and panzer grey covers in 2. They all seem to stick to etch reasonably well. All need thinning, water works fine.
retiredyank
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Arkansas, United States
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Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 12:23 AM UTC
I'm now use Floquil/PollyS lacquer primers. They don't need to be thinned and provide a smooth coat.
communityguy
#280
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 14, 2012
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Posted: Saturday, February 02, 2013 - 05:56 AM UTC
@Nicola -

Great question about re-priming. Did you ever get an answer? Anyone have any insight about reprising the model once you see (and fix) flaws in the first primer coat?

Thanks!
Nerazzurri
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Posted: Friday, June 15, 2012 - 09:07 PM UTC
For the guys that airbrush rattle-can primers (like Halfords, poundshops and Plastikote)

Do you spray directly into the AB cup or into a small cup first and pour into the AB? And do you normally find it needs thinned or is it generally good to go out of the can?

Thanks, Gavin.
Militarymodeller80
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, June 03, 2012 - 03:04 AM UTC
Hi

As said by others I don't like using aerosol paints because it is difficult to prime the hidden fine details without over painting the rest, so for me its airbrushed primers only.

I use Vallejos Grey primer and will soon be trying their coloured versions as well. It has been said that their coloured primers are so close to the required base colour that they can be used as a base colour.

I also still dable with Enamels and find either Humbrols or Xtracolor also to be very good.

Paul
_Viper_
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Roma, Italy
Joined: April 15, 2010
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Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 - 12:11 AM UTC
Hi all,

thanks for another very informative and thorough thread!

As for my (little) experience, I have started out with the Tamiya Light Grey in a can for the first models, now I use mostly Vallejo grey as it has the enormous advantage of being able to be sprayed through airbrush which just gives me way more control on where it ends up.

One question though has arisen from the experience I have accrued so far and I would really appreciate your input on this.

I agree that primer is a great visual aid in spotting seams or flaws that were not properly taken care at the assembly stages (I am mainly referring to joints that, for example, you did not properly tackle with putty and once primed still "show through").
So, say I see a spot which needs more putty (as an example) and go about it.
First question is: once done, do you re-prime that area for verification? How about cleaning the model now?
Second question (yeah, so there is two!): sometimes, after you have finished sanding the additional putty, you have also managed to remove some of the primer also and have some plastic (or PE) showing thorugh. If I cover with new primer, on some kits (not all), I end up with a "spot" that has a "lower layer" of paint and if I keep goping in the process (primer - base colors - future - you know..) I will end up with this "lower layer" showing through. I have even tried to "smooth out the edges" of the primer removed with very fine sand papers, but on some kits it did not help.
As a statistics, I should say it happens to me almost always when I use Vallejo than with Tamiya...

My apologies if this is slight but I thought it may help others as well...

firefox83
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Okinawa-ken, Japan / 日本
Joined: March 31, 2009
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Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 10:59 PM UTC
Ive been using primer for years, and have always stuck with the same one, Color Place Gray Primer. It's about $1 for a spray can at Walmart, and is normal primer for stuff around the house. It goes on nice and fast, dries quick and Ive never had a problem with it. Once it dries, its easy to paint over, and always turns out nice.
AgentG
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Nevada, United States
Joined: December 21, 2008
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Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 07:40 AM UTC
I'm going to step away from the norm and recommend one more. Plastikote T235 Sandable Primer.

Platinum grey in color, finely pigmented, and it goes on thin from the spray can. It reveals all, and as stated is "sandable". Plastikote is available in black, white and red oxide. I find it locally in Car Quest Auto Parts stores.

G
SSGToms
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Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 06:39 AM UTC
Now, make sure you check out Vallejo's whole line of colored primers. You get the primer and base color coat all in one shot. The colors are extremely accurate.
elph
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Seoul, Korea / 대한민국
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Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 10:52 PM UTC
Just get an ultrasonic cleaner. I have one large enough to put a whole tank in. Give it a couple of minutes, rinse in water and let dry. Whether you prime or not is up to you, but your model will be spotlessly clean and ready for any paint.
BBD468
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 02:14 PM UTC
Tried and true Tamiya primer for me. never had an issue at all with it. bought a huge bottle of Vallejo grey primer #74601, after hearing so much about it. maybe its just me, but i didnt like it. bought liqitex flow aid and it sprayed a bit better but still had problems. did not sand well and pealed easily when sanding. I always clean a model before primeing with iso/alcohol. and even sand flat areas when practical and still didnt do what i thought it would. maybe i got a bad batch? im stuck with a bottle of primer ill never use. but all is well, i have my Tamiya!
if anyone has some thoughts on may have went wrong for me id like to know.

Gary
Ranchhand
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Texas, United States
Joined: September 04, 2010
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Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 11:22 AM UTC
vallejo primer in a can? never seen that before. I use it through an airbrush.
I will say that i have a ton of problems with it clogging my badger krome (ultra fine) but my regular fine tip badger 150 its no problem.
LuckyLuke
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Belgium
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Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 11:15 AM UTC
A very interesthing thread this and an eye opener too.

I used Valleyo Grey primer out of a can and found that the layer was too thick.
Also thought you "had to" prime ...

For my next build (Dragon Panther) I will give the washing and no priming a try.
Thanks for all the tips!!

Paul-H
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United Kingdom
Joined: April 02, 2010
KitMaker: 234 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 09, 2011 - 06:18 PM UTC
Hi Guys

The Primers I use are

Humbrol #1 Grey Primer

Xtracolor Grey Primer

They are both Enamel Products so stick like the proverbial to a blanket (Not Jacko’s Son)

And Vallejo.

Don't like using rattle can primer is its very difficult to get coverage in all the nooks and crannies without flooding the rest of the model and don’t like it once decanted as its far to thin and you also see just how little paint you are buying for your money. A 300ml Rattle can only has about 100ml of paint, the rest of the 300ml is made up of propellant which is lost to the atmosphere once decanted.

For cleaning prior to painting I use Halfords panel prep in a rattle can.

Paul
Smokeyr67
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Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 12:40 AM UTC
I almost always prime my model, for no other reason that every model I make these days is a combination of styrene, brass, alloy and resin, so I prime to unify the colour.A fine coat of primer will allow you to use fewer coats of colour.
Kharkov
Joined: April 09, 2011
KitMaker: 181 posts
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Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 07:06 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Hi Joe,

A couple things here.
First, surface prep is more important than primer for good paint adhesion. Before he moved to Maryland, Steve Zaloga used to come over my house on a regular basis and I learned a lot from him. One thing was to cover your detail with as little paint as possible. 99% of the time you don't have to prime. Modern acrylics will adhere to clean styrene, PE, and resin, no problem.
To prep the model for painting, take it to the kitchen sink. With a spray bottle of Windex, hose down the model, drenching it completely several times on all surfaces. This removes the mold release, skin oils, dust, and dirt. It also does it without scrubbing the model and breaking off parts. Then, turn on cool water and using the sink sprayer on low pressure, rinse the model thoroughly. Put the model in a clean plastic tote with the cover ajar so it dries dust free. Your paint will stick perfectly to all surfaces.
When building resin or using a lot of putty, then it's a good idea to prime, but more to reveal surface imperfections than anything else. When I did prime, I used to use Krylon grey primer but was never happy with it because of how thick a layer of paint that spray cans put out. Spray cans are fine for 1:1 cars but just too much for models. A spray can is like a fire hose, when an airbrush is like a hypodermic needle. 1 coat from a spray can is thicker than 5 coats from an airbrush.
I completely recommend using primer through an airbrush. Several companies make a primer in their line. I use Vallejo primers and I highly recommend them. Vallejo primer comes in white, grey, and black, so you can key your primer to your base paint color. It is an excellent product and is easy to use.
I will be doing a review on all three Vallejo primers soon.



Last night I finished up building my Dragon Panther G and drenched it with generic blue "window" cleaner w/ ammonia and was amazed how well it cleaned the model of all release agents, oils and finger prints. It took off the sheen of the usual dragon grey and left the model in a nice state ready for painting. I really detailed it and did not want to cover up details with primer so when I read this post I thought I would give it a try. I never "cleaned" my models like this before and just primed it, I really like this method because I too did not like how much primer would cover details, thanks.



I agree with all of this, keeping the model clean is the most important thing, if your doing a large build then clean as you go, you cannot hurt the model by simply washing it in warm soapy water to keep on top of things, helps to stop the build up of finger grease and large amounts of dust, then simply give it a final clean before painting.

If you give PE parts a very light sanding with wet n dry, or scrub it over with very fine wire wool before you fix it to the model then paint will stick to it without much problem, resin parts are a different, they need a primer coat because it is very hard to see problem areas and imperfections in resin castings before a layer of paint is applied, so prime it to check it, in effect your not priming it to make paint stick, your priming it to quality check it.

In terms of primers, there seems to be a lot of nonsense talked about car industry primers (primer in a can), these primers simply dont make detail vanish, these primers are shrink fitters, as they dry the paint layer shrinks, it contracts, sucks itself into the surface.

Tony Greenland, a very good scratcher, detailer and model painter, who it should be noted is very concerned about adding fine detail, wrote a book years ago about construction, painting and weathering AFV's, in this book there is a picture of Mr Greenland outside in his back garden priming a German panther with a can of Halfords Auto primer (grey), and he recomends this stuff in his book.

All you have to do with Auto primers is make damn sure that you start your spray BEFORE you pass the can over the model, and finish your spray AFTER the can has past over the model, and dont overdo it, apply just enough to prime the model.

Keep the model clean, wash it, alot, as you go, and 99% of the time you wont even need a primer.

TankTurk74
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Missouri, United States
Joined: February 07, 2011
KitMaker: 15 posts
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Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 03:50 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Joe,

A couple things here.
First, surface prep is more important than primer for good paint adhesion. Before he moved to Maryland, Steve Zaloga used to come over my house on a regular basis and I learned a lot from him. One thing was to cover your detail with as little paint as possible. 99% of the time you don't have to prime. Modern acrylics will adhere to clean styrene, PE, and resin, no problem.
To prep the model for painting, take it to the kitchen sink. With a spray bottle of Windex, hose down the model, drenching it completely several times on all surfaces. This removes the mold release, skin oils, dust, and dirt. It also does it without scrubbing the model and breaking off parts. Then, turn on cool water and using the sink sprayer on low pressure, rinse the model thoroughly. Put the model in a clean plastic tote with the cover ajar so it dries dust free. Your paint will stick perfectly to all surfaces.
When building resin or using a lot of putty, then it's a good idea to prime, but more to reveal surface imperfections than anything else. When I did prime, I used to use Krylon grey primer but was never happy with it because of how thick a layer of paint that spray cans put out. Spray cans are fine for 1:1 cars but just too much for models. A spray can is like a fire hose, when an airbrush is like a hypodermic needle. 1 coat from a spray can is thicker than 5 coats from an airbrush.
I completely recommend using primer through an airbrush. Several companies make a primer in their line. I use Vallejo primers and I highly recommend them. Vallejo primer comes in white, grey, and black, so you can key your primer to your base paint color. It is an excellent product and is easy to use.
I will be doing a review on all three Vallejo primers soon.



Last night I finished up building my Dragon Panther G and drenched it with generic blue "window" cleaner w/ ammonia and was amazed how well it cleaned the model of all release agents, oils and finger prints. It took off the sheen of the usual dragon grey and left the model in a nice state ready for painting. I really detailed it and did not want to cover up details with primer so when I read this post I thought I would give it a try. I never "cleaned" my models like this before and just primed it, I really like this method because I too did not like how much primer would cover details, thanks.
BigSmitty
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Minnesota, United States
Joined: October 01, 2008
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Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 11:37 AM UTC
Matt,

Off hand, I know that both Sprue Brothers and Squadron carry Vallejo lines. I think Squadron has the larger size of the gray primer as well. Sprue Brothers doesn't carry much, and are usually sold out as a result.

http://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=VJ74601 Shows as it's in stock as well. Might be worth a shot.
retiredyank
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Arkansas, United States
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Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 07:34 AM UTC
Does anyone know of a US distributor for Vallejo?
metooshelah
#011
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Jerusalem, Israel
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Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 04:21 AM UTC
i like tamiya's gray primer. gives a nice even base coat.
portonion
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Scotland, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 01:59 AM UTC
I bought some of the Poundland Grey Primer.

Its actually quite good!
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 03:20 AM UTC
Interesting thread, and one that I've spent a great deal of time on personally.

Steve Zologa's comment that a clean model surface is the most important aspect of painting, is 100% correct. Primer, will only do so much, and no model paint will stick to a dirty, greasy surface. I prep my model after building, prior to priming with straight 70% Isoprobyl Alcohol, then air dry it in my model dryer bin. While I can't remember the last time I've had issues with mold release oils, my oily finger prints are everywhere, and there is sanding grit, putty residue, etc that must be removed. From here on in, I don't touch the surface of the model with my bare hands (finger). I either wear a cotton glove, latex glove, or hold the model or parts in areas that won't be painted.

As for priming, let me say from personal experience, you don't need to prime for flat colors if it's a enamel or lacquer based paint, and the plastic is either Grey or white. But if it's red, black, silver, yellow, you need to prime, or you'll be painting forever to get proper coverage. Their adhesion qualities will grab to plastic just fine. Acrylic paints don't have those qualities, and are best applied over primer. For gloss paints, you need to prime 1st, both for adhesion qualities, and to keep the color from shifting. I use white over Grey primer for light colors, Grey for darker colors.

For primers, and I've used most of them, rattle cans put out way too much paint over to wide a area, which results in a heavy coat that will mask fine details.

Hobby primers applied from a air gun work best. I've used Model Master's acrylic primer, and it didn't adhere to the raw plastic very well, being pulled off with the above paint even with Tamiya tape.

What works best for me, and that's the key: for me, is Tamiya's Surface Primer. It's not a sealer, it's just the best neutral Grey primer out there, period. It sticks to plastic, PE, and Resin very well, and paint sticks to it, no matter if it's flat, matt, or gloss. The drawback is that it's lacquer based. Need I say more. I use a respirator, and my homemade paint booth.

Ranchhand
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Texas, United States
Joined: September 04, 2010
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Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 - 11:20 AM UTC
i have a sherman on the bench that has been primed with vallejo primers, painted with vallejo air paint... and a light coating of future. so far all of the enamel washes and filters have been fine with no problems. I will note that i am letting the paint cure.

I tend to have a lot of models in various stages, and with my free time being at a premium the model usually sits for a week after i prime it. I have heard that its good to let the acrylics sit for a bit before adding harsh enamels to it. So it ends up sitting for a week in primer, then another week with its base coat, then sealed and left for another week... you get the idea.

It may be overkill, but i don't do it on purpose...