Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Primer Primer

Now that the minis and bases were washed, it was on to the primer step. Being new to this hobby I decided to try out the Army Painter method this first time out. It looks like a pretty straightforward way to get good tabletop figures without putting my nascent painting skills to the test prematurely.

I debated what color primer to use. I'd read that white and black were the de facto standards. White being good to make your bright colors pop and black being good to hide the spots you might miss in the deepest darkest recesses of the mini. Since my Scots would have a lot of exposed skin due to the lack of pants, I decided to follow the Celt Regiment example on the Army Painter site and prime them with Barbarian Flesh.

I stuck three of my Scots levy onto a yard stick with Blu-Tack. I then laid a large cardboard box against the wall of the patio. I tried to keep the paint can the recommended distance away and use smooth strokes. With the figures on the yard stick I felt like I was able to move them around enough to give them a good coat. I gave the floor of the patio and some of the screen enclosure a good coat too. I guess next time I'll opt for a larger piece of cardboard.

When all was said and done, I missed a few spots (under the arms, etc). Maybe this is the nature of spraying or maybe I need more practice. Perhaps I shouldn't have based them first (or the yardstick was too wide). This might have prevented the spray getting up under them. Right now, I feel like if I have to bust out the brush to do touch-up, I might as well just prime them with the brush. Much like I feel about using the dishwasher: if I have to rinse the dishes before I put them in, why don't I just wash them by hand in the first place?

I'll give spraying another go, but it seems like a messy proposition. And I haven't even gotten to the varnish slinging phase of the Army Painter method yet.


  1. I prime via spray because I'm hitting 20+ figs in a pass. I have a very large box for spraying in the winter. I set the box in the utility room on its side and spray the figs in the box, catching the heavy stuff. The trick is to rotate the figs. All on one side toward you, then rotate a bit on the same side (like a clock) and catch new angles. Do for other side. Let dry and flip and repeat.

  2. Thanks, Monty. How many angles do you think you rotate the figs through?

  3. I set mine up for spraying on a lump of 2x1 long enough for 36 figures. I spray fronts from below, face on, then slightly above, turn the stick and repeat on the back.
    As always when you spray figures no matter how hard you try a bit will be missed, so a pot of black primer and a brush finish the job before painting