For me, Testors is more available in local art supply stores than Tamiya’s product (which is billed as more specialized). It is what it is. As with any primer with filling properties, be careful you don’t over-coat your model. So, this may even be why you are having a hard time assembling pewter models. Recommended: Rust-Oleum’s automotive primer holds up well when sanding or smoothing and can be used on metal or resin miniatures. Games Workshop’s Citadel range is well known and you can also pick up Primers from Army painter & Privateer Press. Testors is a direct competitor of Tamiya’s product. These also come in a range of colours. You can let some of the primer show through in the shadowed recesses! I LOVE Vallejo paints (especially their Metal Color Paint which is FANTASTIC! The Citadel Paint Contrast Spray is about $25 online and more in stores. Brush (3) Primer (15) Sealer (2) Spray (12) Surfaces., Ah, I will look for it. They are similar on almost every level that I can investigate through online research. The Stynlylrez are a somewhat new brand compared to some of the other primers on the list and less well known. RELATED: BEST 10 AIRBRUSHES FOR PAINTING MINIATURES. Easy to find at local hobby shops or game stores. And, in general, you’ll be painting other colors on top of those first primer layers anyway. The Rust-Oleum Automotive Primer sells for around $5 per can, which makes this the cheapest aerosol spray primer on this list. 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. Cheap spray primers are especially useful for MDF terrain, laser cut parts and terrain pieces, gaming boards, and 3D printed pieces, e.g., PLA or resin 3D printed pieces, which are larger than smaller scale models. This primer did not make the main list, however, because it can be difficult to find in local stores or online (at least in my local areas that I’ve searched for). Applying it this way will always result in thicker layers. My experience with this primer for metal miniatures is also good. So getting some rustoleum primer white/black for some of my miniatures and Armada fighters, but also looking to paint Zombicide Black Plague. This is my favorite primer for most miniature and modeling jobs. Other than that, I actually can’t find a weakness in the actual primer itself. It is best applied with a brush in layers. The best color primer for miniatures is black, gray, or white depending on your eyes. 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. Many figures are made in casts. In general, although hard to find in some countries, and usually with long delivery times, the AK Interactive Primer has some of the best features of my personal favorite Vallejo Surface Primer. But, everyone has their preferred workflow. This primer is no exception. Because it is an indoor/outdoor primer, it is resilient to many insults from the environment. If you’re into makeup and cosmetics, you already know why you need a primer. A perfect spray enamel primer for all your modeling needs. When in doubt, thin your primer (just like you would your paints). This comes in a 12 oz spray can, completely different from the drop bottle as our previous option. That’s the only problem I have with this primer: the bottle cap. A primer allows you to confidently apply an artistic medium, make-up or acrylic paint, and improve your ability to control how it looks. Just be aware if you’re out in freezing cold or crazy humidity, your results might be crappy. You only need a thin layer of primer on miniatures to properly prepare a surface for paint. The best primer for painting miniatures depends on the surface material. This means you probably want an enamel-based primer. Ideal for metal surfaces in heavy-duty and commercial environments. Hold the nozzle about 6-12″ away from the miniature while you spray. What are the best primers for miniature painting? Liquitex provides this gesso in one of the thinner viscosity forms. This means that they form a tight, non-porous and auto-smoothing layer directly on the unpainted surface of your models. 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. I have definitely noticed this with Rustoleum primer paints, but it does not seem to be the case with these. To my knowledge, I don’t know if there is an airbrush ready enamel-based primer designed for miniatures. Auto-smooths as it dries on any surface, including plastic and metal models. It’s just my favorite and that’s that. Although this Krylon Primer is durable, versatile for many surfaces, and inexpensive, it sprays on pretty thick. If you are at a convention, in a small apartment, or the weather is too cold or too humid to spray outside, you may need to apply primer with a paintbrush. The caps tend to clog up, and little drops of liquid dry on the edges of the opening, which makes them hard to close. Primers. Cheaper primers, e.g., automotive or outdoor furniture primers, are formulated to cover surface fast. I've had no problems gluing to it either, however I mask off the wood edge that will be glued if I am spray painting while the pieces are still flat (which is easiest). They make several colored primers that exactly match their paint from the rest of their line. This can be easily constructed from a recycled cardboard box. It can be brushed on, but I use it through an airbrush. 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. It can be used for thinning both primer and model paints, and act as a flow-improver. Recommended: Liquitex Gray Gesso is inexpensive, resilient to scratches, and stretches as it dries, creating a very smooth and pleasant work surface. Legacy of awesome. I’m still leaning Stynylrez though. Think of Joey wearing all of Chandler’s shirts on that one episode of. Start the spray away from the miniature and then spray over it in short bursts from at least 6 inches away. If you’re considering getting an airbrush. This is especially important for gunpla models, where you need to preserve panel line and rivet details. Some hobbyists actually prefer the brush-on method, but it requires a lot more skill and patience than spray methods. My latest guidebook, The Miniature Painting Level Up Guide lays it all out for you. This is a highly recommended all purpose primer. Use a flat-headed brush and take your time. The Vallejo Surface Primer sells for $16 and worth every penny! I used Rustoleum interior/exterior quick drying spray paint. For the price, these are also the most inexpensive of the modeling primers available right now. White primer will help you see details in the surface of the model. The white undertone will not dampen the colors and you won’t have to apply as many layers trying to overcome the darkness. The primer, therefore, must cover thinly and evenly, bonding securely to the miniature material and providing a textured surface for the paint. Aerosols aren’t great for the environment. It’s a lot less noticeable if you miss anything. Let it dry completely. AK Interactive recommends that you use their thinner. Each application method has it’s own benefits and draw backs. It effectively forms a hardened surface with the model you’re working on. The Liquitex Neutral Gray Gesso is a gesso compound that sells for $9. I had looked at Gesso as a primer for 1/72 soft plastic miniatures. Tamiya fine surface primer provides a very thin mist that finely coats your models, preserving all the small details. In general, it is best to use rattle can primers in lower humidity and normal room temperatures. The best practice for painting a miniature requires that you “sandwich” your acrylic paint between a primer and varnish. I coated the miniature with a coat of gloss lacquer, I think I was using Rustoleum. Stynylrez black primer, and Vallejo model air white over that. 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. I use many brands of miniature paints for my work, e.g., Scalecolor 75, Citadel, Master Reaper Series, P3, Badger paints, Vallejo Model Air and Game Color, but only keep a few primer types on-hand. It has easily replaced multiple aerosol spray primer because of how well it coats. Vallejo makes a great surface primer (my favorite) that you can either brush-on or use with an airbrush. For metal miniatures, you want a primer that hardens and for lack of better words, “sticks better” to the metal or resin surface. The most difficult parts of a figure are the tiny crevices within the fine details of the model. In other words, do you like painting something to make it lighter; or, would you prefer to darken a model as you make progress? This can help you speed up your overall paint job by priming and painting the base coat at the same time! Primer may not adhere properly if the temperature is too cold or the air is too humid. Although miniature companies have produced colored primers, they are expensive for what you’re getting. I struggled at first when trying to figure it all out, but there’s no need for you to do the same. The first step in miniature painting, therefore, is always to wash the figures. Spray farther away and in very light misting coats. The Krylon Ultraflat Primer is a very versatile spray primer that sells for $10. Both are similarly priced with a similar kind of enamel-based formulation for undercoating highly-detailed miniatures and scale models. Prep your model or miniature before priming. In contrast to acrylic paint, primers do not absorb water after they dry. These programs are designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to the above affiliated sites. As with any aerosol, there is also the need for good ventilation. In terms of price, it is on par with other competitor products, e.g., Citadel. You CAN buy “miniatures primer” which is designed for minis, if you feel like paying three to four times more for what is essentially the same thing. This can be done with simple soap and water but must never be skipped. You can’t go wrong with either of these primers. both make cheap, widely available primers that work great on. In general, this is similar to the Citadel primer. For most hobbyist, this is the best primer because of its accessibility and easy of use: just shake-the-can, hold back a few inches (6-12″), and spray in quick bursts. In zenithal highlighting methods, you either airbrush or use another white-color spray paint (this could be another primer or simply white paint) over the black primer-colored model. RELATED: RECOMMENDED ACRYLIC PAINT SETS FOR PAINTING MINIATURES. It’s okay if you can still see the bare surface of your model under a brush-on primer. It’s less accurate, so if you’re adding a highlight coat with a rattle can it’s not as easy. I much prefer the color of Necrotic Flesh and the other Army Painter primer colors, but their price tag being 5-6 times more than what I can get other brands for has me searching for alternatives. Pic 1: Navy over a white primer coat. Back in my hobby youth I used to live in a small apartment with my wife. 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. Unlike miniature-specific primers, however, industrial primers can be sanded down after drying, giving you the chance to smooth out the surface before painting. No kidding. I’ve often left gesso on my models to dry for up to 24 hours. So, the question “What is the Best Primer Color?” is a good one! For more information, see the TMP FAQ. Glue doesn’t adhere well to that residue of mold-release. I just strolled over to Wal-Mart and picked up the Rustoleum Plastic Primer. Other colors are available. A black primer can be useful if you don’t want to spend a lot of time fussing over your miniature. Colors used in the pics: Evening Navy, Golden Leaf, Harvest Grape and Krylon Matte Lilac. Also, as with aerosols, you need a good space to safely spray this an avoid the harmful vapors. I happened on AK Interactive’s black and white sprays recently. For example, you can get “flesh’ colored primer if most of your model is flesh-toned. Some primers work best on plastic, whereas other primers work best on metals. It’s well regarded by the miniature and modeling community. I should note that the can is small, which is useful for portability. It can be used for thinning both primer and model paints, and act as a flow-improver. This is a very fast way to add contrast. I love this stuff. 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. I don’t have this problem with the airbrush, but rattle cans yes. We’ll start this detailed analysis by taking a look at Krylon. The method by which you apply primer to your miniature can greatly affect the results. Dries to the touch … And, for best results try to spray this rattle can primer in relatively low humidity at room temperature (25C or 70F). 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. This gesso offers a balanced absorbency and dries completely clear. Given their price and the reputation of the Badger company, I would recommend them as the best airbrush ready primer for miniatures. This adds a “light source” from above the miniature. Harmful vapors are not friendly to painting in a basement or enclosed area with poor ventilation. Each layer of primer coat you apply to a plastic miniature will slowly build up in the recesses. This means you need to be careful when you want to preserve details on a miniature. More helpful tips like this can be found right here, or you can pick up your copy of The Miniature Painting Level Up Guide today to have everything you need to know to start your hobby the right way and become more skilled with every painting job. In my opinion, the black primer is the best in terms of quality of the primer surface. My track has one primer coat of white Kiltz sanded (Kiltz oil, never latex since it's unsandable). There is some limitations though to this primer (see below). 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. As a primer for miniatures and models, Krylon spray primer is also inexpensive! Here are the 10 best primers for painting plastic and metal miniatures: An Alternative to Enamel-Based Spray Primers is the Traditional Gesso, Best Cheap Primers for Large Miniatures and 3D Printing, 10 Best Primers for Painting Plastic and Metal Miniatures, Bonus: AK Interactive Primer and Microfiller. , you can find large cans of industrial or automotive primer for a lot cheaper than those packaged as being for miniatures. 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. Rust-Oleum primer is also known to protect against environmental exposure, blocking out ambient moisture. As a spray, you’ll also find that a lot of the primer is wasted if you’re not careful to direct it at a fairly large surface area on a model. the miniature is made out of will affect the type of primer you want to use. This isn’t much of an issue on auto parts or large figures, but on miniatures, these layers can quickly obscure fine details. My current favorite color to paint on top of. As I mentioned above, I use the same primers on metal and plastic. It comes in many different colors. Black primer lets you just paint lighter colors. I use the brand that is on sale when I walk into the store. Many colors are available from Army Painter for this primer. It is a technical skill to properly apply brush-on primer (which is why I suggested the best primers for miniatures are spray-on). It can be admittedly intimidating trying to gather all the essential equipment and products when you’re just getting started with the hobby. A quick and gentle cleaning with a toothbrush and mild soap can make a big difference. Miniatures by design are covered by intricate details created by small etches in the surface of the material. Finally, a good reason to use gesso as your primer for painting miniatures is if you use oil paints. Maybe you do want to hide fine scratches, bubbles, or imperfections on your models. If painting outdoors or in a garage, take care to only prime when weather conditions are favorable. For example, Tamiya makes a rattle can primer for miniatures that is highly popular for professional and competitive miniature painters. It also sticks really well to any model surface, including plastic, metal, or resin. While the most common primer colors are white, black, and gray, you can find miniature-specific primer in just about any color. Homepage / auto / Primers. Exactly what you need to know, when you need it, all in one place. It’s a rattle can primer. Not sure if you’re using the right brush? 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. But, this mold-release lubricant repels primer and paint. The multiple available colors also make it the best choice for those who want to paint fast, skipping the base coat layers. The simplest way to airbrush a primer is to use an airbrush-ready primer, such as the Badger’s Stynylrez airbrush-ready surface primers or AK Interactive Primer and Microfiller. In general, rattle cans have more limited use than compared with polyurethane-based primers, which come in larger volume bottle for less cost. This is my favorite primer, hands down. You can achieve really good highlighting with this technique. This should only take a few minutes, as this stuff dries fast! I use a cheap synthetic brush for priming and base coating models. In miniature and model painting, gesso is particularly useful for metal or resin because of its durability. Even though the primer is designed to go underneath your paint, it is not clear in color. As anyone foolish enough to apply paint directly to a miniature will soon find out, primer offers. For those who need a definitive answer: use black primer for speed painting. In general, almost all primers produced by dedicated modeling companies have primers designed specifically to adhere and “smooth out” as they dry on plastic (or metal) miniatures. Gesso is fairly hard compound formulated with plaster or some type of glue-like substance. Vallejo has pretty much the same end result if I’m honest, it just requires me to thin it. Read more about painting miniatures with oil paints here. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. You’ll strain to see what exactly you’re painting at times. It comes in many colors and functions easily as a spray on primer. However, the black colored primer has the best reviews. Gray is obviously the halfway point between black and white, and it actually does a good job for priming. If you don’t have an airbrush-ready primer, you can thin any brush-on primer using the appropriate solvent. Primers and paints should only be used in a well-ventilated area as the fumes can be toxic. You should apply a primer only after washing and drying your models. The negative space of the mold is filled with either liquid metal, resin, or plastic. It’ll easily obscure things like panel lines, rivets, and small folds in sculpts that are in the 28mm scale. You’re looking to create a primer “mist” that settles on the model. Apply the plastic primer according to the directions on the back of the can. This is a great spray primer. ... Rust-Oleum 290971 Zinsser All-Purpose Primer, 13 Oz Aerosol Can, Liquid, Gray. I’m not a fan of the bottle caps on these Badger paints and primers. Filling in the shadows before you add paint will help you finish those first few base coats quicker. Are you looking for the best primer for painting plastic or metal miniatures? But, also note that these are airbrush-ready primers formulated as an acrylic-polyurethane undercoat. When shopping for primers, you’ll quickly notice that not only are there many varieties to choose from, but there is also a drastic difference in pricing and quantity. Because of it’s branding, this primer is usually found in most hobby or local game stores. You can see which one I recommend here on my gear page. 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. There are plenty of situations in which you are unable to spray primer. Simple, effective, and very inexpensive! Citadel by Games Workshop is a staple for many people. Spraying primer requires a dedicated and well-ventilated spraying station. Check out all of my miniature painting articles to discover tips, techniques, product reviews, and more. If the miniature still has this release agent on it, the primer and paint won’t bond well to the surface. You want to avoid obscuring details. As with other aerosol sprays, it requires a ventilated area for safe use. Rust-Oleum Auto Primers offer the ultimate top coat adhesion and appearance. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Many miniature painters use gesso for priming miniatures and models. The Army Painter Primer sells for $16. Note that if you’re using an airbrush with a nozzle size of 0.3mm (or smaller), you may want to thin your primers with water or dedicated thinner mediums. Applying primer with an airbrush is the easiest way to apply very thin, even coats of primer and to prevent air bubbles. It can be tricky and time consuming to paint these valleys, especially if you need to apply multiple layers. 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. As a shortcut, black primer also lets you use zenithal highlighting. Overall, it’s a toss up between Army Painter and Citadel branded primers. The shadows are taken care of for you. Using black primer lets you keep contrast easier on a model. Metal and resin miniatures may have a greasy. Regardless of the side, you’re on concerning the debate of Krylon vs Rustoleum, you can’t deny that the other is a good product in its own stead. Priming miniatures in that tiny 3rd floor walkup was a pain between the fumes, overspray and not pissing off my wife. Let me start by saying you don’t have to seal (varnish) your miniatures. These are by far the most commonly used colors of primer and each has some advantages. Here’s why: Gesso is a hard compound, usually plaster or glue-based, that is traditionally used on canvas, or stone and ceramic sculptures, before painting. Red, for example, might take a lot of layers before you get the full color. This means that these primers are created to spray-on in thick layers. No thinning, no nothing. The higher quality the miniature, in fact, the more finely detailed and textured it will be. It covers in one coat and remains brilliantly white, flexible, and non-cracking. Rusty Metal Primer transforms heavily rusted metal into a paintable surface that topcoats can easily adhere to. Some hobbyists swear by white, and others refuse to prime with white. Gesso creates a more absorbent surface than typical primers, which is helpful for toning the model’s surface and allowing those first “lean” oil layers stick.