Thursday, 30 June 2011

Steps to Being a Better Miniature Painter – Part 3

 Section 1) Preparation Part 3

This will be the last post regarding the preparation of the models, I swear.  As previously mentioned, the reason why I go into so much detail for the preparation is because I truly believe that this is the foundation of a great paint job.

Primer- Once again, this may seem completely intuitive, but you should always prime your models. I do know people who just use GWs Foundation paint line on bare plastic models, but I personally always prime my miniatures.  Priming ensures that when you paint the minis, the paint stays on them.   This is imperative for any metal model, as it will seem that just looking at these minis will cause them to scratch.  I know that a common debate among miniature painters is what colour primer should you use to basecoat your model.  The most often used colours are white, and black, with Grey being a close third.  Based on my experience with primers, the best answer I can give you is “It depends on what colours you are painting”.
If you are painting primarily dark colours (e.g. dark blues, dark reds, browns, etc), or you are planning on using paints such as GW Foundation paints, black is the way to go. Frankly, black-based models are much easier to hide missed spots, and are easier to shade. I always use Black primer when I am painting my Ork army, for example. I tend to use dark colours, so the black primer looks great on these models. However, if you are going to be using primarily lighter colours (yellows, whites, greys), obviously you do not want to use black primer on your models. It will take many coats of paint to get these vibrant colours to look decent if you do. I tend to use white primer when I am painting my Tyranid army, for example. I like getting a blue basecoat after priming, which gives the recesses of the tyranid models a dark blue tinge. Overall, I really like the effect. I will definitely be putting up photos in the near future of these models, so you can get a better understanding of what I am talking about. However, one solution that people are doing today is using black primer, then bright Foundation paints, then highlighting with these vibrant colours. In my experience, they also tend to turn out quite nicely.  Luckily, GW offers excellent primers in both white and black.   There has also been a trend lately towards using Grey primers, especially on armies such as Grey Knights. I have seen several of these models, and it does appear that the silver paint goes over grey primer quite nicely and easily. However, I have little experience with this colour of primer, so I will end here.

So, to summarize, preparation is VERY IMPORTANT and use dark primers on dark painted models and light primers on light painted models. Pretty straight-forward. In my next post, I will be covering foundation colours and the importance of layering colours on a model. Hope you enjoy.


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