Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dwarfs Part I: Color Primer Test

...as I mentioned in my previous post, I've decided to build an entire Dwarf army in one shot - I'll have a couple of goals here:  I want to finish the entire army quickly, but have it be good (read: substantially above "tabletop") quality, have some custom touches, and be able to sell it to fund this years' trip to Adepticon.  As such, I'm going to try some "shortcut" methods that I've read about, but never actually tried myself - the first being colored primer from The Army Painter:

...this product has been around for a while - some hobbyists swear by it, others loathe it.  I suspect (like most things) the truth lies somewhere in between.  While planning the color scheme for my Dwarf army, it seemed that the majority of the models would be covered with chainmail, and holding axes & shields - so I decided to go with the "Gun Metal" primer.  (I also picked up a can of "Greenskin", for when I finally get around to painting my fantasy Orcs).  Another nice thing is that you can get small dropper bottles of paint that match the primers, so you don't have to worry about decanting the spray paint or trying to mix up a perfect match for small touch ups.

The first caveat:  this stuff is expensive.  Like, four or five times the price per can than the cheap automotive primer that I usually use.  So be aware.

Next, I started doing some research.  All the complaints I've read about the Army Painter primers seem to be relating to them going on too thick and gumming up the details - one thing I gleaned from my research: the Army Painter colored primers need to be applied with a slightly different technique than most spray primers. One of the best instructional videos I came across was this video from Jawaballs:

For a test, I used one of the accessories that came with the Skull Pass box, a Dwarf wagon:

Using the technique Jawaballs described in his video, I have to say the primer came out well.  Good coverage, no loss of detail.  One thing I was pleased with:  this stuff dries fast.  Like really fast - as a rule, with most spray primers I let the models dry overnight, and sometimes they'll still feel a tiny bit "tacky" after 24 hours.  This stuff feels bone dry and ready to take paint in fifteen minutes.

One thing I did notice, though, was that it dried very "slippery": I went to apply some paint with a brush, and it just smeared around instead of going where I wanted it to - there was no "tooth" to the surface of the primer.  I have a feeling that this is probably only a problem with the metallics, but I haven't used any of the other colors yet, so I can't be sure - I know I talked with Funderhammer who has used the non-metallic versions of these primers before, and he didn't mention any similar problems.  To remedy this, I gave the model a blast of Dull-Cote, and it seemed to fix the problem.

I was satisfied enough with the test to move forward with the rest of the army.  Up next: mass priming!

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