Customs: Paint primers, what and why?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by I AM MEGATRON, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. I AM MEGATRON

    I AM MEGATRON pleasure model

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    Hey everyone, I have a few questions regarding painting figures...mainly in pre painting..applying primers.
    I've seen figures where people have used either black, gray, or some sort of coloured primer. Which primer colour do you prefer, and why?
    Also,
    1) How do you approach painting/primering areas like ball joints, and hard to reach areas? These would be areas that are say..underneath another area. Like having a grill that you would paint silver, but underneath the grill would be another colour.

    2) How do you approach painting/primering areas that you cant disassemble. i.e. joints that are hinged or uses a pin.

    I'd be really interested to know everyone's take on these..I've read through tutorials, but am not getting a good picture on what to do. Also to know peoples preferences and reasoning for primer usage.
    Thanks,
    K
     
  2. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Primer Color: Depends on the top coat of paint. I don't think we have a tutorial on primers, but maybe we should create one. Primers are really important for metallic colors. If you have a dark basecote, you're metallic color is going to come out dark, if you have a light base coat, you're metallic will come out much lighter.

    Some paints make okay primers, such as the fusion flat black or fusion flat white, although I think they leave the surface kinda rough and you may need to take a high grit sand paper to give a smooth surface. Tamiya Primer works really well at taking out small imperfections and creating a surfrace that ready to take paint. Another advantage of the fusions is that they make a good bonding surface to the figure. Just have to try them out and see what you like.

    1. Hard to reach areas can be done by taking the figure apart and then taking your time painting each area, either with a detail brush or spraying one side, let it dry, spray the other side. I usually don't paint ball joints unless they need to be tightened, you rarely see them.

    2. I just take my time spraying different areas, I'm not all that concerned with painting hte whole figure at once.
     
  3. altezen

    altezen Well-Known Member

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    I think priming the surface is always very important especially if you are airbrushing. The paint coat is very thin and a layer of primer is needed to help the paint adhere better.

    Another reason to use primer is that it will cover the original color and you won't need to thick a layer of paint to cover the original color. However, there are 2 or more colors of primer. Gray is most commonly used, eg Tamiya Primer or Gunze Mr Surfacer. If you want to paint a brighter color like red, orange or yellow, you may have to consider using white primer. eg. Gunze Mr White Surfacer.

    I normally use gray primer to help spot imperfections in the mold, rectify them by sanding with sandpaper and reprime again.

    Most importantly, make sure the plastic surfaces to be painted are cleaned before applying any paint or primer. The mold release agent used in making plastic is oily and does not allow paint to adhere very well.

    Hopefully I am making sense.
     
  4. blacklion29

    blacklion29 Merlion Gestalt

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    does tamiya flat black considered as primer?
     
  5. I AM MEGATRON

    I AM MEGATRON pleasure model

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    Thanks for info so far..I probably should rephrase the question a bit. I understand the use of primer, and as the first poster said, it depends on the colours to be used in the end. But I see other people using red primer and blue every once in a while, I was just wondering what was the preference in using these kinds of colours rather than gray and black.

    As to painting hard to reach areas, what if you cant take them apart...like its a solid piece or pieces are glued over another with a gap in between..how do you approach painting the lower level with a different colour than the level above it?
     
  6. altezen

    altezen Well-Known Member

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    Don't think that Tamiya Paint can be considered a primer. Primers bites into the plastic and allow the paints to adhere better.

    Sometimes I think strong adhesive paints are mistakening called primer. Some people will spray a layer of base color (Base coat) on the primer, before painting the final color to enhance the color. As I mentioned before, colors like red, orange and yellow are kind of translucent, so you need to use white to allow the final colors to brighten up.
     
  7. aurascope

    aurascope Kitbash Resource Indexer

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    my recommendation for ball-joints is that you don't paint them (both the socket and the ball) if the stock plastic colour is not too disruptive to your overall colour scheme. Personally, I cannot stand the sight of flaked or chipped paint on ball-joints anymore. I avoid painting them if I can now. These joints take alot of wear, so the paint won't stay anyway. I feel stupid painting them in the first place now.
     
  8. Kamileunbot

    Kamileunbot Scout Class

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    I was told by a guy in a hobby store that you shouldn't use spray paints on models with moving joints because it will scratch off. Surely this couldn't be true, since many people seem to use it as a base? Can't you keep it from flaking once you're finished by applying gloss coat?
     
  9. yongkykun

    yongkykun Well-Known Member

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    Oh man, I bought Leader Prime and Meg because I wanted to repaint them. But now that I know how complicated it is, I might as well sell them on eBay and forget about the whole thing.
     
  10. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Sanding down areas that rub can reduce this as well as applying future. You can make it chip resistant.

    Just save them and start on something smaller. Once you get your feet wet on a few smaller figures, work your way to those larger figures.
     
  11. eisen

    eisen "CUT ME SOME SLACKS!"

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    i sand some ball joints that have plastic colors i KNOW will clash with the final top coat, so i sand them until they're loose and paint them in flat black. i use bosny acrylic industrial spray paint as my primer when i'm drybrushing metallic colors.

    if they're attatched to pins, i hammer them out. if they're like wheels and i'm a bit squeamish, i mask them off from the other parts to be painted. it takes longer but it's well worth it.
     
  12. yongkykun

    yongkykun Well-Known Member

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    Is there another name for primer? I asked one of the local hobby shop in my town and they say " wha?".
     
  13. altezen

    altezen Well-Known Member

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    Try asking for Mr. Surfacer 1000 or 1200 grey primer from Gunze/Mr Hobby.
     
  14. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    same here. If possible, I will swap in balls that match the color of the custom. Typically black work for a lot of them.
     
  15. BrokenSVT

    BrokenSVT It's not broken anymore.

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    Another simple tip for balljoints is to use a Sharpie on them. The ink won't chip, and typically won't rub off. Silver or black work well, depending on the color scheme of the project in question.
     
  16. zeroXII

    zeroXII metallicon

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    Don't fret just yet. I had the same intentions as well. Here's a tip for you, keep it simple, unscrew what is only absolutely necessary and mask off the rest. Preferably with Tamiya painter's tape. It worked like a charm for me.

    Here's my results. Not professional by any means, but satisfactory enough:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. yongkykun

    yongkykun Well-Known Member

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    great job zeroXII! unscrewing some of the joints may not be a problem. From what I see, the problem is that some of the panels are not detachable. Let me list them:
    1. the blue panels at the lower legs, both the inner side and the back side. On a side note, I found that the ones at the back side can be half-opened to make the legs look a little more beefier.
    2. blue panels near the shoulder which becomes the door for the truck mode.
    3. mech alive gears inside the chest panels.

    any help here would be great. thanks.
     
  18. eisen

    eisen "CUT ME SOME SLACKS!"

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    i saw someone take apart the mech alive feature to drybrush them:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. yongkykun

    yongkykun Well-Known Member

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    yeah, I saw his thread. But he didn't give us much of a clue as to how he did that.
     
  20. zeroXII

    zeroXII metallicon

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    I didn't take those apart. Just used Tamiya tape to mask them off. Takes some effort to cover it all nicely, and you need to do some fine cutting to cover the tiny areas, but it works.

    As for the mech alive gears, i got lazy and left it untouched. I'd rather not touch the sensitive parts and risk screwing it up lol...
     

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