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"Thin primer for fine detail" Topic

20 Posts

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3,028 hits since 19 Jun 2011
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Pajaro Muerto19 Jun 2011 9:10 p.m. PST

Hi all!

I normally use a cheap $2 USD gray enamel spray primer, but this time I need something that does not cover up fine detail. I have heard of Games Workshop and Vallejo acrylic primers, but have never used them before.

I have three German Ju-52 from GHQ in 1/285, that when I got them I was happily surprised at the corrugated metal detail on all the plane's skin!


I'd like advice from you gentle fellows on any fancy primers that will not fill in all the fine grooves on the planes' surfaces, please. Brushable is OK :)

Thanks in advance,

Rubber Suit Theatre19 Jun 2011 11:08 p.m. PST

I've dunked miniatures in acrylic floor polish as a clear primer. It has the advantage of getting into all of the crevices, and wicks away from pooling spots easily enough. Very tough, very thin, very paintable. Depending on the opacity of your base coat you may still need a coat of white or black to keep the metal from showing through.

Greenfield Games20 Jun 2011 3:18 a.m. PST

P3 (from Privateer Press) primer goes on really thin and very smooth. I highly recommend it.

Madmike1 Inactive Member20 Jun 2011 4:40 a.m. PST

The correct stuff to use is auto lacquer primer , it is designed to be super thin. You will need to go to a auto paint supplier to get it but its a lot cheaper than most other alternatives.

rct7500120 Jun 2011 4:53 a.m. PST

I have always used GW White Spray on my GHQ stuff for years – never had any issues with clogging.

bluewillow20 Jun 2011 4:55 a.m. PST

get yourself a airbrush, the only way to be sure


Personal logo oldbob Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2011 5:59 a.m. PST

I'm way to anal, I use two coats of very thin brush on primer either P3 or Vallejo. Do want all the detail to stand out.

thejoker Inactive Member20 Jun 2011 7:39 a.m. PST

VHT car primer paint. Good coverage and thin.

boy wundyr x Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2011 11:51 a.m. PST

Gesso should be ok too.

show some respect for women Inactive Member20 Jun 2011 2:51 p.m. PST

There may be folks out there that have painted more 1/72 aircraft than myself, but I have yet to meet them.

First clean the surface in a detergent solution and allow to dry completely.

Then use a sandable automotive primer -- spray can.

On my latest project I ran out of a color I can no longer buy. Needed an exact color match.

Went down to Home Depot -- got an 8oz color match sample of a Behr or Glidden paint/primer -- all in one.

Actually works really good -- a bit thick but easily thinned out. Brushed this on -- no visible brush strokes. Really happy with my results.

Oh the best part -- 8oz jar was $3.95.


Personal logo RelliK Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jun 2011 7:17 p.m. PST

Hopefully you get this in time.

Tamiya Fine Surface Primer.

Hope you can get over the price.

Mike ;)

P.S. Can't stand frost.

Pajaro Muerto20 Jun 2011 11:21 p.m. PST

Wow! Thanks a lot fellows. I'm curious about this P3 primers from Privateer Press. Too bad they only have black or white, 'cause I mostly paint WWII planes, where midtones abound. White would be good for the Eastern Front :)

oldbob70: So is it a spray, or a bottle for brushing on? Sure looks like a big ol' spray can!


rct75001: I read on other posts about the Games Workshop primers, and the gossip goes that they are just re-labeled normal flat enamel paint. Any thoughts on this?

RelliK: I'll look into the Tamiya Fine Surface Primer. The inclusion of the word "Fine" in the name is a simple-mided marketing ploy that works on simple-minded me :)

Please keep the discussion going; this topic is interesting for all painters I guess.


Personal logo oldbob Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2011 8:14 a.m. PST

After all these years I only use brush on stuff, it come in a very small bottle. Don't use spray on's anymore, their is just so much detail on all these models now days, I can't stand to lose detail. Their was a time when I spent more time cleaning the models than painting them. A couple of these other primers sound very interesting,the automotive and Tamiya primers looks like something to try.

Personal logo ThorLongus Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2011 4:27 a.m. PST

Thinned gesso for me

NOLA Chris Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2011 2:34 p.m. PST

Krylon sandable grey primer.

I've oversprayed on purpose, and the stuff just seems to shrink to the detail.

Chris the Tall

Personal logo oldbob Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2011 8:40 a.m. PST

Tall Chris; I'm curious, do you have any photos of your work.

mgaffn1 Inactive Member08 Aug 2011 10:08 a.m. PST

I use flat black by Design Master. It's sold in Michaels as a floral paint. (ok, ok, stop laughing -- it really does work well, good adhesion but very "thin")

Chips88 Inactive Member23 Aug 2011 3:06 p.m. PST

mgaffn1 -

We don't laugh at anything that works….



Personal logo Don Manser Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Oct 2011 2:35 p.m. PST

Primer will always be a little thick.

Flat black spray paint has always worked well for me.


jaxenro01 Nov 2011 1:34 p.m. PST

I use slightly thinned gesso – goes on like gloop and looks like you screwed up then dries down tight as a drum and everything shows through it

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