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""Angles of attack" employed when spray undercoating?" Topic

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1,134 hits since 9 Dec 2013
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Doug em4miniatures Inactive Member09 Dec 2013 5:12 a.m. PST

After a gap of many years (decades even) I'm spray undercoating again and I find that the spray just doesn't get into the underneath parts of the figures so that I'm having to spray front, back, fore and aft (4 "angles") with the models standing and then lie them down and spray from the base front and back, thus making 6 different angles they are sprayed from – that's a lot of paint uselessly going into the atmosphere.

Is this typical or are there any tips for a more economical (both in time and paint) method?


zippyfusenet Inactive Member09 Dec 2013 5:24 a.m. PST

That's always been my experience. Spray priming wastes a lot of paint and propellant to fully cover a figure. It's not really much faster than brush priming, since I have to let one coat of spray primer dry before I can turn the figures over and hit them again. And there are always undercuts and angles that the spray misses.

Funny, that I have none of these problems clear-coating with spray laquer. I really hose the figures down with the laquer, and it seems to flow over the figures better than primer does.

moonfleetminis Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Dec 2013 5:27 a.m. PST

I lay the models down (foot troops) and spray "horizontally" so the underside of the models. let them dry and turn them over and spray again "from the bottoem of the model, and then the two sides. Let them dry and then stand them up and spray in lines, front and back and from sides. So , many angles.
So i would be in the "typical" bracket,

Prince Rupert of the Rhine09 Dec 2013 5:34 a.m. PST

Sounds about right.

I think if you are only doing a couple of miniatures undercoating with a brush is fine. If I've got fifty to do even taking into account the angles and drying time of the spray it's still less work to spray than undercoating each miniature with a brush.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2013 5:43 a.m. PST

Same for me. I lay mine down. 2 coats from 4-5 sides, dry, then turn over and repeat. About 75 (28mm) figures per can of paint.

I've never painted on primer in 30 years.

And why does varnish work different? I have noticed that with gloss varnish it's not as glossy on some parts of the figure. I think it has to do with over spray.

Big Jim Inactive Member09 Dec 2013 5:52 a.m. PST

I stick them to a wooden pole in rows. Allows easy handling and less wasted paint as something else ends up with paint on it when attackng the difficult angles.

Who asked this joker09 Dec 2013 6:09 a.m. PST

I spray from 4 angles. Then when dry I flip on one side. Spray. Dry. Flip to the other side and spray again. So it's 6 angles of attack for me.

IGWARG1 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian09 Dec 2013 6:23 a.m. PST

Same here. I stopped spraying long time ago because of that and because of the fumes. I just brush with regular paint to which I add a bit of white glue.

Dr Mathias Fezian09 Dec 2013 6:41 a.m. PST

I lay them down, spray, flip, spray, stand them up, spray, rotate 180 and spray. No f'ing way I'm brushing on primer, I absolutely hate base coating and that would feel like I'm doing that twice :p

Parzival09 Dec 2013 6:57 a.m. PST

Oh, Lordy, yes. I was just bemoaning that my recently spray-primed figures, gone at in three spraying sessions from every conceivable angle, still had bare metal showing. It was all in deep recesses, and largely from underneath (not that significant in mass-mounted 10mm figures), but still supremely annoying— especially sense a rare window of priming weather just ended. frown

Personal logo Striker Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2013 7:04 a.m. PST

I mount my 28mm on dowel attached to a juice can lid for stability, a pedestal. When I spray prime I can hit them from below that way (the dowel is about 1/2" and the minis are on 1" round washers), front & back then from above front & back. Wearing a disposable plastic glove protects my left hand so I can turn it as I spray. It's not foolproof but I don't have to lay them down. My 6mm is all on toothpicks so the same applies but there's usually less of an undercut issue so those toothpicks stuck in a block of florist foam allows me to turn the whole group, just not upside down.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Dec 2013 7:34 a.m. PST

I will often spray a figure 4 times when priming. I don't know about wasting paint as the stuff is only $1 USD a can. I guess at that price I just don't worry about it.

I spray them in the lids from boxes of paper or soda flats and usually cover the area in figures. I don't have any idea how many figures I get sprayed out of a can.

Also you don't need to worry about the weather when priming figures, as long as it isn't actually raining on them they will be fine.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Dec 2013 7:54 a.m. PST

For the most part this is why I brush on primer. It's just as fast in the end once you do 3 or 4 sprays and then touch up the missing bits anyway…plus I can do it inside at night…

Don Manser09 Dec 2013 8:02 a.m. PST

I hot glue them to 12" painting sticks. With a glove on the hand holding the stick I spray the figures in an upward direction getting into the under cuts. Then spray horizontally and vertically from the top. I keep a thinned bottle of flat black around to get into any crevices not painted.


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2013 8:07 a.m. PST

I mount the figs on a craft stick, cover the hand that holds the stick with a paper towel or glove and manipulate the stick around while I spray the figs. I find it to be faster than brushing on primer.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian09 Dec 2013 10:40 a.m. PST

Given that I prime a few hundred figures at a time, Spray is MUCH faster then brush

Brian Smaller09 Dec 2013 11:08 a.m. PST

I guess front, back, both sides, then a blast up their kilts, so to speak usually does it for me. I use flat black automotive primer that I can sometimes get on special at car parts places for a few bucks.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member09 Dec 2013 1:37 p.m. PST

I do the same as 79thPA, it works like a champ for me with 6mm, 10mm, and 15mm.

I will say that I only apply one coat, as opposed to letting them dry then hitting them from a different angle. I hit all the angles while holding the stick, put them down, then do the next one.


Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2013 2:49 p.m. PST

I will put the figures on a small "pedestal" of sorts so I can spray up from an angle lower than the bases as well as from above and all the way around. This works for me, but I still occasionally have to do a little touch up to fill in areas where the primer missed.

Brian Smaller09 Dec 2013 3:50 p.m. PST

Wearing a disposable plastic glove protects my left hand so I can turn it as I spray.

My spray painted left thumb tells me that I should have thought of this yesterday when undercoating some models.

ArkieGamer09 Dec 2013 4:00 p.m. PST

I typically mount 10-12 15mm figures on an 3/16" basswood square rod (around $2 USD at the local hobby lobby) with white glue. I have four or five of these rods, and I load them up with figures as needed.

I typically have a 12"-16" 'handle' left over at the end of the rod, and this gives me room to rotate, turn, twist, and otherwise manipulate the stick of figures while spraying. Using this method, I only apply one coat of primer. Very fast. Very easy.

On the downside, you may prime yourself if it's windy out, and this method is still wasteful of paint. Also, it's completely useless for painting vehicles of any real size.

Doug em4miniatures Inactive Member10 Dec 2013 5:46 a.m. PST

Interesting views here – thanks all.

I'm off to the garage to see how the 6th pass on yesterday's spraying has worked out….


Don Manser21 Dec 2013 10:39 a.m. PST

>>>My spray painted left thumb

It doesn't hurt to wear one on each hand to avoid the dreaded Amazonian Index Finger Black Rot and also helps when you take the other glove off.


flipper Inactive Member25 Mar 2014 11:54 a.m. PST


As an addition – I use a hairdryer to 'force' dry my figures.

Mainly because I don't want to wait for them to dry!

So for 6mm stuff, I lay paper on a board, lay figures down, sparay from 4 positions (front, back, left & right) – get the hairdtyer on them for a couple of minutes, flip figures over and repeat.

Several hundered figures primed and dry in a few minutes.

Invariably there will be a few spots of metal showing here and there – just hand prime these.

I remember a product (substance)that was mentioned many years ago which you could soak metal figures in which would turn them black – some kind of acid?

grommet37 Inactive Member27 Mar 2014 10:51 p.m. PST

I was wondering if I was overdoing it.

Such little models, so many angles…

Some good ideas here.

Myrmidons Inactive Member08 Mar 2015 7:06 p.m. PST

This topic inspired me to submit a workbench article last month using alligator clips for holding minis instead of gluing the miniatures to popsicle sticks. Hopefully Bill will be post on Workbench when he has the opportunity. I think it will help with the angle problem. It's a reusable solution and relatively inexpensive.

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