Help support TMP

"Reaper Bones tacky after priming. Can they be saved?" Topic

23 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Painting Message Board

Back to the Fantasy Painting Guides Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Recent Link

Featured Ruleset

Featured Showcase Article

The 4' x 6' Assault Table Top

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian begins to think about terrain for Team Yankee.

Featured Workbench Article

3Dprinting Recessed Bases

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian experiments with using recessed bases for figures with cast-on bases.

Featured Profile Article

Crafter's Square Wood Shapes

Need something to base your scenics on? Look in the craft aisle…

10,204 hits since 17 Mar 2014
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

JSears17 Mar 2014 5:17 a.m. PST

Sprayed them with some Krylon flat black primer (which I thought was safe, but apparently not). They're still tacky after 24 hours. I'll give them a bit more time, but I fear they won't actually dry.

Can I spray or brush a different primer over the existing tacky coat, or do I need to strip them and start over?

Ran The Cid17 Mar 2014 6:00 a.m. PST

Soak the figs in vinegar. I had the same thing happen with my favorite Dupli Color spray primer. After a few days of soaking, the figures were no longer tacky.

coryfromMissoula17 Mar 2014 6:03 a.m. PST

I did the same with an Ogre and simply painted on the tacky primer. Everything worked fine, the paints was fine, and dried to a normal feel. A few months on the figure has stood up to game handling normally.

Johnny Aces17 Mar 2014 6:05 a.m. PST

I did this with my first Bones mini(same paint even). Although not the right answer, I painted over the tacky paint. If you don't mind getting some fingerprints on the base area, everything works out find once sealed.

Anymore I just paint directly on the Bones or airbrush with a black for a darker base.

Mardaddy17 Mar 2014 6:14 a.m. PST

Similar experience, I was using grey primer – it seemed to me that the primer on Bones took longer to dry than normal, I thought it "just wouldn't take" but it turned out OK.

Give it a little longer – if still tacky, you might want to check the primer or other conditions as the culprit (temperature/humidity/bad paint batch.)

Tom Reed Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2014 6:15 a.m. PST

Yeah, I hand primed mine with Gesso and a brush and they turned out fine. Seems to be a problem with most of the spray primers.

Garand17 Mar 2014 6:29 a.m. PST

The problem is in fact with any enamel based primer or paint. The Bones figures have a vinyl based plastic, which inhibits the cure of enamel paints. In short, use acrylic based psints to prime. I personally prime with Tamiya Flat White out of my airbrush, mostly because I can then use "traditional" painting techniques.


Only Warlock17 Mar 2014 6:30 a.m. PST

Oh bummer. In my experience the Bones do not need primer at all.

corporalpat17 Mar 2014 7:05 a.m. PST

I have done Bones with and without primer (Gesso) and both worked fine. Never really liked spray primers anyway, and found that not all spray paints are suitable for all materials. Tried some Krylon plastic primer once and had similar drying problems, as well as coverage issues while painting. Since switching to Gesso about 12 years ago I have not had any problems with metal, plastic, or all but one type of resin (even that worked with 2 coats).

And yes, at this point your best bet is to strip them. Sorry. Hope it works out for you.

JSears17 Mar 2014 7:46 a.m. PST

Thanks all. I've painted other Bones figs without primer, but these required a dark undercoat for the effect I'm going for. I started with Citadel black Primer and everything was fine, but ran out halfway through the batch. Followed up with the Krylon and ran into problems.

I think I'll go over the tacky bits with some brush on gesso on a test one and see if it holds up. If not, I'll give it some time (and vinegar!) before resorting to stripping.

Thanks again!

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2014 8:04 a.m. PST

I've been thinking about picking up a few figs and I would have spray primed them. Thanks for the post and the info.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2014 9:46 a.m. PST

I've painted several "Bones" figures. Never needed to prime them or even wash them. Just put the paint straight on with no problem.

Xintao17 Mar 2014 9:52 a.m. PST

I've tried painting them as is, and felt that the paint wasn't grabbing onto the surface. Also the "white" of the bones shows through thin coats of paint.

That of course can be a personal choice as I have been painting on black primed figures for 20 years.

I've done some test priming and the one that works best for me is Army Painter Primer. I've seen others on the web mention this as well.


Mugwump17 Mar 2014 2:07 p.m. PST

Do not use primer of any type on Bones miniatures!!! Use Reaper paints or P-3 for the base coat. Then you can use any acrylic over the base coat. Be sure to scrub the mini with dishwashing soap-and rinse throughly- before painting.

Good Luck, M--

Garand17 Mar 2014 2:39 p.m. PST

Yes, you do not need to use primer on the figures if you do not want to. However, I find that you need to put the paint on "thicker" than what I normally am comfortable with (I thin my paint approx 50% with distilled water -- we have hard water where I am at -- and look for a good coat with 3 layers of thinned paint, rather than one layer of thick paint). If you do thin your paint, it will not "stick" but instead bead up. When I prime with Tamiya flat white, it is so that I can use thin coats of paint. This ensures the details do not become softened with too much paint, or obscured completely.


Royal Air Force17 Mar 2014 5:02 p.m. PST

I primed mine with either gray (tinted white gesso) or black gesso. As others have stated, priming is not strictly required, but I found I like the 'bite' that the gesso provides vs the plain bones surface.

TheWarStoreSweetie17 Mar 2014 8:54 p.m. PST

Here is the article from Reaper about primer on bones. link

The short answer is that most spray primers do not play nice with the vinyl polymer that Bones are cast out of. I use wither Gesso or glass and tile medium to prime Bones. Be sure you give them a good bath with Dawn first. According to Reaper you don't have to wash them, but I found that the paint and primer would slide off if not washed first.

Ancestral Hamster17 Mar 2014 9:09 p.m. PST

Thanks to JSears posting about the problem and TheWarStoreSweetie for providing the link. Like 79thPA, I may be buying a few Bones figures soon and I use enamel-based spray primers … which, according to the link, is a no-no.

Rogzombie Fezian17 Mar 2014 9:39 p.m. PST

If you wash tghem and then apply a coating of black paint they are ready to go and paint very much like everything else from that point. I use cheap craft paint, too, so it isnt expensive to prime them. You just need a big brush to get a few done at once.

CeruLucifus17 Mar 2014 9:42 p.m. PST

Quite an article from the Reaper web site. That's customer service! Thank you for the link.

Mako1117 Mar 2014 11:42 p.m. PST

Makes me wonder if those primers for plastics would work.

Has anyone tried those first, before painting over them?

Evil Bobs Miniature Painting18 Mar 2014 8:31 a.m. PST

I used Vallejo Polyurethane Surface Primer sprayed through an airbrush with no problems.

Rattle can paints turned the ones I tried them on sticky and it never corrected.

ced110625 Mar 2014 11:39 p.m. PST

I tested a piece of Bones with Rustoleum "Also bonds to plastic" primer. No problems. I'm experimenting with zenithal priming followed by washes, so painting directly on the mini won't work for me.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.