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"What color do you prime Napoleonic minis?" Topic

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1,055 hits since 14 May 2018
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saltflats192915 May 2018 1:37 a.m. PST

First foray into Napoleonics. Do you find it better to prime in black, white or grey? Figures will be French and British (lights and rifles).

Glengarry515 May 2018 1:47 a.m. PST

I primer everything a neutral grey.

Dschebe Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 1:51 a.m. PST

I prefer in white. It's better for my eyes when painting facings, strips and all the kind. Resulting colours are brighter, and white colour is easier to accomplish (for me at least). Grey is a second choice.

Dexter Ward15 May 2018 1:52 a.m. PST

Mid-brown; I usually find that best for priming.

John de Terre Neuve Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 2:04 a.m. PST

Prime white then wash with black wask. Details are well defined and bright colours are easily applied and stay bright.

I used to prime black and drybrush white, but not as successful as above.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 2:53 a.m. PST

Scale? Usually white prime with a burnt umber wash in 28mm and 54mm, but black prime in 15mm and lower. Rifles might still be black-primed even in the larger scale.

von Winterfeldt15 May 2018 2:53 a.m. PST

white and then a heavy wash with either a deep violet or raw umber, which gives me the shades and shows a good definition of the figure.

Green Tiger15 May 2018 3:17 a.m. PST

Russians and Prussians black, everyone else white.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP15 May 2018 3:17 a.m. PST

I prime them all black. Even Austrians.

Arcane Steve15 May 2018 3:33 a.m. PST

I usually prime with grey for waterloo british infantry – save painting the trousers. I'm not averse to using a colour primer though. Just working on Nassau infantry and have primed them in green as uniform is pre dominately this colour and makes painting easier & faster.

michaelk196415 May 2018 4:20 a.m. PST

Hi saltflats, offtopic but where is your gaming group?

dwight shrute15 May 2018 4:30 a.m. PST

always white , makes the colours more brighter imho

Hlaven Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 4:40 a.m. PST

Many years ago i did black. Tried white. Didn't like it. Everything I do now both the miniatures and buildings i prime gray.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian15 May 2018 5:11 a.m. PST

White. Makes it easier

smltptac15 May 2018 5:14 a.m. PST

15mm – black

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP15 May 2018 5:19 a.m. PST

Black. Then if you miss a tiny spot you never notice.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 5:20 a.m. PST

White (mostly)

The Beast Rampant15 May 2018 6:36 a.m. PST

White, though I have used Army Painter's colored spray primers.

marshalGreg15 May 2018 6:47 a.m. PST

Brits- Grey with dark wash
French/Prussian/Russian- Black
White Uniform- primer white with light/thinned black wash.

I have not been successful painting dark uniforms on white primer so have stopped. The white does brighten and may save from having to do light highlights.

TMPWargamerabbit15 May 2018 6:52 a.m. PST

Home Depot or Lowes spray can white.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 7:05 a.m. PST

White, of course.
Black is for tanks or knights.

wrgmr115 May 2018 7:07 a.m. PST

Black for everything but Austrians, which are grey.

Razor78 Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 7:19 a.m. PST

I prime most things dark brown. White only if the uniform is predominantly white

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 7:48 a.m. PST


jeffreyw315 May 2018 9:00 a.m. PST

28mm black, 6mm grey

Fredloan15 May 2018 9:26 a.m. PST

I use flat black, and occassionally gray

Yellow Admiral15 May 2018 9:40 a.m. PST

Prime white then wash with black wash. Details are well defined and bright colours are easily applied and stay bright.
That's a great idea. I'm going to try that.

- Ix

Lambert Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 9:59 a.m. PST

White. I tried grey and the colours just weren't as vivid.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 10:01 a.m. PST

The primary uniform colour for the unit in question saves a lot of brush time!

Personal logo The Nigerian Lead Minister Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 10:03 a.m. PST

White, except French infantry which get dark blue primed right off to save me time.

stephen116215 May 2018 10:04 a.m. PST

Rustoleum flat white. It's been working great for almost 30 years!

saltflats192915 May 2018 10:31 a.m. PST

Thsnks for all the advice. I may try both methods. Scale is 40mm and I might do some 28mm.
Mike- we already know each other! I'll send you an email.

14Bore15 May 2018 11:17 a.m. PST

White gesso, but wish I used grey so as soon as I run out in 10 years I'll change.

Axebreaker15 May 2018 11:43 a.m. PST

Well I've just started to paint Naps, but I've been painting figures for many years. I started black then went gray, but am going back to black. While gray is easier to paint the base color isn't dark enough causing further layers to not have enough contrast so I decided to switch back to black. Also black "cools" and gives a richer effect to to the colors. The off side is it's harder to see detail when painting and lighter colors sometimes need extra layers, but it's worth it for the effect I want.


valleyboy15 May 2018 1:01 p.m. PST

Black, unless Austrian but only in 28mm, then its white
15mm white uniformed troops are still undercoated black

Le Breton Inactive Member15 May 2018 1:27 p.m. PST

On metal, Rustoleum 769 red-brown for all but white uniforms. Rustoleum 780 light gray for white.
On plastic or resin, Mr. Hobby Mr. Primer Surfacer 1000 (light gray in color).

Used on 40 mm and larger.
Good primers, but they don't fix my horrible painting.

Timmo uk15 May 2018 1:35 p.m. PST

White acid etch primer.

evilgong Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 3:41 p.m. PST

Paint it black

AussieAndy Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2018 3:06 a.m. PST

White. I want the colours to pop.

Lonkka1Actual16 May 2018 4:01 a.m. PST


Kevin in Albuquerque Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2018 7:04 p.m. PST

White, aussi.

steamingdave47 Inactive Member17 May 2018 1:26 a.m. PST

Always white for 10mm and up. For 6 mm, black and then white dry brush

Jabba Miles17 May 2018 3:05 a.m. PST

British infantry and artillery: Black
British Light Dragoons: Grey
Portuguese infantry: Black
Started doing horses Brown recently (except greys)

Lion in the Stars17 May 2018 4:14 a.m. PST

I used to prime black, but for 28s I now prime white and wash black.

15s I usually color prime whatever the primary color on the uniform is. I'd prime British troops Gray, then paint the red coats.

ferg981 Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2018 11:22 a.m. PST

Can of worms opened…….

I used to prime white but you have to spend time making sure the paint covers every little millimetre of the model and it takes FOREVER

So now I prime Black – you can miss large parts of the model painting quickly and no one ever notices



The Tyn Man Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2018 3:42 p.m. PST

Been priming with black since the mid 80's….

Marc the plastics fan18 May 2018 1:27 a.m. PST

Ferg. Or J

White primer does indeed se m that way. But I finish with the dip (brush applied) so that sorts out any gaps.

I find white just helps me with facing colours.

What I have done before is white then an ink wash – dark brown. That helps show the detail, provides a degree of shading and helps avoid he "white spots".

Haven't black undercoated for years. Don't think my eyes would cope these days

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