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"1 / 3000 metal ships... prime white or black?" Topic

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Painting 1/2400 ACW Ironclads from Tumbling Dice

McKinstry Fezian is a naval wargamer who likes the smaller scales, so who better to show us how to paint small-scale ironclads?

1,348 hits since 19 May 2018
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Ferreo Cuore19 May 2018 11:15 a.m. PST

I am trying to decide to base coat white or black. Grey is a third intermediate choice.

I want the colors to be bright and true, and the models are only 1-2" long, so a bit small.

Think how to paint NavWar 1/3000, basically.

At the moment, I lean to white prime. However, I've seen a number of people who claim they get best true color to come thru with black prime in multiple coats.

Advice appreciated – much thanks first!

Oberlindes Sol LIC19 May 2018 12:05 p.m. PST

I get good results with white and gray primer. I just use inexpensive spray primmer from the hardware store.

I have not tried black primer. Maybe this summer I will finally get around to doing three ships or three men, each primed differently, but painted the same.

Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2018 1:10 p.m. PST

I prefer grey primer. White is too bright and black too dark. For me this disguises detail you may need to see. Colors tend to look darker on small models which would also make me shy away from black primer.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2018 1:34 p.m. PST

I always prime ships white (Airbrush) regardless of scale.

Black is too dark and you have to work too hard to avoid a heavy a contrast and then build up the light colors (hull, superstructure and deck).

Gray can be confusing unless your base color is much lighter or darker. It can be difficult to judge what is primer and where you have applied the basecoat leading to paint buildup.

With white you can apply the lightest basecoat possible when the white disappears you know you have good coverage.

Texas Jack19 May 2018 1:40 p.m. PST

I prime with white, though gray would certainly be okay too. Black I would stay away from for the reasons already mentioned here.

Timmo uk19 May 2018 3:44 p.m. PST

White it allows you complete versatility when painting. If you prime black everything you then do has to compensate for that. If you prime white there's nothing to stop you painting in some areas black or grey if those colours make better localised undercoats for your subsequent colours.

Ferreo Cuore19 May 2018 5:35 p.m. PST

I am thinking maybe to get gray, ochre and white spreay, and use them where the upper works are those colors. I think the black hulls on many ships will not be too hard to do.

So spray painting a base coat according to upper works.

Yellow Admiral19 May 2018 8:44 p.m. PST

Gray undercoats works fine under gray and black vertical surfaces, but you really want white undercoat for the white and wood and buff and yellow surfaces. Most of the yellows and many of the whites in the world have poor coverage, and it often takes multiple coats to cover gray nicely. You really don't want to be doing multiple coats of wood tan on small scale decks or superstructures.

- Ix

litsnsirn20 May 2018 4:41 a.m. PST

I've never painted anything that small, but the ships that I have painted have all been primed in Krylon grey. Though, depending on the scheme, I would not be afraid to use white.

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2019 7:17 a.m. PST


colkitto12 Apr 2019 1:23 p.m. PST

I always do white. It's kinder to the lighter colours. Then, er, I wash everything in black when I'm finished painting …

dmebust Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2019 8:25 p.m. PST

Well I guess I am "Odd Man Out". Woden ships I prime with Krylon, "Camouflage Series", Brown. It is a very dark brown. I use craft paints and Dark Burnt Umber is a dead ringer as a touch up paint. Mostly iron ships get primed black. I have done a couple of ships with white primer when white was the main color.

Digby Green11 Sep 2019 10:56 p.m. PST

Hi I've just got my first 1/300 ships. (Davco and I've got some Navwar coming so I can compare.
I have never painted metal ships before.
Do I need to wash them in turps or any solvent first, or can I just start to prime.

colkitto12 Sep 2019 1:45 p.m. PST

Personally I've always just gone for the prime/undercoat. No problems yet.

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