Help support TMP

4 - Priming the Predator

MkIVb Predator
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
$34.99 USD


Back to Workbench

Revision Log
31 July 2003page first published

4,501 hits since 31 Jul 2003
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Leland Erickson of Miniatures Dressed to Kill writes:

At last! Despite the trials and tribulations of newly imposed home ownership, instant parenthood, and getting MDK firmly back on track, here at last is the next installment(s) of the GW Predator Mk. IV Workbench article:

Picking up from where I last left off several millenia ago, the now-assembled Predator is ready for its primer coat. By way of background into Leland's Diabolical Dogma on Figure Priming, I have been experimenting with various priming media and techniques over the past 25 years, a process that was sometimes excruciating (hand priming), frustrating (too damn thick!), time consuming (painting white-primed models), and ultimately achieving optimum efficiency to suit my particular and uniquely evil approach to the fine art of Painting Really Cool Stuff for Fun and Occassional Profit.

I have tried everything from hand-applied primers (too slow and the thinner made me sneeze!) to auto-body spray primer (too grey) to good 'ole Krylon Ultra Flat Black spray paint (really cool for AFVs and other darkly colored projects) and Flat White (for those really bright and cheerful subjects like Aztecs bent on human sacrifice). I ultimately dscovered that no particular brand of spray primer (black, grey, or white) was in and of itself superior to any other as long as it

  1. coats evenly
  2. coats thinly (no lost figure details!), and
  3. comes in a spray can for a reasonable price (OK, I admit it, I am a cheap-ass bonehead-practical Scandinavian at heart!).

After years of searching I have discovered the most wonderful and effective Wal-Mart brand ColorPlace indoor/outdoor fast dry spray paint; at less than $1 USD per 10 oz. can, this stuff is a highly cost-effective solution for the mass-production figure painter (as well as allegedly professional lunatics such as I).

For ease of painting and final assembly, I divided the Predator into a number of manageable sub-assemblies for priming and painting. After examining the actual way the completed model was supposed to operate, I settled upon spraying the model in sections, painting it up in sections, then assembling the constituent sections as I went along.

So taking up the now fully-assembled sub-sections of the Mk. IV Predator, I dragged the entire mass of parts and crew kicking and screaming to my spray table located atop a local geographic promontory in my back yard garden. After reciting the necessary Rituals of Sacrificial Spray Priming to my chosen Dark Power (Murphy, Patron Daemoness of Professional Model Builders, Figure painters, and Aircraft Mechanics), I unleashed the noxious cloud of spray paint upon the trembling parts as they screamed for mercy. After completing my sacrifice to the Evil Goddess of Spray Priming, I left the twitching remains to dry in the sun.

Time passed, and I returned to the scene of the crime, turing over the now stiff remains and spraying the unfinished sides to match. The wonderfully cheap sprayable stuff coated the model flawlessly, without a flaw in sight (I hide these too well, anyway, for mere inferior mortals to ever find! Bwahahaaaa!!!).

The results were....what do you mean, "I can't find the JPEGs, Oh, Evil Dinine One?" Just what the Hades kind of evil minion are you, anyway? KABOOOMMMMM!!!!! (sound of another evil MDK workshop minion being zapped out of existence for daring to report failure to The Boss).

Ahem. Due to technical difficulties beyond our Divine Control, the actual JPEGs of the black primed Predator model have been inextricably lost. The Evil Minion responsible has been summarily executed in strict accordance with MDK corporate policy (please pardon the stench of charred minion flesh - the A/C system should clear the room very soon).

In order to illustrate the look of a tank model in a black primer coat, we humbly present photos of black-primed Ostmodels Renault R35 light tanks. While these diminuative combat tanks predate the indomitable Predator mk. IV by over 30 millenia, the general effect is essentially the same (ie., they're black).

Tanks primed black - not the Predator, but you get the impression...

OK, so they're black. Now I realize that being sprayed a monotone flat black doesn't exactly show the superb details of this outstanding model kit, but this stage is exactly that; an intermediate step in a process of painting up an outstanding kit in such a way as to do it some degree of justice (did I mention that this is a really cool model kit?).

R35s primed black

Anyway, another view of the same two R35s (better angle and lighting) shows that the details of the models are still intact. The same applied to the Predator Mk. IV - the details were still very much in evidence on the constituent subassemblies, waiting for the next stage in my evil and corrupting process of transmogrification (Bwahahaaaaa!! And you can quote me!).