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 Post subject: Why use primer?
PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb 2016 07:26 am 
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White Star
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Sorry if this is a bit of a noob question but I was looking at the grey Humbrol rattlecan primer in Hobbycraft yesterday and was wondering what are the advantages of using primer? I've never used one before, I brush paint all my models with acrylic (Humbrol, Vallejo, and the odd Revell), usually doing two coats to achieve good coverage. So why use a primer that you wont see in the end? Also does anyone have an example of two similar models, one using primer and one without as an AB comarison?

Ta

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 Post subject: Re: Why use primer?
PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb 2016 08:14 am 
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Gold & Silver Stars
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I for the most don't use primer and sometimes wish I did.
Normaly I don't have problems since many models today are made in a neutral color of plastic like light gray.
But when I made my Lamborghini silhouette I had BIG problems.

The kit was made in red plastic and I wanted a white car, so I just painted it white and it was looking good after two layers, or was it? After a week or so the whole car was pink!
The color in the plastic was seeping out unto the white paint and made it look strange.
In the end I used about four times more paint on this model than I normally do.
And it's still not without a spot or two in a slightly pink tone.

Another model with problems was my Dennis fire engine. Again a kit made in red plastic.

No problem, I just paint it red.
The problem is when you have light from behind the model, it just don't look as solid as you want it to do. This is just two problems I have seen myself. But Imagine a model made in blue plastic and you want it to be yellow?
Without primer you are doomed. So prime when you need to, that is what I do (now).

Jesper.

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 Post subject: Re: Why use primer?
PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb 2016 08:43 am 
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Silver Bar
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Other uses for primer are; if you've done a fair bit of filling or even altering using fillers, the primer seals the fillers and gives you a single colour. Primer is usually a bit thicker than other paints so it'll fill in minor scratches. As a single base colour it will show up where you need more fillers. It will give a plastic model a 'keyed' surface for other paints to grip better.

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 Post subject: Re: Why use primer?
PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb 2016 13:01 pm 
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Two Gold & Bronze Stars
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Some paints don't stick to plastic, but they will stick to primer. Other paints will actually dissolve plastic, but not the primer. Some folks just have a need (or desire) to apply primer. I don't use it myself, but I have been known to put a coat of paint on a model so I can see if the seams look acceptable. I've also used Microscale Foil Adhesive as a primer which allowed me to use masking tape on Polly S paint, back when I spray painted.

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Last edited by dancho on Tue 02 Feb 2016 14:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why use primer?
PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb 2016 16:26 pm 
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Location: Burleigh, Essex
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Since returning to the hobby I have always used a primer. At first I was very disappointed with some as when you mask up they would end up peeling off with the tape. However (Touch wood :pray: ) that seems to be a thing of the past. They do two important job's the first it brings everything to a base level which makes it easier to spot issues that need to be sorted before the real paint goes on. Things like seams, glue marks etc can all be sorted and primer reapplied before moving forward. The second is it gives the paint something to grip on to. When I was younger I used enamels all the time (I don't remember acrylics being around then). Enamels seem to stick to everything but acrylics always seem to be a lot more delicate and rub or scratch quiet easily and on a bare plastic surface I think you could be asking for trouble.
Presently I have several different primers which I am working through. These include Valejo, AK, Mig Ammo, Alclad, Stynalrez and a can of Halfords grey primer.
Vallejo seems to get a bad rap and like marmite you either love it or hate it. For me it seems to work ok. I am in no way a speed builder so I don't need a primer to instantly dry to progress. I am happy to leave it for 48hrs or longer to dry fully. As such I haven't come across the peeling that others have had. It seems to be a similar story with AK and Mig stuff though my personal use of these two is very limited. Stynalrez I haven't used yet but everything seems to be positive with that one. Finally Halfords which was were I first started with priming. This one always amazed me. I would spray it on and it would look awful. You think you have trashed the build but leave it to dry and I was never disappointed, smooth and hard as nails. Sanding was not a problem and a touch up after it was good to go. So priming for me is a must do. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Why use primer?
PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb 2016 21:48 pm 
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Green Star
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Halfords grey primer does the job nicely, it clearly shows any sinkmarks or blemishes & filler that needs an extra bit of sanding down etc


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 Post subject: Re: Why use primer?
PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar 2017 11:28 am 
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White Star
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Joined: Wed 16 Sep 2009 14:53 pm
Posts: 42
Several reasons:

1. It gives you a uniform base colour; think of when you use after-market parts made of resin, photo etch, and other media.
2. Most acrylic paints won't stick to bare metal, as in above.
3. It neutralises the colour of the bare plastic; eg. I built a Renault F1 racing car which was to be white and yellow. The kit was moulded in yellow, so any attempt to spray white onto it would result in a cream colour, even after several coats.
4. It covers up sanding marks and provides a key for the paint to adhere to nicely.

For the record, nothing beats Tamiya Fine Surface Primer for me.


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