The dangers while priming miniatures

Hey all,

today's topic is more of a warning and at the same time a teaser for what's to come. It's about priming miniatures and the mishaps you might encounter. Too thick, too dusty, and how the hell do you prime properly anyways?

So here's the thing: most of us (those who paint their minis) need to prime their minis. For priming I usually stick with GW's Chaos Black or Army Painter's Black spray cans. I've tried automotive primer before, since it's so cheap, but the results weren't to my liking. 

White or black is a matter of belief and technique. If you paint with lots if shades and glazes, you should stick to white primer. But my preferred painting style uses a base colour, then shades and after that highlights. So black is my primer of choice. Also, if the mini has a lot of metallic areas (like Necrons or Chaos Warriors), the metals will look better on a black primer. 

Next, always stick to the little manual on the can. Shake it for at least 2-3 minutes, then spray from roughly a 30cm/1ft distance. And here's the really important bit: FIRST SPRAY A BIT OF SPRUE! In case something is wrong with your can or the consistency of the paint, ruin a piece of sprue, not a mini you spent much time on cleaning it or even converting it. Yes, it requires patience to get done with priming, but it's utterly devastating to have spent days converting and sculpting stuff only to ruin it all with one impatient gust of spray.
Never use long bursts of colour, go for short bursts, thus you have way more control over how much colour ends up on the mini. That's the basics of it. I'll add a more illustrated version of this articel in the future.

Speaking of the future: another How To article is in the works and it is what inspired me to write this little priming 101 in the first place...if your primer is messed up, you don't keep the distance or you didn't shake your minis enough, you might have to strip them, if possible. Then they will end up looking like this:
Primed wh40k Necrons deathmarks
Messed up priming and the consequences...

I'll try to clean these up and get them painted to a nice standard. So, I hope you are interested in the "Salvage Project".



  1. Yeah people often do this wrong ... I mean its not easy but if you read the manual and take care you should be able to pull it off. You are a good guy helping that poor soul who messed up the priming... thanks :)

  2. Very funny. I promise you one thing, if you ever use that can of white primer again, your Necrons will be on your own. No saving!

    They are going to turn out quite nice though, I think. Stay tuned.

    (It's his Necrons I am fixing right now, in case anyone wonders)