Monday, August 15, 2011

[The Rogue Trader] The wrong way to shake

I was lucky enough to attend a painting class a few weeks back.  Specifically the Vehicle Weathering Masterclass by misterjustin of Secret Weapon Miniatures.  I took a few good lessons away from the class and decided that they were well worth sharing.

So, the wrong way to shake.  Those cans of primer that you have that get all sputtery if they aren't well mixed.  Did you know there is a right way to shake them?  It's actually pretty obvious, but not something I'd ever really given any thought to.  Just randomly shaking means the agitator bounces around, not really achieving much.  Swirl it with the can upright and the agitator just mixes the paint at the bottom.  What you want to do is hold the can sideways, swirl the agitator around, and now just by changing the angle of the can slightly you can move the agitator up and down inside the can.  The bonus is you'll shake the can better with less effort doing it this way.

The second thing about priming (or sealing) that may have escaped some of us.  Never do it in the sun.  If you do, the spray will be dry before it hits the model and you get a clumpy spray.  Someone else can add comments below about humidity.  I'm lucky enough to live somewhere that isn't really a problem.

Which primer?  Well GW primer isn't really primer, its just a paint.  But it is very good, dries quickly and evenly.  P3 also make a very good primer that is a proper primer.  It is thinner and takes a little longer to dry though.  Be more careful with overspray with the P3 stuff as it could run and fill up some of your details.  And yes, you can get cheapo primer from Walmart.  Really though, you spent $400 on your new army, are you going to cheap out and save a few dollar on the primer.

Color wise, white is great if you are doing a lot of colors or detail as it gives you the biggest play area.  Black is good for dark models with lots of crevices as it helps with shadow.  Thing is, it'll be harder work to get bright colors now.  Gray (Grey?) just is.  Stick to black or white as they at least have a purpose. 

And lastly, short controlled burst.  Yeah, don't drown the mini is primer, you'll lose detail.  You want to dust round it, about 30cm/12" distant with quick sprays.  A good method is 4 blasts from 45 degrees down onto the model, than 4 more from 45 degrees up.  When you are finished you should still be able to see metal/plastic/resin/new fangled finecasty stuff beneath the primer.  If you now have a glistening and gleaming white model, resplendent in its new primer, you've over done it.  A heavy coat of primer also defeats the purpose as the glossy coat you get is just as bad as a bare model.

So, shake well, spray in a shady and sheltered area, and don't over spray.  You'll be off to a better start already.



  1. I only use grey primer. It keeps the model darkish without musing the colors like black primer. It also keeps colors pretty close to what you expect without losing contrast like white primer. "it just is" is exactly what I want as a painter. Prime the model, don't color it for me.

    For the curious, i use Vallejo air grey primer.

  2. Oh my brother from another mother.

    Grey is the only way to go.