Tuesday, September 28, 2010

[Minis] Primer Problems Part II

Yesterday I discussed my troubles with a bad primer job. I failed to mention the issue I see coming up with future attempts to cover my miniatures; and that's LOCATION.

At my old abode, we had a very! large yard barn (actually bigger than two separate bedrooms inside the house) with a chest high shelf built along the right side of the barn. We had a large designated area for spraying primer, complete with a couple of cardboard boxes to keep minis stable and for preventing spray from blowing (a cover, if you will).

This set up was pretty sweet- it allowed for spraying even when it was wet or conditions were not perfect. We used the heck out of it (as evidenced by the hundreds of dollars of primed Menoth) and I never quite paid attention to what I'd do when I didn't have it available.

Well, I don't. My new home has a SMALL shed under the carport. It's full of well placed and well organized things we used to store in the yard; plus 25 or more folding chairs (don't ask). Trying to shovel out a space for me to spray would not be feasible at all.

The other day, I simply laid a piece of cardboard on the ground on a relatively flat space (gravel driveway, not terribly flat) and sprayed away.

I discovered quite a few issues with this setup. First, I missed the underside entirely, several times. I couldn't SEE that I missed until I picked the guys up, which was it's own problem. Second, attempting to turn the cardboard for better angles resulted in upended dudes due to dangerous terrain. Third, the area or minis were not protected so crud was blowing around as well as spray and I had to remove a couple pieces of grass and a spider from minis. (Though that spider would have looked great in a Nid army!)

What's my solution? I'm not sure. I am considering a couple super cheap plastic tablecloths from the Dollar Store and a folding table, with a couple cardboard boxes. This idea will only work for a couple more weeks at absolute best, so any priming I want to do has to happen like NOW. (The Dude has unprimed Hordes guys but they are NOT a priority to me in any way. If it works that I get them sprayed, great. Otherwise, no big deal. They can wait for next spring/summer.)

There might be other options- I heard a rumor that a friend has a spray booth in his garage. I also have access to a covered sidewalk area (so at least it is flat), which I could use while it is still warm-ish. I'd need to build a box for dudes, but that's pretty straightforward.

This adventure alerted me to a concern I didn't know I had, and I have the fun challenge of coming up with a solution. Maybe someone out there has a brilliant solution for those of us cursed with cold and wet winters, or has ideas I haven't yet discussed. I don't know, but if all else fails, I have all fall & winter to try to figure something out.


  1. Really without an indoor place to spray you're going to be stuck using brush on primers when the weather gets bad.

  2. I too live in IL and have had similar issues with spray priming at my house. I haven't found a decent solution other than brush priming during the winter/wet months. I've actually had pretty good luck with this technique. Major problem is that it's slow, and if you're priming LOTS it's SLOWER. But, it does work.

  3. I have a dedicated gaming room in my apartment, with a 5 x 7 table. When i need to prime a bunch of figures I cover the table with newspapers. Then I turn on the ceiling fan and open the windows for a short time. I have been able to prime even in wet or cold weather this way with no problems.

    i wait for the figures to dry and then turn them on their side to prime the undersides.


  4. I keep a couple of boxes in the garage for priming. One box is broken down and flattened and placed on the other one to keep the models off the ground. I also use disposable latex gloves and hold each model while I prime it individually. The models are then left to dry for a few minutes before I bring them in to dry overnight.

    As long as the area is covered (open garage, carport, back porch, etc.), you should be able to prime models with little hassle.

    As far as primers go, I use Krylon's indoor/outdoor primers I've used the white and grey and they work great. Each primer will have its own idiosyncrasies that you will have to get used to. The dusty look on your models is a result of the spray being too far from the model, and the paint drying before it gets there. One type of primer will be good at 8 inches from the model, another needs 12-18 inches. I would recommend priming one model at a time until you get the hang of your particular spray.

  5. That's true, you have to spray from the girhgt distance. I've painting out in my non-heated garage before, and out in the hallway of the apartment building. I've been using Walmart brand flat black and flat white spray paint.