Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cutting Costs: The Primer

This is Part 4 of Cutting Costs.

We all know that enjoying our little hobby can be tough on our wallets. And your ears as your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/dog repeatedly complains about those "little men". 

Pretty much the first piece of  advice new wargamers hear is "Use a primer to create a workable surface on your miniatures before painting".

Let me tell you this: I've been in this hobby since 2008, which is by no means long, but I have never EVER used primer. That's right.

Although a can of primer will only cost you about $10 and is able to cover about 30-50 miniatures, it's still an expense, which means it can be eliminated.

I think the first painting tutorials GW provided in the Assault on Black Reach set really affected me. It was always undercoat with black (didn't mention prime), basecoat and then highlight. I have never run into issues where the paint won't stick to the surface of plastic properly.

If you've noticed, a lot of the photos (actually, pretty much all to my great shame) on this blog show a partly painted miniature, with some bits in their unpainted grey. I just skip the priming step and move onto the basecoat, saving me money and time.

Metal is an altogether different story. Thankfully, GW has moved away from metal to Finecast, but primer is needed for metal figs. The paint won't adhere to the surface like it will do with plastic without primer.

To sum up: you don't need primer for plastic models. Instead save it for metal models, which will save you money, seeing as how metal models are becoming less common (outside of GW, this statement is becoming more relevant as many miniature businesses are switching to plastic)

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