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Author Topic: Washing metal miniatures  (Read 341 times)

Offline Huscarl

  • Student
  • Posts: 14
Washing metal miniatures
« on: April 06, 2020, 09:27:27 PM »
I just got some metal figures, and I know that you have to wash them before painting. I have done this, yet the primer is still rubbing off. What am I doing wrong?

Offline AndrewBeasley

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1015
Re: Washing metal miniatures
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2020, 09:40:34 PM »
Two thoughts:


First there is still some gunk on them - hot water and soap and rinse well.  Let dry in the fresh air.


Second the primer had not dried - leave at least 24 preferably 48 hours


I am assuming you are using a metal enamel primer and not an acrylic one.  I’ve found cheap sprays are as good as Halfords car spray but I like their grey.

Sic Parvis Magna <*>

Offline Huscarl

  • Student
  • Posts: 14
Re: Washing metal miniatures
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2020, 09:56:43 PM »
Two thoughts:


First there is still some gunk on them - hot water and soap and rinse well.  Let dry in the fresh air.


Second the primer had not dried - leave at least 24 preferably 48 hours


I am assuming you are using a metal enamel primer and not an acrylic one.  I’ve found cheap sprays are as good as Halfords car spray but I like their grey.
Yes it is acrylic based.

Offline wmyers

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 160
Re: Washing metal miniatures
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2020, 12:46:27 AM »
Yes it is acrylic based.

I'm going to guess Vallejo.

The reason is I have had to wait DAYS and DAYS for their primer to properly dry.

I only use enamel based primers now in spray cans.  Automotive (NON-FILLER types only! - be careful and read the can, most shops are changing over to "filler primer" as their primary use is for autobody work) grey is good.

If you are using GW Contrast Paints then use their Wraithbone (or if you are really good at fine coats you could use Krylon Fusion (Dover White is a good slightly beige colour for giving warm tones, for instance) - HOWEVER, if you are NOT confident with fine thin coats (it's paint and primer in one so it will go on heavy) just stick with GW's Wraithbone or the automotive).

Krylon Fusion is half the price of GW primers and automotive primer is half the price of Krylon Fusion; at least around here.

Oh!  Vallejo has new tinted sprays that can be used for primers, now.  Yes, they are enamel.   There are also the Army Painter tinted primers, too (enamel).
« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 12:48:35 AM by wmyers »

Offline syrinx0

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  • Posts: 1856
Re: Washing metal miniatures
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2020, 01:00:53 AM »
I occasionally use cans for primer (such as when trying GW contrast paints for the first time) but normally I use Vallejo or Stylerez primers sprayed on via my airbrush.  Dries in minutes for me on plastic, resin or metal at the moment (no humidity or temperature issues at the moment).   
2020: A:95 P:56; 2019:-471 2018: -47; 2017: -100; 2016:+1;


Offline vexillia

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 299
    • Vexillia Limited
Re: Washing metal miniatures
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2020, 08:14:09 AM »
OK.  Some points:
  • I have never washed a metal miniature in over two decades of painting.
  • Car primers are designed for ferrous metals not lead & tin alloys.
  • Many auto sprays contain acrylic polymers and aren't enamel based.
  • I'm not surprised the Vallejo primer rubs off metal figures.
  • Many modelling primers are aimed at plastic kits not lead & tin alloys.
The reasoning behind these is explained in these links (best read in order):

https://blog.vexillia.me.uk/2008/05/painting-tips-2-primer.html
https://blog.vexillia.me.uk/2009/01/painting-tips-3-primers.html
https://blog.vexillia.me.uk/2016/06/painting-tips-8primer-update.html

Good luck finding a solution.

Martin Stephenson
Vexillia: Shop | Rules | Twitter
Personal: Blog | Twitter

Offline Hobgoblin

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3047
    • Hobgoblinry
Re: Washing metal miniatures
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2020, 08:48:14 PM »
If you want to prime them in black, try Pebeo gesso. You brush it on, it doesn't smell and it dries in a few minutes. It's dirt cheap too: one tub will probably last longer than a dozen or more spray cans. And because it contracts significantly as it dries, you don't need to be too careful with the brush. White gesso is much rougher, though; you're better served with spray for that.

Offline Mick_in_Switzerland

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Re: Washing metal miniatures
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2020, 06:25:25 AM »
I also use Artists Acrylic Gesso applied with a brush for the same reasons as Hobgoblin.

I find it is the quickest to do and gets the best coverage as you can easily get into all of the nooks and crannies.
There is no smell and you can wash your brushes with water
It also forms a good and durable skin which shrinks onto the figure.
It is quite thick from the tube so you can add a little water to make it spread thinly.
Too much water and it will dray back leaving uncovered dots and gaps.

Acrylic Gesso is easily available in white or black but you can add regular acrylic paints to white gesso to make any colour that you want.