Primers and Priming – All You Need To Know! (Mostly…)

Primers and priming is a subject I get quite a few questions about. Over time, this question and others about airbrushing Pledge seem to be the most consistent. I don’t think that is coincidental really.

In both cases, they’re simple products and processes. Yet each can have a profound effect on the outcome of your model.

Primers And Priming

Priming a model is a multi-faceted topic when examined closely. It goes far beyond picking an application method and brand. Factors such as time and color must be considered. And deciding if the primer needs to be a micro filler is also important.

Because it is the foundation for all that will come later, such as paint and weathering, it deserves more than just a passing thought.

This video attempts to take a deep dive into several aspects of priming. The types of primers are examined and compared. The “theory” of color choice is also discussed. That choice alone can determine how later paint coats will appear, and how much work will be required to cover the primer.

I also look at the pros and cons of acrylic versus lacquer thinners, and the speed considerations when deciding between airbrush and rattle can application.

Additionally, I try to answer the question of why we prime, which can be helpful to consider. The question of whether to prime at all is also examined. I also take a look at some considerations for using non-modeling “hardware store” primers.

Finally, I offer some suggestions from my own experience about choosing a primer that is right for you. And I conclude with a “if all else fails, buy this” recommendation.

My hope is after watching this video, you’ll have (mostly) all of your priming questions answered!

If you enjoy this video, please take a look at my other Shop Talk videos!

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2 responses to “Primers and Priming – All You Need To Know! (Mostly…)”

  1. While not a true primer, I have had success with using an enamel or lacquer spray paint (rattle cans for models) as a primer under acrylics. I usually use one of the colors for the final scheme, and use airbrush acrylic for the rest. I’m interested to hear if you’ve tried that, and what your experience has been if you have.


    1. Yeah, that’s kind of what I’d been referring to in the section on alternate primers. The basic caveats for that brand have seemed to hold true for others. I think lacquers in general are better, as they adhere so nicely.

      But every now and then I’ve run into small issues with non-modeling products. Not always, but enough that I generally have to have a really compelling reason now to go for alternates. Even if I save some money, if testing shows issues, it’s a bit of wasted time.

      I think the longer I model, the more convinced I am of finding a good modeling product that works, and sticking with it. I’ve done loads of testing over the years, and rarely if ever do I find something that’s so outstanding that it made it all worth it. I’m not saying I don’t try stuff anymore, but I do spend a lot of time looking over ingredients and considering what it has that others don’t – and then decide if that’s good or bad.

      Thanks for visiting the site and leaving a comment. I hope my rambles are helpful! 😀


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