Thursday, January 31, 2013

Primer wars

After minitrol posted the great tip about plastikote plastic primer I jumped on a passing Zoat and rode into town to investigate my local Supercheap Autos spray paint range.
Though they didn't have that brand they did have a range of possible candidates.  I decided to start with the cheapest three and if they failed the test, buy the next three... and so on, so  forth.

As white enamel has proved far tougher a primer I decided to start there, and picked up three types of the cheapest paint money can buy.  Aussie Export brand; grey primer, white undercoat and matt white. 

Now this is a classy product, coming in at a whopping $3.59 each and being labelled 'not suitable for automotive use' which amused me considering where I got it from.

3.59, I hear you cry, "the thieving bastards!"  How can they sleep at night charging prices like that?  Compare this to the fair and entirely reasonable price of 26.00 for a can of GW Skull White.

Thats seven cans for the price of t'other.

Now fanboys, settle down.. I know your about to jump up and say but its better "qwalitee".  Sure, that is an excellent point.  I will take that on board with my experiments.  That said, it has got to be a significant improvement to carry the six hundred percent price difference.

So first I will test the products for useability, and the cheapest one that does the job well will then be compared the GW product over the next few weeks to see mileage.  Fortunately I have a hundred candidates to road test it on.

Now this is not a scientific test of course, there is variance between batches and weather does effect the psint-  but unless GW fancy ponying up for a full test by sending me a hundred cans from different batches, I will have to go off my experience over the last few years with cans purchased from two GW stores and four independant stockists from Sydney and Canberra. That should give me a reasonable cross section of the paint shipped to Australia.   As the worst of these did approximately 100 figures (I will count them up tomorrow)- I will set the pass bar here for my mileage test.

Tonight I just tested each of the three types on an eldar metal figure, and tomorrow I will do some plastics and resin sprues (both forgeworld and finecast).  I will also paint acrylic over the paints to see how well they adhere.  (Humbrol primer makes water based paint bead, for example, but white enamel takes paint excellently.)

So far it looks like Matt White is the best of the three tried.  All three had even, powerful streams that covered quickly.  A good foot distance is best.
The matt white gave a smooth, even coverage in just a few short controlled bursts.  You can just tell there is a fair whack of paint flying through the air.

The matt white aussie export does not have the flakey, snow like spray I got from skull white (snow white), and the finish is like brushed on enamel.
The two primers are a tad gungy and shiney.  Probably containing a filler as it instructs you to sand it back before base coat.

Let me conduct part deux of my sinister experiments tomorrow.  Looks like some space crusade marines might be having a bad day...


  1. Both white undercoat and matt white take paint fine, with matt white a somewhat matter, nicer surface. I like the white, I think it does the job nicely.
    The grey primer beaded.

  2. Do you not have Dupli-Color over there or an equivalent? If not, my sincere condolences. Here is the states there the primer war has been won in a victory so total the enemy is unlikely ever to regroup. Good luck with the priming!

  3. Lol, beware Americans announcing the war has been won :)

    Will check and compare!

  4. My ears were burning thought I was being blamed for something! ( I actually think Supercheap auto is just the re-branded type anyway!)