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Monday, November 15, 2010

Poor planning for winter crafts

Over the past year I took up painting minis. I am actually pretty happy with how my recent painting projects have turned out. Living in Calgary, I have found that most of my rpg playing happens during the cold, dark winter months. I have also been thinking that winter would be a good time to get some mini painting done. However, the daytime temperatures here are already barely 5 degrees celsius. I have been priming my minis with spray primers but they all require a temp higher than what we will see here in Calgary for many months. I had planned to have primed a bunch of minis to prep for the winter but suffice it to say that this didn't happen. What do other mini painters in the great white north do for priming their minis during the winter? I have a garage but it isn't heated and doesn't get warm enough and I don't want to spray primer in the house. Is there a brush on primer that is good?

14 comments:

  1. I've run into the same problem and have had some luck with keeping my minis and primer in the house, nice and warm, then going into the garage, quickly spraying them and bringing them back in to dry. You still get some of the odor from the paint, but it dissipates quickly and you leave the actual spraying outside. The key seems to be to have the minis and the primer both at room temperature. Sadly I've never had much luck with any brush based priming solutions. Just my $0.02 worth. :-)

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  2. I've anticipated this problem so I bought a ton in the spring. I cleaned and primed them up over the summer. They are sitting in a special drawer so they don't get dusty and are ready for painting over the winter months. I don't want to bother having to fight the cold to work on minis. Preparation is the key :)

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  3. I warm my spraycans up in a saucepan of warm water before spraying outside. Not only does it work against cold winter temperatures here in central England but it helps the paint flow as well.

    Unfortunately you can't do anything about damp which will cause bloom on the paint if spraying through damp air.

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  4. Yeah, I used to do the same thing. As long as you keep your supplies inside where it's warm, I never had a problem just doing the spraying in the garage and then letting things dry inside.

    I cleaned out my basement this summer and dug out a huge box of minis and old supplies I hadn't looked at in years now. The paint is dried up, but I have tons of minis both primed and ready to paint, and some still untouched. I hope to get back into painting this winter. We'll see if I do. :)

    Too bad all my old Ral Partha paints are ruined. I will need to buy new paints. Now that you can buy acrylics in a rainbow of colors at Walmart or any craft store, so people just buy generic paint or are Games Workshop, etc still the best paints to use?

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  5. Thanks folks. Moisture is never a problem here in Calgary. The humidity here during the winter rarely gets much above 40%. Not great for your lips but at least you don't have to worry about the primer.

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  6. Now that you can buy acrylics in a rainbow of colors at Walmart or any craft store, so people just buy generic paint or are Games Workshop, etc still the best paints to use?

    There are applications for the "crafts" paints, but IMHO there's a major difference in quality and flow between those and proper mini paints. I've had very good luck with the Vallejo line, as have some other painters I know. However, I haven't painted in a couple of years, so maybe the crafts section has high-quality paints now, or I was using the wrong ones.

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  7. I spray on the primer on my freezing cold balcony and quickly bring the minis in and leave them in the bathroom where the vent to the outside is located. For the finish varnish I just spray the parts in my bathroom on a piece of wood. The smell disipates pretty quickly. I mean I live in a small apartment and the fumes have not been a concern. Just open a window for a few minutes.

    tegeus

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  8. @Scott & Koren ~ The cheap craft paints in walmart are just that: cheap. They do have their uses, like painting terrain, but they aren't great (or even good) for painting minis.

    Personally I'd skip the GW paints (though their foundation paints are great) and check out some of the other producers out there.

    I'd also second the idea about keeping everything room temp, going outside to spray, and going right back inside. Though I have done brush on primer too.

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  9. Remember that you can forgo priming with spray paint completely if you use gesso. I started doing that when I still played 40k and, though it was a little more expensive, I could paint it on inside and it shrunk to fit all the little details perfectly.

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  10. Regarding craft paints, I use them for minis and haven't regretted using them over the more expensive specialist paints (I get the better ones at craft stores, can't comment on whatever they have at WalMart).

    For cold weather priming, I've done the "run out with warm cans and figs" trick but more commonly use brush-on primers like the Red Devil acrylic latex. (I also use plain old black paint sometimes but primer is a little more durable).

    I've heard good things about gesso for plastic and metal figures too.

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  11. I primed mine in the garage and brought them inside to dry. I made the mistake of priming when it was -20 though, and all my primer peeled off the figs. I had to take a toothbrush to them, scrub the primer off, and do it all over again. After that, I waited til the summer and primed all my figs on the back porch, when it was +30.

    I use craft paint for terrain, but use GW and other paints for my figs, I don't want to have to redo my figure painting if the craft paint turns out to be substandard.

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  12. I believe the Vallejo line has a brush on primer that worked well for me, or at least they did a few years back.

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  13. I use Zinser interior primer and brush it. It'll be thick, so you have to brush it carefully, but it works really really well and has tons of tooth.

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  14. The owner of one of my FLGS paints and he swears by Vallejo's Game Color Primer (A brush-on primer), enough that he sold me on picking up a bottle of the stuff when I started painting. However, I use aerosol primers and haven't given the Game Color a go yet so I can't attest to it personally. But, if it's any help, he's been painting for decades and I'd trust him to know what he's talking about in this department.

    I hope that info helps, even if it's a bit late in the coming.

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