Sunday, 17 June 2012


In the afternoon the clouds that had looked like threatening rain all morning departed for other climes and the sun managed to shine for a little while.  I decided to take this brief opportunity to test out a couple of primers I have bought to use on my miniatures.  This undercoating is important as it helps the paint adhere to the surface, it also provides a base colour over which the paint will go - and different effects can be achieved by using different tones.  I want the colours I use to be bright, and since the paints are not all the best quality (which means lighter colours like red and yellow have trouble covering darker colours), a white undercoat is what I’ve chosen.

Two of the test subjects...
Since I’ll predominantly be working on 15mm miniatures, I need an undercoat that is going to be smooth and fine so that it doesn’t obscure the details of the sculpts.  Normally I’d use a Games Workshop spray - but this is in short supply around my fine town, so I’ve bought two different undercoats - one cheaper one from a hardware store, and one for kit models.

Model undercoat on the left, hardware store undercoat on the right.
After taking the time to base my 15mm Splintered Light minis already, I didn’t want to experiment on them - I want to use an undercoat I know will work.  Instead I grabbed a couple of miniatures from two of my board games - Beowulf (by Reiner Knizia and published by FFG), and The Hobbit (also by Knizia and FFG).

Many light coats is better than one thick one is what I’ve heard works best - so that’s what I tried.  The results were to be expected, the cheaper undercoat was grainy - so much so I think it’ll ruin almost any scale mini, whereas the model undercoat was much finer.  The net lesson from today’s experiment was: Use the model undercoat.  With a supplementary result being that Beowulf needs to be cleaned up or replaced.

Both sets of test subjects - Smaug fared better than Beowulf...

I might give the cheaper undercoat another try at a later date - a warmer day or a dunking in a warm bowl of water might help smooth the undercoat out - but I wasn’t very happy with the results of that test.  The model undercoat is most certainly the better option - and weather permitting it’s what I’ll be using tomorrow to undercoat my 15mm Splintered Light minis for Song of Blades and Heroes.

Once this step is out of the way I’ll get around to doing some painting... at some stage.



  1. interestingly I have a can of White Knight undercoat next to my PC so as soon as I read this I popped outside and did a test run myself. Even though it was freezing cold at 10pm the undercoat worked fine with no graininess at all.
    Maybe you have a dud can or are spraying to far away?

  2. Yes - I'll have to investigate further it seems. You're possibly quite right - there is a high probability that I am doing something wrong! :D

    I was very happy with the other spray though - so I'll use that till it's empty and investigate the virtues of the White Knight further after that...

    Thanks for the heads up - I would have discarded it as useless otherwise! :D