Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review: Vallejo Surface Primer

Vallejo Surface Primers
  So, it's been pretty cold around here lately.  That means no priming, and that means no painting.  I'm not liking that!

  Surfing around the Vallejo website, I came across their Surface Primer line of paints.  I did some research and a lot of people really like these primers.  Well, off to the War Store to get my order filled and a week or so later, I'm in business again!  And what kind of business it this.  This stuff is GREAT!

  I have always been  user of GW's primer line (Chaos black and Skull white) and I have never really had reason to doubt them.  I have always liked the black better than the white though.  The white seems to go on powdery sometimes, and yes, I am not spraying too far away.  I have tried what some other folks had mentioned, Krylon and the Hobby Lobby brands, but I always found them lacking in some way or another.  Either they were not smooth or they were splotchy.  Suffice to say, I always ended up back with GW primer, paying the huge GW tax for the great name on the can.

  There really is not a whole lot you can say about primers.  They need to do some very simple things.  Bond well to the surface your priming (plastic, resin or pewter, in my case) is the most important thing.  They also need to be tough, resistant to damage from rough handling.  If the primer chips off, all your hard work painting goes with it.  Lastly, they need to be thin to not hide any surface detail and provide a smooth surface to paint on.  GW's black primer had always done all that for me, or so I thought.

  Enter the Vallejo Surface Primers. These come in plastic bottles (17ml, 60ml and 200ml).  Vallejo says they can be brushed or airbrushed on.  I tested both, Vallejo is right.  Brush painting the primer on is a breeze (with a decent quality brush... see this post).  It flows on nicely, dries very smoothly and is very thin.  As long as you don't glob it on, brushing this stuff on will yield results much akin to using a rattle can.

  Then came the airbrush.  To be honest, the wife was sleeping and I didn't want to fire up the compressor while she rested.  Once she was up, I was able to break out the older airbrush (an Iwata revolution CR).  I used the Iwata because it is a .3mm brush and the Renegade Krome is a .21mm.  I had heard that the primer sprays better at the .3mm size.  I did thin it about 1 part primer to 1/2 part mix of Tamiya Acrylic thinner (X20) and Golden Airbrush Medium.

  It sprayed on like a dream.  It covered really well and dried very quickly.  I did some drop tests from about 8 inches to my wooden tabletop after letting it dry for 12 hours and no chips.  Best of all, the surface is baby-skin smooth and accepts paint like... well... like a primer.  Best of all, I can paint prime my figs inside without all the hellish fumes!!!  And who cares how cold it is outside?  As a side note, the white is every bit as good as the black, and WAY better than the GW skull white!

  All in all, this is GREAT primer.  If you need it, run, don't walk to get this stuff!

11 comments:

  1. Works well on Reaper metals and plastics (Bones line). Much better than GW primer I was using and comes in lots of colours including white, light grey, and grey.

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  2. You said that you thinned it for airbrushing, but did you thin it when you brushed it on?

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    1. I thinned just a bit with acrylic medium for brush use, very little, just a dip into the medium and that was all, just to give it some 'body', if you will.

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  3. Ah. When you say acrylic medium, were you talking about the Tamiya Acrylic thinner, Golden Airbrush Medium, or something else? Forgive my ignorance, I'm very new to brush on primer.

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    1. No worries :) I use regular old GW Lahmian Medium, but you can use any medium, I am sure. I just wanted to make it flow a little easier and not be so 'clumpy', but it really was not at all. I was worried that as an airbrush (primarily) primer it might go on very thick, but it did not. In fact, the brush priming turned out very nice, very comparable to the spray. I just had to force my self to use a very light coat. I would not use the Tamiya thinner, as I would be afraid that it might change the coverage of the primer. The golden medium would be, I am sure, just fine.

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  4. Well the brush method didn't work out for me. I'll try airbrushing next using your formula.

    I wanted the brush method to work so I wouldn't have to buy the airbrush and the compressor. Now I have have to buy them anyway. Oh the irony lol

    Do you spray in a vented area, or a spray booth with a exhaust filter?

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    1. Hiya Clay, I usually spray in my spray booth, but not with the fan turned on (I'm lazy). It doesn't seem to smell all that bad to me. I use the booth just to keep the over spray down, not that there is all that much.

      Just make sure you get a decent airbrush :) You'll only get frustrated if you get a cheap one.

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  5. I'm thinking about getting the master g22 airbrush. Judging from reviews, It seems like a great starters airbrush.

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    1. Check out this review of the G22 first. The site is pretty unbiased, and I have agreed with alot of his opinions in the past

      https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/master-g22

      I would say though, that if you're just looking to do mass priming with it, you can't go wrong with the deals on the G22. I have done alot of business with TCP global over the years,m and they have always been good to me.

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  6. Good article.

    I'm still thinking about getting the G22 because I'll be using it for priming and base coating only.

    Thanks Bill. I'll keep you posted.

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Please feel free to leave comments, positive or negative. I am a big boy, I can handle it. Thanks for your thoughts, always much appreciated.