Thursday, June 19, 2014

Undercoating Minis: Black or White? PART III

Once You Go Black...

Hey All!

As a final installment to this primer/undercoat series, I can sum it all up to this, once you go black, its really hard to go back to a different color. The issues with grainy white showing through the paint layers just don't happen with black. As well, I find Vallejo colors just look truer over black especially the first coat.

Pictured above are two figures, left, black undercoated and right, white. I had to do three layers to get the base coat to cover the white completely, only two on the black. The use of black reduces my painting time and for someone who only paints a figure a day, this helps a lot! I have settled on:

Black Krylon Dual Superbond, using two coats with a couple hours between coats for a super-durable base-coat. At around 6 bucks a can, this will be my choice for all basecoating from now on.

These figures are for my Soviet Storm Squads to flesh out my Stalingrad forces. Great Battlefront figures although short and fat, they are similar to the BF Rifle-armed Infantry in stature and size. A few are too-short and have absolutely no neck. I added a new head to a few of these (above second from right) so they are usable. Also changed the Molotov-thrower to a grenade-thrower which was a simple change with an x-acto. I have again mixed in a few Greatcoated figures to add variation.

Many WWII painters have a certain color that eluded them despite their best efforts (Dunkelgelb anyone?).  Mine is the color of both the wrap and Shinel Greatcoat. Spent waaaay too much time staring at color swatches! I settled on the 'Brown variation' 50% Burnt Umber 941 + 50% USA Tan Earth 874 combo.
Other colors are as per my Recommended Colors link on the top-right of the blog with the pants mostly Khaki Grey and shirts, Middlestone. I painted in a few chinstraps on those figures that had issues with facial detail or looked too plain although they should probably all have them.



Saturday, June 7, 2014

Undercoating Minis: Black or White? PART II

Hey All!

The figure on the left is undercoated white; the right one in black. I painted the two figures at the same time and here are my observations:

1. Black is easier to block-paint without trouble getting into all the nooks and crannies.
2. Finished look is about the same regardless of primer used although I did find I had extra work (extra layers) covering the white undercoat.
3. With my current choices, the white undercoat is stronger and has better bite to it. See below...

One thing about undercoating minis with lead content or softer metal is that the paint must have a good bite to it and be able to pass my 'scratch' test. This is simply to paint the mini in the undercoat and allow to dry overnight. Once dry, I lightly run my fingernail over the helmet three times. If the undercoat stays, its strong enough for wargaming. Sadly both the Armorcoat and Krylon did not pass muster. The Krylon was worst of all, coming off in big flakes. I am still looking for a stronger black paint and will try some of the automotive primers.

Pictured above is my old standby Flat White Tremclad and the test subject blacks.

Each test mini was given a single coat of well shaken paint and allowed to dry overnight. Each is rated from 1 to 4 with 1 best. Here are the results:

Tremclad Rust Paint
Flat White
4. Very coarse
1. Dead Flat
1. Excellent
1. Single pass -too much paint
Armor Coat Enamel
Flat Black
1. Ultra-fine
4. Satin
4. Poor
3. Three passes
Krylon Indoor/Outdoor
Flat Black
2. Fine mist
4. Satin
4. Poor
2. A couple passes
Krylon Dual Paint and Primer Flat Black
2. Fine mist
2. Flat
2. Very Good
2. A couple passes
Dupli-color Sandable Primer Flat Black
2. Fine Mist
3. Slight sheen
3. Good
4. Multiple passes

Overall, I liked the Krylon Dual best. Its lower price and good adhesion make it  the clear winner. One thing that may make a difference is that each paint took different amounts of passes to get good coverage and this may mean that 2 coats may make the product work better than a single.