What is wrong with my undercoat?!

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    • What is wrong with my undercoat?!

      Hi,

      I begin with a disclaimer: I know that the miniatures depicted in the attached pictures do not relate in the slightest to the 9th Age, however, I will soon start to assemble and paint my own 9th age army and am afraid of this effect affecting them as well.

      Consider the attached photos. Once the undercoat has been applied it seems non-smooth, blotchy and unnecessarily thick. The detail appears to “rub out” as the edges, crests and caveats of the model are smoothed over by the paint. I'm looking for insight as to the exact cause of this detrimental effect and advice on how to avoid it in the future. Was there something wrong with this particular can of paint? Was I doing something wrong - maybe holding the can too close or putting too much paint on? Should I consider using a different colour of undercoat such as white? It’s been a while since I painted anything but have never encountered this problem nearly as much before.

      Perhaps worth mentioning is that most of my EoS army is comprised of metal miniatures, with the rest being either plastic or resin (a tautology, I know, but in my naivety I am compelled to transcribe the different nomenclature). Do the different materials merit different types of undercoat?

      Any advice or insight here would be greatly appreciated. :)
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    • Strange, I have used many cans but never had it behave like that.

      The only advice I could give you is the "usual drill", i.e.

      • a couple thin layers work better than a single thick one
      • keep your can about 30 cm away from the pieces and work in short bursts
      • do not use when very windy/humid
      • make sure the models are clean (wash with warm water and dish soap if necessary)
    • It looks like the spray can deposits a ton of extra paint that doesn't flow very well and gathers into clumps. I think it could be because you're laying on too much primer, or there's an issue with the pigment separating from the medium, or both. Try a new spray, preferably from a different manufacturer, and see how it works.

      In any case, that glossy look is an indicator that you're over-priming your minis (that's a thing - check out this article about it). Fixing that alone might resolve the clumping issue.
    • Talleyrand is right. But did u shake your your can before u used it? Normally u have to shake it like a minute to avoid that spitting of much paint. Also the temperature can have an impact on the color in the can, so keep in mind to prime your models in the evening or morning in summer. ;)
      I tried many primers and i find the GW ones the best i have to say. So just shake the can like some minutes and dont apply to much color. Better less than to much. :)
      "Wer Freiheit für Sicherheit aufgibt, wird am Ende beides verlieren." B.F
    • Agree with tallyrand and dadaveboy.

      Other things to consider is holding can too far from model. The paint could dry too much before hitting the model making a very ruff surface.
      Happen to me on plastic Necron warriors.

      Also remember (reminding myself) you do not need much primer. The primary is only needed to help the base coat stick to the model. Little primary is better than more primer.
      If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything - Mark Twain

      Prederator

    • Geodon wrote:

      Well, that explains a lot of problems I was having. Thanks for the link @Talleyrand! I wish I had read that article many years ago.

      Glad to help! Yeah, I think that's actually a pretty common issue.

      dadaveboy wrote:

      But did u shake your your can before u used it? Normally u have to shake it like a minute to avoid that spitting of much paint.

      This. First thing I thought when I saw that, actually, is that the can is shooting out lots of pigment and very little medium. You see something similar in paint pots that have a very high pigment-to-paint ratio (basically all primer paints) - you open the pot and there are giant chunks of paint swimming inside because all the pigment clumps together. Ceramite White is notorious for this, for example.

      If you still have problems after shaking the can thoroughly as dadaveboy said and using less primer, one thing you could try is to put in more medium. This is pretty easy in theory, you just open the can and pour in some acrylic paint medium, but I have no clue how easy or hard that is with a GW spray can. Or, alternatively, just write it off and buy a new can. :)
    • I think you are right, @Talleyrand, about holding the can too close to the mini - I will need to watch out for that in the future! Also, thanks for the article! It points out a lot of things that had never even crossed my mind before!

      @dadaveboy, I actually made a point of shaking it for around two minutes before starting, so I think it must be simply due to applying too much paint. The summer weather isn't so detrimental to the process, I don't think, when you live in Scotland ;)

      A lot of great points guys, thanks! Certainly a lot to bear in mind for my next painting endeavour - cheers! :D
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    • When I still used rattle cans (which was ultimately costing me more before I wised up and bought a cheap airbrush kit for $80. I don't expect to paint the mona lisa, but it beats spray cans hollow for priming and zenithal highlighting, and saved me money.) Anyways I digress, when you do your short bursts with a spray can, also see what happens when you move your spray off the mini before stopping the burst. I don't get why, but that seemed to help me that the last of the paint in the burst didn't hit the model.
    • I'm coming

      micdicdoc wrote:

      Hi,

      I begin with a disclaimer: I know that the miniatures depicted in the attached pictures do not relate in the slightest to the 9th Age, however, I will soon start to assemble and paint my own 9th age army and am afraid of this effect affecting them as well.

      Consider the attached photos. Once the undercoat has been applied it seems non-smooth, blotchy and unnecessarily thick. The detail appears to “rub out” as the edges, crests and caveats of the model are smoothed over by the paint. I'm looking for insight as to the exact cause of this detrimental effect and advice on how to avoid it in the future. Was there something wrong with this particular can of paint? Was I doing something wrong - maybe holding the can too close or putting too much paint on? Should I consider using a different colour of undercoat such as white? It’s been a while since I painted anything but have never encountered this problem nearly as much before.

      Perhaps worth mentioning is that most of my EoS army is comprised of metal miniatures, with the rest being either plastic or resin (a tautology, I know, but in my naivety I am compelled to transcribe the different nomenclature). Do the different materials merit different types of undercoat?

      Any advice or insight here would be greatly appreciated. :)
      I'm coming into this conversation quite a few months late, but I think I know exactly what one of the primary reasons that is happening with the spray primer. I had this problem at times as well.

      I don't think it's due to putting on too much primer. Too much primer sprayed too close will eventually obscure detail, but it won't create that grainy sort of thing that covers up detail like that. Even too thick of a layer of primer will still lay evenly on the miniature, if that makes sense.

      My experience taught me that what happens is, is after you first start using a can of spray primer on several units of miniatures or on multiple individual character miniatures. After you've used a can of spray primer for several different things, the nozzle begins to clog with thickened primer. If you put the can aside and then go back to do more priming later, that nozzle blockage actually affects the spray of the outgoing primer. The spray carries out some of the thickened primer from the clogged nozzle, and in its thickened state it doesn't properly "lay" onto the surface of the miniature. That is what causes that grainy-looking buildup. What's happening is that when you spray, the fresh, clean primer vapor is mixing with the thick, gummed up primer, and in combination they hit the miniature and the thick stuff beads up on the surface of the mini. That's really all that is!

      NOW, it took me a long time before I finally wised up to what was happening, I couldn't figure it out! I used to just prime miniatures and kind of put up with it whenever it happened. But then one day I was I hit by one of those "DUH" moments. On every can of spray primer, they instruct you periodically turn the can UPSIDE DOWN and spray out some vapor for a few seconds, in order to keep the nozzle clear. Spraying it upside down causes the nozzle to expel any clogged, thickened primer that's trapped in the nozzle. When you turn it back over on its right side and use it to prime again, PRESTO, it starts working perfectly again.

      I tested this theory and it proved itself when I was doing some GW terrain kits. Sure enough, I did a round of priming, and on a few areas I got that fuzzy, grainy stuff. I had not cleared the nozzle for some time and the can had sat for a while. As soon as I cleared the nozzle, the problem immediately went away!

      Hope this helps!
      There are many magic rings in the world Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly!