Assembling plastic model is easy, right? Of course it is, but there is some science to the process that will help give you a better understanding of how plastic works and why you should or shouldn’t use the glue you are using.
Why should you use a surface primer?
So, you’re going to paint a model? Have you ever tried painting a plastic/resin/metal model without priming it first? I don’t recommend this futile act. Most plastic, resin and metal surfaces are loathe to take paint without applying a primer first. Reapers says that you can paint their Bones line of models without priming. I’ve tried, and unless you’re globbing the paint onto the model with a spoon it doesn’t really work all that well. Models need primer, because primer provides your subsequent layers of paint a texture onto which it will grip. Generally speaking, paint adheres to a model through a mechanical bond (think super glue, not plastic cement – that’s another article). In other words, paint catches in the micro-recesses on the model’s surface and clings to these imperfections. The shinier/smoother the model, the worse paint will stick. So, we want to prime a model to make the surface textured? Yes, but you don’t want to add a lot of texture, just enough to let the paint grip.
I’ve been sitting on a Heldrake since not long after the Chaos Space Marine codex was released earlier this year. Regardless of the model’s rules I find it to be a very cool model. However, the slightly overpowered nature of the rules kept me from painting it as I hate to be seen as a band-wagon jumper. I’d rather be a post-hipster playing models that used to be cool but are not any longer… 😉
The various parts for this model sat in pieces staring at me for a few months before I decided to get to it. Based upon my painting goals I decided to prime black and work up from there. I was inspired by a tutorial on YouTube by BuyPainted. I basically copied his technique, but changed out the colors.
Stripping paint from your models…wait, what did you think I was going to be talking about? Anyway, sometimes you get a deal on a painted model that you want to strip the paint from because either it’s poorly painted, the paint scheme doesn’t match your army, or any of a hundred different reasons. This leaves you with a dilemma, how do you get the paint off your model without damaging the model and details?
I just finished a model for a local painting competition this weekend. A face-off of grand design, or least of models in power armor. While there will be plenty of other good entiries, I’m sure, Stephen and I have a side bet running between his Dark Angels Librarian and my Space Wolves Rune Priest. Finishing touches on the model for me included adding snow on the basing.
Olde World Games in Elk Grove is hosting a space marine painting competition and as I don’t have a single painted space marine, but intend to start using dark angels as allies, I decided to paint the librarian from the Dark Vengence starter box. Firstly, because it’s a very nicely posed and detailed model, but also it gives me a chance to get outside of my comfort zone and try a few different techniques while painting.
I started with the face because it’s probably the most difficult part to reach on this model, so I wanted to make sure I got it right before doing any other part of the model. The face is generally the first thing a person will look at when they are looking at any model, so it’s important to get it right. After the face I did a base coat on the armor so that the armor could be distinguished from everything else, and also because the armor tends to be tucked in and hard to get to without getting paint on other parts of the model, so a good place to start.