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Old 01-07-2005, 05:08 PM   #2
GoatRider's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Default Re: How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

There are two parts to making a paint job stay on- what you put under your paint, and what you put over it.

First, you need to thoroughly wash your minis. Sometimes they use mold release, and other oils might get on it during the manufacturing process. Also, during assembly you probably got skin oils on the miniature. Both of these will prevent the primer from sticking.

Next, you need to use a good primer. Primer is best done with spray paint. But it's not ordinary spray paint- it has adhesives to make it stick better to bare metal or plastic, and grit to make it rougher and easier to paint on. If it doesn't say "primer" on the can, it's just ordinary spray paint (one exception- I think Games Workshop in UK sells their primer as "chaos black" or "bone white". GW in the US still calls it primer). Let your primer dry for at least 24 hours, better would be 48, if you use acrylic paints. Although it may feel dry to the touch, it will still be outgassing solvents which can weaken the acrylic.

After painting, make sure you let it dry for at least 2 days. Again, it might feel dry, but it takes a couple days for acrylic to fully cure and reach full strength. If you seal it in, it will always be weak.

Finally, varnish it. If you don't want it to look shiny like varnish, use "Testor's Dullcote" spray varnish, which is the only truly matte varnish I know of. Some people think it doesn't protect very well, and will spray a cheaper varnish first to protect, and then kill the shine with Dullcote. If there are some areas that need to be shiny, spray with Dullcote first, then use any brush-on gloss varnish. I haven't yet found a bad brush-on gloss varnish.

Oh- one more thing. Storage. If you let the minis bang into each other, that will chip the paint off far faster than your hands will rub it off. Make sure you minis are separated in some way, at least by wrapping them in tissue. Most people use carriers with foam compartments the right size for each mini.
- Benton

Last edited by GoatRider; 01-07-2005 at 05:11 PM.
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