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Should I use primer? L@@K

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Should I use primer? L@@K
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, May 9, 2001 9:21 PM
I plan to paint a shell by brush. I was told to paint the shell with white or gray primer/basecoat. The shell I found has been painted silver. Should I still prime it or can I add parts and paint it? Any info is helpfull. If you have any tips, please add.

Thanks
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, May 10, 2001 11:39 PM
If you wi***o paint the shell with black, dark blue or some other dark color, you shouldn't have to worry about priming the shell. If you want to paint it yellow, orange or red, I'd suggest priming with white. Any other colors I have not mentioned would look best with a gray primer. With the yellows and oranges, the pigment in the paint base is usually suspended in a way that makes it difficult to get good coverage without a heavy coat of paint. They are usually more syrupy than other colors. If you have much experience painting, you know what I mean. Any variations in the base color (especially an unprimed, prepainted shell) will show up in the finished product. A coat of white behind yellow or orange will really make the color "pop" whereas a gray base will make the color dull and muddy. Add any parts to the model before priming. Just use enough primer to make the color of the shell even. Don't worry about coating it. (I see your user name is "CNW6615", so I'm guessing you'll be painting a yellow locomotive...)
Primer can also be useful for effects on models. I have seen a few Santa Fe red and silver locomotives with peeling paint on the nose and the mineral red primer was clearly visible in those spots. This effect can be simulated by applying a resist (like vaseline) to the primed model in the spots you want to be "peeling." Paint with the final color, let it dry, then remove the resist and you'll have pimer showing through peeling paint. You can also try to duplicate this effect by using masking tape on the final coat of paint shortly after it has dried, but this is a hit-and-miss technique that can be disastrous.
The part of your question that really caught my eye was your plan to paint with a brush. Any particular reason for using a brush? I find a paint job applied over a large area with a bru***o yield the least satisfactory results. I usually only do details like step edges and window frames with a brush and use an airbrush for everything else. If you don't have an airbrush, there are plenty of colors by Model Master and Floquil that will closely match prototype railroad colors available in spray cans. If you do have an airbrush, use it for the best results. And if my guess about painting a CNW locomotive was right, the appropriate colors by Floquil are glossy, and are going to be the most difficult to get to behave with a brush. Those particular colors are syrupy. Even with an airbrush, they were more difficult to manage than other Floquil flat colors. But in the end, on my CNW 6855, the results were fantastic.
One last thing, before you add detail parts or prime, consider stripping the shell of its paint to prevent paint buildup from obscuring the details. Good Luck and Happy Painting.

-RCHarris
Durango, Colorado

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