Saturday, March 17, 2012

Primer Therapy

Yes - that is a play on Primal Therapy - as I've about reached my wits' end trying to find a white primer that I'm happy with.  I've tried several brands, and none seem to be working out.  Which leads me to believe that with only one common denominator, I'm probably at least a part of the problem. Frustratingly, I'm hardly a beginner at painting; or more accurately, I'm hardly a beginner at priming with roughly 80% of my models being primed (and nothing else /snicker).   I have no problems with black primer, using alternately, GW, Krylon, and Tamiya - and had flawless results with each.  No pooling, smooth finish, etc...   I only have those issues with white. I've tried GW, Tamiya, Krylon, RustOleum, and about four others I've thrown out and don't remember.  I've read forums and blogs and more forums and a few more blogs without really finding a solid answer - clearly what works for us as painters is our personal preferences.  In this case, my preference is for a primer that doesn't pool in recesses, doesn't craze on flat areas, and doesn't pebble on raised areas.  Every single primer I've tried does at least one of these.  Adding to the fun is all white primer is not the same color white, making color matching rough at best.  Alright - enough ranting.  Let's talk symptoms of this disease I'm calling primer rage.

Here's my typical priming MO:  I typically wash whatever I'm priming with dishsoap/water and let it dry for at least a couple days, often a week or more.  I spray in a 2-car garage with the garage door open for ventilation, on flattened cardboard or laid-out newspaper.  Shake the can for whatever the label says (1 minute or more typically), then spray in short, controlled bursts starting almost off-model, going across the model, and stopping at the edge of/just outside the spray zone; repeat.  Depending again on the label, I spray between 6-8" and 10-12" away from the models.  I almost always prime multiple models (hello, Tyranid player) at once, keeping them ~4" apart.

The pic at the top of the article is my most recent attempt at the long hoped-for but never-delivered Mycetic Spore wannabe above.  Note the pooling, crazing, and spotty coverage; clearly it isn't done, but after noting the pooling and crazing, I stopped.  It's a tough item to prime, composed of very slick, almost oily, plastic - this is my second attempt - the first was with Krylon, which covered adequately with only a little pooling, but flaked off from very light handling.   Stripped it with Simple Green, and prep washed it very well, ran some fine grain sandpaper over it, and tried a special fine coverage primer (Zinsser BIN Ultimate Stain Blocker) intended to "block water, fire, and smoke stains, sap streaks, and greasy spots, and ideal for 'hard to paint objects' like arts and crafts, wicker, porous wood, spackled areas etc..."  The results as you can see, are less than spectacular.  The frustrating bit is I was priming an old resin Armorcast Exocrine - and it came out the same way: very heavy pooling in flat/depressions, and either no coverage at all in fine detail areas, or it buried them under a pool or very thick layer.  Which makes me believe it isn't the texture/material or material.  I let the paint dry and dumped it right into my Simple Green vat where it soaks as I type this.

Honestly debating switching to a light grey primer - but with the bulk of my tyranid 'core' elements painted with a white base, the color value of new units will be noticeably darker.  Plus the white base lets me do things with blended acrylics that take multiple layers to achieve on a dark primer.  At any rate - if you have any thoughts, ideas, or been able to successfully paint Plasma Hatchers - please drop me a line or two below.  Thanks!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Curse you Blogger! & Old Stuff Day
Loved this pic; I think it captures both the futile "Get off my lawn!" rage I have at Blogger for not updating any of the links on other blogs that link to mine for my recent post, and of course, for the Old Stuff concept.

For Old Stuff day: the question of which post(s) I'm most proud of is relatively easy.  My two reviews of NOVA this year were tough to write, and in writing them I both matured (well.. a little bit) as a gamer and a blogger, having to own up to my mistakes, face my critics, and doing my best to write an impartial review, especially as a member of the tournament staff.  So here they are:

The fanboy unleashed and repentant:

The impartial review:
What mattered most to me on this post was TheKingElessar's comment about it being a fair attempt at constructive criticism and fairly written.  TKE has a razor sharp wit and isn't afraid to use it, and the brains to back it up; coming from him I took it as rare and solid praise.

After that - the post I think may deserve a bit more attention addresses something I hold as a core guiding principle -  the importance of creativity and imagination in our lives:

My most popular posts this year (all time at least) are these - and I haven't the faintest what it is about the first one that gets people here - I'm guessing the pic of Darth Vader with a Tabasco bottle may have something to do with it - but welcome anyway!
Tyranid Library article 3, now with updated links:
Tyranids vs. Stelek's litmus test:
And the post I suspect many have found to be useful, given where I've seen it crossposted:

At any rate - my reflection this year is one of bemused frustration.  There have been some killer ups, and pretty rough downs.  Really good times, and days where I haven't left the easy chair in a fugue.  Through it all, I have to smile a little bit.  Starting in a very unfocused way, with only ~65 total posts, closing on 25,000 hits after a little under two years isn't bad.  Thanks for sharing in the journey.  Now get down to your FLGS and pick up those new Tyrannofex/Tervigon and Hive Tyrant models!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Complaining about GW: Is this thing even on?

Having read a few articles about this snazzy new internet thing and social media, I thought I'd take a look at some of tools we have available to get an idea of what these tools would be telling Games Workshop if they were to bother.  Based on the blogs I read, most of them I consider 'mainstream' blogs for the more competitive side of the hobby, my distillation of the dozens of posts were,while mostly positive, many had a strong negative undercurrent.  Nobody is really going to complain about new models after all - especially when for the most part, they look as good as these do (sorry t-wolves, 'nids won the swimsuit and dinner gown competition).  But lots of speculation about the lawsuits, negativity about the size, the two-year delayed release, and GW's staccato business model in general.  So what does all that noise amount to through the lens of a social media analytic?