Undercoating with white gesso
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Thread: Undercoating with white gesso

  1. #1

    Default Undercoating with white gesso

    Hi,

    Ive undercoated most of my minis in the past with black gesso to great effect. However I needed to do some white undercoating, and due to health issues cant use spray, so i got some white gesso.

    Ive just covered my minis in it and it looks very streaky, I never had this effect with the black.



    Has anyone had a similar experience and/or can give some advice.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Thankfuly after it dried it didnt look too bad, ive washed them with badab black and then drybrushed them and now they look like...







    Next i need to try and get flesh painted, not had to really do it on 20mm and def not on 10, if i do its just a rough drybrush of orange/brown and buff.



    Ah well.

  3. #3

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    I use white gesso here and there. It's infamous for brush strokes so you have to thin it extensively and apply multiple layers. I also stir it with a craft stick and make sure it's good and mixed. It separates quickly on me so I have to keep stirring it.

  4. #4
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Gesso contains marble dust. The product is designed to fill the weave of a canvas to provide a smooth surface to paint on. If it is capable of filling a canvas weave, do you really want to use it as a primer?

    Why not use a white primer?
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    Gesso contains marble dust. The product is designed to fill the weave of a canvas to provide a smooth surface to paint on. If it is capable of filling a canvas weave, do you really want to use it as a primer?

    Why not use a white primer?
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  6. #6

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    I believe airhead and finn17 are both referring to brush-on white primer, BTW. And I have heard of (and used) white gesso as a white primer. I think I even found that here at CMON. I'd wager that cost is the driving reason. Gesso is pretty cheap.

    All I can suggest is to make sure you thin it a lot. And by a lot I mean a LOT. Should probably still be able to see the color of the native material underneath. Just my two cents.
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  7. #7
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Vallejo Airbrush Grey Primer, applied with a Sable brush.
    Neater, smoother and far easier to control.


    Can I enquire what your particular health issues are that prevent you using a Spray Primer?
    Is it possible that you could get a Third Party to Spray Prime for you?
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  8. #8

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    Yeah its asthma, the propelents really mess me up, and whereas i could get a freind to do it for me, i prefer to work to my own timetable. And as I said ive had great results with black (at least for 10mm and 20mm)

    So you use the Airbrush primer and apply with a brush. Hmm have to look at that.

    What size brush? a 2/3 i suppose?

  9. #9

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    As for me I use Testor's Model Master flat white enamel paint, the pot has about 1/2 oz capacity and it is good for quite a few minis but you need a solvent to clean the brushes. I use it mainly in winter where I cannot event think to spray outside (wayyy too cold! ) and do not want to spray in-house because most of the spray paints smell a bit too much for me. This paint coats well and also sticks well to metals and plastics. It also dries relatively fast (about 5 minutes) to a quite flat white and does not clog details, I only have to watch out for air bubbles and just making sure that deep recesses have some paint in it. I really do prefers it over acrylic base coating paints as those tend to peel off from some plastic types (most often the bases) and do not to stick to metals or plastics that have not been cleaned (finger grease mainly). The only draw down is is the light smell from the paint and the use of solvent (oderless exists and is better smell-wise than plain old varsol ). But I do think it is worth it as I get a quite stable base color. May be you could try if you want an alternative to white gesso or spray paints.

  10. #10
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by count zero99uk View Post
    Yeah its asthma, the propelents really mess me up, and whereas i could get a freind to do it for me, i prefer to work to my own timetable. And as I said ive had great results with black (at least for 10mm and 20mm)
    Sorry, it sucks that your asthma is that bad. I'm fortunate that mine only seems to affect me after a cold.

    So you use the Airbrush primer and apply with a brush. Hmm have to look at that.
    What size brush? a 2/3 i suppose?
    No, generally a size 1, accuracy and control mean smooth coverage.
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  11. #11

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    I'm surprised nobody has suggested constructing a spray booth. With a little fan to exhaust it, it'd be a bit of work to build, but not prohibitive.

  12. #12

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    i have chronic asthma and other lung ailments. you should try doing what i do - go outside and spray while holding your breath. while drying, leave the models by and open window in a room you aren't using
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by freakinacage View Post
    i have chronic asthma and other lung ailments. you should try doing what i do - go outside and spray while holding your breath. while drying, leave the models by and open window in a room you aren't using
    My brother has asthma and sprays all of his models whilst wearing a disposable mask. Works pretty well for him even if he does look like Hannibal wearing it...

  14. #14

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    Thanks for all the various advice. Space prohibits a Spray Booth. But as for masks/similar might have to look into it.

    The 5 cultists arnt looking too bad now, so all may be ok with the gesso .

    Take care

  15. #15

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    I frequently use a mixture of 5:2:2:1 Black Gesso/RMS Black/RPS Black/RMS Black Wash, to great effect (it really holds tight and doesn't fill ya up!).

    For white Gesso, it helps if you add another paint (something a little less viscous) and thin it with water.

  16. #16

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    Both Vallejo and Reaper make quality brush on primers that are great. The online pricing is on par with gesso prices so it shouldn't be a huge difference.
    White primer
    Vallejo Grey Primer
    Reaper Black Primer

  17. #17

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    I paid £4.95 for a half liter of white gesso, which is a different order of magnitude to the amount you get in those colours.

    So there is a HUGE differnce in price.

    Thanks for the pointers though. In a perfect world id give them a go, but im skint, all donations happily recived.... lol :P

    Take care all.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jbickley00's Avatar
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    I prime with white gesso all the time, and my primary scale is 6mm. Yes Gesso will fill the weave on canvas, if you apply a thick enought layer. the marble dust in gesso is very fine, microscopic and will not fill the raised detail of a miniature any more than spray primer (most white spray primer uses talc and titanium oxide and black includes carbon dust). In some ways gesso is a better primer, as it loses water and actually forms a sleve around the detail, which mostly makes gesso better for rendering detail. You noticed that gesso went on gloppy when it was wet, and got better when it dried, this is true of all gessos, black or white.
    The key (and the drawback) with applying white gesso is that it takes time and flow control-you have to work at having smooth even coats that are of an appropriate thickness for the miniature. White spray primer is much faster to work with. So is, if you wish it, white spray gesso (krylon makes it, or you can just put it through your airbrush). I would point out, however, that it is perfectly possible to ruin a mini with spray primer.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by count zero99uk View Post
    I paid £4.95 for a half liter of white gesso, which is a different order of magnitude to the amount you get in those colours.
    So there is a HUGE differnce in price.
    that's correct, but for me a 17ml VAC-grey primer was enough for 50+ figures(altough I use an airbrush for that, needing a lot less as with a brush), that's about 1-2 year's worth to paint at my speed. And compared to the figure prices it was really nothing.

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