Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fly's Studio: Part 3 - Primer

In case you are just joining us, this series of articles chronicles my real-time adventures preparing and painting Old Glory's Fly's Studio from their OK Corral series of 25mm Western buildings. Because the entire process is an experiment, you'll get to see my successes and mistakes along the way. To see the entire series of articles, click on the Fly's Studio link.

This afternoon here in Seminole County, Florida, we're getting our typical heavy thunderstorm. The lights flicker and windows rattle with nearly every lightning strike. (Left: Actual radar image after the brunt of the storm had past our area, allowing me to turn on the computer.) Of course, I want to prime my models but can't go into the garage. I'd be spray painting in 100% humidity. Even before the storm the humidity level was 66%. What's a Central Floridian to do in the middle of summer? Whip out the handy bottle of black Liquitex gesso!

During the storm, I primed the building using a Blumenthal #5 brush reserved for this purpose. I simply glop it onto the building, work the gesso into the cracks and crevices, and make sure not to have huge puddles of it anywhere. Because the gesso will shrink and harden as it dries, you really don't have to worry about applying it evenly like normal paint. In fact, you don't want it too thin due to the shrinkage. When people ask how I paint it on, I always say "glop it."

I prime nearly everything using black or gray gesso, from 10mm to 28mm figures. I do not prime my Aeronef ships and microarmor with gesso, spraying those instead. Gesso loses little detail when it shrinks, but I want as thin a coat of primer as possible on those ultra-small models.

Well, those are the Fly's Studio updates for today. I have to wait 24 hours at least for the gesso to dry and harden. In the meantime, I'll be working on the paint scheme I want to use. I'm pretty sure I want the sides to be worn, bare wood like my Arnica shack I posted a while ago but with a worn, painted front. I'll keep you posted.

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