Author Topic: Painting Metal Minis  (Read 1562 times)

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Offline bbmike

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Painting Metal Minis
« on: June 23, 2017, 04:20:32 PM »
Ok, there's a thread for plastic ones. Here's one for metal.
I decided to attempt to paint one of the B-17 metal miniatures I received from DVG. I washed the mini with soap and warm water, then let it dry. I then applied (with a brush) a black Vallejo acrylic primer and let it dry for about 12 hours. So far so good. Then I painted on a coat of Vallejo olive drab that matched the pictures I have of a real B-17. I let it dry for a day. It looked great! I picked the mini up and all of the paint came off on my hand, primer and topcoat. I rubbed a bit more and more paint came off. I ran the mini under warm water and ALL of the paint and primer came off. Totally back to the original metal, no paint on it at all!

What did I do wrong? Are there some metal minis that just can't be painted? Is there something else I should have done? Should I just quit and go back to figuring out what Munchkin is all about?
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Painting Metal Minis
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 04:42:06 PM »
Ok, there's a thread for plastic ones. Here's one for metal.
I decided to attempt to paint one of the B-17 metal miniatures I received from DVG. I washed the mini with soap and warm water, then let it dry. I then applied (with a brush) a black Vallejo acrylic primer and let it dry for about 12 hours. So far so good. Then I painted on a coat of Vallejo olive drab that matched the pictures I have of a real B-17. I let it dry for a day. It looked great! I picked the mini up and all of the paint came off on my hand, primer and topcoat. I rubbed a bit more and more paint came off. I ran the mini under warm water and ALL of the paint and primer came off. Totally back to the original metal, no paint on it at all!

What did I do wrong? Are there some metal minis that just can't be painted? Is there something else I should have done? Should I just quit and go back to figuring out what Munchkin is all about?

Was there some residue left even after washing? Any soap residue?

What about using automotive primer first? it's made for metal and you used to be able to find small spray cans of it for touchups. Or maybe there is a rustoleum spray primer that will stick.
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Offline bbmike

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Re: Painting Metal Minis
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 04:50:08 PM »
I definitely washed and dried it properly. Interesting idea about automotive primer. I'm not sure I want to test my mini with it though.
"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
-Sherlock Holmes

"You know, just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that wasn't immune to bullets."
-Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart

"There's a horror movie called Alien? That's really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you!"
-The Doctor

“Before Man goes to the stars he should learn how to live on Earth.”
-Clifford D. Simak

Offline Nefaro

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Re: Painting Metal Minis
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2017, 08:36:15 PM »
I've been using Rust-Oleum spray primer when I can.  On my plastic minis anyway. 

Such as this one:

https://www.amazon.com/280713-American-Accents-Primer-12-Ounce/dp/B00KZ6M138

Doesn't take much. 


I like Vallejo's black acrylic primer for some indoor brush-on jobs.  But it is very different from spray-on primers.  Seems to dry as a rubbery 'shell' on the mini.  Reminds me of hard taffy or something.  May not work so well on some metallic minis. 

I recall having some of it peel off one of my plastic mini's bases before.  Yanked on the hanging piece and it's stretchiness reminded me of rubber coating or some such.

A spray primer, such as the one linked, would probably do a better job of adhering to the model. 

I just tape together a couple thick cardboard pieces (from a box + packing tape) into a flat palette, along with an improvised handle (flat wood hobby stick, or old pen) through the middle of it,  sticking out underneath for holding while spraying.  Then little pieces of sticky tack spaced out on top, for holding each mini onto.  Push my soon-to-be-primed minis onto the top of my makeshift spray pallet, take a few steps out the door, some quick even sprays across the lot & back in to let dry.  Haven't had any primer running or tackiness during drying, using this method with aforementioned spray primer.   Can prime large amounts of minis, in one go, without having to spray into a huge box or anything similarly ungainly.


Been using White primer a lot lately, since more fleshy and brighter base-colored ones are on the menu.  But my Rust-Oleum black spray primer works just the same when I'm doing ones with more metallic base colors going on top. 




« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 08:40:08 PM by Nefaro »

Offline JudgeDredd

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Re: Painting Metal Minis
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 11:56:52 PM »
Wouldn't metal have to be "keyed" (surface roughed up with sand paper) in order for any paint, even primer, to take hold?

I don't want you to do that and ruin your mini's
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Offline Bison

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Re: Painting Metal Minis
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2017, 07:31:44 AM »
The primer should be fine.  Was the primary set or was it still tacky? 

Offline bbmike

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Re: Painting Metal Minis
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2017, 07:35:27 AM »
The primer should be fine.  Was the primary set or was it still tacky?

It was set.
"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
-Sherlock Holmes

"You know, just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that wasn't immune to bullets."
-Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart

"There's a horror movie called Alien? That's really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you!"
-The Doctor

“Before Man goes to the stars he should learn how to live on Earth.”
-Clifford D. Simak

Offline Bison

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Re: Painting Metal Minis
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 07:50:43 AM »
Well I'd wash again and then use some isopropyl alcohol to wipe it down.  I'd look into some spray on primer too.  I have used a few different brands Krylon, Testors, and Army Painter.  I like the Testors most because the size of the can is easier to control IMO.  It's a little more spendy, but with a daily 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby you can get a good deal. What are you using to hold the mini when you paint?