Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review: The Army Painter Spray Black

I picked up a can of this stuff as the quest for a good black primer has been eluding. The GW Black primer is excellent but I was hoping for something a little cheaper. None of the local hardware stores carry black primer (they used to when I was a teenager) and the only place I could find it was at an auto shop, but the stuff was horrendous quality an would simply dust off.

A while back I tried Armory primer and that stuff was terrible. It made my guys look like they were covered in black aphids even when I followed the directions on the can perfectly. I know I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience with that brand which is sad because the price is right.

I decided to give The Army Painter a try. It is an excellent primer. That's really all I have to say. It goes on even and coats very well. It doesn't obscure detail and dries quickly. I was handling it within minutes, flipping the pieces over to coat the other side. Within a minute or two it was dry to the touch and I could move it. Granted, where I live has almost 0% humidity but that's still really fast. With other primers I can wait for hours to be able to even flip it over.

I'm considering switching my white primer brand of choice to the Army Painter. Granted, it's only a couple of dollars cheaper than the GW stuff but I'm loving the quality. Now I really want to try their colored primers. I'm already planning on using their brown for my Skaven.


  1. I hate that you didn't like Armoury, I swear by the stuff. I found it early on (liked the cartoony label) and keep coming back to it. I've tried GW primers and they are disgusting. The armoury stuff is inexpensive, easy to find (for me) and handles much like you describe the Army Painter. But it's good you found a primer you like.

  2. I haven't tried Army Painter primer yet, mostly because it's a little on the expensive side. Lately, I've been pretty happy with Duplicolor primer, which is usually avaialble from auto supply stores for about $6 a can and gives pretty good results (although the combination of high humidity and being near the bottom of a can can still give somewhat uneven results). I may give Army Painter another look, though...

  3. Funny, because I tried the white army painter spray one year ago. Watched the video tutorial, shaked the can like a madman and sprayed the 6 war walkers I needed for the german TOS. The result? 6 Walkers looking they got primed during a major sandstorm. Tried the can again 2 days later, waiting for the weather to change, with a similar effect. The ironic thing is that I primed the weapons black with a can of GW chaos black, which I bought back in ed3. That can collected dust for years in a bad insulated loft.

    I then got some cheap white cans from a graffiti store, which worked quit well, but after buying myself an airbrush gun I got rid of primer cans.

    Decent airbrush + the new vallejo brush/airbrush-primer = great result without having to fear things like getting a defective can (propellant, snow/sand effect, you name it).

    Bottomline: If those army painter cans work for you use them. At least they come with different colors, which some people really liked (+it cuts down time drastically). If you ever think about getting an airbrush gun, just toss all your cans out of the window, because in my humble opinion no can will ever beat a decent airbrush.

  4. I think spray paint results really have a lot to do with climate. From hearing people having totally different experiences it's really interesting. I live in the high desert so there's extremely low humidity, hot daytime and cool evenings. I've had the best results with GW and Army Painter primers, but I guess it all depends on your climate.

  5. @Karnstein- I have an airbrush already, maybe I should give that stuff a shot.

  6. Yeah it does vary alot. I live in Toronto (Canada) our climate is temperate but winters are cold, and summer can be very hot. I've always found Gws Black to be a juggernaut when it comes to adverse spraying weather. Everytime I've used it the results have been perfect. And I once found a can of the old gw white spray primer. Unlike the newer stuff I have, it worked really well.

    Armory however has given me nothing but trouble. It can't take any humidity.

  7. Yeah, weather really matters. Back when I ruined my walkers with the primer, it was summer. A little bit humid, but not too much and it wasn't too warm. Plus I did my second try on a low humidity day and it still didn't work, while the ~6 year old GW black primer did a splendid job on both days.

    It summer around here again and this time with the airbrush I didn't run into any problems and I really don't expect to run into problem ever again.
    <= Acrylic-Poliurethan Primer, that is the one I use now (black and grey) and it really works well. You can also mix it with other vallejo colors, for a colored basecoat effect. So I think it is kind of nice.


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