Priming Figures

Just wondering what color primer is best for priming resin figures and why? I’ve used both Gray and Black and both from a rattle can (Tamiya) and airbrushed.

I find the lightest primer color is best - white, or light grey. Light colors show up faults and blemishes better as these cast shadows and are easy to see. Black hides the shadows created by the faults and makes them invisible…until you start applying paint! :pouting_cat:
:grinning: :canada:


Light gray Floquil brushed on… as long as my supply lasts.

Matt white for me, every time.

Basically what @Biggles50 said. However, white can also hide some flaws so I use gray primer

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I use light gray primer such as spray cans because any paint chipped off will show the light gray primer underneath.

Using black or white primer might not appear as easily because not many military uniforms and clothing are light gray, but they can be black and white.

I personally use a grey primer; what I would add is that I’ve found it useful to wash the resin before applying the primer. Sometimes, not often admittedly, the paint doesn’t always stick well. I’ve found that giving the figure a light scrub (depending on what degree of detail is present/overall fragility of the model) with an old toothbrush and detergent in warm water helps.


Almost always flat-matt white for me. I think it allows the true colors and shades of the actual paints to show.

However, I also undercoat with acrylic colors that are close to the final colors which I paint with artist oils. This helps to keep the oil paint layers to their minimum thicknesses and also allows for some different blocking in and blending techniques (outside of the basic primer discussion).

I do occasionally use a heavy, neutral gray filler primer if I still need to smooth out minor tooling blemishes. I also still use a neutral gray lacquer primer (Floquil figure primer) on white metal figures - under the flat white.

+1 on Brian’s observation about washing before painting.

That is also always my first painting step for both figures and models. Paint adhesion is improved, and this is also eliminates other surface contaminants like sanding dust, saw and drill swarf, filing shavings, along with mold releases and fingerprints.


I have had serious problems with the Tamiya white primer (ruined a model before it even got started) Will never use it again, ~ BUT LOVE the Tamiya Fine Surface Gray Primer and use it on everything! EVERYTHING!

Also be sure to check out the Tamiya Red Oxide Primer. Of course it is perfect for German engine tank compartments but also works great as a basic brick color, as a Boxcar Red, Caboose Red, etc.