Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review: Vallejo Surface Primer

Vallejo Surface Primer
Since priming is an absolute necessity when its about painting miniatures (oh these old sins when painting with Revell emaille paints didn't need that) I thought of trying out some primers myself. I have spray cans of Games Workshop (black and white for doing a 2k priming), a brown primer from Army Painter (too many Skavens to work with) and shortly after I bought myself an airbrush I also bought the Vallejo Surface Primer in grey. This is a waterbased Poliurethane Primer which can be directly sprayed from your airbrush or if you want painted on with a brush. It comes in three sizes: 17ml, 60ml and 200ml. At my hobbystore of trust the big one costs around 12€ which is pretty much the costs of the GW primer. The bottle is designed to let you pour the primer directly into the paintpot of your airbrush which is pretty neat since that is exactly what I have bought this stuff for.

Unprimed Mantic Showbase
To show you how this stuff works, I used a Mantic Showbase. Had to buy this thing to get a free shipping back then :) As you can see, completely made out of white metal and until this point not cleaned not primed nothing.
The primer should not be mixed with alcohol or the famous windex (which also contains alcohol) because this causes the paint to flock and clog your airbrush. It can completely be used out of the box, no thinning needed (tried it both with my 0.3mm and 0.2mm gun).

Primed Mantic Showbase
The primer itself is self leveling and builds up a strong coat of paint. But you have to give it time to completely dry. If the primer isn't dried you can easily scratch it, after that it is very very resistent to touch.
And the best: It smells nice as all Vallejo paints while spraying!

As you can see, the base is nicely primed. The coat is even and you really have to scratch the material to get the primer off. If you have poured too much primer into your paintpot you can just fill it back into the bottle and don't have to worry about it.

My opinion: This stuff is worth every cent! You get MUCH more out of it then of normal aerosol primers, it can be used inside (unlike the spray cans) and it is really economic. I think I can run a looong time with this 200ml bottle. I think I have to buy the black one as soon as my black primer is empty. Then I can do the 2K priming by airbrush.

So long,


  1. It is great stuff mate.. though I am preferring the black over the grey these days. Better coverage, and less waste as well.. or at least that is my opinion of the stuff :)

    1. Since I have Black & White as aerosol it was only logical to buy another color first ^^
      But yah, this stuff is really great. And the cealning of the gun afterwards is easy peasy. Should've mentioned that in the post.

  2. How well does it do as paint on primer? I prefer to do that myself as I have no spray gun and the weather and I never agree on when I have time to prime minis. I have a huge shipment of reaper Bones coming sometime where I was going to practice my painting. Figured better to do it on minis I paid less than a dollar each on than my 25 year old vintage blood bowl stuff.

    1. Ofcourse those are plastic and not metal so the primer may work different.

    2. Thanks for your comment and question. Since I only tried it as airbrush primer I had to test it myself first :)
      Yes it works (like other brush-on-primers) BUT you have to be really careful because the primer coat is easily wiped off as long as it is wet. And you won't get an even coat like with the airbrush (or aerosol primers per se) or I'm too untalented to achieve it.
      As soon as it is dry it has the same qualities as the sprayed on primer (as far as I could test it). Btw. I could feel no difference between metal and plastic miniatures.

      But if you have a huge pile of miniatures why not buy an airbrush? You can get it low-cost and priming with it is much easier and faster than with a brush.

      P.S.: If you like my blog maybe you want to join the journey (follow the blog)? :)


If you liked this article, please leave a comment. If you even want to support this blog, deactive your adblocker and click on one of the banners. Everything will be refunded for new reviews or tutorials. Thanks!

Related Posts