Monday, May 17, 2010

I was stoked when I discovered that The Army Painter came out with a bright yellow primer. Finally my dreams of doing either an Iyanden or Imperial Fists army seemed within reach. Yellow armies have always looked sharp to me. In a game where most things are dark or mid tone colors, seeing something bright is a welcome change. Not to mention almost no one ever does yellow because of the complexity. Out of all the colors a painter can do, yellow seems to be the one that is the most difficult. I've tried it and it never comes out looking right. Sure there are tutorials out there (done by master painters... who have artistic tallent... of which I don't) but who wants to spend that kind of time painting a mini?

However the primer is not without its own tricks as you journey towards the reality of having a good painted yellow army.

Take a look at the Marine on the left. Now look at the one on the right. See the difference? The one of the left was just an initial one coat spray. I about had a fit. The damned mini looked like it had a green tint. Where was the bright yellow? I continued to spray, two, three coats until I got the effect on the right. Then it came to me. The gray plastic of the mini was showing through!


If I continue this way I'll be spending a small fortune on Army Painter primer trying to get the solid, bright yellow tone that the lid claimed was in the bottle. This way is problematic anyway because you really run the risk of caking the primer on the mini and burying the detail. I had figured since the primer is "highly pigmented" one coat would have been enough. All the other Army Painter primers I had used in the past didn't run into this problem.

It became clear I need to help this primer out a bit to unlock the color that was hidden in the can.

I first gave the mini a light undercoat of white primer, then I hit it with the yellow. I got a little nervous as I had never undercoated a mini twice to get the right look but it worked like a damn charm.

Using the Soft Tone dip I took a Marine and applied the splash on technique (which is nothing more than painting the dip on instead of having the mini go for a swim in it) just to see what it would look like.

It didn't disappoint...
The shading is perfect and doesn't darken up the yellow to the point of making it look dirty. The mini isn't nearly as bright as a lot of the Games Workshop pics of yellow figures but this does give it a more realistic look.

I then got brave and pulled out an Eldar to see if this stuff would bring out Craftworld Iyanden...

It did.
This mini really attested to the quickness The Army Painter provides. The whole job took twenty minutes. I even tried to highlight the mini with a Bleached Bone drybrush before splashing on the dip. I don't know if it came out well in the pics but as you can see the product allows anyone to field a respectable looking Iyanden force with extremely minimal effort.

This exceeded my expectations. Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do. Since I want to do all the armies in 40k but not with all the same paint schemes I'm going to have to make a hard choice between Iyanden or the Imperial Fists.

It's cool to be torn this way :)


Vredesbyrd said...

Excellent review, I've amassed a fair sized collection of Army Painter products over the last few months but I've yet to use them for fear of ruining models.

I'd heard that their primers can be quite tempremental to work with, did you find this at all?

The 25mm Warrior said...

Yes, some are a bit temperamental.

I just used the Chainmail primer for my Necrons and it was fantastic. Very little spray nearly covered the mini. It was awesome. However I wasn't expecting it to work so good like that and prepared myself for another yellow adventure. Needless to say I gummed up a Necron head. Oops.

I have found one absolute rule when using any Army Painter Primer...

Less is more.

Use half second bursts on your mini and you can't go wrong. Once you see how the primer is coming out and the coverage it's giving you can adjust from there.

Good luck bro!

Howard Vaux said...

Yellow... :(
Is is a very difficult color to work with in most cases because it is very translucent. It was just as difficult when I was printed it on a press. Putting the undercoat of white is the best way to go give you that bright color.
as far as priming rattle can or airbrush there is a really good way to do this.
Start spraying off of your model then move the spray can across the model keeping it perpendicular.(Do not arc your movement or swing back and forth)
Once you have gone past the model then stop You do not need to go slow a few quick passes is better then one it might seam wasteful but it is the way to spray this is the technique I was tough in my automotive painting class I took.
by the way most of your primers like krylon and even colorPlace work just fine. I bought gw's spray black and fell in love with there spray tip keeping that to use on my other can's. I read a tip at From the painting Corps: Spray Nozzles and what they call low pressure "fat cap" they are similar to the new gw's cap here is a link

hope this helps...

if you have any questions you can e-mail me at

Kenny said...

Ya know...I have been searching and asking and asking and searching for anyone who had any idea how good this primer be honest I'm not a big space marine fan, but for some reason the Imperial Fist have a special little place in my heart and I wouldnt even consider entertaining the idea of doing them unless this primer was decent, as well all know Yellow is the bane of most mini war gaming painters, thanks for the review man...really well done

The 25mm Warrior said...

Thanks Kenny. I'm with ya on Imperial Fists. I'm thinking of doing a whole bike army with em.