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Mission Models Primer Review

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  • Member since
    January, 2017
Mission Models Primer Review
Posted by ecotec83 on Thursday, June 29, 2017 9:40 PM

About me:

I am a Novice modeller who started working on models in my childhood. Have many fond memories of building 90's revell plane at teh kitchen table. Recently got back into modelling and navigating the many new advances in paints and materials available. This review is based on my own unbiased experiences with Mission models primer. Since I am far from an expert your results may vary as there are many varaibles that can affect primers.  Please forgive my spelling and punctuation errors as I am not a writer and have been working all day.


Having opted to use acrylics instead of noxious paints and spray primers it has been relatively difficult to find a decent primer. My workspace is both a computer room and frequently a dining room so the less toxic fumes the better. My selection locally is very limited and my go to polyurethane primer left something to be desired. It tended to go down grainy, was difficuilt to sand without damaging it or chipping it away. The littlest amount of pressure would leave scratches or even peel the primer away on well prepped surfaces. When I first read about mission models new line of paint and primer I was very interested. I finally broke down and spent $33 dollars for a 1 oz bottle of Grey and the thinner required. I know I got hosed on pricing but no one local sell this primer yet. Neareast store is 45 minutes away.


Testbed and equipment:

My test mule.... er I mean pig is Revell's A-10 warthog plane. This build has sure lived up to its name and made me want to retreat to the safety of building tanks again. But that's a story for another time. My setup for the test was a Paasche Talon gravity fed brush with the .38mm needle setup. The compressor is a generic chinese built single piston with 1 gallon tank and regulator. Also an additional water trap on the air hose.


The primer: 

First impression was the quality of the bottle it feels sturdy has a nice flip top cap. The label provides the typical instructions on use, drying etc. Under the cap is an nice airtight foil/plastic seal used on many food product bottles. At first glance the primer is very thick reminding of the consistancy of thick ranch dressing. It has a mild odor but is no more intrustive than most acrylic paints.



For mixing the paint MM recommends 25% thinner to 75% primer. I did a bit closer to 30/60. It is important to ONLY use MM thinner with this primer as it will not activate or dry with any other brand. The mix is quite thick even when diluted, resist the urge to over thin or drying/coverage issues may occur.



When using my AB I tend to used the needle stop. Mine is marked with tape so it is easier to get into the general spraying "sweet spot" with minimal tinkering. With this primer I had to open up the stop almost half a turn to get a good air/paint ratio. I sprayed using my typical 18 psi. Once the paint started to hit the model I was impressed with its ability to cover putty marks and even some minor scratches. MM recommends doing 2-3 light coats but I tend to be a bit heavy handed and generally do one heavy coat followed by a lighter coat to fix any lighter areas. It goes down very nice and does not suffer from the dusty consistancy of some other primers.


The finish when it dries is much flatter than any other primer I have tried save for a enamel rattle can. I can feel a bit of roughness on the dried surface but that may be my technique causing it, I'm sure someone who is more proficient with an airbrush could get a dead smooth finish. That being said I did not see any need to sand it unlike models primed using my former go to primer. The most noticeable aspect of this primer is its self leveling abilities. It covers well without hiding details and in a quick test even seems to handbrush with very minimal brush marks. One con that I did find was a bit of tip dry, on 2 occasions I had to use a q-tip and thinner to clean the airbrush tip. Dry tip has always plagued me even when using a flowaid and drying retarder. With my former primer the tip dry was so bad nothing would spray out of the AB, with MM primer the flow just decreased a bit but never stopped totally.



I used my typical windex spray to remove residual paint. followed by a final flush with Paasche AB cleaner. It was not much different than any other acrylic for cleanup. It was however harder to get off my hands.



So how does MM compare to another well known primer for instance.  Well frankly its not perfect but it is a vast improvement. In a scratch test light pressure with a toothpick did leave a small light colored lines in the paint. But it took some effort to acutally make it scrape or chip. One thing I did notice was spots that had heavier amount of primer were easier to damage, the lighter areas took more of a beating before finally succumbing to the pointy wooden assault. Simple handling of the model should not cause any damage. With my previous primer a tiny bump or even handling could cause damage to the finish. 



I really did not do much testing when it came to sanding but a quick hit with 1300-1500 grit paper showed that it is not prone to coming off in chunks or being gouged right down to the bare plastic as with my other primer. 2000 grit worked even better producing a baby's bottom smooth finish. Anyone who likes to sand should not have any issues with this primer at all .


Other Info:

Any modeller who shares a home with animals knows it's inevitable to get a stray hair or two.....or 10 in thier freshly layed paint. Thinking the primer had dried I bumped the model with my finger when trying to use tweezers to remove a hair. This removing a swath of primer down to the plastic . I hit the area with primer again fearing it would leave a blemish that would need sanding. Much to my suprise it dried perfectly flat and belmish free.  

Another issue I ran into was some areas appeared lighter or darker likely due to myself putting paint on heavier in some areas. (yes my airbrush control skills need a bit of work). My attempts to fix this only made it worse. I left it to dry expecting some areas would have noticable color variances. To my suprise when it dried everything blended nicely together with no indications of my uneven paint application. 



I am overall very impressed with this primer it is very forgiving to spray, provides a great finish and is rather durable. It does seem a bit harder to find at the moment and its smaller bottles means it costs overall more than some of its competitors. However I feel the extra cost is outweighed by its benefits. MM will be my primer of choice going forward. Going to test a bottle or 2 of their paint on my next model and if it passes muster. If its near as good as ther primer I may even begin to phase out my Tamiya acrylics with MM as they run out.  Hope at least someone out there finds this review useful.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by ecotec83 on Friday, June 30, 2017 6:45 AM

Knew I missed one bit of info last night, Regarding coverage. I painted the A-10 in the 1/48 scale and to prime everthing needed to use 6 ml's of primer. Another 1/2 - 1 ml would likely be needed to prime the bombs and bomb racks.


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