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Spray painting Tamiya surface primer

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  • Member since
    December 2020
Spray painting Tamiya surface primer
Posted by RyanKat on Thursday, December 24, 2020 10:26 AM

I am new to the world of modeling mostly; so hence this thread. While spraying primer on plastic parts from kits over the last couple years I noticed that primer tends to leave a rather dusty/particle apperance on the model pieces which then can show through and give the final paint a rough texture. If I hold the can 10-12 inches back and give it light mist coats (as recomended to do) it seems to be worse than if I hold the can close and put a heavier coat on at once, this seems to produce a smoother finish. Tamiya white seems to be worse than the light gray. I know I can sand this down before the top coat but is this normal to have to do this; if so what sanding media is best, can fine steel wool be used?

  • Member since
    November 2020
Posted by two-qts-low on Saturday, December 26, 2020 10:16 AM
I am newly returned to modeling. With Tamiya spray cans in general, I find that trying to do really light mist coats like I would with an airbrush is just a waste of time. I apply the paints fairly heavily - - my biggest concern is to make sure I do not apply them so heavily that they drip. I don't wait particularly long between coats, either. My understanding is that a "dusty" finish to a sprayed paint means some of the paint is drying before it hits the surface. That, in turn, means you are either too far from your subject or using too little pressure. With a spray can I suspect the former is pretty much always the case. I find that the Tamiya "Fine" primers go on more easily than do their ordinary primers.
  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, December 26, 2020 10:37 AM

A couple of years ago, I started decanting Tamiya Surface Primer into a 4 ounce mason jar for storage, and then airbrushing it thinned with MEK.  I was getting the same inconsistent results you were experiencing with the rattle cans, so I tried this method, and haven't looked back since.  I get consistent results every time by doing it this way, and never have to sand or buff anything.  The decanting process I have requires a little bit of a time investment, but that's mostly taken up by the epoxy curing for the party straw I attach to the rattle can nozzle.  Then there is letting the jar sit, loosely-capped, for a couple of hours to let the propellant come out of solution.  Once you get that done though, its enough primer to last for several weeks...or even several months.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, December 26, 2020 12:25 PM

The stuff in the can especially the gray has never given me anything but a smooth even finish,you got me on that one.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, December 26, 2020 12:43 PM

I rub the model with a terry rag after priming thats soaked in alchohol. That usually leaves the surface quite smooth. My problem is the Tamiya White does fisheye pretty often, which is annoying.



 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.


  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, December 27, 2020 9:04 AM

I suspect it is your technique.

You can't baby a rattle can. You can't push the valve part way down or any other tricks.

Spray it on with the nozzle pushed down all the way. Start your sweeping motion off the model, fully depress the valve before you get to the model, keep it moving in a smooth motion, and never, ever stop while still laying down paint on the model. And this sounds dumb, but you gotta follow through just like golf and bowling.

If you want to lay down a thin coat to bite into the substrate which lots if not most folks do, just do the above with a faster pass. But you still need to finish it off with the aforementioned technique.

It takes a little practice, but once you get it you will not have problems anymore.

I very rarely use rattle cans anymore, but when I do I can tell you with confidence that this skill is truly like riding a bike. Once you get it down you'll not forget it.

Spray cans can be fussy about heat and humidity, too. Unless you are spraying in extreme conditions, this is not likely your problem. But if you are spraying out in the garage and it's 25 degrees outside, it could be. I'm not very well versed in proper environmental conditions for spraying, but others here are and can help if that turns out to be a factor.

Anyway, that's my best guess about your problem. I think we've all done it at one time. Hope you find something helpful in our replies here.



  • Member since
    December 2020
Posted by RyanKat on Monday, December 28, 2020 7:08 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions guys; I will try what Greg said and maybe the terry cloth with alcohol thing too.


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