Warmachine, Warhammer 40k, & Terrain Projects

Priming the Warlord Titan

I started 207 days ago (6 months, 23 days) and just this weekend got to ‘construction complete’ ! My very demanding career, even more demanding toddler, and a new home purchase & family move significantly slowed down my play time.

Anyhow, time to start the slow process of painting.

This weekend it was all about priming. I use Rust-Oleum Gray Sandable Primer for a few reasons.

  • Gray: I like gray over black so I can create ‘highlights’ on the panels. I lay down a lighter gray base primer over the entire model, then add shadows with black primer around the edges of the armor panels. When laying down airbrush colors, which are almost all transparent to some degree (think ‘tint’ instead of ‘cover’), the color over the gray is brighter than the black, creating depth and making the model look less flat.
  • Sandable: I sprayed at a temperature in the mid 80’s (crazy for February, welcome to San Diego, CA!). This is slightly warm for spray cans, which mean that some of the paint dries slightly before it adheres. This can leave a slightly rough surface texture. Because it’s a sandable primer, I can (and will) use steel wool to smooth down the primer coat and get a nice clean finish once I start using the airbrush.
  • Spray Can: Usually I HATE spray cans, as they produce splotchy light/heavy coats, are difficult to control, waste a bunch of paint with overspray, smell horrible, and are super dangerous (read the MSDS!). However, what they excel at is adhesion. All those solvents (Acetone, Xylene, Mineral Spirits, Propane, Butane) really make that paint STICK! This is super critical when painting over resin. There is nothing more tragic (relatively speaking of course) then spending 100+ hours painting a Titan only to have the paint flake off when removing a mask on a critical part of the model. It’s happened to me, it sucked, wash your resin and lay down a good primer coat!

You can see masking done in the image gallery below. While masking the glue joint areas is time consuming, if you don’t do it, you either end up gluing paint film to paint film (which is a super weak bond) or you have to spend hours and hours scraping paint off the joint surfaces. This way, once painting is done it’s a simple matter of removing the mask, scoring the raw resin with an x-acto knife, and using Cyanoacrylate (CA) or JBWeld to get a strong joint.

Because it’s a spray can, there’s a huge amount of overspray, thus the giant piece of cardboard and the improvised spray station in the back yard.

Since I have a toddler, and spray paint has nasty solvents, I let the paint cure overnight in the garage before bringing back into my workshop. Even then my workshop smelled like a chemical factory for a few days (again, I usually avoid spray cans like the plague!).


Once the primer has dried for a good long period (I waited a day) I use steel wool to smooth over the finish. It creates a smoother finish, but creates a giant mess of steel wool lint all over the model. Fortunately, steel wool is magnetic and can be easily cleaned using magnets!


In this video you can see me pull off the steel wool lint. There is some lint stuck near the ‘eyes’ of the Titan because there’s another magnet up there, so I had to remove that with a q-tip.

One response

  1. mrpinnk

    Can’t wait to see how this turns out, seen some pretty impressive models.

    February 22, 2016 at 7:49 am

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