But why?

GEG64

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
54
I don't know the answer and maybe it's been given to me in the hundreds of articles & videos I've read and watched.
My question is; why are builders painting black first when that will only be covered up by the main colors of the model? Am I wrong for skipping this step, should I be doing this, and what is the benefit by doing this?

Thanks.
 

urumomo

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Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
3,842
Are you talking about as a base coat for chrome or metallic paints ?
or for pre-shading when utilizing the transparency of acrylic topcoats ?
The reason for the two are the same . Base coat / primer color will affect the appearance of the top coat .

Painting down a yellow atop a white primer will give a different apparent tone than that same yellow atop a black , green , blue ... basecoat .
This quality diminishes to zero as the top coat application becomes opaque thru the application of multiple or too heavy of coats .
Of course the lighting it is viewed in changes everything too .

Some people use a black primer in areas of the model that would be in shadow on the 1:1 example and white primer where the sun would be hitting it , then overspray all that with the top coat color to mimic what you'd see in real life but on a scale model that is lighted quite differently .

So no , black specifically isn't necessary unless it assists in achieving a specific result .
 

Pantherman

Active Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2022
Messages
174
Are you talking about as a base coat for chrome or metallic paints ?
or for pre-shading when utilizing the transparency of acrylic topcoats ?
The reason for the two are the same . Base coat / primer color will affect the appearance of the top coat .

Painting down a yellow atop a white primer will give a different apparent tone than that same yellow atop a black , green , blue ... basecoat .
This quality diminishes to zero as the top coat application becomes opaque thru the application of multiple or too heavy of coats .
Of course the lighting it is viewed in changes everything too .

Some people use a black primer in areas of the model that would be in shadow on the 1:1 example and white primer where the sun would be hitting it , then overspray all that with the top coat color to mimic what you'd see in real life but on a scale model that is lighted quite differently .

So no , black specifically isn't necessary unless it assists in achieving a specific result .
Hi, just tried shadowing for the first time on my latest build and was really pleased with the effects.
Pantherman
 

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Peter54

Active Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2022
Messages
87
I don't know the answer and maybe it's been given to me in the hundreds of articles & videos I've read and watched.
My question is; why are builders painting black first when that will only be covered up by the main colors of the model? Am I wrong for skipping this step, should I be doing this, and what is the benefit by doing this?

Thanks.
@urumomo explained it well.

There is another application I know of in oil painting, but not yet seen (I'm new to modelling) with figurines. Some artists use a Terre Verte (earth green) as a base colour. The green is complimentary to the warm reds and pinks of the flesh and makes the skin appear more natural. It can even make pale skin look slightly transparent. Or even make the dead look more dead.
 

ulvdemon

Active Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
263
if you are referring to marbling, in which you apply the black primer, then a light layering of white in a random pattern within the panels. Followed by several light coats of your base colors. From what I have seen it allows you to control a more realistic shading affect as opposed to pre-shading/post shading. At the very least more control over the effect. Then again, I am still learning how to do it so that is just my $0.02 1/2.
 

airdave

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
6
I'm an ex-airbrusher/custom painter.
I don't mean scale models (although I have painted a few),
I mean full size Bikes, Custom Cars, Murals, Helmets, Clothing, etc

There are many paints that require and/or work best over a black base.
Black primer is common in some automotive work.

Just like using a base white, or white background to make colours more brilliant, black can have interesting effects.
Opaque or Transparent, the base or background will still show through and can influence the top colours.
Black does not reflect like white or silver base, creating a whole new look with some transparents.

I've used black on scale model, both under and on top of the paint colour, to darken seams, lines, cracks.
It collects in and around those areas more than anywhere else.

End of my tutorial...now back to the scale model experts.
 

blakeh1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
402
@urumomo explained it well.

There is another application I know of in oil painting, but not yet seen (I'm new to modelling) with figurines. Some artists use a Terre Verte (earth green) as a base colour. The green is complimentary to the warm reds and pinks of the flesh and makes the skin appear more natural. It can even make pale skin look slightly transparent. Or even make the dead look more dead.

I actually use a brown ink/olive green mix was a wash for skin tones. It really works nicely

I'm an ex-airbrusher/custom painter.
I don't mean scale models (although I have painted a few),
I mean full size Bikes, Custom Cars, Murals, Helmets, Clothing, etc

There are many paints that require and/or work best over a black base.
Black primer is common in some automotive work.

Just like using a base white, or white background to make colours more brilliant, black can have interesting effects.
Opaque or Transparent, the base or background will still show through and can influence the top colours.
Black does not reflect like white or silver base, creating a whole new look with some transparents.

I've used black on scale model, both under and on top of the paint colour, to darken seams, lines, cracks.
It collects in and around those areas more than anywhere else.

End of my tutorial...now back to the scale model experts.

I also find with figure painting, going over black base vs a white base can sometimes produces more muted tones with certain colors. For example, painting red over white comes out much brighter than over black
 

GEG64

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
54
I actually use a brown ink/olive green mix was a wash for skin tones. It really works nicely



I also find with figure painting, going over black base vs a white base can sometimes produces more muted tones with certain colors. For example, painting red over white comes out much brighter than over black
I have heard of something similar to that. Someone wanted a fluorescent red to appear better than a white base coat. Someone suggested yellow as the base coat which worked out better.
So, it's good to know how base coats can affect the topcoat color.
 

Peter54

Active Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2022
Messages
87
I have heard of something similar to that. Someone wanted a fluorescent red to appear better than a white base coat. Someone suggested yellow as the base coat which worked out better.
So, it's good to know how base coats can affect the topcoat color.
An artist would be considering what temperature they want the final appearance to have.
The base colour can influence the top coat to be warmer or cooler than without it.
 

blakeh1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
402
I actually use a brown ink/olive green mix was a wash for skin tones. It really works nicely



I also find with figure painting, going over black base vs a white base can sometimes produces more muted tones with certain colors. For example, painting red over white comes out much brighter than over black

I find if painting a model red, especially using an airbrush over a grey or black primer, it is often good to place down an ochre, or rust color brown first if you want to do a preshading type of thing

it also helps in figure painting as well as you do not have to add as many layers of red
 

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