Hobby Hack #4 – Cutting the Costs


We are all aware of the cost of our hobby (well, except our partners, who we usually fudge the prices of our purchases to). 
Let’s face it, our hobby isn’t cheap. Between model/ miniature costs, the cost of accessories, paint and glue, costs rake up pretty quickly. As such, we are usually on the look out for ways to either cut our costs or to get a good deal on our purchases.
Some times this is buying on the secondary market, other times it’s finding alternative products, and it’s the latter (alternative products), we’re going to delve into today.

The first item we’re going to look at is ‘Primers’. For those of you who are uninitiated, a ‘Primer’, is basically the first step in painting a miniature or model. It’s basically a base coat of paint you apply to your model, so that your other paints can grip to, and not flake/ rub off. Although the most common colours to be used in priming a model are black and white, you can use nearly any colour, it just basically depends on your paint scheme.
There are a number of different ‘Primers’ available on the market from companies such as Games Workshop and Army Painter, just to name a few. Generally they are applied either via an Airbrush or a rattle can. I use the rattle can variety (as I don’t own an airbrush), the price of a can of ‘Primer’ can vary depending on where you get them, but usually a can of ‘Primer’ will cost between €10 to €15 per can, and if your painting an army of miniatures for games such as Warhammer 40k, Age of Sigmar, Warmachine/ Hordes, Dropfleet Commander, or Infinity as an example your going to need multiple cans.

Today we are having a look at a cheaper alternative to the big boys.

Today we are looking at Halfords Plastic Primer (grey colour). I’ve been previously told about this product but haven’t had a chance to test it till now. Now that I have tried it, I don’t think I’ll be using anything else going forward.

So how much does it cost?

At a cost of less than €8 for a 300 ml can, and less than €10 for a 500 ml, price wise you can’t go wrong.
What’s the coverage like?

To me, the spray seemed to be finer than say Games Workshop or Army Painter ‘Primer’ sprays. It didn’t clump or collect in recessed areas either, like I have happened with the previously mentioned sprays. I was impressed in the colour coverage, the spray even reached those hard to reach places (you know the ones I’m talking about, like between the legs, and in recessed tight corners).

So how did the ‘Primed’ model turn out?

I was interested to see how a ‘primed’ model would turn out, so I tested the spray on a number of different models. I would a this point take a moment to point out that although I did ‘prime’, for the most part I didn’t remove mold lines and flash from the models.


First up I primed a couple of containers from Puppetwars.eu, the containers are made of a resin-foam material. In a few places it appears the spray ate into the model but I believe this is more to do with the resin-foam than the spray.


Next up I tried a Fusilier model from the game Infinity.


I then did the Librarian from Games Workshops Dark Vengeance box set (I swear it has nothing to do with 8th edition 🤔). The grey is nearly an exact colour match for the Colour of GW plastic. The spray actually got in between the sections near the shoulders and back pack.


Next up I primed my fleet of UCM spaceships (8 frigates and 5 cruisers) from Hawk Wargames, Dropfleet Commander.


Finally I primed the web store exclusive Saratoga class cruiser from Dropfleet Commander.

The Halfords sprays come in a variety of colours so if grey isn’t your preference, you have a range to choose from.
If you haven’t tried the Halfords Plastic Primers before, based on my experience with them I can’t recommend them enough. 
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave 

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