Priming and basecoating with alternative colors

I love using a primer/basecoat other than black or white. Don't get me wrong, they have their place in painting, but I think when you step outside those two colors, you open a whole new world of color schemes and effects.

It's not often that I get to do this.
In fact, I've only done it once before with my Lustwing army.

I am fortunate that my Custodes client was willing to let me prime/basecoat his guys with a darker brown instead of black. With the majority of the model being gold, the brown undercolor helps keep the gold rich in color and keeps it from looking the way some colors can when painted over black.

I've found that allowing some of the undercolor to show through in places also helps tie the model together and can make a whole squad look uniform in appearance.

I would say to stick with darker shades of colors though, nothing too bright since you're most likely going to leave the color showing through the recesses and such.

how to prime models warhammer 40k

UPDATE: Since this post is fairly old, I thought I might add a few more links to help expand on the material covered in this post:
Priming with something other than black and white
Priming: Things to consider
Priming: The actual process I use on my models

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. I have to agree 100% here. The time savings alone is well worth it - now if only I could speed up the rest of my painting, but that has to do with lazyness and attention span.

  2. I've saved tons of time with my current WHFB army painting with washes only over a grey primer. Haven't looked too much at other colours unless I'm trying to prime/basecoat in one go.

  3. That's something I might try one day... a grey basecoat and washes exclusively to get the coloring.

    Would make for an interesting effect.

  4. It depends on what I am painting. For my current project Space Wolves I'm priming with grey primer.

    Then I do a wash of charcoal grey over the entire mini to create the shadows. I have found this to be much better than black primer, as it seems to me that the grey primer helps keep my Grey armor color truer to the hue outta the bottle.



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