HG Grimorie Start to Finish Part 4: Basic Priming, Shading, Painting and Masking.

In part 3 I demonstrated techniques to correct and improve the base kit. In this post I will demonstrate techniques to prepare the kit for painting, priming, shading and topcoat. Like the prior section modelers should use paint their kits based on their aesthetic preferences, tools and materials. This kit will be painted using my airbrushes, if you do not have an airbrush spray cans can create a comparable finish.

Apologies in advance some videos and photos were lost.


Bamboo Skewers and Alligator clips


The key to a great paint job is begins with good preparation. I disassembled the kit into it's component parts and placed them into my part cleaner. You can make your own part cleaner cheaply and easily by following this tutorial. Removing all of the plastic dust, mold release and oils from your fingers should improve primer adhesion and provide a smoother finish. I typically wash parts using dish soap like palmolive; afterwards I will rinse them several times with water before allowing them to dry completely. To dry the pieces I spread them out evenly over and old t-shirt and left the parts to dry overnight.

Before picking up a brush to start painting take a few minutes to think about the order you are going to paint parts and colors. Optimizing the paint order before starting will save you time and paint.

When priming and painting, I keep all of my parts to be painted, paints, thinners, etc by my airbrush on the right side of the spray booth, and a drying space on the left. This keeps everything organized, close at hand and creates a flow from unpainted on the right to painted on the left.


I use Mr Surfacer 1200 primer for my kits, it's a good compromise between smooth finish and filling power. I mix the surfacer up with Mr. Thinner until I get the mixture to the consistency of 2% milk. I mix both together in a spare primer bottle, the manufacturer does not recommend doing this, however I have not personally experienced any negative consequences.

Priming parts will help to reveal all of the tiny defects in your finish. I compiled a mental list while priming the parts that need to be touched up. I sanded down the rough areas, filled any recesses with Mr. Dissolved and re-primed them. Don't be afraid to redo this step multiple times to get a clean finish.


I started with a shaded base coat, this is an easy way to create a more visually interesting final paint scheme. The goal of the shading on this model is to create some variances in the final color scheme to help the seasoned or weathered appearance of the model.

I am applying a black shade from the bottom of the kit. The goal of applying the shade in this way is to enhance the areas that would be in shadow assuming there is an overhead light source. To make the shadows appear more consistent I shaded areas in sub assemblies, legs, feet, chest, etc.

After the shading was completed I mixed the colors requested for the commission. I quickly found out while painting that the shading didn't show very well once painted. I will correct this in the next step.

Here I used the base color plus a pinch of white to create a highlight. I applied the highlight in a similar manner as the shadow shading, but working from the top down. Between the highlight and the shadows I think I will have a very good base to work off for the filter in the next post.


For basic tips on masking refer to to this tutorial here:


In the next post I am going to apply the last few details to the kit like lining, decals, top coat and a filthy wash to give the kit a grimy lived in feel.