A few months ago Bell of Lost Souls had a post on Priming. Good article, and worth a read.
But I don't have the patience to put all that into practice, for example watching the weather too closely--if it's not a blizzard, downpour, or foggy, I'll prime my models. Regardless of whether the temperature is scorching hot or below freezing, I haven't had problems.
The main issues I've had have been with the the paint itself. I'll admit that I haven't used primer most of the time--I just grab a can of flat black spray paint that looks good and give it a try--cheap usually being a deciding factor. I know that priming models is important, but even so, I hesitate to buy a $6 can of paint just to prime my models.
Still, after reading the aforementioned article, I felt compelled to buy some "real" primer and give it a try. So I went to the hardware store and bought this for about $6. Expensive, but still a lot less than the $15 that GW expects us to shell out for a can of their stuff.So I gave it a try, but something was defective with the can itself--I'm guessing the feed tube on the inside disconnected from the nozzle. The result: in order to get any paint out of the can I had to hold it upside down, and to clear out the nozzle after sprayings I had to hold it upright. Probably just a fluke, but it was annoying nonetheless. As for a primer, it worked pretty well.
Continuing my experimentation with various brands, I tried this one:Cheaper than the Rustoleum at about $4. I had used some Krylon stuff before, and didn't remember anything bad about them. Well, the paint really stinks--even after a half hour plus outside, bringing supposedly dry models in from the porch really stank up the house! I was also less than pleased with the result--for a "flat" black, the result was really more satin. Paint also didn't adhere to it well--watering down the model paints at all made it practically bead on the surface, almost as if the paint was waterproof.
Annoyed, I went out to Lowe's to get something on the cheap. I bought this:
You can't get more cheapo than this. It cost me a whopping 98 cents (well, $1.04 because I live in Taxachusetts).
The results? It works great. Now it might not be "primer", but it gets the job done just fine. And I'll end up painting about fifteen times as many models for my dollar than if I used GW's primer.