Ammo A-Stand Black, Brown & Grey Primers
These three colors are the newest addition to Ammo’s A-Stand line of lacquer-based paints. “A-Stand” is named after the position of the nose-turret gunner in the Avro Lancaster bomber. There are a wide range of colors, ranging from good ol’ Red Oxide Primer to Candy Red. There are also clear coats, gloss acrylic varnishes, some airbrush thinners and cleaners. Michael Reeves put together an excellent breakdown of these products in his review of the more “fun” colors. It’s a review worth...uh...viewing.
Brown : A.MIG-2353
Gloss Black: A.MIG-2351
Each primer comes in a generous 30ml glass jar. The small bottle opening makes stirring almost impossible. However, it allows for accurate, neat pouring into the airbrush cup. Ammo has thoughtfully included a mixing ball in the jar, so a thorough shaking prepares the primer perfectly for spraying. That’s right, all three primers I tested were airbrush-ready straight from the jar.
The Brown and Grey primers contain “microfillers” which I am hoping are added to smooth out those annoying light sanding marks and construction scratches. I am curious to see how they balance micro-filling with not filling in tiny details.
The Gloss Black primer is just that, a gloss black base for metallic finishes. There is no micro-filler listed on the label for the Gloss Black.
I decided to torture-test these primers by turning them loose on one of the saddest, roughest rejects in my “I won’t throw this out because some day I can test primers on it” box. (Don’t judge, we all have them.) I chose Ellen because she runs the gamut of textures, details and smooth surfaces. Enough about Ellen, let’s see what these primers actually do.
First up, Grey
The grey primer is a light grey color, like most grey primers tend to be. I shook the bottle until I heard the mixing ball begin to rattle, and then went a minute more. The primer was the perfect consistency for spraying straight from the bottle, and the narrow neck made pouring a breeze.
AMMO recommends spraying at 10-15 psi, in thin, successive coats. Like most AMMO airbrush products, do NOT panic if the first coat doesn’t cover much – it’s fine. The first coat simply gives successive coats something to bite into. If you look at the photo, I left a small section of the rear deck top with just one coat so you can see what I’m talking about.
After just three quick, thin coats, the primer had completely covered the nasty, dark paint job. The primer is incredibly tight against every detail and texture, even as small as static grass blades. At the same time, the flat surfaces were smooth and flat.
The most amazing thing to me was that the primer was dry to the touch almost immediately. More on that in a second.
The brown primer has a LOT of grey in it, making a very pleasing, almost dark taupe color. This color is a great alternative for preshading lighter colors, as it creates a dark base for shadowed areas without killing the vibrancy of the base color.
Seeing that the grey primer felt almost completely dry, I decided to mask off a section for the brown immediately to see what happened to the grey when I pulled the tape off.
As you can see, this is probably Ellen’s nastiest corner. But look how the primer covered the tiniest bump and wrinkle without obliterating it. Truly amazing coverage.
When I has sprayed three coats and was happy with the coverage, I cleaned my airbrush. When I finished, I pulled off the masking tape. The grey primer I had sprayed just moments before was rock-solid and did NOT come off with the tape. Cool.
Aaaaannd Gloss Black
When it was time to spray the gloss black, I quickly realized that I was dealing with a different animal. It came out of the bottle thin and ready for spraying, and easily went down in thin coats. But I noticed a slight, pebble finish as it dried. Now, this may partially be due to the rough state of Ellen’s surface. It could also be user error – as fast as these primers dry, it is vital to keep the airbrush closer to the surface so that the primer doesn’t dry in mid-air before landing on the model.
The interesting thing I noticed is that in areas where I laid the primer on thicker, where it just begins to puddle (but not drip), the surface was getting more glassy and smooth.
So what did I think?
I’m not going to lie, I am in love with these primers. They are so easy to use and provide fast, fantastic coverage. By the time you clean them out of your airbrush, you could safely go into preshading, basecoating or any other compound word activity. My first go around with AMMO A-Stand primers make me want to explore the entire range.
Highly Recommended for anyone with a paint-ready model and an airbrush.
Thanks goes out to AMMO by Mig Jimenez for these review samples.
Reviewed by Matt Deck
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