I had to get something to replace the Humbrol matt white enamel that I have been using to prime figures. After a search of The Miniatures Page, I noticed that some people have taken to using artists' gesso. I went to Veliko Tarnovo and bought a fairly large tub for 5 Leva 50 Stotinki (under 3 Euros or about £2.50). After initial trials, I am pleased. I have tended to use a white undercoat for most things recently.
Gesso is water based, and can be painted with acrylics on the same day, although I think that it is better to leave it overnight. Neither the 15mm Chariot Miniature figures that I am using to bring my Minoan, Trojan, Hittite and Achaean armies up to Triumph! strength, nor my 6mm Napoleonic Russians, seemed to lose detail in the priming. The gesso-coated figures take paint extremely well. The only issue is that if you handle the figures less than 16 hours after priming, the coat of gesso can come off in places.
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