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I primed about 40 terminators with what I have subsequently found to be a terrible primer- it is kind of glossy and doesnt "hold" paint well (similar to when people paint resin without washing it first and the paint beads up).
I don't want to strip 40 plastic models. I could re-prime them with a better primer, but that would cause some loss of detail. I was thinking maybe coating them with a single layer of testors dullcote then painting over that might work. Can anyone give me advice on what may work and what won't? Thanks in advance.
That's a tough situation. Real shame you got through 40 models before noticing the issue.
Obviously, I'm not sure what they look like now, but in general, I'd advise against adding more coats to try and resolve the priming. Like you said, that'd start hiding details, and just look thick once it's painted.
Ideally, they should be stripped, but if you want to avoid that, I might try rinsing them in nice, hot water, and taking a stiff bristled brush (along the lines of a tooth, or detailing brush, not a paintbrush) to em - give a good scrub. That might break up the hard coat of the primer enough to paint over. Hopefully, if you get just enough melting action, combined with what should be a light sanding, the surface would be roughed up enough.
Again, not entirely sure what you're working with, but that's really my only idea.
You really only need to get a slight 'tooth' to the primer, i.e. something for the subsequent coats to grab onto. I bought some figures from ebay one time that were already primed only to find the primer was some sort of gloss white (probably from the $1 a can white paint you buy at Wal-Mart - yeech!!)
If you own an airbrush you can overspray a very light coat of your own suitable primer and you will not obscure your details. If you use the spray can primers, it is too hard to control the amount of paint and you will bury some details. If you very lightly airbrush you don't have to worry about totally covering up the old primer - just a light enough coat to give a 'tooth' to the large flat areas. the deep recesses don't matter, since the paint you use will cover those fine.
Whatever you decide to try do it on one before you do the whole bunch! Good Luck!!