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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Review - Halford's Grey Primer

Following building the unit of zombies I looked to a way of painting them, the solution is something for my UK readers (though can be bore in mind by others that priming options may be available in unlikely places). I had formulated a scheme where I could use a grey primer and build up grey tones from there. I read that Halford's do a grey coloured that should be suitable on plastic models.

Here is the review of that!

The shop in town had two types of primer, a "plastic grey primer" and simply "grey primer". I went with the grey primer as pictured above. The first thing you'll see is the cap is finished to represent what you get. This is a nice matt finish, if the cap is to be believed then the "plastic grey primer" appears to give a glossy plastic-like finish which is why I opted against it. (This may, or may not be true!)

The large 500ml can cost me a penny under £7.50. That is a whole £2 less than the black or white spray cans from Games Workshop (which, by the way, only contain 400ml) and is cheaper still than the Army Painter Uniform Grey (which on RRP is usually about £10 for 400ml!). It's worth bearing in mind that you can use a hobby supplier to get your GW or AP sprays which can save you between 15-20% off of the RRP. You may have to factor in postage, but even so, the large can from Halfords still offers the best value for money. Note that the "plastic grey primer" from Halfords costs £6.50 but is a smaller 300ml can. It might be worth looking at testing that to see the difference (if any).

Whichever way you cut it, and even if you get 20% off of the mentioned alternatives, the Halfords Grey Primer is still the best value being both cheaper and larger.

I used the body part tokens made from the left over zombies parts to test the spray. The reason for this is because some spray paints (particularly car spray formulas) will have a tendancy to melt plastic! This primer, did not... and I was then able to spray all 30 zombies.

Even though they pretty much look the same as before they were sprayed, trust me when I say that they have received a coat with great coverage. The spray has a reasonably narrow and thus controllable spray cone and covers nice and thinly and evenly. As you can see, the colour is a very mid tone grey so it will be easy enough to lighten or darken with the following layers of paint.

Having started painting the zombies I can also say that the primer does a terrific job of providing a suitable painting surface... just as you would expect it should do! I'll post better quality pics of these chaps when they're done... for now you'll have to settle for these!

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the results of the spray. It didn't ruin the detail by going on too thick, it was easy to control and left a nice even surface to paint over.

The verdict? I'll be heading to my local Halfords for my model priming needs!

You can read more about Primer options from Miniature Tim.


  1. Great stuff, Halford's paints. I'm fond of them for a wide range of colours. Some of their paints need a spray of varnish (they do a clear lacquer) over which one can paint without any trouble. I've been using their Ford Midnight Sky recently as a metallic basecoat, and have been very taken with it. Needless to say, I've been using their grey primer before the coloured paint.

  2. I have been using Halfords Grey Primer on FW models for some time, I use their black primer for undercoating.

    I also use one of their silver sprays as a base coat on Ork models, as I remove paint which goes over it to show the base colour underneath. A lot cheaper than using Boltgun metal etc.

    Never had a problem using any of the Halfords sprays.