Now my memories of trying to get paint to adhere to these little buggers is not good, back in the day it meant hours of scrubbing and then giving every figure a coat of PVA and praying to all manner of deities for the paint to stick to the plastic.
Fast forward 25 odd years and things have improved slightly, the development of better plastics for a start is one heck of a major step forward. There are also a variety of primers that work very well on plastics now that dispense with the need for pre-coating with glue etc etc etc.
Now I hate scrubbing anything, and with my less than agile hands, soap and small figures are a bad combination. However the wife has a very good dishwasher ( I only recommend doing this without plates etc). So after I have taken all the figures from the sprues and cleaned the mould lines I pop them into the baskets for knives and spoons into the dishwasher, bung in a tablet and let it do its magic. One big point to note is you need to remove the figures before the drying cycle, trust me you dont want to see what can happen if you forget.
Once you have your nice sparkly figures they are ready to mount and prime. Here is where I make no compromises and only use one primer:
This stuff is possible the biggest asset in my paint stock because it primes anything, and because it is polyurethane based its damn well flexible so does not crack when you bend a figure.
Then once the primer is dry its time for some colour, using your favoured paints. Now having painted a fair amount of these figures recently I think it does qualify me to state that all my worries and horrors are a thing of the past. I am converted to the benefits of using these ranges for certain periods and to build large forces for them. Now large forces mean big costs, well not neccessarily as we will see in the concluding part of this series of posts.