With the base shape and the detail finished, it was time to prime the prop’s surface for painting. Here’s my mini-review for Poly-Props’ SEAL Prime primer.
This was my first time really using this particular primer, and my results were mixed. Let’s start with the negative, and begin with the obvious.
The knife was a relatively small prop, and SEAL Prime comes in a aerosol spray can. Like almost all spray cans, it has a wide nozzle, and consequently suffers from some serious overspray. Given that a single 400ml can costs about €12, that’s a lot of money to spray into thin air. I also only had the one can at the time, so…. not off to a great start.
For the record, I did manage to cover the knife perfectly with two good layers using the one can, but I easily lost half the contents, which was about €6 worth.
The other problem I ran into with SEAL Prime is that is designed to highlight imperfections. So when I scuffed a bit of the knife with sanding paper for “prop damage”, that entire area refused to smooth out, making it stand out significantly from the rest of the foam – even despite having heat-sealed the “damaged” area before applying the primer. And again, the product is designed to do this. And that’s cool, and it can be incredibly useful… but it’s definitely something to be aware of if you’re trying to get the area to look smooth (which, for a knife edge, you really kind of do).
But, it’s not all bad news.
One thing I love about SEAL Prime is that it comes out almost-dry. It dries very fast, and as a result, there is no dripping, which really helps with oddly shaped props. (It does begin dripping if you apply a very thick layer, but you shouldn’t do that to begin with. Being able to pick up your prop so soon and turn it around and get better coverage without strange droop marks was very nice.
I also love that it can be used to highlight imperfections. This really is both a negative and a positive. If used properly, this can really help you make ridges and edges pop. Some of the deeper battle damage “cuts” I added to the knife would have probably gotten “blurred out” with many other primers, and have lost detail. It’s a non-issue with the SEAL Prime.
Easily my favorite feature about SEAL Prime is that it’s incredibly flexible. Like, freakishly so. I didn’t have a lot of experience with many primers, but I was very impressed with the SEAL Prime’s flexibility. I was able to take my knife, and bend the entire blade 180 degrees, and there was no breaking, cracking, or tearing at all. In fact, there wasn’t even any discernible rippling. It genuinely is some impressive stuff.
Once I was finished, my white-foam knife was covered in black primer, and it was ready to be painted. You know, in theory. Because, uh, I didn’t actually have any proper paints. I had some cheap paints, which is better than nothing, but I wanted my knife to have a copper-bronze look, and you need proper metallic paints for that. But we’ll cover that next time.
As always, thanks for your continued interest in my journey to learn this stuff, and for supporting me and my projects!