Mission Models Paint, Part 4 (Clear Primer)

Published on
November 7, 2019
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Company: Mission Models - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Mission Models - Website: Visit Site

This is the fourth of a four-part review of Mission Models Paints.

Clear Primer

Why Clear Primer?

That is the question I asked Jon Tamkin owner of Mission Models Paints at the Chattanooga IPMS Convention. John looked at me for a second and I saw just a slight smile starting to emerge from the side of his mouth as if to say here is a whole new chapter in the Mission Models Paint story. After a conversation with him about the primer, I am inclined to agree with him.

What is Clear Primer

When I first heard about the Clear Primer, I was thinking to myself the primers I use are to check for defects on the model and can correct them with a little sanding. So how could a clear primer help with that?

Back to the conversation I had with Jon in Chattanooga. He explained to me that the clear primer gives the same performance as the other primers but this one is different because it can be colored by the addition of any Mission Paint. What that means is that any of Mission Models Paints can be made to behave like a primer by adding it to Mission Clear Primer. Let me say that again, all Mission Models paints can now become a primer with the addition of Mission Clear Primer.

Mixing Ratios

The standard mixing ratios for Mission Models Color Paint is:

If you use 20 drops of paint, then you should add 2 drops of the Mission Thinner and 2 drops of Mission Poly. 20:2:2, If you add 30 drops of paint then you would add 3 drops of thinner and 3 drops of Poly 30:3:3 and so on 40:4:4. This serves as a good jumping-off point for your paints.

John has talked about experimentation with the paint mixture ratios to see what works best for your experiment. Keep in mind that if you over dilute the paint it will have trouble sticking.

Clear Primer Mixing Ratios

I started off with a test of mixing 40%, 50%, 60% and 70% paint with the clear primer and then added to that mixture 50% of the Mission Thinner only. As with the other Mission Primers, you don’t add any poly mix. What I found was the 50% paint to primer mix was good for me and the 40% mix seemed to be a little light for paint. The 60 and 70 percent ratios did not show and appreciable gain in paint color so I am thinking that those ratios would be a waste of paint.

Again, experiment with the paint primer ratios, your climate can have a direct impact on the performance of your paint. Experiment.

Model Preparation

Whenever you are going to paint a model you should clean to remove any grease or finger oil. This applies critically to using acrylic paints. Make sure your model is clean. I will use denatured alcohol (not the fuel type) to wipe down and clean my models.


When I spray Mission Paints, I apply them as a light dry coat (no gloss or wetness to the paint) on the first pass, then come back with multiple light coats of a wetter spray building opacity I am looking at giving each layer to dry before adding another coat.

Paint Sheen with the Clear Primer

One interesting result of spraying the Paint Clear mix is when it dries the paint will have a distinct semi-gloss type finish and self-levels very well. If you want to use the Clear primer and your basecoat color together, you can apply decals directly if you are one who likes to add a clear coat before decal application.

Clear Primer Durability

I let the Paint Clear mix dry overnight. To test the durability of the paint I took an old airbrush needle and scratched the paint; it held up as any other Mission primer I have used and looking at the scratches the paint around the scratches was clean and not flaked. Second, I sanded the paint and found it to give off some dusting. Looking at the boarders of the sanded area with the paint, the paint was feathered and did not flake which makes it easy to sand then to reapply the paint primer mix and have a gentle transition between old and new paint primer.

Detail Preservation

As I pointed out earlier when applying your paint primer mix, use light coats, and watch the leveling as the mix dries. There will be no loss of detail to the area you are painting, given the proper amount of paint mix.

Metallic Paints and Clear Primer

Metallic paints have always been fragile so I was eager to see how they would mix with the clear primer. After mixing the metallic paint and clear primer I believe this is where the primer shows how well it performs. I sprayed five light coats of Mission Aluminum and the clear primer mix and let it dry for 24 hours. When I looked at the sprayed part, it looked like it had the robust nature of the metallics I have never seen before. The paint stood up to some scratching by that I mean it did not flake around the scratch and took to a light sanding very well, hopefully if you are using metallic paint you are beyond the sanding phase on your model. I have always had some issues spraying metallics and have shied away from models having a natural metal finish not anymore. I can’t say enough about the Mission Metallics with the primer added.


I have tried to provide a basic understanding of Mission Models Clear Primer. It is easy to use, durable and can be blended with other colors in the Mission paint line to produce whatever color primer you want. I am an aircraft modeler and this system lends itself to painting interior green and clear primer in the cockpit area thereby eliminating the step of primer first, then the interior green, also because of the sheen, you can apply enamel shading directly over the paint.

Now you don’t need to limit your primer application to a few colors, whatever color Mission Paint sells you can make it a primer.

Like Jon Tamkin has said, experiment with colors and mix ratios to see what works best for you, don’t be afraid to try.

If you paint with Acrylic Paint, then you should think about giving Mission Models Paints try if you have not already. If you use them, get yourself a bottle of clear primer and start experimenting.

I want to thank Mission Models and IPMS USA for the opportunity to review this product.


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