For pretty much as long as I can remember I've used black undercoating for my miniatures, usually just a flat black spray paint from the local DIY store. I told myself that the black was forgiving, it saved time for belts and boots, took a simple silver drybrush for swords and chainmail and armour, etc. I knew that other painters used different, lighter colours for undercoat, and several years back painted some 20mm figures that had been primed in white. I found that experience irritating, and was always seeing white bits that I had to back and paint out. It wasn't that good an experience for me. However, I always wondered, was I sacrificing brightness and vividness, since black tends to suck out some of the vibrancy of the colours painted over it.
Last week however I was reading the article by Stokes Schwartz in Issue 29 of Battlegames, "Simplify Your Painting", and one of his suggestions if to use a white undercoat. Being the open minded (impressionable? easily manipulated?) fellow that I am, I thought an experiment would be in order. I bought some Army Painter white spray primer and applied it to a small number of Warlord weird war figures that are on my painting bench.
Here's the Warlord vampire hunting Padre in white, next to a Foundry Union cavalryman in my usual flat black. My hope is to put up several comparison shots as painting continues, and to get your feedback as to what you think looks better and why.