If you want to make the job of priming a bunch of small parts easier, then I recommend you build yourself a painting station. It lets you prime a whole bunch of parts all at once and gives you a way to hold on to smaller parts while priming or painting. (Meaning you won't get your oily fingers all over them and can paint them evenly.)
Actually took these photos back when I did my articles on colour theory, since I painted an example marine for each. This is a pretty straight forward tutorial actually.
Building the Painting Station
The main supply that's needed for this project is some kind of platform. A cheap block of wood will do, or as I've used a left-over piece of laminate flooring. (Some hardware stores will even give you a block this size as a sample.)
Other items that help will be a tape measure, marker, drill and some toothpicks for the final product.
Mark the Holes
I start by measuring the rows out down either side of the platform. Leave at least an inch between each. Mark the edges of rows with anything - a pen, file, whatever.
Next mark where the holes will go. A ruler or tape measure will do, but if you have a square of some kind, all the better. A Square lets you line up against one edge and has a right-angle to mark a perfect line from that edge.
Some Squares will even have a pin or punch included for tapping pilot holes, otherwise use a nail. Don't hit it hard, just enough to make a dimple in the wood for the drill bit to sit in. This helps you drill your holes without the bit sliding around when you're lining it up.
Tip: Offset the holes so that each row lines up between the holes of the rows on either side of it.
Next, use a bit the same size as your toothpicks and drill out each of the holes. To make sure you don't drill all the way through, find the depth you need and wrap a little tape around the drill bit,
Using the Painting Station
- Dip the toothpick in water.
- Don't use a lot of super glue.
- Press them quickly together while the toothpick's still wet.
We use water for a couple reasons. First, it speeds up the drying time of super glue. Second, it weakens the bond. This makes the connection strong enough for painting and weak enough to tear it apart later.
Take a look at how easily all those little parts get lined up on the board. This makes it sooo easy to prime your parts.
Just look how nice it is to be able to hold the toothpick instead of the part itself.
If the toothpick snaps when separating the, it's easy enough to cut / snap off.