Hi, Joel. I knew raiding with you in this build will be a pleasure and it's very safe: it looks like you manage always to find the best route .
Great attention to detail and gray / medium red scheme really pops out in "civilized" manner. And I have a sniff you improved the taking pictures as well (?)...
And yes, welcome to the alchemist's club! The complete lack of hobby shops in Sint Maarten led me to bubbling experiments (mostly failed). My "emergency" primer (tested and trusted in this case) is Rust-oleum enamel. I have always white and black in both satin and gloss and I mix the gray tone I need with the less part in satin. It has a very good grip and sands well.
Awaiting your following updates with live interest,
I'm not so sure I'm finding the best route to do things, but rather trying to convert my military modeling to where it works with cars and gloss finishes. I do find that 1/24+ scales are a lot easier to work with and in then 1/48 scale. So of course my next aircraft model will be a 1/72 scale multi prop.
I usually shoot all my pictures in RAW format, but these I took in JPEG with the hope that I didn't have to do much enhancing in Lightroom 6.1. All the pictures needed a +.5 in exposure and +24 in contrast. That's it other then a little cropping and leveling.
Like I said, I wasn't very happy with the super thinned primer from MCW, and my copycat version just wasn't comfortable to work with. I've ordered Mr. Hobby (Gunze) 1,000 Primer Sealer that I'll thin with Mr. Color (Gunze) Leveling thinner, but no where as thin. Hopefully that will solve a lot of my problems and issues.
From my google searches and U tube videos, Rustoleum and Duplicolor primers a super popular with the car guys. I'm willing to bet that the Tamiya rattle can Lacquer primers would work well too, but they're expensive.
Tomorrow I'm going to be shooting the color coats. I'm both looking forward to it, and leery of it at the same time.