Minor/Repaint: Nightflame presents: Nightflame (WIP)

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Night Flame, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Mold Used: Classics Bumblebee
    Character: Nightflame

    OK, so the last one of these threads I started never got past the concept stage. So I waited to post another one until I actually started the work. And since I do things so screwy compared to most Transformers customizers, I decided I'm going to go all out and detail my methods up front just so people can call me out on what a lunatic I am right off the bat. So, ready? Good.

    (Let me get this out of the way: I have no idea why my username here is Night Flame instead of Nightflame as I've come to think of it. No clue why I broke those up way back when I created the concept and no idea why I started writing it together later. Whatever.)

    As a person who takes great joy in painting, I also am a person who's anal retentive to the max when it comes to what I'm painting and how. My father taught me well. He's rebuilt several older vehicles over the years, and always taught me that good paint jobs start with good materials, good practices, and huge doses of patience.

    With that in mind, and my history of painting only items that I purchase not yet built, let's start my first Transformer repaint to not involve the dye treatement.

    The first step is breaking it all down into components. I spent a good couple hours pulling pins and removing screws to get a Classics Bumblebee stripped down to raw parts. That gave me something sort of resembling this:

    [​IMG]

    Yep. The only parts I couldn't separate were the window assembly and the rear of the car body. Those pins would not budge no matter how hot I got them with the soldering iron. And I wasn't interested in melting Bee down for scrap, so I gave up.

    In the picture above you'll see I have on rubber gloves. The reason for that is the big purple jug behind my tupperware container. Castrol Super Clean. The friend to resin modelers the world over. The thing I love about it is it removes any paint that isn't chemically bonded with whats under it. And it doesn't eat plastic. Basically, it cleans debris, including loose paint, off any part made of metal or plastic.

    Now the cleaning process begins. Here's the numbers.


    [​IMG]


    1. Pour in the Super Clean. WEAR RUBBER GLOVES TO HANDLE ANY PARTS IN THE SUPER CLEAN. Seriously. And be careful to not get it on any exposed skin. It eats skin. Yeah. Not cool. At all. Make sure every part is covered and not hiding any air bubbles. Seal up the container and put it somewhere for twenty-four hours.

    [​IMG]

    2. Get a sink full of dish-soapy water. This'll be used to clean off the Super Clean that's left on the parts. DO NOT POUR THE SUPER CLEAN IN THE SINK. Instead, I use a hard-bristle toothbrush to scrub each part in the Super Clean, then place items in the sink full of sudsy water. Small items could use one of those wonderful little claspy strainer thingies. You'll see it in a minute.

    3. Scrub parts thoroughly with the thoothbrush again in the soapy water to remove all remaining trace of the Super Clean. Then rinse thoroughly with clean water.

    [​IMG]

    4. Dry parts as best you can, then put them somewhere clean in between layers of towels or paper towels. Put them up for another twenty four to forty eight hours. This allows plenty of time for trapped water in the parts to either find its way out, or evaporate away.

    Why so thorough with the cleaning? Something my dad and grandpa taught me about paint. It hates dirt. Of any kind. The Super Clean removes any chemical and/or paint that isn't fully chemically bonded with the plastic. Scrubbing with the toothbrush removes any lose particles remaining. Then soapy water and a clear water rinse to remove the Super Clean to prevent that from causing paint to break down. Then drying. What you end up with is a pristine surface that will take paint and not scratch easily.

    Overboard? You betchya. Wait until you see what I do with the painting process.

    The leftover Super Clean can be poured back into the original jug with a funnel. It's reusable many, MANY times when it does a job this simple. It's made to cut engine grease, so mold release agents and small amounts of paint are no big deal to it.

    Any paint remaining on the parts at this point is not going to cause a problem. If Super Clean and a hard bristle brush don't pull it off, it's not going to cause anything you put over it to come off either.

    [​IMG]

    This picture shows my "drying rack" with the funnel, my trusty hard-bristle toothbrush, and the strainer I use to hold the small parts during the cleaning process. Trust me, it sucks to lose some little tiny part down the sink and not realize it until you go to put something all together. Note the lid on the tupperware container is not closed. It's left open, to allow some air to make its way in there. Sealing it up would prevent evaporation of any water that happens to be left in the parts.

    Next up will be puttying any deformities on the vehicle outsides and sanding anything that needs it.

    I plan on detailing every step and photographing what I can. The pictures will be bigger when there are good details to show. Hopefully someone can take something away from this when it's all done.

    The next update should either be tomorrow night, or sometime over the weekend.

    Let the cries of "lunatic" begin.
     
  2. Sycia

    Sycia Draconian Faction

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    Great description and pretty darn solid advice. Looking forward to updates. : )
     
  3. fabexmax

    fabexmax Well-Known Member

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    OFF THE CHAIN! I will follow all steps of this project... Lunatics unite!
     
  4. SupremeSancho

    SupremeSancho Member

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    I am definitely going to follow this, Thank You for the detail as it is hard to get that in a write up.
     
  5. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Time for the next step.

    In this case, the next step is sanding away the hard-lines from the paint apps on the body panels, and sanding down some of the minor sprue marks on some other various parts where they'll end up noticeable when it's all said and done. Also, trying to rid myself of my worst tool-slip when pulling pins:
    [​IMG]

    So, I started by picking out the previously cleaned parts that needed sanding. Basically anything with a white stripe on it to get rid of those edges the paint-app left (they will show up under the surface on future paint layers), the bottoms of the feet for the sprue marks left there, and the red "tail lights" because they have some rough looking edges.

    Let me just add that it was an odd decision to cast those tail lights in clear plastic, then paint the part that shows. *SHRUG*

    So, here's the parts that are going to get the sanding treatement.

    [​IMG]

    I started with 220 Grit sandpaper to work out the rough spots on the body panel with the gouges and the bottoms of the feet. Then I moved to 400 Grit to smooth out the edges of the white paint apps and take the rough edge off of the tail lights. Normally I use a sanding block, but since there's not really any smooth surfaces on Bumblebee, I just ripped off small pieces of sandpaper and used my finger to sand with. Carefully. When dealing with plastic you don't sand fast, because you can work up enough heat to begin melting and globbing the plastic, causing gouges. Just go slowly, and work across any pant apps or rough spots you're trying to remove, checking progress frequently.

    [​IMG]

    Here we are all sanded and ready for another round of cleaning. Gotta get that sanding dust off of there.

    [​IMG]

    This time it's so few parts and no chemical residue to worry about, so I just grab a cereal bowl and trusty toothbrush and wash them that way. Thorough rinse, dry and . . .

    [​IMG]

    . . .we're ready for another 24-48 hours drying time for any water left in the pieces that can't be reached with a towel.

    Here's the big gouge in the rear fender we saw up above after the sanding was done:
    [​IMG]

    You can still just barely see it, but it can't be felt. I'm going to try and get by with a primer coat, maybe another quick sanding, and a second primer coat there. If that doesn't get it, putty filler.

    Why am I being so fussy about that outer surface? I'm planning on the car parts looking like car parts on this bad-boy when it's all done. Any surface imperfection will be seen. So if at all possible, there should be no surface imperfections.

    Next time:
    1. Masking the windows.
    2. Mounting and prepping for the first round of primer on the parts that will need it.
     
  6. chubbzilla

    chubbzilla One shall stand...

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    cool
     
  7. Rumble02

    Rumble02 Radicon of Obliticons

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    all i get are red x's
     
  8. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    why not just use some oops or alchohol to remove the paint? plus ...they have alchohol in them..so they dry very fast too.
     
  9. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Because, if Super Clean doesn't take it off, alcohol won't either. Some paints come off easily, some don't come off with anything short of brute force.

    The silvers on this mold seem to come off really easily. While the silvers on my the planet key I have in the same batch don't come off for anything. Meanwhile, the yellows on the clear parts don't come off at all, and the white? Forget it. Not budging without sandpaper.
     
  10. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    are you intending to keep the orignal yellow or repaint it? if you're repainting, just use paint thinner, it *might* remove the finish on the plastic, but that can be restored several ways : (1) light oil rub, then sit in heat/oven, (2) clearcoat (3) cook it in oven after a 300+ sanding,
     
  11. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'm not keeping the original paint, but the paint thinner that will remove this paint will also melt the plastic down into a pile of goo. Been there, done that, not interested in a repeat and losing another mold.

    I'm not worried about the plastic having a good finish. The finish is on the "car parts" is what this whole project is about for me, and this is coming from years and years of model work and actual car work, so I kind of have a grip on that aspect of it.

    I already know my methods are weird (see my first post). But I feel my results will be worth it based on other projects I've used these methods on.
     
  12. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    meh, I constantly am using paint thinner to remove paint. it's never melted anything for me, even when it pools up in crevises or cracks and sits there a bit.

    maybe it's a type of plastic i've never worked with.

    do you at least try some on an inconspicous spot, like underneath a panel?
     
  13. Jimmyjimjim

    Jimmyjimjim Well-Known Member

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    I've done quite a bit of model work and auto paiting in my time, and I'll back you up that your methods are indeed sound.

    Guys, he speaks the truth- The car painting motto is, "your finish is only as good as your prep".
     
  14. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    I used an isopropyl soak and a toothbrush to get the white paint off mine (except the clear bits, they were just painted over).

    Also, I use superclean to clean chains at work all the time without gloves, it doesn't eat my skin, it just makes it really dry.
     
  15. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Not on this one, no. I think there may be some confusion as to what I'm trying to accomplish leading to this discussion. I'm not trying to eliminate the paint, I'm just trying to smooth over the rough edges on it for now.

    Huh. Maybe this particular paint comes off with alcohol. I just know in the past I gave up after trying absolutely everything to take paint apps off of another Hasbro toy with alcohol, model paint thinners, Super Clean, and finally real paint thinner, which melted the parts. So, now I just go the Super Clean route and if that doesn't get it, I sand edges to remove the "line" and work from there.

    As for Super Clean eating skin, the reason your hands get dry is it sucks all the oil out of your skin (since that is what it's paid to do after all) and takes the top layer of cells with it. Take a little cup of it, and rub your fingers back and forth in the cup. It'll feel slimy. That's a cobmination of hand oils and dead skin cells getting pulled off. And despite what the chemical peel ladies say, some dead skin cells are important. Especially on hands.

    If you heal quick though, it probably doesn't matter. My hands chap in dry air if I don't lotion them about six times a day so I'm kind of stuck with the rubber glove treatement if I don't want to end up bandaged and wrapped for a week after using Super Clean.
     
  16. Overhaulimus

    Overhaulimus Sword of Fury!

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    I can't wait to see the end results.
     
  17. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Nice!
     
  18. Bobby Lemain

    Bobby Lemain Cassette Man

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    wow, that was alot of describing. I like it! I hope it turns out well
     
  19. TENIME_art

    TENIME_art Ethically Challenged

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    Wondering why you didn't take the back windshield/shoulderpads out. They're a piece of cake to remove from the point you have it at right now.
     
  20. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Actually, they aren't. The pins that hold them in place won't move on this one for some reason. As described in the original post, the shell started melting down before the pins would move. So, I ended up leaving it. Honestly, I'm not at all happy about that, as it'd make the overall project a LOT easier, but I'd rather fight some extra masking than end up with a broken back body shell.
     

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