Customs: Paint on Die-Cast Metal

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Cybertronian, May 26, 2011.

  1. Cybertronian

    Cybertronian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Posts:
    652
    Trophy Points:
    146
    Likes:
    +1
    Howdy.
    I just got in the materials for a new project (i.e. the 'bot).
    I planning on re-painting a G2 Air Raid into a "Combaticon Commander" Starscream.

    I've already cooked up a near match for G1 Starscream's silvery white, but what I'm writing about is his chest.

    I know that I want it red, but what I need to know is, what type of paint is best to use on die-cast metal? Oil-based enamel, Acrylics, ...?

    Also, what's a good home remedy for removing the existing paint? I have a G1 Air Raid chest with a good chunk of the paint worn off, but I think I want to start fresh (and don't have a sand-blasting apparatus, or terpentine (sp?)).

    I also have a 1984 Wheeljack whose front fenders/feet would qualify for this.
     
  2. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Posts:
    3,639
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +4
    Ebay:
    I would think an enamel. Auto paint. I'm thinking the original paints are powder coated. You might be able to find a bakeable powder glaze.
     
  3. stratonrye

    stratonrye Maximal

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Posts:
    635
    Trophy Points:
    132
    Likes:
    +2
    I'm pretty sure that as long as you use a good primer you won't need any type of special paint, but I'd go with an enamel or lacquer paint to be safe cause they're a lot tougher than regular model acrylic. The issue you might have is finding the right primer for the job. I think Fishdirt is on the right track with auto paints and an auto primer would most likely work the best, though those are made specifically for materials in cars like steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and various plastics and not necessarily the die-cast material which is probably Zinc. I'd still try it though. They sell auto primer in spray cans at Wal-Mart (so you won't need an airbrush or anything to try it and it's easy to find) and I've been tempted to buy some to experiment with how well it worked as a primer for regular plastic TFs before. Definitely tell us all how well it works. I'm surprised this hasn't been asked before considering how many vintage TFs need touch ups and stuff.
     
  4. Cybertronian

    Cybertronian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Posts:
    652
    Trophy Points:
    146
    Likes:
    +1
    Thank y'all. Keep the ideas coming; I may be able to test them out.

    Does anyone know of a close match to G1 Starscream's shade of red (on his metal chest)?
    (All I know is that he would need a light primer color.)
     
  5. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Posts:
    2,222
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +0
    I'd stick to paint and not the home powder coat kits. yeah it'd be cool to do that on a toy, but the time and money to get that right (along wiht the fact that you shouldn't bake those in your home oven with your food, but an old spare one) would make you very frustrated. I agree with everyone here, as long as you use a good primer, you should be fine with just about any type of paint.

    As for removal, you can't really use chemicals to remove powdercoat paint (if that is indeed what it was). thats actually one of the reasons people use powdercoating, becasue it so durable. The best luck i've had on that is sandblasting.
    I'd say just stick to sandpaper. remember you don't have to remove every fleck of paint, just enough to smooth out the surface and give something for the primer to attach to.
    Good luck!

    Randy!
     
  6. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Posts:
    47,598
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    342
    Likes:
    +23
    How do you guys feel about spray enamel, like the ones you'd find at Lowe's or Wal*mart?
     
  7. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Posts:
    3,639
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +4
    Ebay:
    Not sure but there is a nice engine paint out there.

    I would think any enamel based paint would be good for metals. Primer is an adhesive that'll give the surface more of a tooth but it's not necessary in all cases. Get a few die cast cars from big lots, get some easy off oven cleaner or turpentine then make samples with them.
     
  8. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Posts:
    47,598
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    342
    Likes:
    +23
    Useful thread continues to be useful :) 

    For some reason, my knee jerk reaction is to go with enamel-based paints with diecast, but do you guys think acrylics are "wrong" for this material? I mean, I use both for plastics (and everyone has their preferences/discussion) . . . honestly, I haven't started shopping for paint this summer, yet. Thoughts?

    (btw, I'm liking Fishdirt's posts here :) )
     
  9. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Posts:
    3,639
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +4
    Ebay:
    I'd think Acrylic would scratch easier and not adhere as well? I dunno, maybe it's the "why is the ends of the ham cut off?" type deal. I like the high gloss of enamel on metal myself. I remember thinking any car with a matte paint job, when I was younger, was just primer. Course now I'd love to have a 69 Nova ss with a flat black charcoal color and ghosted skulls.
     
  10. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Posts:
    47,598
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    342
    Likes:
    +23
    Yeah, I can see that, and that's sort of my own knee jerk thinking. However, when I tend to paint with acrylics+Future, things look really glossy. I'll be doing a few tests this summer on some diecast just to see which I like better. Looks like I'll be buying some Hot Wheels this year!

    Also, a '69 Nova SS with ghosted skulls sounds pretty awesome. :cool: 
     

Share This Page