Customs: Requesting help with painting/dyeing MP Starscream!

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by ShadowStitch, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. ShadowStitch

    ShadowStitch vectoring the hate plague

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    Okay, so... this whole mad little project began with the reasonably innocuous plan to turn a MP SS into Thundercracker...yes, I know he's not BLUE blue... but I figured with some small recolorations, it would be close enough to make me happy once USA MP SS comes out.
    (At least until Takara releases their own MP TC, at which point I will feel stupid.)

    Here is a quickie digibash presenting my intended design:

    [​IMG]

    Y'see, nothing really difficult (in theory...), just stripping some of the blue, and adding a few black and silver apps. Easy, right?

    But then came experimentation time.

    I completely disassembled MP SS and tried applying paint to non-visible interior parts to test my favorite types of assorted colorant, and I've come to a frightening conclusion: Almost nothing I've tried seems to stick to the plastic MP SS is made of!

    I cleaned off all the blue paint with isopropyl alcohol, and tested some pieces of bare plastic with either Plastikote vinyl dye or Tamiya spray paint (with acetone) which are my two favorite paints. I love the results provided by vinyl dye, but this plastic won't take it. It's too dense, the dye coat just peels right off. Not ENTIRELY surprising, I've seen that much happen before.

    But strangely enough, the same goes for the Tamiya paint -- the plastic is apparently resistant to acetone, so the paint isn't absorbed by the plastic. Two solid test coats and day and a half of curing, and the paint still peels right off.

    This is frightening because these two options have served me flawlessly in the past, helping me create customs that were both slick-looking and impossibly chip-proof...but they seem to be failing miserably here!

    The thing is, I've seen people make customs from MP SS, so I know it's possible...but here's the 20,000$ question: What are people using to customize him? Does anyone have any other suggestions outside of boiled RIT or recasting? Dye promoter? Anything?

    I'm really getting frustrated, and although I'm not yet ready to admit defeat, I'd like to find a better-adhering solution than what I've tried so far, since part of my design philosophy is that a custom figure should be as close to factory durability as possible, without mincing around the transformation for fear of chipping paint.

    I turn to your vast collective knowledge pool, sirs! Any suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime Well-Known Member

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    I'm not kitbasher, and so have no advice to offer, just wanted to say your digi-bash rocks and is a 100% improvement over Takara's original paint scheme.

    I hope you find a solution.
     
  3. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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  4. starscream.pt

    starscream.pt Well-Known Member

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    the more i see these customs starscreams, the more i feel like buying the masterpiece, STOP IT!! my cash is almost gone :D 
     
  5. ShadowStitch

    ShadowStitch vectoring the hate plague

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    I tell ya, MP Skywarp is even slicker...I was going to settle for just getting MP SW and be done with it, but then I saw the USA MP SS, and dreams of Thundercrackers danced in my head. It's a sickness.

    Yeah! I can see the results -- that really looks slick. And you haven't had any significant problems with chipping or peeling or anything? I used to use Molecubond spray dye by Bryndana, with always spectacular results... but I can't seem to find it anymore. I had high hopes for the Plastikote Ultra Vinyl, but either the dye isn't as hardy as I hoped, or the plastic is too stubborn to take it like a man.

    Hmmm...but the adhesion promotor sounds like a plan. I'll check out home depot and such, see if I can find a can of it. I'm thinking that a sealant coat wouldn't be a bad idea either...just have to find a nice, resilient semi-gloss that won't make it look all layered and heavy. I hate that.
     
  6. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    No problems. Make sure you read the directions, though. IIRC it's pretty acetone heavy and you need to do progressive thin coats, as well as give it a certain amount of dry time before top-coating with anything.


    edit:

    Alternately, if you could find the color you want in the Krylon Fusion brand of paint, you wouldn't even need a primer. That stuff is TOUGH after you've given it a week to cure.
     
  7. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    Takara will be releasing an MP TC, its just a matter of when. They have that teaser picture they showed once SW came out that has all three seekers together in jet mode. and its greenscream, tc, and sw.
     
  8. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    The problem you are probably running into is that the party you are trying to paint is Polypropylene. Vinyl dye will not stick to that stuff and it won't melt in acetone.
     
  9. ShadowStitch

    ShadowStitch vectoring the hate plague

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    Yeah... I figured it was something like that. I'm spoiled by ABS/PVC figures that suck up the dye. :\

    Any suggestions as to alternatives? Like Catch22 said, there's always Krylon Fusion, but offhand I'm not sure what additives they use in order to make it stick. I wonder if the adhesion promotor might be the right way here...provided the primer coat will even stick. Ouch. :( 

    Maybe I need to find that thread where the guy made the kickass MP Sunstorm, and ask him what he used. It looked great, and that Orange and White must have been hard to layer!
     
  10. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've used adhesion promoter for vinyl dyes, and it still didn't work. There isn't much that will react with PP. The adnesion promoter I used, was basically spray on acetone.

    I talked to a chemist friend of mine and the suggested MEK (Methylethyl Ketone) This is the stuff that is in a lot of styrene bonding glues. I haven't got a chance to try it yet (or figure out a way to try it since MEK evaporates so quickly), but that would be the next progression to getting the color to stick to the PP.

    I've seen some luck with boiling those parts and applying the dye that way, but its hard to match it up to a spray.
     
  11. ShadowStitch

    ShadowStitch vectoring the hate plague

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    Okay, so we have SOME level of success here... I gave the parts I intended to be black a REALLY good scrubbing with alcohol, then hit them up with 3 sturdy coats of Plastikote dye, each about a half hour apart. It didn't look very good at first -- that infamous and dreaded "Orange Peel" effect... I thought for sure I'd screwed the pooch...but I let them cure for ~24 hours, and not only did the dye sublimate like it's supposed to....it seems to be sticking like a champ! I even tried my worst to scrape some of it off with my fingernail, but no dice.

    I'm gonna let it cure for a few more days, then give all the black parts a good once-over with some sort of semigloss sealant. At this point I'm pretty confident and hopeful that this means the dye got a bit of hold on the plastic, and maybe it won't peel or scrape so easily.

    Then I've got to try the Silver parts... I'm going to see what's available around here in terms of adhesion promoter and fusion paint... Maybe this project will end up working after all!
     
  12. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    how strong an alcohol did you use?
     
  13. ShadowStitch

    ShadowStitch vectoring the hate plague

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    I originally used 91% isopropyl to remove the paint from the painted parts, so I went ahead and used the same 91% isopropyl, with q-tips, in the hopes that it would help the dye adhere. I didn't try prepping the parts using acetone -- still have bad memories of melting a gameboy that way. But since the silver Tamiya won't quite stick yet...it may wholesale resist the acetone.

    I can't find mention of a silver Fusion online...so I might just settle for an "Adhesion promoter" primer and the nice shiny tamiya, and see where that gets me on some test parts...
     
  14. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    Krylon Fusion Nickel Shimmer.
     
  15. ShadowStitch

    ShadowStitch vectoring the hate plague

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    I saw that, but I don't want "A unique metallic shimmer finish," I want plain old silver. ...Unless they're using some fancy-schmancy terminology for "Silver", which I wouldn't put past them. Though I've seen this stuff in stores, and the cap resembles a more hammered metal, which I absolutely Do Not Want.
     

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