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  1. darienvader's Avatar
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    IL
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    Dec 2, 2008, 1:20 PM - Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #1

    I thermal-formed some Vader lenses the other day with clear plexiglass . . . anyone have a great tip on how to tint this now? I've tried RIT dye and also tried some stained glass dye with little success. The stained glass stuff was pretty decent, but it dried all wavy. The nature of stained glass, right. Since the lens has a nice curve to it, would window tinting film stick to it? Any success stories out there on how you did yours, or do you have any suggestions?
  2. CustomCreations's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Dec 2, 2008, 1:31 PM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #2

    In the uk we have 'Dylon' fabric dye. Could be sold in the US.....
    One of the types available dyes PVC, and I have used it in the past to dye 6mm clear acrylic.
    Only downside is you have to boil it submerged in hot water - so you need to be careful over the acrylic warping/holding shape.
    D
  3. 00MrNotWrong00's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Stevensville MD
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    Dec 2, 2008, 5:21 PM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #3

    I used a transparent red paint on the light up part of my Ronon Dex gun and it turned out awesome. You can get the stuff at craft shops, they call it instant stained glass or stained glass paint or something like that, but it works great and I have not been able to scratch it off.
  4. RPF Premium Member darth_myeek's Avatar
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    Dec 2, 2008, 5:45 PM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #4

    Also, Tamiya offers transparent paint. Not sure if it would work.

    Tamiya-Translucent

    -DM
  5. Member Since
    Dec 2001
    Messages
    1,180
    Dec 2, 2008, 5:52 PM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #5

    Try the Rit again, but get the dye bath hotter (but not hot enough to melt the plastic).

    Mark
  6. RPF Premium Member Risu's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Long Beach, CA
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    Dec 3, 2008, 5:35 AM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #6

    I used some of the Tamiya transparent paint on some case lights for my PC and out worked out great.
  7. YenChih Lin's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
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    Aachen, Germany
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    Dec 3, 2008, 5:48 AM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #7

    Tamiya also has a smoked glass spray paint
  8. misterfusion's Avatar
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    Hollywoodland
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    Dec 3, 2008, 6:55 PM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #8

    darienvader said: View Post
    Since the lens has a nice curve to it, would window tinting film stick to it?
    I'd bypass on the tint film for a couple of reasons.

    Even the slightest curve will fight you tooth and nail to lay flat w/o creasign or bubbling and I was told by guys who install tint for a living that they don't cover plastic, only glass, because plastic seeps gaseous fumes that can bubble up under the film.

    I used window tint for my Captain Avenger visor with mixed results.

    Here's the original:



    And here's my finished one with blue window tint:



    I fought with that film, and I kid you not, for almost TWO HOURS to get it to finally lay down halfway decent and I STILL had a crease right above the bridge of my nose and two spots where there was just enough of a weird convergence of curves that it would never lay down.

    I had to keep sneaking off, pulling out my ATM card and use it to push down the bubbles...but that only lasted about 10 mins.

    I also sampled the Tamiya "transparent", but transparent is in the eye of the beholder. It's not opaque, but you sure can't see thru it, and it ain't "clear".

    I've heard from a few sources that the Rit method is the way to go, and when I get a chance, I'm gonna strip the window tint off and try again.

    Good luck and be sure to let us know how you make out!

    Steve
  9. darienvader's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2002
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    IL
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    Dec 5, 2008, 9:46 PM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #9

    Thanks all . . . I'm gonna give the RIT another go.
  10. Member Since
    Aug 2007
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    44
    Dec 6, 2008, 6:52 AM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #10

    Get a can of "Night Shades" tint spray, its for tinting your car tail lights black. There is a bit of wet sanding involved but I've seen it turn out quite nicely. Apparently the stuff stays tacky for a while though, so you need to do it in a very dust free environment.
  11. ArtisanProps's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    From
    S. Florida
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    Dec 7, 2008, 1:30 PM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #11

    You can use any colorant that you want. The trick is getting the
    plastic hot enough to open the microscopic pores to allow the tint to
    penetrate, but not so hot as to melt the plastic.. It's better to tint the
    Plastic prior to Vacu-forming.. The results are great.. Good Luck
  12. RPF Premium Member thorssoli's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    Petaluma
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    Dec 9, 2008, 6:55 AM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #12

    If you were able to form clear plexi, why not just get a piece of smoked or tinted acrylic and do it again?

    That said, I'm going to go ahead and open a whole can of worms by mentioning that the lenses in the Episode IV helmet were made from clear plastic with some sort of dark amber gel (thin plastic sheet used in lighting rigs) melted into them for tint.
  13. Johnny Fever's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2007
    From
    West Virginia
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    206
    Dec 10, 2008, 3:54 AM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #13

    [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]Here are a couple sites about using Future floor polish and food coloring that may help.[/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]http://www.swannysmodels.com/Tinting.html[/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]http://www.swannysmodels.com/TheCompleteFuture.html[/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]-John[/COLOR][/FONT]
  14. ArtisanProps's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2006
    From
    S. Florida
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    551
    Dec 10, 2008, 5:11 PM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #14

    snowshoe-archangel said: View Post
    [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]Here are a couple sites about using Future floor polish and food coloring that may help.[/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]http://www.swannysmodels.com/Tinting.html[/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]http://www.swannysmodels.com/TheCompleteFuture.html[/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]-John[/COLOR][/FONT]
    Great Links, but the only thing that sucks about this is, once you use a
    chemical like Windex to clean the plastic it automaticly removes the dye +
    it doesn't cover in a uniform manner. Still very interesting to see what ideas
    people come up with
  15. Jimbo890's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2002
    From
    Lone Star State
    Messages
    1,847
    Dec 12, 2008, 11:54 AM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #15

    I did a test of this for some Rebel Fleet Trooper visors in a smoke gray, and did some test with x-wing visors in a yellow-amber. The process is simple. Use PETG or Lexan [acrylic] in clear, and vac form the part. Then on the stove, heat a pot of water to scalding but not boiling. Maybe 125 degrees. Mix the RIT dye in. I used black for the Fleet Trooper visors, and a custom blend of yellow and orange for the amber. [two different projects at different times] just drop the part in the warm water and leave it for a while. Come back and check on it in 5 minutes. Dry it off. Your part will have changed color. If you want it darker, leave it in the warm bath longer. Like others have said, don't get the water too hot or it WILL distort your plastic. Think bath water hot. And no more.
  16. Member Since
    Nov 2006
    Messages
    215
    Dec 13, 2008, 9:16 PM - Re: Coloring clear plastic (how to?) #16

    http://www.callbpi.com/htm_cat/poly_acr.htm


    darienvader said: View Post
    I thermal-formed some Vader lenses the other day with clear plexiglass . . . anyone have a great tip on how to tint this now? I've tried RIT dye and also tried some stained glass dye with little success. The stained glass stuff was pretty decent, but it dried all wavy. The nature of stained glass, right. Since the lens has a nice curve to it, would window tinting film stick to it? Any success stories out there on how you did yours, or do you have any suggestions?

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