Bandai plastic & Turpentine: a warning to STAR WARS modellers

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by BLADE and BRUSH, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. BLADE and BRUSH

    BLADE and BRUSH Active Member

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    Some of you have already experienced what can happen when you apply Turpentine to Bandai's Star Wars kits, but for those unfamiliar with the danger, I made the following video.



    If you have encountered the dreaded fracturing problem, it might be helpful if you share your experience here or in the YouTube comments section.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  2. mash3d

    mash3d Active Member

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    Thanks for the making the video.
    Yep this was mentioned a couple of months ago in relation to the AT-ST Kit.
    I was hoping it was just in relation to that particular model, guess not.
    If I remember correctly using mineral spirits had the same problem.
    I've gotten around it by using water mixable oil paints and weathering powders, aka pastel chalk powders.
     
  3. Toadmeister

    Toadmeister Sr Member

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    I'm using linseed oil for my oil washes, haven't noticed a problem but these washes all had a good painted base coat.
     
  4. BLADE and BRUSH

    BLADE and BRUSH Active Member

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    It's funny that you should mention Mineral Spirits, mash3d. While researching the problem I found out that, according to wikipedia, Mineral Spirits, Turpentine and White Spirits are one and the same. To complicate things further there are different grades as well. When people mention Mineral Spirits I used to think they were referring to Methylated Spirits which is actually ethanol and also goes by the name Denatured Alcohol. Very Confusing.

    The water mixable Oil Paints sounds interesting, thanks for suggesting it. How long is the paint workable? With regular oil paint I can make corrections with Turps as late as a day after applying the wash.

    I've been wondering about linseed oil as it's a constituent of oil paint and is apparently what canvas painters use to thin their oil paints. I usually seal my oil paint and pastel weathering with a Tamiya acrylic clear coat. Do you apply sealing coats? Any problem with adhesion or drying of the sealing coat?
     
  5. blakeh1

    blakeh1 Sr Member

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    I posted this in the SSM thread, but thought it relevant here for those who don't frequent that forum

    I don't think I would use Linseed oil. It can yellow over time


    Actually what many oil painters use that is non-toxic as well, is Lavendar Oil


    I think I may give it a try. The problem is it is more expensive than the oderless turpenoid, but these days, I think I might prefer the non-toxic aspect

    http://www.mikebergenart.com/blog/guide-to-non-toxic-oil-painting-8252014
    A normal part of the painting process is using a medium to alter the painting characteristics or appearance. Lavender oil was the medium of choice from the fourteenth century until the Industrial Revolution when turpentine replaced it because it was cheaper. Thus the smell associated with oil painting was turpentine. Turpentine is however very toxic and is now rarely used. Instead people most often use Oderless Mineral Spirits (OMS). OMS thinners don’t smell as much, but they are still toxic. Even Gamsol which is advertised as more refined, is still toxic. One way to avoid mediums is to paint right out of the tube with a palette knife. Since this is not always possible or desirable, a better option is to use non-toxic oils such as lavender oil, walnut oil or linseed oil.
    Each of these oils has its own advantages and disadvantages:
    Lavender oil has a strong odor that some consider pleasant. It has the consistency of water and is a strong solvent but expensive.
    Walnut oil is thicker and very slippery and I find it difficult to paint with but great for cleaning brushes.
    Linseed oil is the most common binder in oil paints but it may turn yellow in time.
    Another alternative is to use a solvent-free non toxic gel mediums such as Gamblin’s Solvent-Free (non toxic) Gel Medium.
    Alkyds in oils cause paintings to dry faster and usually you can paint over them the next day. I find a small amount of alkyd walnut oil to be a useful medium. Gamblin’s Solvent-Free Gel Medium has alkyd in it.
     
  6. blakeh1

    blakeh1 Sr Member

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  7. astroboy

    astroboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have yet to encounter this. I have built two x-wings, the AT-ST and the 1/144 falcon.

    But I suspect it is because of my layering. I always do a primer, the basecoats, and then a flat dullcoat.

    I repeat the dullcoat between layers of weathering so that they don't blend together.

    And I always use an odourless turpenoid (whatever that is)
     
  8. Poakwoods

    Poakwoods Member

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    Odorless turpenoid works perfectly for me. No problems at all with Millennium Falcon 1/144, Tie Fighters, A-wing. I used it also on Bandai figures (without paint or primer) with no issues. I had cracks and damages only when using Tamiya Panel Line Accent Colour (on primed and painted parts)....
     
  9. Ozzman78

    Ozzman78 Active Member

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    I use odorless mineral spirits without issue but I should note that I only use it to thin the enamel paint going on the model. My washes are all acrylic.
     
  10. ausf

    ausf Active Member

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    It reminds me of when I was kid, I built that old Monogram kit Rommel's Rod. I wasn't happy with the paint on the skeletons, so I dropped them in a mason jar of turps before I went to bed. When I got up, there was nothing but a crystal clear jar of fluid. I basically spent the day accusing everyone in the house of stealing them and pleading that I get them back. I finally saw the residue on the bottom of the jar.

    It's not just Bandai, all styrene will be dissolve in a strong solvent.
     
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  11. mash3d

    mash3d Active Member

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    As a test I put some Water mixable oil on a plain piece of styrene this morning. I applied it in very thin coats. It's been 12 hours and it's still wet to the touch.
    I would say it would probably stay workable for 24 hours. Of course you probably want to test it.
    I know Windsor Newton and some other sell a painting medium that helps with mixing the paints better than water. I'm not sure if it's petroleum based or not.
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/winsor-and-newton-artisan-water-mixable-oil-painting-mediums/

    I used linseed oil when painting canvas and it does have a slight yellow tinge to it. My usual method on models is Primer, Base colors, Pledge Floor Care if I'm applying Decals, any washes and tints, any weathering pastels or chalks, then Testors dull coat or clear coat.
    All the paints I use are acrylic.
    Hope that helps some.
     
  12. BLADE and BRUSH

    BLADE and BRUSH Active Member

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    Thanks mash3d. After blakeh1's posts about the toxicity of Turpentine, I'm even more inclined to switch to something that's safer for both me and the model. The next time I visit my art supply store I'll have to buy a tube of the water mixable paint to try out.
     
  13. blakeh1

    blakeh1 Sr Member

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    Never heard abot them before, but yeah, I think I may try the water based oils

    Looking into it, they are real oil-based paints that contain linseed oil.

    The difference is, the oil is actually water mixable, so you use water with them in any place where you use turpentine

    Depending on how you use them, they can remain workable for up to 48 hours

    here is a great facts and tips guide

    http://www.finearttips.com/2009/10/water-soluble-oil-paints-facts-tips-why-i-use-them/
     
  14. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Never had problems with Turp...I use a product made from tree resin.
     
  15. blakeh1

    blakeh1 Sr Member

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    as far I understand, all turpentine is from a tree resin

    "Turpentine is made from tree sap that is secreted by conifer trees (like pine, cypress, fir, larch,fir), where the tree sap is distilled to separate the oil from the resin, creating the solvent known as Turpentine. The process to industrially distill the tree sap (and the wood that produces the sap) often uses naptha and chemicals to extract the most solvent possible. Tree sap is an oleo-resin that acts as the tree’s natural bug repellant, so it makes sense that the distilled solvent from it would be toxic to breathe"

    "Odorless Mineral Spirits is made from distilled petroleum, with chemicals added to the petroleum distillate to eliminate the strong odor. This addition does not remove the toxic fumes from the product; rather, it only makes them less detectable to the senses. It is advertised as less toxic than Turpentine because it evaporates more slowly than Turpentine, but essentially it is deodorized distilled industrial gasoline that is toxic to breathe but has a low odor so people do not notice the toxic fumes"
     
  16. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    So duh don't huff any of it. I haven't done one of the Bandai kits yet, but I've never had a problem with using Testors thinner on anything. I'm wondering if they are applying it to bare plastic without primer or anything. Otherwise I don't know how it would eat the plastic.
     
  17. blakeh1

    blakeh1 Sr Member

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    I'm pretty sure the problem is the parts that get stressed. The weakened state probably accelerates whatever reacts with the plastic.
     
  18. astroboy

    astroboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I also noticed that bandai uses different types of plastic. I really noticed it on several sprues of the atst. They were much softer than what I'm used to.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
     
  19. b26354

    b26354 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I use naptha AKA lighter fluid which is a suitable solvent for oil or enamel paints but it evaporates much quicker than turpentine. It seems to be having little effect on bandai plastic. Turpentine will soften styrene if it's in contact with it long enough. Naptha doesn't. It's also known as fuelite or shellite in Australia and New Zealand.

    As with all tips from the internet - test first - YMMV
     
  20. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    WOW I did not know that. Thank you for sharing. The only Bandai model kit I have used turps on was in the conversion of the Darth Vader (1/12 scale) from TESB to ANH. When I applied the silver, it looked too shiny and I used Turps to thin down the silver. The only side effect I noticed was the Turps takes the shine off the plastic and for an ANH Vader, this is not a bad thing. No cracks so far. What time frame did you observe these cracks appearing over?

    I used Turps as Metho seemed to have no effect and I was scared about acetone as these kits feel like ABS which acetone would just eat.
     
  21. BLADE and BRUSH

    BLADE and BRUSH Active Member

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    I usually let the wash sit for about an hour on the model before wiping away the excess with paper towels and cotton buds. On each occasion that fracturing occurred, it was apparent as I wiped the excess oil paint from the model. Unfortunately I can't say how quickly it appears because I leave the model unattended during that hour long gap.

    Coincidentally, I tempted fate just today when I applied a turps wash on my Vehicle Model Tie Fighter. Despite my best efforts at not stressing the plastic, a couple of small parts broke off the model. Fortunately the damage was minor compared to my experience with the X-Wing and easily repaired. From now on though, turpentine won't be going anywhere near my Bandai builds. It's just not worth the risk.
     
  22. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    OK so based on what I have bolded above, the plastic was given time to absorb the turps? When I did my Vader, I used Turps to simply thin the paint and help remove excess paint, but the parts were dried off pretty much straight away. I was adding the silver to his alternate cheeks and chin/neck and chest plate/shoulder bells and I found it easier to paint more silver than I needed and go back with black to thin the lines. Because I used silver and didn't really have a gun metal grey, Turps was used to thin the paint which allowed the black of the model to come through. It is not the neatest paint job (because this is my first attempt at anything like this) but it makes him look bad * compared to all shiny black that he was.

    The key upgrade of course was changing out the molded plastic cape for a set of custom soft capes where the under robe would go over the chest plate. The model has a molded under robe on the torso going under the chest plate. I need to track down some fine tip alcohol pens to colour his chest box lights next. I also have a black marker that is actually black and not purple, so might see if I can not neaten him up a bit as well.
     

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  23. BLADE and BRUSH

    BLADE and BRUSH Active Member

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    That's correct. I let the oil paint/turpentine mixture sit on the model to dry for about an hour. I have no idea how quickly the turps reacts with the plastic though. 1 minute? 5? Half an hour? I just don't know if there is a safe period when dealing with turps on Bandai's plastic. The detail painting you describe for Vader doesn't sound as risky as applying a wash, but it's still a gamble.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful.
     
  24. Carnet

    Carnet Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What kind of undercoat or primer are you applying the turp on top of? How many coats etc?
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  25. BLADE and BRUSH

    BLADE and BRUSH Active Member

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    I spray one coat of Tamiya rattle can primer to begin with. I believe it is a lacquer. I then airbrush Tamiya acrylics for the hull colour. Any small details are hand painted in Citadel or Vallejo acrylics. I then airbrush a sealing coat of Tamiya clear gloss acrylic, letting that dry for up to a week before applying the oil paint/turps wash.

    That said, I believe the problem is that the wash is finding its way into the gaps between parts where there is no protective paint layer. Short of priming the inside surfaces of the model, I don't see a way to prevent the wash from getting in. Gluing the parts together will form a seal, but that's not practical in every circumstance.
     
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  26. Carnet

    Carnet Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Indeed, thanks for your thoughts. I am about to start my x-wing. Priming the inside doesn't sound like a bad idea. We'll see how it goes I guess.
     
  27. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    What brand of turpentine are you using?

    Regards, Robert
     
  28. Carnet

    Carnet Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Odorless turpinoid
     
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  29. BLADE and BRUSH

    BLADE and BRUSH Active Member

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    I've been using a brand called Recochem; manufactured in Queensland, Australia apparently. It's just a cheap supermarket/hardware store variety. I'm not sure if all turpentine is created equal, though. When I get around to my next build I'll be trying out the suggestions on page one.
     
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  30. Carnet

    Carnet Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    More Specifically...Weber Odorless Turpenoid
     
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  31. oklahams

    oklahams New Member

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  32. Abaddon

    Abaddon New Member

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    I am about to start building the 1/72 Perfect Grade Falcon. I must say this post (and similar warnings I've seen elsewhere) have me pretty freaked out.

    Can anyone advise which primers they have successfully used on Bandai kits? I bought some rattle can Tamiya Fine Surface Primer, but was worried about what is in the can and whether it'll eat my Falcon.

    I've already ditched the Tamiya panel liner and decided to go all Acrylic/Water based (as per https://bandai-hobby.net/en/beginnersguide_tools.html and here). But need to find some way to prime.
     
  33. SixthScaleMan

    SixthScaleMan Member

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    I used the Tamiya Surface Primer on my Bandai 1/144 Falcon with a coat of NATO black then the AS20 spray. That was about 2 months ago with no visible issues. Haven’t used the panel liner or any turpenoids on it though. Don’t know if that helps.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  34. monsterpartyhat

    monsterpartyhat Well-Known Member

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    Tamiya primers and spray cans are just fine. I've used them on dozens of Bandai models with no issues whatsoever.
     
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  35. Abaddon

    Abaddon New Member

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  36. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    Has anyone ever tried to get anything official on this from the company? As someone who uses enamel paint, I'm concerned about even getting one of these kits if it's just going to dissolve or crack apart!
     
  37. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    On one of the Bandai sites (I forget which one) it said to avoid Lacquers and enamels.

    Looking at other modeling sites (Google "bandai plastic issues") it appears that the ABS pieces are most affected and any parts under stress.
    Most say a good coat of primer will help avoid problems and don't let the enamel or solvents pool in areas.
     

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