Bandai plastic & Turpentine: a warning to STAR WARS modellers

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BLADE and BRUSH

Active Member
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.
 
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mash3d

Active Member
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.
 

Toadmeister

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

BLADE and BRUSH

Active Member
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.
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'm using linseed oil for my oil washes, haven't noticed a problem but these washes all had a good painted base coat.
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?
 

blakeh1

Sr Member
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.
 

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astroboy

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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)
 

Poakwoods

Active Member
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)....
 

Ozzman78

Active Member
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.
 

ausf

Active Member
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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mash3d

Active Member
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?
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.
 

BLADE and BRUSH

Active Member
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.
 

blakeh1

Sr Member
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/
 

blakeh1

Sr Member
Never had problems with Turp...I use a product made from tree resin.
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"
 

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Sluis Van Shipyards

Master Member
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.
 

blakeh1

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

astroboy

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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
 

b26354

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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
 

cavx

Master Member
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.
 

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