Paint recommendation, especially considering Bandai

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Dedalus5550

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So here's the thing. I'm considering going with a new brand of paint. I have used (almost exclusively) Model Master enamels since I can remember. But I'm at a place where I pretty much need all new paint, so I want to consider other options. I've always been so happy with MM enamels and never wanted anything else, and the one other time I switched to MM acrylics, I was so disappointed I got rid of all of them. But since I'm moving from building old stock FM kits and on to Bandai, I want to be careful, having heard of the problems with cracking and such. I like a wide range of colors and hopefully have things labeled with FS numbers (when applicable) since I also build some military things.
Thanks,
Mike Todd
 

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StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, the Tamiya acrylic paints are what I use, but to my knowledge don't have FS numbers. I used to be a MM enamels man myself, but made the switch a few years back. Don't miss a thing, especially that awful Testors enamel thinner. Plus, with Tamiya acrylics, you can use 91% IPA for thinning, and it's dirt cheap. Airbrushes like a dream.

SB
 
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JoeCS

Active Member
I've painted bandai kits with testors enamel (pretty sure it's the same as MM) with no problem. I thin it with klean strip paint thinner. As usual, test it with a cheap kit, but in my experience I've had no problems.
 

INVAR

Sr Member
Since I was infected with the joy of Bandai after building the Y-wing when they released it - I have pretty much grabbed every vehicle kit they have released - most still in the box because I got sidetracked the last coupla years building the Zvezda Destroyer. I have the Y-wing, the Snowspeeder, the AT-AT and all the small vehicle model kits completed and have 9 kits yet to tackle including the 1/48 motorized X-wing.

I discovered the problem Bandai has with solvent-based primers and enamels with the Y-wing. Switched to acrylics for the base coats - but was left with what to do about primer. Ended up hearing good things about Stynlrez and went with that for primer and was not disappointed in the least. I actually enjoy acrylics because I tend to eyeball color and mix according to what I want to achieve and sometimes it's trial and error and clean-up is a frequent requirement. Was always messy with enamels and the wife complained too much about the fumes and odors from solvents, thinners and so forth.

I started with an investment in the Tamiya acrylic color line, but - as time went on I found that I could actually get by in most cases with the cheap acrylic hobby paints you can find at Walmart and Hobby lobby. Sometimes it is nothing more than getting the viscosity just right to shoot through the airbrush and often they lay color down just as nicely as the more expensive Tamiya colors. But each modeler is an artist in their own right and finding what medium you like and are pleased with best is an individual choice. It's all about achieving the best effect you have in your mind's eye.
 

Sindariel

Active Member
These issues with enamels and Bandai only happen, when you flood the model with thinner and the thinner flows into crevices and joints between the parts.
Airbrushing enamels is no issue at all, since the thinner evaporates within seconds.

Tamiya and Gunze/Mr. Hobby paints are the most prominent and proven acrylics in the modeling scene for decades and you can find tons of reference pictures of models painted with them. Especially when it comes to Star Wars kits. Many Gunze paints also have FS numbers.
 

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Dedalus5550

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Okay, so I read lots of posts about kits being destroyed with enamels. (Wouldn't like to see a $400 MF go to trash, fur sure.) I let it register, but otherwise just figured I'd come back to it while people figured it out with trial and error. But are you saying I can go to town with MM enamels? I mean, what exactly is the issue to avoid, if it's not enamels altogether. I fully prepped myself that I'd have to learn something new. (And as for the "awful" Testors thinner, haven't used it in years. Big cheap container of Home Depot Lacquer Thinner for me, in case that changes things.)
Thanks,
Mike Todd
 

Sindariel

Active Member
As I said, the issue comes from enamel thinner pooling up in spots, where kit parts connect to each other. This usually happens, when you apply enamel washes. Most People are used to just carelessly sludge their washes over the kit and aren't prepared for this. If you avoid this, you're fine.
Using odorless mineral spirits, also reduces the risk.

As a side note:
All reports of cracking issues with Bandai kits are in correlation with washes. There hasn't been a single report i'm aware of, where this was caused by enamel paints.
Archive-X paints are enamels too and many people painted their PG Falcon without any issues, so far.
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
That is correct as far as I know.

The issue is with the thinner used, not the enamel paints themselves.

i.e. stressed joints exposed to mineral spirits and other thinners typically used for thinned down enamel washes is the recipe for disaster

Also, for what it is worth, Tamiya paints are my go to paints
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I used Tamiya fine primer, AS-20, and then did some weathering with oils on my PG Falcon, and found this upon close inspection:

2019-02-23.jpg


Turns out that's where the odorless turpenoid thinner had pooled from the rust/starship filth bath. It's just a hairline crack, and barely noticeable at that, but still. Stinks.

SB
 

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Analyzer

Sr Member
For those who like oils, but are afraid of the thinners, there are water mixable oils

They are real oil paints and behave the same way, the only difference, instead of thinning with turpenoid or turpentine etc... you thin them with water

 

INVAR

Sr Member
I used Tamiya fine primer, AS-20, and then did some weathering with oils on my PG Falcon, and found this upon close inspection:

View attachment 1061544

Turns out that's where the odorless turpenoid thinner had pooled from the rust/starship filth bath. It's just a hairline crack, and barely noticeable at that, but still. Stinks.

SB

Thanks for sharing that. On a thicker portion of plastic nonetheless. Wow.

Thinking back on my Bandai Y-Wing build, it is possible that after I primed the ship with Tamiya fine primer from a rattle can and then a base coat of eggshell, that the grime wash of thinner and flat black and brown contributed to the engine rods to crack and break. It still befuddles me because the primer and base coats had dried and cured before I attempted the wash, which shouldn't have permitted the wash to get through to the plastic. Considering they broke when applying the wash, had me thinking it was the primer and base coat that did the damage and that brush pressure just helped it snap in half. Clean breaks, but had to be re-cemented and that caused some melted styrene bumps on an area that was supposed to be smooth. Thankfully you can hide imperfections like that on Rebel ships with weathering and battle damage effects, but I am also aware that re-glued breaks in joins and other parts are never as strong as the original molded plastic.

Was my first Bandai model and the first and last time I used enamels or rattle cans on a Bandai kit.

My go-to primer on Bandai kits now is Stynlrez, and water-based acrylics. Mostly due to the fear of that kind of plastic stress happening again when using enamels and secondly: no complaints from the wife-unit about fumes.

Other kits like the Moebius Pegasus and Galactica kits I built - slopped on the rattle can primers and the grime wash thinner and encased all of them in testers dullcote and enhanced with gloss coated aztec panels from a Testors rattle can. No problems whatsoever.

Figured with the Bandai kits given the multiple colors of plastic on single sprues that it had something to do with the kind of plastic used to achieve that or way they injection mold their kits that make using lacquers and enamels a risky medium.
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
I used Tamiya fine primer, AS-20, and then did some weathering with oils on my PG Falcon, and found this upon close inspection:

View attachment 1061544

Turns out that's where the odorless turpenoid thinner had pooled from the rust/starship filth bath. It's just a hairline crack, and barely noticeable at that, but still. Stinks.

SB

Thanks for sharing that. On a thicker portion of plastic nonetheless. Wow.

Thinking back on my Bandai Y-Wing build, it is possible that after I primed the ship with Tamiya fine primer from a rattle can and then a base coat of eggshell, that the grime wash of thinner and flat black and brown contributed to the engine rods to crack and break. It still befuddles me because the primer and base coats had dried and cured before I attempted the wash, which shouldn't have permitted the wash to get through to the plastic. Considering they broke when applying the wash, had me thinking it was the primer and base coat that did the damage and that brush pressure just helped it snap in half. Clean breaks, but had to be re-cemented and that caused some melted styrene bumps on an area that was supposed to be smooth. Thankfully you can hide imperfections like that on Rebel ships with weathering and battle damage effects, but I am also aware that re-glued breaks in joins and other parts are never as strong as the original molded plastic.

Was my first Bandai model and the first and last time I used enamels or rattle cans on a Bandai kit.

My go-to primer on Bandai kits now is Stynlrez, and water-based acrylics. Mostly due to the fear of that kind of plastic stress happening again when using enamels and secondly: no complaints from the wife-unit about fumes.

Other kits like the Moebius Pegasus and Galactica kits I built - slopped on the rattle can primers and the grime wash thinner and encased all of them in testers dullcote and enhanced with gloss coated aztec panels from a Testors rattle can. No problems whatsoever.

Figured with the Bandai kits given the multiple colors of plastic on single sprues that it had something to do with the kind of plastic used to achieve that or way they injection mold their kits that make using lacquers and enamels a risky medium.

hmmm... the use of AS-20 is intriguing

The only time I ever experienced cracking was after using Tamiya AS-20 as well as a wash/filter with oils thinned with Weber Odorless Turpenoid. Never ran into issues elsewhere, but I did have lots of pooling.

bTtrWo7.jpg


I believe Tamiya rattle can paint like AS-20 uses laquer? I did not use any primer

I wonder if the combo of that laquer along with the later wash of the turpenoid was the issue. I also know I had problems fitting the part and it was probably very stressed

Each factor by themselves may not have done it, but rather a combo

I have used oil washes directly on bandai plastic prior to assembly though, never had issues. I even let pieces of sprue sit in the stuff overnight as a test

I have also used AS-20 directly on other things, but mostly over a layer or Army Painter primer

That being said, I do take care not let things pool in joint, or cracks unnecessarily, plus I switched to the water mixable oils
 

robn1

Master Member
I was under the impression that the enamel thinner was seeping through the seams and attacking the bare plastic from inside, because the primer and paint coats aren't enough to seal the seams if they are just snapped together. Wouldn't it help to use glue, applying a bead along all the joints?
 

Shaunpug

Active Member
Stynlrez for primer
Vallejo or Tamiya for acrylics
Archive-X for the absolute best paint...Enamel, but sprays like acrylic!
 

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GMan68

Member
Just adding to this as I have had a couple weird things happen on finer parts of C3PO and Boba Fett. Both primed with Stynlrez, vallejo acrylic colors, and then washed very lightly with Citadel Nuln Oil. Later on noticed the parts are incredibly brittle i.e. they broke! Boba’s pistol ain’t ever gonna be truly straight again! Not really sure why these paints would react like they did, but has me freaking out over doing the PG Falcon and other kits in the stash.
 

robn1

Master Member
Just stick with lacquers and acrylics and you should be fine. The Gunze/Mr. Color paints are part of the Bandai brand so may be the best for compatibility. Do tests on a cheap Bandai mini kit to be sure.
 

GMan68

Member
Yip I'm convinced its something in the Nuln Oil that made it brittle. Think I'll stick to Vallejo washes, or perhaps the waterbased oils on the off-chance they don't have anything in them that will affect the stability of the plastic. (but probably just acrylic washes!). Anybody tried the True Earth stuff? There are very few reviews of it and not much mention anywhere but it seems its truly harmless and doesn't leave tide marks like your typical acrylic wash.
 

basementdweller

Active Member
Link to an old post I made about the cause. In that post I linked to the book Injection Moulding Materials by A. Whelan. It's science :)

It doesn't matter if it's odourless thinner or not, it matters what type of thinner it is. Anything petroleum derived like white spirits will affect petroleum based products like PS and ABS. Less so if annealed. Bandai's plastic being more susceptible to cracks and fissures has more to do with production methods and mould flow than any special plastic blend.

You should also check David Neat's great resource on the "Thinners and Solvents" page that also touches on this subject and lists all the type of thinners and their uses + effects on materials. solvents and thinners
It's a superb resource and you'll find alternatives that work there.

TLDR; Avoid pooling petroleum based solvents on PS and ABS in general or find alternative thinners for your paint to be safe.
 

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