Repainting a Twilight Zone Invader vinyl figure from Sideshow

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red4

Sr Member
Repainting this for a client.
It was originally a dark gold color, which I stripped off with lacquer thinner, then gave it a gentle sanding with high-grit sandpaper. The bare vinyl was a pale yellow color.
I'm also repainting the radar antenna that goes on the head. It's made of ABS. There is a hose that attaches from the mouth to the belly, which I had to pry off, and set aside. It won't be repainted, but merely glued back on after the rest of the figure is done.

After preparing the bare vinyl, I applied Dupli-Color Vinyl & Fabric Specialty Coating, which is the black color seen here.

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I did some tests on a different vinyl figure, and the results were excellent. The specialty paint accepts regular spray paint on top, preventing the usual aerosol-on-vinyl curing problem. The Invader figure will be repainted dull silver; Dupli-Color Engine Enamel Cast Coat Aluminum to be exact.
 

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red4

Sr Member
Spray can says to apply when temperature is between 60 and 95 degrees fahrenheit. Local weather report said it was 61 degrees outside. The margin of error was too small, and the paint got wrinkly. Luckily I had only painted this one arm when I noticed the problem, and stopped before I painted any other part of the figure.

I will have to completely strip away all the paint, and redo it.

EDIT: I want to point out that this paint looks far more attractive on camera than real life. Those black areas in the photo aren't real. In real life they're grey, while the super shiny areas are actually just pearlescent. I don't know how to fiddle with my camera to capture the real look of this paint.

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red4

Sr Member
Okay, so after I corrected the wrinkly arm, I noticed a lot of debris stuck under the silver paint on many places on the main body of the figure. I carefully cut the debris away with an X-acto knife, which exposed the bare vinyl in some places. So I did a test on a different piece of vinyl to see if the enamel paint could go directly onto vinyl without curing issues. Luckily, the tests were successful. The only real issue is that the enamel paint doesn't bond directly to vinyl, but you have to dig your nail in hard and deliberately flake the enamel away, so I don't think it will fall off on its own.

Another problem I encountered is that the spray can of Engine Enamel says to apply all coats within an hour, but I had already waited about 8 hours before I noticed. So then I had to do another paint test to see if new coats of the same enamel would bond after approximately 24 hours, just for posterity. This test was also successful, so I'm not sure why the can says otherwise.

My client has been unreasonably patient.

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Nothing is glued down in this photo. Also, I'm not going to do anything to the hose-tank piece (except glue it back on at the end of the project). The client wants it to retain its factory paint.
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red4

Sr Member
I should have taken photos before I began, but here's one I sourced online.

The client did not send the hand tool, since it was not permanently attached to the figure, and he didn't want any changes done to it.
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DrMcoy

Sr Member
one of my favorite TZ episodes. i have this larger figure and the smaller one (in silver). nice work on the repaint.
 

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red4

Sr Member
I just want to mention one last thing. I stripped the vinyl completely bare on the arm joints. The vinyl-to-vinyl connection already has a huge amount of friction, so increasing the friction with layers of paint would have been a mistake, something I knew ahead of time. I could have masked the joints, but I hate applying masking tape over compound curves, and it was much easier to strip the paint away with some q-tips and lacquer thinner.
 

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