Vinyl Kit Paints Question

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Avanaut

Well-Known Member
Hi,

I picked up working this old vinyl kit I’ve had for a long time, I believe it’s a Halcyon vinyl kit from 1989, an ED-209 model that has been standing in my office assembled but unpainted as a decoration piece for a couple of decades. I’m glad I didn’t finish it then, it has sagged terribly over the years.

I took the model apart, softened the pieces in hot water, straightened them and added internal support. It’s a very simple model but with some add-ons and a neat paintjob it could look nice. Now, the thing is that I’ve never painted a vinyl kit.

The vinyl is not sticky, so that’s good. My question is, what primer should I use? I plan to paint it with enamels and as far as I understand enamels need to not come in contact with the vinyl or they might react to it and not cure properly. What primer sticks to the vinyl and seals it off well enough for this? Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!

ACAB90A0-044D-46DB-9063-2ED6B1EBC031.jpeg
 

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division 6

Master Member
Lacquer based primer.

Not sure how the enamel will react to it.
I would do a test before going all out with the painting.
 

Avanaut

Well-Known Member
Lacquer based primer.

Not sure how the enamel will react to it.
I would do a test before going all out with the painting.

Thanks! Tamiya rattle can primer is lacquer based, if I’m not mistaken. You’ve used it on vinyl?

Enamels work over lacquer, but not the other way around.

I did a test with Vallejo acrylic primer. It adheres to the vinyl really well, doesn’t come off with any tape (masking or regular), but it feels sticky juuust a little.
 

division 6

Master Member
I have a couple vinyl kits I haven't put together.
The info is from a Professional builders (David Fisher) how to videos. Model Mania Vol 1-3 & 4-5

If you plan to do more kits or get into resin garage figure kits I highly recommend them.
He also puts out a magazine Amazing Figure Modeler.
 

basementdweller

Active Member
I've used both Vallejo urethane primer and GW spray primer and some other car primer on vinyl kits. They all work. I only paint with acrylics on top, but my friend uses other stuff too, not heard him complain about stickyness yet. Here is a quick article about Enamel over lacquer. Here is an article on always priming vinyl with acrylics. It's actually a guide on building vinyl kits.

As an aside I've not come across "leaky" vinyl that had anything to do with colour, but like I said I only use acrylics. I suspect some solvents react worse and perhaps exacerbate the real problem which is the pvc in itself (maybe avoiding hot paints is an idea). Plasticizers leaking is nothing you can do anything about afaik. There are some tricks to temporarily stop the stickyness, but if it's a painted figure you'll most likely ruin the finish. A few things I've lost to "pvc rot": collectible figures (SOTA toys Riddick looking at you especially), a wacom pen and a volvo steering wheel. No Halcyon or Horizon vinyl kits in so far. Well I do have some of the first run Bones (pvc) dragon models that are already sticky and I haven't even touched those yet. So definitely a plastic composition thing rather than paint imho.
 

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Avanaut

Well-Known Member
I have a couple vinyl kits I haven't put together.
The info is from a Professional builders (David Fisher) how to videos. Model Mania Vol 1-3 & 4-5

If you plan to do more kits or get into resin garage figure kits I highly recommend them.
He also puts out a magazine Amazing Figure Modeler.

Thanks! I've done a few resin kits, I have had no issues with them. Working with resin kits is messier than with styrene, but nothing too complicated. I'll check out the magazine, thank you for the link!

I tried Tamiya primer and it seems to work as of now. It adheres to the vinyl really well and is not sticky at all. Furthermore, sprayed over the sticky Vallejo acrylic primer works, the area is not sticky anymore. I just hope it seals the vinyl well enough for the enamels to not react with it. Will try that on a small patch in due time.
 

Avanaut

Well-Known Member
I've used both Vallejo urethane primer and GW spray primer and some other car primer on vinyl kits. They all work. I only paint with acrylics on top, but my friend uses other stuff too, not heard him complain about stickyness yet. Here is a quick article about Enamel over lacquer. Here is an article on always priming vinyl with acrylics. It's actually a guide on building vinyl kits.

As an aside I've not come across "leaky" vinyl that had anything to do with colour, but like I said I only use acrylics. I suspect some solvents react worse and perhaps exacerbate the real problem which is the pvc in itself (maybe avoiding hot paints is an idea). Plasticizers leaking is nothing you can do anything about afaik. There are some tricks to temporarily stop the stickyness, but if it's a painted figure you'll most likely ruin the finish. A few things I've lost to "pvc rot": collectible figures (SOTA toys Riddick looking at you especially), a wacom pen and a volvo steering wheel. No Halcyon or Horizon vinyl kits in so far. Well I do have some of the first run Bones (pvc) dragon models that are already sticky and I haven't even touched those yet. So definitely a plastic composition thing rather than paint imho.

The acrylic primer I tried (Vallejo) didn't seem to cure properly and remained sticky even after a couple of days. I tried Tamiya lacquer and so far it seems to work well. It's not sticky and doesn't come off with tape. It also sealed the sticky acrylic primer. I hope it holdes well enough and the enamels don't cause trouble. I have to try it first.

This ED-209 kit is three decades old and the material itself isn't sticky or leaky. I figured it's safe to work with. I do know the leaky vinyl effect all too well. Lost some items to it, not a Volvo steering wheel but a pair of Volvo keys. I try to avoid vinyl and work styrene an resin only, but this thing happened ot be there and I had some free time. :)
 

Fett_Ish

Sr Member
I have an ED209 kit from the 90's and the silver is still tacky as I didn't prime it. I just built a t-800 that is mostly vinyl. I bought some liquitex spray, but it still felt a little tacky and soft after a week so I lightly sprayed over it with tamiya primer till it was totally covered and have no issues.
 

Avanaut

Well-Known Member
I have an ED209 kit from the 90's and the silver is still tacky as I didn't prime it. I just built a t-800 that is mostly vinyl. I bought some liquitex spray, but it still felt a little tacky and soft after a week so I lightly sprayed over it with tamiya primer till it was totally covered and have no issues.

It’s probably the same ED-209 I have. On the bottom of the feet there is a year stamp that says 1989. I have concluded Tamiya works fine with this particular brand of vinyl.
 

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