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Old 30-12-2010, 10:27 PM   #1
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Angry WARNING: Never use lacquer paint on ABS plastic

I had to learn this the hard way, just thought I'd share with you guys so you don't make the same mistake I did.

I've built a couple of PG Gundams before (GP01 and Strike) and painted them with lacquer paints. A couple of times some of the pieces just fell (not snapped) off and broke by themselves. At first I thought it was just bad luck or poor quality plastic by Bandai. Anyway, the pieces that did break off were not crucial to the movement of the Gunpla and it was nothing a little cement couldn't fix.

Until just recently I had completed a PG Strike Freedom. I painted the gold parts with metallic brass by Mr Color. Just as I was posing the model, the entire left leg felt flimsy and fell right off the waist. I was shocked. The joint had broken in two. Then I checked the right leg and found that the male joint that connects the leg to the waist also had cracks in it and was also flimsy.

At this point I was really pissed and figured that I can't be so unlucky, so did a check online and found out that lacquer based paints (Mr Color and Mr Hobby) make ABS plastics brittle. ABS plastics are used for Gundam joints.

Luckily for me the left leg was cementable, but the right leg less so. Looks like I have to give up movement of the right leg. If you're curious, I didn't use primer because I don't change the original color of the model.

Sigh. A very costly lesson for me, hope you guys learn from it.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:25 AM   #2
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hmm... i am also using lacquer paint (gaia and mr hobby) for my gundams, so far dun have this problem leh

u might want to post this in the gundam thread, see if there are anyone else with similar experience
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:53 AM   #3
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I also been using gaia and mr hobby so far no problem.

Did u try to mask the joints? if u spray the joints too thick it might cause it to be tighter to fit and cause it to break.
also for PG strike freedom there is report of the dragoon breaking easily due to the weight. so far have not seen any on the main body
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:29 PM   #4
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Experienced such as issue before. However, it can be easily worked around with if you decide to prime it first. Remember, most joints from Bandai kits are made from ABS plastic nowadays and there's always a reason behind most modelers who tends to use mr color and gaia paint prime their kits prior to spray painting (oh btw, there's a little chemical equation behind that, but I won't go into the specifics here ), so if you really want to use Lacquer Paints and don't want to risk your parts breaking... Remember to Prime your kits first!!!

Another point to take note of, if you're crafting units that has parts in;

1.) Chrome
2.) Clear
3.) Gloss Injected
4.) Fake Gold (Seen in SF)

Be extra careful with the parts as its known to be slightly/more brittle when compared to regular plastics. The best example would be MG Unicorn with Cage which uses both both Gloss and Clear parts for most.

Another issue that I'll have to point out is for both F91 and Crossbone(s). As both kits uses abs plastic which will eventually turn brittle due to the humidity level of the Singapore. Thus, there'll only be 2 outcomes, it either becomes too tight, or it just simply becomes too brittle. Either one will result in the eventual breakage of the model.

Lastly, try to prevent from over spraying. An extra layer of paint would be doing quite a bit of harm to the plastic as it would be. Needless to say if you've over sprayed more than an extra layer. As lacquer paint and Thinner is known to corrode the plastic, ABS or not, it'll be advisable for you never try to clog the paint up on a part. Same goes for top coating, 2 layers would suffice, more than that, it'll be suicidal.

So bare that in mind next time if you were to use your air brush or spray can. Plastics are not a type of metal, and even for metals, those also corrode in Thinner too.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:30 PM   #5
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Only exp cracked abs parts if used enamel + zippo oil accidentally on it..

& I notice that if painted on an ABS parts, the part started to degrade in terms of durability.
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