Lacquer concoction on plastic

I just airbrushed a mix of 1 part turp-a-tine, 1 part automotive lacquer thinner (really hot stuff) and 2 parts regular ol' Testors flat aluminum oil based enamel. I airbrushed it as thick as an actual full coat not a dust coat. Basically, the thickness of it could qualify as the final coat.

I don't see any attacking of the plastic. One of the test parts was a very old plastic model airplane fuselage and the other was fairly new Bandai model plastic.

I haven't tried this with a gloss model paint enamel yet.

The "thinner" of 1 part turpatine and 1 part lacquer thinner smells like watered down gasoline. I don't really know what chemical I might have created.

David Kennesaw, GA

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What are you trying to say with this??

Dennis Loep The Glueing Dutchman

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'" Isaac Asimov

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Dennis Loep

I was having doubts about the turpatine being in the mix too. I went ahead & skipped the turpatine and just did half & half of PPG lacquer thinner and some gloss blue yesterday. That turned out more like what I'm shooting for. It has been drying for about 18 hours now, and almost too hard to get a fingernail into it. It was a little to thick to airbrush at half & half though, so I'll be pushing more & more lacquer thinner to see how high in the mix I can go without damaging plastic.

The flat aluminum enamel that I airbrushed with turpatine plus lacquer thinner has dried really hard (only about 18 hours at this point). It is not easy to get a toothpick in it to start scraping into it.

I let a sprue part sit in the turpatine cup for about 5 to 10 minutes yesterday. Its surface got soft. So, I'm almost wanting to recommend that stuff as a slow-biting thinner by itself for airbrushing oil enamels onto plastic. I'll write about that once I do it.

David Kennesaw, GA

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Yeah!? What exactly is the point here?

And to add to this, there are different types of plastic which will react differently to varous types of solvents.

There are even different formulations of styrene. Some are more resistant to Lacquer thinnner than others. And sometimes the damage is not apparent until much later (after the model is complete). Your beautiful model might develop cracks in the paint or pitting or something similar.

Also, there are different formulations of Lacquer Thinner. Some are more potent than others.

When I thin Testors, Floquil or Scalecoat paints for airbrushing, I usually add a bit of Lacquer thinner (for that extra kick). But not too much. Haven't had a problem so far...


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Peter W.

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