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Pactra Racing Finish Paints


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#1 jsimmons

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 08:50 AM

I was at Hobby Town today, and found their Testor's/Pactra display. I really liked the Metallic Blue (RC65) and as near as I can tell, it's lacquer. Is that really the case? They had the Acrylic display right next to the display I was concentrating on, and those bottles had a different model number (RC-51xx).

Does this paint attack styrene (it says it's for Lexan).

#2 Kit Basher

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 10:24 AM

It is lacquer, but really "hot". It will attack styrene unless you have a good primer under it. However, if you have good primer, you can get really nice results with it. I have only used it thru an airbrush, so I can't say for sure about the rattle cans, but I'd say use light coats and give it plenty of time for the solvent to evaporate between coats. This is a perfect candidate for the "spoon test".

#3 jsimmons

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:32 AM

Spoon test - I prepped two spoons, washing each with warm water/dish washing soap before painting. The paint being tested is Pactra racing Finish Metallic Blue (RC65)). This paint is intended for clear lexan R/C car bodies.

I only had one color of primer (Rustoleum Gray sandable from a rattle can), so I "improvised" on the second spoon spraying half the spoon with metalizer aluminum and the other half with metalizer gunmetal. I also did no sanding between coats, and I waited about two hours after priming to paint the color coat. I also thinned the Pactra 1:1 with lacquer thinner (which may have been too much). Here are the pictures:

Picture 1 - Shot inside next to a window with an incandescent ceiling light turned on. The top spoon is the metalizer primered item, and the side towards the camera is the gunmetal base. The bottom spoon is the gray rustoleum base.

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Picture 2 - Same shot with white printer paper used for the background.

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Picture 3 - Same location but shot from the window side of the photo. Right spoon is the metalizer base, and left spoon is the rustoleum base.

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Picture 4 - Taken outside in direct sunlight. Left spoon is Rustoleum, and right spoon is metalizer.

Opinion - the metalizer as a base kinda sucks eggs. You can't mask it unless you first seal it (the color will come off with the tape). I would bet that it's not very sandable either. The gray primer allowed the color to lay down a bit smoother. I'm sure that with appropriate wet sanding, it would lay down even smoother. You're definitely going to need a clear top-coat over this paint because it dries to a semi-gloss shine. In the end, putting primer down first avoids any visible problems with this paint being any hotter.

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The imperfections in the paint were caused by me touching the spoons together before the paint was sufficiently dry.

Edited by jsimmons, 12 June 2011 - 09:33 AM.


#4 Monty

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 12:56 PM

I'm curious why you're having to resort to this to get that shade. Was the Pactra color something you couldn't duplicate with Tamiya or Testors lacquer? IIRC, Tamiya has three shades of metallic blue in this range, and you wouldn't have to go to half as much effort to use it.

Good luck with the project - if it turns out well, you'll have turned us on to a yet another option for paint.

#5 hellonwheelz3

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 04:02 PM

I thought pactra was more often used on rc bodies? I know i am a newbie, and farbeit for me to argue the veterans of this hobby. Just sayin'.

#6 Joe Handley

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 04:11 PM

Hmmm, I love that you did this John, I've been thinking about trying the same thing with a few different types of their paints on the spoons with different primers and in conjunction with the Model Master and Testors lacquers.

#7 jsimmons

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:13 AM

I'm curious why you're having to resort to this to get that shade. Was the Pactra color something you couldn't duplicate with Tamiya or Testors lacquer? IIRC, Tamiya has three shades of metallic blue in this range, and you wouldn't have to go to half as much effort to use it.

Good luck with the project - if it turns out well, you'll have turned us on to a yet another option for paint.


Why? Your last statement pretty much said it. I looked all over the web for people that had already tried this paint on a styrene model, and couldn't find anything. I've never personally shot lacquer paint (other than metalizer, which doesn't really qualify because it's not really intended to be used as color or base coat (and doesn't need primer to cover well). As for the Pactra stuff, I couldn't find a Candy Blue on the shelf anywhere, but Hobby Town had it in the Pactra line. While I was looking at the candy blue, I saw the metallic blue and liked it, so I snagged a bottle.

After the spoon test, I now know that Rustoleum primer works is okay on styrene and that the Pactra works on the primer, and I've actually seen it with my own eyes.

I'm going to do another spoon test so I can practice my surface prep and wet sanding/polishing (never done that on a model before), and see what kind of shine I can get. I want to take as few chances as possible of screwing up a $20 model with a crappy paint job. Spoons are cheap. :)

#8 jsimmons

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:15 AM

I'm curious why you're having to resort to this to get that shade. Was the Pactra color something you couldn't duplicate with Tamiya or Testors lacquer? IIRC, Tamiya has three shades of metallic blue in this range, and you wouldn't have to go to half as much effort to use it.

Good luck with the project - if it turns out well, you'll have turned us on to a yet another option for paint.


Why? Your last statement pretty much said it. I looked all over the web for people that had already tried this paint on a styrene model, and couldn't find anything. I've never personally shot lacquer paint (other than metalizer, which doesn't really qualify because it's not really intended to be used as color or base coat (and doesn't need primer to cover well). As for the Pactra stuff, I couldn't find a Candy Blue on the shelf anywhere, but Hobby Town had it in the Pactra line. While I was looking at the candy blue, I saw the metallic blue and liked it, so I snagged a bottle.

After the spoon test, I now know that Rustoleum primer works is okay on styrene and that the Pactra works on the primer, and I've actually seen it with my own eyes.

I'm going to do another spoon test so I can practice my surface prep and wet sanding/polishing (never done that on a model before), and see what kind of shine I can get. I want to take as few chances as possible of screwing up a $20 model with a crappy paint job. Spoons are cheap. :)

#9 Kit Basher

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:06 AM

Good job with the spoons, John. I'm looking forward to your results with sanding and polishing. IIRC, that stuff is really hard, and should polish up real nice, even without clear. Let us know.

#10 Corvette.Jeff

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 12:09 PM

i dont really like using anything other than pactra paints, ive found it all depends on what kind of primer you use, ill be posting a w.i.p. soon of a kit ill be painting with pactra outlaw black (rc250) ive used thier metallic black before and all it took was a few extra coats of clear.

#11 Kit Basher

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 09:48 AM

One other cool thing about these paints is that the bottles are exactly the same as the ones that came with my Badger airbrush. I can just screw them right on, and re-use them when they're empty.

#12 Lownslow

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 01:43 PM

shot this with pactra laquers its awesome stuff, yes its very hot but dries quick and hard.
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#13 Scale-Master

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 02:36 PM

The Pactra RC paint is formulated to be sprayed inside clear R/C car bodies and stays flexible so it won't chip off as easy during impacts. It does not lay down well (compared to traditional model paints) and does not polish very well either. It does work well for its intended R/C purpose.
It can be clear coated, I used urethane to help hide the coarse nature of the paint's finish. It can also subdue details on 1/25 scale cars. (I used it on a 1/12 scale slab sided car, and it was still a bit of work to make look like "normal" paint.)

#14 tbill

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 08:08 AM

any more info/insight to this? reason I ask, I have a rather large r/c truck collection with around 30 bodies, as such, I have a ton of pactra paint in spray bombs and in bottles. sure would be nice to be able to use them [as the r/c stuff is gathering dust...]