Revell's plastic crazing under Duplicolor...anyone else seeing this?

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Last Revell model I built for a contest was the '70 Chevelle, and I was mildly disappointed that the plastic was sensitive to self-etching primers and even some enamels I'd been able to use successfully in the past. No biggie though, as Duplicolor primers still worked great.

I JUST NOW started on the paint for a contest model based on the Revell 2009 Dodge Challenger, and NOW EVEN DUPLICOLOR CRAZES THE SURFACE. I know what I'm doing, I'm shooting it the same way I've always shot it, and it's crazing. This means that the QUALITY OF THE STYRENE IS WORSE THAN BEFORE.

We pay MORE AND MORE for EVERYTHING, and everything seems to be getting made of WORSE STUFF. I don't know if this is the Chinese cheating and cost-cutting (the same folks who made baby formula containing poisonous chemicals back in 2008, for those of you who don't remember), or if it's intentional "cost-engineering" on Revell's part. Whatever it is, it's NOT my imagination.

Anybody else noticed this ??

PS. I can make it work, and I'm not asking for advice. I'm just asking if anyone has noticed increased solvent sensitivity of Revell's styrene formulation recently.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Posted · Report post

There is a reason the side of the box states to use paints intended for polystyrene

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Not trash, just different. Is this the Dodge Challenger that is also the promo? If so, the plastic on it is no doubt formulated to support a shiny plastic as the final surface, not to be painted. Different kits may be pressed by different vendors to Revell, so plastic formulas may change.

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Recently? This goes back to about 2006 or so (I remember it being a big problem with the 2005/6 Mustang kit when it was first introduced). Testors Metalizer would etch that plastic. The word inside the industry was that it was due to the construction of the Shanghai Formula One track (which used up the entire Asian polystyrene supply available at that time) which created a shortage of good high-quality styrene that took several years to work its way back to normal. It's possible that there's still some of that plastic in the supply chain. Whatever it is, it's not intentional.

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There is a reason the side of the box states to use paints intended for polystyrene

Oh please. A LARGE number of builders with MUCH EXPERIENCE turning out SHOW QUALITY WORK have been using Duplicolor and Plasticoat primers FOR YEARS with excellent results.

This is something new.

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Recently? This goes back to about 2006 or so (I remember it being a big problem with the 2005/6 Mustang kit when it was first introduced). Testors Metalizer would etch that plastic. The word inside the industry was that it was due to the construction of the Shanghai Formula One track (which used up the entire Asian polystyrene supply available at that time) which created a shortage of good high-quality styrene that took several years to work its way back to normal. It's possible that there's still some of that plastic in the supply chain. Whatever it is, it's not intentional.

I appreciate that bit of insight, though I don't see how the two could be connected. I didn't realize race tracks were built out of polystyrene, but I'm sure there's a link I'm not aware of.

>>>>> Just prepped and primered a '50 Olds hood, and though the crazing isn't as severe as on the '09 Challenger, it's still more than I'd like to see. Part of the problem is that I learned to shoot full wet coats of primer, slick, so as to minimize sanding out of orange peel, and this technique has served me well for many many years. I'd prefer not to HAVE to mist the primer because the plastic is overly sensitive.

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Does it say "NEW and IMPROVED FORMULA" somewhere on the box? :lol:



What about spraying a barrier coat of Future first? Bill Geary does that, and his work speaks for itself.

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Does it say "NEW and IMPROVED FORMULA" somewhere on the box? :lol:

What about spraying a barrier coat of Future first? Bill Geary does that, and his work speaks for itself.

Thanks Harry. I guess it's time to learn some new tricks, as I doubt Revell will reformulate their plastic to make ME happy. ;)

What chaps my tail about having to use a barrier coat, or mist the primer and sand, is that every additional coat of material softens details. Shooting ONE full wet coat, slick, insured a minimum of detail obliteration. As I've only recently begun to work on BMF skills, I'd prefer to have the details remain as SHARP as humanly possible before foiling.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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I appreciate that bit of insight, though I don't see how the two could be connected. I didn't realize race tracks were built out of polystyrene, but I'm sure there's a link I'm not aware of.

>>>>> Just prepped and primered a '50 Olds hood, and though the crazing isn't as severe as on the '09 Challenger, it's still more than I'd like to see. Part of the problem is that I learned to shoot full wet coats of primer, slick, so as to minimize sanding out of orange peel, and this technique has served me well for many many years. I'd prefer not to HAVE to mist the primer because the plastic is overly sensitive.

"When it was inaugurated in 2004, the Shanghai International Circuit was — and still remains — the biggest, most ambitious Formula One circuit ever made.

Built at a cost of $450 million on 5.3 square kilometers, or 2 square miles, of swampland, it required a propping up of the land with concrete blocks that were then covered with polystyrene. According to the sport’s governing body, the International Automobile Federation, the circuit bought out the entire Asian market of polystyrene for the job."

Can't make this stuff up!

The factories knew and had built up a couple years' worth of a stockpile while the track was under construction, so it took a couple years for the inferior plastic to start showing up.

Edited by Brett Barrow

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Gee, wish I could blame MY poor product on decent materials not being available because of something that happened halfway around the world.

There's a supplier of injection-molding plastic near me. I'll have to follow this up and get their perspective.

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Umm, track built in China, model made in China - I don't think China is halfway around the world from China, but it is a big country.

It could just be that you laid it on a little heavy. I laid some Duplicolor primer on an AMT body the other day and got some crazing on the decklid where I went a little heavy and it etched through a previous coat. But I'm no SHOW QUALITY modeler, and I don't build for contests, so what do I know?DSC_4738-vi.jpg

DSC_4738close-vi.jpg

Edited by Brett Barrow

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Umm, track built in China, model made in China - I don't think China is halfway around the world from China, but it is a big country.

Revell is an American company, still..at least last time I looked. China seems to me to be halfway around the world from America. My tiny little company is an American company too, and I can't blame poor quality of my own output on what happens in China.

It could just be that you laid it on a little heavy. I laid some Duplicolor primer on an AMT body the other day and got some crazing on the decklid.....

I've already acknowledged that my application technique...shooting full wet coats, slick, to minimize orange peel...may be partially to blame. HOWEVER, it's a technique I've been using successfully for years on many styrene substrates. I also said I don't see why I have to change my technique because the current styrene is trash. If the styrene was of similar quality to what's in vintage AMT and Johan kits, there'd be NO PROBLEM.

The black primer on this vintage Johan body is super-hot SEM self-etching, shot full-wet and slick. NO PROBLEM. The gray is Duplicolor. NO PROBLEM.

DSCN7592.jpg

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Yes, I've noticed new Revell plastic etches more than other plastics.

I built a Viper (new release) recently and had to "treat" all mold lines with Tenax numerous times to get the memory out of the plastic. I am working on a Fujimi and Tamiya kit now, with Duplicolor primer, and have no issues.

Hard to say it's "The Chinese", when there are probably a few million that don't even know what styrene is. Revell? Why, it's the cheapest source, equating to higher profit. Business, I guess. Chances are most buyers of Revell kits won't know the difference, and the lunatic fringe will just make do...

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Maybe you just need to switch your primer Bill. I've never had a problem with Plasti Kote Sandable primer crazing any styrene from Revell or Round2/ AMT. Could your problem have something to do with your primer being an etching primer? I'm not familiar with Dupli Color primer. But, I have used some of their paint.

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I don't know, like I showed, I had it happen with Dupli-Color on AMT/Round 2 plastic, so I don't think it's just a Revell thing, it might just be this the way styrene is now and it's something we all have to get used to.

I remember Bob Downie having etching issues with the 05/06 Mustang when that came out, and somebody (Bill Geary?) having it happen with the Dodge Magnum, those kits both pre-date the current ownership at Revell and it was a known problem within the hobby industry (the suspected link to the F1 track was reported in the trade magazines at that time, I didn't just pull that nugget out of my #$%^), so I would think if there was a solution, they would have found it by now. It could just be a matter of there still being some of that plastic turning up in the supply chain. I guess the best piece of advice is to test first on sprue or unused pieces.

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For curiosity's sake, whose plastic and what time period seemed to work well with Dupli-Color/Plasti-Kote?

I remember the stuff AMT was using in the 1990s was pretty stout, and I never had trouble except for the weird colors. When they went to most white and pastels, it took al manners of paint very nicely from what I remember.

Then again, that was American and Mexican production, where quality was expected, not hoped for.

Charlie Larkin

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, I guess. Chances are most buyers of Revell kits won't know the difference, and the lunatic fringe will just make do...

True! Remember we only account for 5% or less of overall kit sales. I'll bet a lot of the remainder don't even get painted. Just dad and a kid spending a nice Sunday afternoon assembling a kit. And that's the primary market! So we just need to get over ourselves!

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I have ruined to many bodys using Automotive primer, from both Revell and Fujimi/Aoshima/Tamiya, so its Tamiya primer for new kits (2006-current year), I would rather spend the more to get less and not etch a body, after spending $25 to replace just a body, its just not wroth taking the risk anymore.

I would love to go back to using automotive primer, more bang for the buck

Same thing happened to me on the Revells 2010 Camaro kit/ Audi kit , but I never etched any of the Mustangs kits I built using Dupliclolor primer, but I was using their high build primer(dont ask me why), and no etching or crazing on those

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I have a little bit of Plasticote primer left because I'm switching over to Duplicolor. I haven't experienced a crazing problem with either product.

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I don't know, like I showed, I had it happen with Dupli-Color on AMT/Round 2 plastic, so I don't think it's just a Revell thing, it might just be this the way styrene is now and it's something we all have to get used to.

I remember Bob Downie having etching issues with the 05/06 Mustang when that came out, and somebody (Bill Geary?) having it happen with the Dodge Magnum, those kits both pre-date the current ownership at Revell and it was a known problem within the hobby industry (the suspected link to the F1 track was reported in the trade magazines at that time, I didn't just pull that nugget out of my #$%^), so I would think if there was a solution, they would have found it by now. It could just be a matter of there still being some of that plastic turning up in the supply chain. I guess the best piece of advice is to test first on sprue or unused pieces.

Yes, back in 2005 when the Revell Mustang came out (and Corvette too) there were howls of protest of how the plastic was crazing much easier than ever before. The subject came up on another board at the time, and it was said that Revell couldn't duplicate the problem. I suspect that they were not using automotive primers and paints as most of us were using, but regular hobby paints, so that was their "out".

When I started to build my '06 Magnum and '05 Mustang years ago, I strongly urged fellas to start putting a barrier coat on the bare plastic, either using Future (Pledge with Future Shine) or BIN Zinnser sealer. In fact, I still strongly advise that now. I recently built the '03 Dodge Viper, and I used BIN on it and had no problem whatsoever.

Kits cost too much these days to get ruined by bad paint........not to mention the time wasted (and cost) of stripping the body and starting over. :angry:

I didn't know and hadn't heard the Chinese story on this about the racetrack, but considering the time frame of when this was going on, it doesn't surprise me a bit.

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Only 13 posts until some else said yes! I use Tamiya primer and have not had any problems, but have not built a recently produced kit either!

Have you tried a water based primer? I have done this 1:1 when a customer wanted lacquer over enamel. (Color Choice)

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Can you not get 'plastic primer' that side of the pond ? I use Hycote grey plastic primer on all my bodies, an then go over with cellulose lacquer, and never had a problem with the primer attacking the plastic .....

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I guess I learned wrong. I have always misted all paint. I shoot duplacolor and HOK and Auto Air. I mist to get thin even coats.I usually end up with 15 to 20 coats including primer and clear.As the paint is misted on I have great detail and panel lines. Donn Yost's method is thin mist coats and it works well.

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Never mind.

I guess I'm just being a crybaby, expecting the plastic in kits manufactured in 2009 to be as good as the plastic in kits manufactured in 1965. Yeah, that's totally unreasonable.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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I guess I learned wrong. I have always misted all paint. I shoot duplacolor and HOK and Auto Air. I mist to get thin even coats.I usually end up with 15 to 20 coats including primer and clear.As the paint is misted on I have great detail and panel lines. Donn Yost's method is thin mist coats and it works well.

Do you happen to have a photo of, lets say, the "Futuramic" lettering inside the '50 Olds rear quarter panel trim, after 15 or 20 coats of material and then foiled? I'd really be interested in seeing the outcome. You just might make a believer out of me. Always willing to learn something new that works.

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