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Great product for replicating Vinyl tops!!!


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This is a little trick that Jairus told me about. I am seeing this question about simulating vinyl tops popping up a lot around here and thought about sharing this with you guys!

I built this '68 Charger several months ago and wanted to replicate a vinyl top. Of course, I also bought some Plastruct styrene pieces to simulate the molding that separates the vinyl roof from the body since this model did not have a molded vinyl top like the Revell '69 Charger has.

I visited a Michael's Craft Store and purchased a can of 3M Spray Mount Artist's Adhesive. It's a product used to mount pictures, posters or prints against any chosen surface by the user.

68Charger022.jpg

This is the Plastruct styrene that I purchased, it shows the size I went with, of course, you guys can choose a different size if you so desire, I just thought that this one was the closest to scale after studying some reference photos of a 1/1 car.

Charger008.jpg

After placing the styrene pieces around the roof and masking the body, I shot the 3M Spray Mount lightly making several passes until getting complete coverage. One thing to remember, this will not dry anytime soon so right after spraying it, cover it up with primer and let it dry. I use a food dehydrator to speed up the drying time on my painted parts so after 2 hours it was dry.

Charger010.jpg

Charger012.jpg

After drying was complete, I used a 3200 grit sandpaper and sanded the roof down a bit more, I thought it was a little too grainy so by sanding it down a little further the vinyl look was more noticeable. In this photo, I painted and cleared the whole car. After everything was dry, I wetsanded and polished the body and ultimately masked and painted the roof with Testor's semi gloss black.

68ChargerWIP002.jpg

Charger6005.jpg

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After placing the styrene pieces around the roof and masking the body, I shot the 3M Spray Mount lightly making several passes until getting complete coverage. One thing to remember, this will not dry anytime soon so right after spraying it, cover it up with primer and let it dry. I use a food dehydrator to speed up the drying time on my painted parts so after 2 hours it was dry.

So you spray on the 3M adhesive, then, while the adhesive is still wet, you cover it with primer?

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So you spray on the 3M adhesive, then, while the adhesive is still wet, you cover it with primer?

Yes Casey, the primer will actually make the adhesive dry quicker, just make sure to give it enough time to do so. The first time I did this, I didn't try it on any spare body, I just went ahead and shot it straight on the model and finished it off after that. I would suggest to try it on a spare body though....
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After seeing how awesome that Charger turned out, I went out to Michael's this morning and purchased 2 cans of this thing, I will be trying this system soon. Thanks a lot, not only for recommending this system but also for the time taken to show it with pictures!

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Great tip Marcos. Instead of sanding try scrubbing the top with a toothbrush and Soft Scrub(a mild abrasive for cleaning the bathroom) It's better when ever you need to sand irregular surfaces, it reduces detail without flattening the top if you know what I mean. This works well on detailed chassis pans that need the primer sanded before final coat of color.

Edited by 935k3
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  • 1 month later...

3M Spray Mount is NOT a permanent medium. I have used it for nearly 30 years in mounting advertising presentation materials and it will eventually peel and lose its grip. I urge you not to think of this as something to use in this application.

Further, do not use it around equipment such as printers and copiers. The mist it creates will gum everything up, as my companies have found when trying to fix Xerox and other nearby machinery.

Edited by sjordan2
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A much easier way to do vinyl tops is to just hold the can far away from the model and spray, creating "orange peel" texture. You know, like what you try to avoid in most situations... :lol: but it works great for creating a "vinyl" top look. Very simple, very easy.

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A much easier way to do vinyl tops is to just hold the can far away from the model and spray, creating "orange peel" texture. You know, like what you try to avoid in most situations... :lol: but it works great for creating a "vinyl" top look. Very simple, very easy.

I think Harry has it right here, and someone else has mentioned that it's better to use enamels instead of lacquers in this application, since they take longer to dry and can hold the first-spray texture better before you use a final cover coat.

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3M Spray Mount is NOT a permanent medium. I have used it for nearly 30 years in mounting advertising presentation materials and it will eventually peel and lose its grip. I urge you not to think of this as something to use in this application.

Further, do not use it around equipment such as printers and copiers. The mist it creates will gum everything up, as my companies have found when trying to fix Xerox and other nearby machinery.

OH! This is permanent bro, I tested this on a spare body and tried scraping it and couldn't do it. It might not be permanent in other mediums but for this application, it's perfect, this thing ain't coming off!! B)
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