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Cleaning before painting - Help

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Cooperman69, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Cooperman69

    Cooperman69 Scale Model Member

    What cleaning technique do you guys use for cleaning off the release agent from a kit prior to priming or airbrushing?

    I thought I had cleaned mine well enough with warm water and a dash of washing up liquid in a bowl, giving a good agitation with a brush and then air drying. Then when I tried to apply the Tamiya Fine Primer it managed to separate on a few of the parts as though it was still dirty.

    Would it be an idea to clean with some meths on a clean cloth just prior to spraying to remove any last residue or could this damage the acrylic paint application?

    Any recommendations??


    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Scale Model Member

    I wash the parts on the sprues before starting the build.Then i wash the completed model just before priming.I use water with bit of washing up liduid the same as you.Works everytime for me.
  3. andygh

    andygh Scale Model Member

    I rarely wash anything but if a model looks oily I do what you did, warm water & detergent

    I always use Halfords primer, it sticks to just about anything
  4. tecdes

    tecdes Guest

    Used to wash but do not now.

    Every piece large enough I wet & dry with a 1200 to 1500 paper. The smaller the piece the finer the paper which reduces any small accidental damage.

    Came to the conclusion that it is not only possible manufacturing fluids residue but the shiny surface of the plastic. Once that has been done using Vallejo primer airbrushed I have not had any problems.

    That is except on a small area on the Wellington fuselage that I missed & it peeled. Found it was still shiny.

    Also if you use this method to rinse after wet & drying. I also use a Tac Cloth just before priming to get rid of specs & dust.


    HAWKERHUNTER Scale Model Member

    I wipe mine down with white spirit once it is built. Seems to take the shine off the plastic without damaging the model.
  6. CDW

    CDW Scale Model Member

    I've always used the same method, an idea i had years ago when i was painting endless plastic figures for myself and friends who did war-gaming / played D&D etc.

    Its based on a stone polishing method and is so quick and simple.

    All you do is stick the bits you need "buffed" into a glass coffee jar (or metal coffee tin for larger bits) about 1/3 full of bird grit ...pop lid on ..... then just shake it, roll it, waggle it, jiggle it, ... whatever makes you feel groovey :)

    Tip out the contents after about 30 seconds of shaking and you'll find they have a nice evenly sanded surface, blow dust off or wash the bits and job done!!

    Works for nearly everything .... Just take extra care with delicate bits
  7. tecdes

    tecdes Guest

    Hey Colin that is a great idea.

    Obviously large bits are difficult such as a fuselage but smaller pieces which are hard to prepare are perfect for this method.

    Have you a video of your performance Colin. I have visions of model makers prancing around their garage & wives phoning the mental authorities.

    Thanks for that .

  8. CDW

    CDW Scale Model Member

    Sorry Laurie i forgot to mention that larger items are able to be "Buffed up" in a large heavy duty plastic bag, just agitate the grit particles enough to abraise the surface.

    As for the performance, the DVDs are on sale from under the counter at your local dodgy video shop :) :)
  9. dubster72

    dubster72 Scale Model Member

  10. tecdes

    tecdes Guest

    That really depends on the performance Patrick !

    Colin do you use water with the grit ?

    Just off to get the grit.

  11. CDW

    CDW Scale Model Member

    No water Laurie, just dry.... it works like a fine sand blasting.

    The bird grit with the oyster shell additive needs to be seived first as the larger bits of the shell can score the plastic somewhat (ask me how i know :))

    Patrick ... for a fiver you get the directors cut extended remix version with the alternative endings :) :) :)
  12. Cooperman69

    Cooperman69 Scale Model Member

    Thanks for your replies everyone.

    On reflection I think Laurie may have a good point as I've noticed the surface on this kit is super glossy. It's Revells 1/24 McLaren MP4/25.

    I like the idea with the bird grit in a container, can see myself now dancing around the shed shaking a tin whilst the neighbours look on :lol:.

    I did try Halfords primer on a previous kit and it really does stick to anything but I found the Tamiya Fine is so smooth on the detail.

    Thanks again,

  13. tecdes

    tecdes Guest

    Well Colin (CDW) got my grit & put my first few bits thro. the mill ! Grit avec oyster shells that is. Wife has not see me perform yet but it will soon be around the family that father is senile, again ?

    Well pleased with the result best tip for a long time Colin. Thanks for that. The shine has gone but without any grazing of the surface. Also gets all those difficult to get at bits. Need one of those B & Q paint mixer things but a little less violent.

    Yes I have a preference, Colin (69) , for primers by the model paint manufacturers. Not used Tamiya my experience is with Vallejo which also has a smooth finish without loss of detail. But you cannot beat using the thing that suits & satisfies what you have gained from experience.

  14. Cooperman69

    Cooperman69 Scale Model Member

    How about placing the whole sprue into a suitably sized box with some grit and "buffing" while it's still attached then giving a good wash in warm water and detergent.

    Should be fully cleaned and "etched" ready for priming then.

    Great idea that bird grit, I'm off to the pet store tomorrow :)
  15. Cooperman69

    Cooperman69 Scale Model Member

    Every type of bird grit I can find on the web has oyster shell!

    What type did you manage to get hold of Laurie? What one do you use Colin?
  16. tecdes

    tecdes Guest

    Yes Colin I noticed that one make had oyster shell.

    I managed to get Bob Martin's Avia Bird Grit. About £1:47. Does not look much as it comes in a round container about 6" high by 2.5" in dia. I thought there can not be much there but there is masses of the stuff. Put Bob Martin's Avia Bird Grit in your search engine & they sell it all over the place.

    Using pound shop plastic containers to do the job.

    Just airbrushed some bits & they came up really well nice & smooth.

    Colin CDW you could have made a fortune out of this. "Secret ingredients produces fabulous finishes". But the cat is out of the bag.

  17. Ian M

    Ian M GB+SIG Mod. Staff Member Admin

    Hmm mini sand scouring kits. A set of plastic boxes from the pound shop, a half kilo of budgie sand. You should be able to shift that on e-bay for £20 a pop.

    I must say that this is a great idea. It must be great for things with loads of surface detail like a tank with all those rivets and handles..... Me thinks I might give this a go one day. Soon.
    Regarding the washing off. When I wash a kit down I have found that washing up liquids can vary a lot. Many of them have things in to be kind to hands and small nice. These are the ones I find work the least effective. I have started using Painters cleaner. No fancy smell, and removes all signs of grease. Its the stuff you use to wash down walls and paint work before you get the Dulux out.

    Ian M
  18. Cooperman69

    Cooperman69 Scale Model Member

    Bob Martins Avia Grit it is then with an A4 sized plastic container.

    What a top tip.
  19. CDW

    CDW Scale Model Member

    Dammit i could be a rich man if i'd kept my gob shut :)
    if anyone starts up little kits on ebay then i'll sue them as the ideas patented and it's archived on here that the ideas mine :) :)

    seriously though this works with anything really, it will even "trim off" small amounts of flash, (and it removes the flash on metal figures/parts to a nice dull sheen finish)

    One thing ......... has anyone else found that some more expensive versions of washing up liquid leave a "waxy" film on the plastic, even after several rinses??
  20. tecdes

    tecdes Guest

    Yes Colin I remember "now hands that do dishes" advert. My wife being a hairdresser, sometime ago, tells me that a lot of the washing up liquids have a lanolin content attempting to protect skin.

    Naturally it has the same effect on plastic leaves a film that you do not really want. Also White Spirit thinner has a slight residue not wanted (though perhaps with enamel that does not matter).

    Think this is were grit comes. Also Ian's idea on the paint cleaner. Used just water with a washing up brush after the GritColin treatment. How about that concoction Colin for advertising ?

    Another thing. Sorry going on a bit. Would advise only to use grit not sand. The sand will fill every corner & come out at the most inopportune time. Found a couple of pieces of grit in a couple of areas where there are built in crevices. Another good idea to wash the Avia grit as it has a lot of dust in it & makes cleaning easier.


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