Best way to clean frosted ultra detail model for painting?

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by ScottPBrown, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. Have plenty of Simple Green on hand, so will give it a try.
     
  2. Anyuta3D
    Anyuta3D Well-Known Member
    Detailed instructions already written in forum before, but let's write again in case someone missed them:

    People who follow the Miniatures and Scale Models area, already know that we 've send some detailed info about proper FUD / FXD parts cleaning methods and best way to primer, paint and weather realistic way a scale model (also wrote about paint stripping too). Dedicated scale modelers and scale hobbyists also know our scale models already published into major scale model related forums and printed magazines. Having more than 30 years scale modeling experience under belt, I would like to reply to your question, hoping that my answers will also help other scale modelers too. Well, since Frosted Detail plastic material is best available for producing scale model kits and accesory parts, the following directions are for FUD and FXD plastics.

    First things first! Although the 3D printed models do not differ so much from ordinary kits, the plastic material may cause surprises. We all know that FUD and FXD parts are 3D printed with MJM method and later parts removed from the tray and placed into an oven that melts away the wax support material and washed into an a ultrasonic oil bath to remove any remaining wax residues and then a ultrasonic water bath to remove any oil on the model. In case you 'll notice slight traces of oil on the kit parts surface when you got the item, it is absolutely normal. This oil is actually left after the 3D printing process was finished and the kit parts been removed from the printer tray to be washed into an ultrasonic oil bath and later an ultrasonic water bath and might escaped the clean inspection and dry by hand procedure. It can be cleaned easily by washing parts with water and dishwasher soap and clean with an old toothbrush gently.

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    This oil (if any) MUST be removed from plastic parts surface, to result best possible paint results. If the oil remains, you risk a badly applied paint later - no matter if enamel, acrylic etc. IMHO, best method to remove part is by washing with warm water (NEVER apply water hotter than 50º C / 125º F or you'll be really sorry) & dishwasher soap and brush gently with an old soft toothbrush. Keep in mind that items are only 0.3mm to 0.5mm thin and they are very fragile. Therefore, being very carefull while washing the parts is a necessary.

    Also good methods to wash small (or extremely fragile) parts, are the following:
    • By sinking everything into a plastic bowl filled with White Spirit and leave it there for few seconds or a couple of minutes (max) to wash oil traces. In the end the the kit won’t feel greasy anymore and show an almost complete white colour. Never use anything more "aggresive" chemical than White Spirit. Also, AVOID stove cleaning spray, lacquer and acetone nail polish remover products - they clean oil & wax but also dissolve the plastic leading to breakage and failure.
    • By using hydrosonic cleaning machine (IMHO, is the best alternative), filled with water & dishwasher soap and repeat procedure if needed. Meanwhile the water will turn cloudy - that’s the wax.
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    As an example, feel free to check following building & painting process pictures of our WWII-era helicopter Flettner Fl-282 V21 Kolibri scale model kit found into our Anyuta 3D products catalog. It is most importance that the model parts are properly degreased - otherwise the paint will not stick or able to get painted. Small remainders can be removed with a swab or toothpick. Oily parts washed by sinking everything into a 2 litres plastic bowl filled with White Spirit and leave it there for a couple of minutes. Shortly after all kit parts enjoyed their bath into a White Spirit filled bowl, they were washed with liquid soap & warm water, placed on soft paper towels and allowed to dry.

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    TO BE CONTINUED...
     
  3. Anyuta3D
    Anyuta3D Well-Known Member
    ...CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS MESSAGE

    Experienced scale model builders and figure painters, already know that proper cleaning of surfaces to be painted is absolutely necessary - this is the 1.0.1 lesson on miniatures painting. The dishwasher soap gently brushing or the hydrosonic cleaning are the most plastic-friendly methods, but you need to retry washing many times until oil is completely removed. On the other hand, sinking everything into a petrochemical solution will removed oil in a blink, but you should never try anything more "aggresive" than White Spirit which is a plastic-friendly chemical and already in use into scale modeling hobby and artistic miniatures painting. The reason I prefer sinking everything into a bowl filled with White Spirit, leave it there for a couple of minutes and then place parts on soft paper towels until dry, is that some tiny (really tiny) or extremely fragile FUD-made parts, cannot get easily handled by hands and washed with dishsoap and warm water - not to mention that fragine plastic parts could break during manual washing session. Long story short? The "key factor" for a nice 'n' smooth painting with no surprises, is the proper cleaning and de-greasing of the FUD/FXD parts.

    After all kit parts washed (with dish soap, or ultrasonic or in White Spirit & water) to clean the oil traces, every section of the model has been repeatedly dry fit tested to ensure that all individual parts could be later combined together as an overall built model. When looked OK, each part sprayed over with primer to prepare for paintjob. I personaly use waterborne polymer primer products (dark or light primer depending the final paint later) and later apply LifeColor acrylics products for paint.

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    Additionaly, as long as FUD/FXD parts are de-greased the modeler SHOULD apply primer before paint. Experienced modelers already know that nowdays, primer before basic paint layers is a factor that leads to best possible results. We are not into 1970ies or 1980ies era when "primer before painting" was a joke or considered as an expensive & unnecessary luxury. We supposed to be modern era scale modelers, we supposed to get informed by the internet for all the modern gadgets, we supposed to follow scale modeling related online forums and we should all know the fundamentals basic techniques for scale models and miniatures painting.

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    We should all keep in mind that scale models (even the 3D printed) should be painted with scale modeling related products. ONLY! Any other kind of paint for example building walls or car paint (yeah, it might sound stupid but I know some stupid people who already tried it), marker pens or water based paints used by children during their kindergarten education, will not work and cause further problems.

    The scale modeling related paints can be found in three (main) types:

    • Enamel paints - Thinner used in the first "Enamel paints" category, is usually some petrochemical, usualy White Spirit. In some special cases more aggresive thinners can be used like nitrocellulose laquer for example, but the modeler should always be aware that underpaint plastic could get damaged.
    • Acrylic paints - Thinner used in the second "Acrylic paint" category, is usually some water, pure alcohol or kinds of ammonia-based solutions.
    • Artistic oil-based paints - Thinner used in the third "Artistic oil-based paint" category, is usually some "soft" petrochemical, usualy White Spirit water or Turpentine.
    Ofcourse, we all know even if water is used as thinner in acrylic colors category, this does NOT mean that the water can later be used to clean / strip the acrylic paint after it dries! As you understand, after the acrylic paint gets polymerized, the chemical bonds get stronger and it cannot get away. Finally, scale models are weathered (by painting with specific techniques) and a final coat (aka varnish) is applied over. Can be matt, gloss or semi gloss, mainly available as enamel or acrylic. My personal favorite is acrylic and applied with airbrush.

    As a final friendly advice:

    Use scale modeling related paint products ONLY

    If you need more advices, feel free to visit your local scale modeling hobby shop or just Google. Also, feel free to check our scale model products and have a look on building and painting process.

    Regards,
    Anyuta 3D

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