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I have a quick question about mixing different types of paint. I am looking to paint my 1/350 Enterprise model. I bought some Wasco Iridescent lacquer paints the other day to do the aztecing. But I also have some Model Master "Custom Spray Enamel" White Primer that I got from my local hobby shop. Can I use this "Enamel" based paint as the primer if I want to use Lacquers over the top? Will there be a problem? Or should I just get a white Lacquer Primer?
Thanks
 

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Back when I went to paint my first 350 refit I sprayed some light blue enamel for a base coat and then sprayed some Plasti-Kote white over that thinking it was an acrilyc paint but instead the label said acrilyc laquer and the result was tiny little cracks all over the neck, so 'tis a very bad idea to spray laquer over enamel. Now then if you do it the other way around it should be ok.
 

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What irishtrek said.

You can spray enamel over lacquer (after it has dried or "gassed out") but you cant spray lacquer over enamel. The hotter solvents in lacquer will soften the enamel and cause crazing, tiny cracks. You can use something like Duplicolor auto primer or any of the Tamiya flat whites. Always test though on scrap when useing two different brands of paint on a plastic kit, especialy lacquers.
 

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Rule of thumb is you apply paint from hottest to mildest. Therefore you apply lacquers first, and then enamels on top. Lacquers will soften and craze or crack and enamel base coat.
 

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I'm curious about the whole no lacquer over enamel thing.
Isn't Testors Dullcote a lacquer? I've sprayed it over enamels for years with no problems.
Usually I wait until the enamel is cured for 3-4 days first and then I hit it with light oversprays of Dullcote.
Is that the trick?
Making sure the enamel is FULLY CURED and then making light passes with the Dullcote?
Or is Dullcote something other than a true lacquer?
 

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I think it is because it is usually only a light coat of dulcote.
You would use a much heavier coat to actually paint something.
 

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also the Testors dullcoat "lacquer" in the spray cans does not seem to be a real lacquer, if that makes sense. Its pretty inert. I suspect they use the word "lacquer" on the can in a generic sense, much the way people use the word varnish a lot. Varnish is a specific product. Testors Clear Flat Lacquer in a jar is a real lacquer, however.

Using an airbrush you can mist thin layers of clear lacquer top coats on an enamel finish. You could not flood it on wet, or brush it.
 

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Testor's glosscoat/dullcoat are "cool" lacquers specially formulated fo model use. They are not true lacquers in the sense of automotive or commercial lacquers. Be careful using any lacquer on plastic. If too hot it will craze or even melt bare plastic. Always test on a scrap piece first. I have had great success with Testors white lacquer primer or any of the Tamiya surface primers.
 

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Yes and the Testors and Tamiya spray can lacquers are synthetic and plastic safe. Tamiya lacquer thinner in a bottle is great you can strip ANY paint off of plastic with it safely. I wouldn't soak a part in it for hours at a time, but a quick dip and rub down is safe.
 

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Thanks guys for the knowledge share on Testors and Tamiya "lacquers" not being "true" lacquers. I had suspected as much just based on the odor of Dullcote and Glosscote alone. They just don't smell the same as the can of ACE hardware store lacquer I keep on my bench for cleaning brushes and such. In fact, Dullcote smells diferfently now than it used to years ago.
Does anyone know if Testors changed the formulation?
Is it considered "synthetic" now making it less "hot" than it once was?
 

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Im not exactly sure what the Dullcoat and Glosscoat spray formula is. Its not the same as the Testors Custom Lacquer auto color paints. The model-formulated synthetic lacquer paints are not as hot as traditional car stuff and can be used safely on bare, unprimed plastic.

As an FYI the Testors Metalizer sprays can be kind of harsh. The instructions say NOT to apply them over paint or a base color, but they can crinkle and craze some plastics. I had one of the silver colors craze up the inside head pieces on a Polar Light LIS Robot. But then that kit had a funny rubbery plastic too...
 

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This question always gets me as I'm under the impression that alclad lacquers can, or should, go over black gloss enamel primer/base coat for best effect.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
When it comes to light blocking paint for the inside of a model can I just use any dark grey or black model safe paint? I have the 1/350 Enterprise and I would like to light it eventually...
 

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With Alclad, you are airbrushing on a very very very fine mist under low pressure (8 psi +/-). It is not wet at all and dries instantly. It does not have time to soften or craze the base layer of paint.

There are also some different schools of thought as to what is the best base coat. I never use enamel. I have used either Alclad's own black primer or Tamiya gloss black spray lacquer. An excellent builder over on Hyperscale touts the use of automotive primer like Duplicolor. It doesn't have to be black... thats a myth. And, except for a couple of Alclad shades like Chrome and Polished Aluminum, it does not have to be applied over any primer.

Any model safe paint will work fine for light blocking. Thats a non issue. Just get a jar of Testors flat black, Tamiya flat black, etc. Silver is a good solid blocker color too.
 

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I have had the same experience with Testors Metalizers with some crazing. I don't use them anymore because you really need to seal the finish with the sealer and it takes away all the sheen from buffing.
 

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I too have a can or 2 of the Testors dullcote whith the laquer name on it and have had no problems with it other than going out side on the side walk to use it.
On a side note a while back I discovered that after I airbrush Future on a model it acts like a primer when I airbrush acrilyc paint over the Future, which is sort of a good thing seeing as I live in an indoor apartment type building and can airbrush acrilycs by an open window.
 

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What irishtrek said.

You can spray enamel over lacquer (after it has dried or "gassed out") but you cant spray lacquer over enamel. The hotter solvents in lacquer will soften the enamel and cause crazing, tiny cracks. You can use something like Duplicolor auto primer or any of the Tamiya flat whites. Always test though on scrap when useing two different brands of paint on a plastic kit, especialy lacquers.
Correct.

For those who don't know:

Lacquer isn't acrylic, nor is acrylic a lacquer base. Why they call it "acrylic lacquer" is a misnomer. It's actually acrylic in a high solvent base which dries similarly, but if you mix the two together you get mush!! :drunk: It cracks all over, and crazes (turns white). NEVER spray real lacquer which is made from nitrocellulose fiber - not acrylic over any other finish. It's too hot, and it will dissolve the other one below it. Only if it's hardened for more than two to three years can you spray lacquer over another finish, but I don't recommend it. M.E.K. (Mehtyl Ethyl Ketone) is the harshest of solvents, and will dissolve skin on contact if left without washing off immediately! This is what gives lacquer its kick. This isn't found in acrylic formulations.

Acrylic, and enamel can be mixed without fear of damaging one another, but that's mainly because the formulation of each is a soft resin. It's also mostly comprised of acrylic rather than enamel. This is what 90% of all paints are going to now since they've decided that heavy solvent based paints (alkyd) with oils are harmful to all life, and the air that we breathe. My local hardware store has decided to take all their alkyd products off the shelf due to a new governmental restriction. Just remember to test for compatibility on scrap. Spray your primer coat (if used) and any other subsequent coat of base colour, then let dry for a few days. Once dry, spray the clearcoat over it to see if it wrinkles. If it does, then the formulation of the clearcoat is much higher solvent based than the undercoat colour layer. This means that you need to ensure that you're using the exact same paint base formula from the base colour on out. This will keep it from mismatching in solvency. If you're unsure, ask the company for an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the explanation of the contents, and their proposed usage. This may save you a lot of grief.


~ Chris​
 
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