Sticky figures
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Thread: Sticky figures

  1. #1

    Default Sticky figures

    Hey Gang,

    I picked up a copy of Descent: Journey's in the Dark some years ago, and painted it up just for fun. This summer I pulled the set down off the top shelf and was pleased to see that my daughter and fiance' took great joy in hacking and slashing away at monsters and collecting, "PHAT LOOTS!" as they love to declare. So, with renewed interest, we invested in the first expansion, and I'm anxious to get that painted so we can add those models to the mix... So, here's the issue.

    A few years back when I painted the first batch of Descent models, they remained tacky (sticky). They are still tacky to this day, which is a drag because they actually have slowly begun sticking together enough to pull little dots and
    spots of paint off of one another. Now, I by no means did a masteful job on these figures so touch-ups and repaints are no big deal, but the prospect of doing touch-ups on 100+ models is not something I'm willing to do.

    I assumed that the tacky (sticky) figures were a result of the cheapo Krylon Krystal Clear Coat I used on the figures and decided to go with the old tried and true Testors Dullcoat next time. So with my new expansion models in hand I took the new batch of heroes out an primerd them last week. I first soaked the models in hot vineger, then brushed thuroughly with hot water and dish soap. I used my usual Duplicolor automotive spray primer since it has never failed me yet. Here I am 4 days later and the primer on the hero figures is still sticky/tacky. I coated one with dullcoat, and it's still a little sticky to the touch. So, now I'm wondering is it something to do with the chemical makeup of the plastic figures reacting with the paint? How do I work around this? I've never seen anything like this, so any suggestions you might have would be a great help!

    Thanks gang. I hope summer is finding you all well.

    pez5767
    WARNING: Painting all of your miniatures may lead to death.

    "There comes a day in every man's life when he has to get off the couch... and kill some zombies."

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pez5767
    I first soaked the models in hot vineger...
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by pez5767
    So, now I'm wondering is it something to do with the chemical makeup of the plastic figures reacting with the paint?
    Could be. Flexible plastic often/usually has plasticisers in it (PVC for example is hard and rigid without them) and this can leach out from the plastic through a primer or paint film. Heating 'em up beforehand might be the problem here, since this can bring anything that can evaporate from a plastic to the surface.

    Quote Originally Posted by pez5767
    How do I work around this?
    Try priming one of the figs after just washing it as a start (so hot soak) see if you get the same result.

    Einion

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the response Einion, I feel we are in the early stages of figuring this thing out!

    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    Why?
    I read a tutorial about washing models with vinegar. It suggested that due to the acidic nature of vinegar, it would slightly etch the models and help the primer stick. Given the problems I've had I thought I would give it a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    Try priming one of the figs after just washing it as a start (so hot soak) see if you get the same result.

    Einion
    The first batch (the core models to the Descent game) I painted were preped this way. They just got a good scrub with cool soapy water. They are still tacky some years later.



    Please keep the suggestions coming!

    pez
    Last edited by pez5767; 08-03-2010 at 04:00 PM. Reason: typo tastic!
    WARNING: Painting all of your miniatures may lead to death.

    "There comes a day in every man's life when he has to get off the couch... and kill some zombies."

  4. #4

    Default

    Welcome! The tips about using vinegar is an old-school thing and comes from the days when metal miniatures were all there was; if there is a mild etching effect for metal (possible, but really not necessary with a decent primer) it won't work on plastics

    Quote Originally Posted by pez5767
    The first batch (the core models to the Descent game) I painted were preped this way. They just got a good scrub with cool soapy water. They are still tacky some years later.
    Darn, then obviously neither heating nor the vinegar are the cause. Next thought is the primer itself (is this an acrylic or cellulose/lacquer type?) so I'd think the obvious next thing to try is another primer.

    Einion

  5. #5

    Default

    Were these figures still tacky when stripped of paint? And I'm wondering if maybe it wasn't the primer, but the paints themselves. No experience with either problem, mind you, just tossing out ideas.
    "Reality, she's a mathematical bitch from hell.", MaxedOutMama
    Wanna be bored? Watch me twitter. --<>-- Still have neurons? Watch my YouTube channel on painting!
    Want to know when to fry your neurons? My painting twitter will announce the videos.
    To judge how far to follow my advice, consider this: ---<>--- Slappin' paint on minis since 2006

  6. #6

    Default

    What type of paints are you using on the miniatures? Sometimes the paints interact with certain plastics strangely and give you this tacky result. I had the same problem with some old "Muscle Men" figurines from the 80s that I tried to paint in
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    Junior High with my handy Testors Enamel paints. The oil-based paint simply never dried on that rubberized plastic. Perhaps this is the issue you are facing.

  7. #7

    Default

    sorry for the threadomancy here, but I figured I would follow up with the actual solution to the problem. I've encountered a number of other folks experiencing the same issue. It's something to do with one (or a combination of) the chemicals in the primer and clear coat.

    I switched over to using Krylon primer for plastic and finished with testors dull coat. Made all the difference in the world. No more sticky.

    Hope this helps those who need it!

    Pez
    WARNING: Painting all of your miniatures may lead to death.

    "There comes a day in every man's life when he has to get off the couch... and kill some zombies."

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