Re: Baking painted styrene models

Thomas M. Olsen <tmolsen@...>


I use Scalecoat I over Floquil Zinc Chromate primer all the time and have never had a problem. What I like about the Zinc Chromate is that what ever you spray it over, it covers well with a very light coat. The problems most people have when spraying solvent based paint, whether it is a primer or a finish coat is that they spray the paint too wet and this will cause surface crazing on plastic. Other times they spray too dry and you get a rough surface. I have had no experience with any of the water-based acyrilics. Scalecoat I is my paint of choice. The Metalizer paints from Testor's (these were developed for the automobile modelers) and are excellent paints when you are trying to replicate various types of metal surfaces. Floquil is the old standby for jobs that I do not use Scalecoat for.

In regard to the oven mishaps, I did the same thing twice with a cheap roll oven with two brass PRR freight locos, a B6sb 0-6-0 and an L-1 2-8-2 almost 20 years apart (this was before and after the incident {1976} with the sleeping car). Instead of my wife turning up the roll oven, I did it. It was the thermal type that would cycle on and off when the temperature went above or below the setting. Each time, I had gotten busy with something else and forgotten about the proclivities of this device. I looked down, saw that it was not lit up, and thought (my biggest mistake - "thought"!), that I forgot to turn it on (didn't check to see if I had set it) and turned it up!

The L1s (1971) was in just drying after soaking it in white vinegar after washing it to get rid of the soldering fluxes, whereas the second time with the B6sb (1989), I was just baking a new paint touch-up job in preparation to selling it. Yep! Made kits out of both! The L1s was put back together and finished. The B6sb went into a jar of stripper and eventually was sold for parts to someone who did not care how much work it would take to put it back together.

Fortunately, I have learned my lessons well and stick to the straight and narrow when painting equipment. I have since painted a lot of freight cars in brass, plastic and urethane and have not lost one since.

Tom Olsen
Newark, Delaware, 19711-7479

docdenny34 wrote:

Richard's and Dennis's comment cement my own lurking suspicion that I just might be
playing with fire, and I am glad to know for the first time that a measured 130� F. is the
top safe temperature. Thank you.
Now, a second question as to Scalecoat I: Is it safe to apply over Floquil or Accupaint
primer? Floquil Barrier? I have always used Scalecoat I without primer, and then only on
brass. I am reluctant to invest in an entire new inventory of Scalecoat II to apply to plastic.
Dennis' good story about a portable heater turning an MDC car into a banana reminds me
of a marriage-shaking episode of my own 30 years ago: I had spent a solid one week of
vacation meticulously multicolor painting with automotive paints an entire brass
passenger train, plus two other brass cars- a LOT of work! At the end of the week I
popped all eight cars into the oven and turned to "warm" (about 200�), and went to relax
and contemplate the week's success. Well, my good wife came along and casually turned
the over up to 450� preparatory for preparing supper! Well, I heard a comment in the
kitchen- "What's THAT SMELL?"
You know the rest. The melted/burned and discolored paint was so baked on that it had to
be removed by sand blasting at the local plating shop- during the process of which most
of the cars became irreversably distorted with excessive air pressure, and soldered joints
TNTC were separated and blown apart.
The whole episode is still so traumatic in memory that the use, or proposed use of the
oven for paint baking is profoundly angst-provoking even to this day.
Postscript: Three years ago, I got out those sorry cars for the first time in all these years
and put them up for sale at our local annual model railroad show. To my amazement they
were snapped up almost immediately, and later in the day I saw them on a dealer's table
for the same sky high prices as perfectly good cars! Since then, I occasionally still one of
two of them as they make their way from unwary dealer to unwary dealer. Caviat Emptor!

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