View Full Version : Panel line wash staining bare plastic

July 19, 2013, 12:05 AM
Hi guys,

So far Iíve built two models (1 HG and 1 RG) so Iím still trying to figure out my workflow. I donít intend to paint the models, just panel line and top coat. I tried panel line washes on bare plastic for both kits, on the HG I used lighter fluid mixed with enamel, and on the RG I used Tamiya Panel Line Accent. For both kits, the panel line wash would stain the bare plastic, and I couldnít remove it completely with lighter fluid.

Should I spray an acrylic gloss top coat first before doing a panel line wash?

My current work flow is like this Ė

1. Cut off numbered part from sprue as per instructions. Sand off nubs.
2. Panel line wash
3. Snap fix
4. Clean off excess paint after it has dried
5. I fix up each leg, arm, torso this way but donít assemble into the final product.
6. Apply decals
7. Spray lacquer matte top coat
8. Final assembly

If I have to spray an acrylic top coat first before panel line wash, I suppose I will spray all the runners at one go even before step 1. Is this correct?

One final question, eventually I want a matte coating on my model. When I spray the final matte coat over the initial gloss coat, will it be able to hide the gloss coat?

July 19, 2013, 12:55 AM
Typically, a panel line wash works best with some kind of gloss coat applied first. Makes the wash flow better so I would suggest doing that. Best to be done when the sections/limbs are built already too so you cover everything with each spray without the need for touch-ups or risking increased friction on certain parts. For more info, see this thread: http://www.gundamforums.com/showthread.php/17716-Panel-lining-(what-method-do-you-use-)

A flat coat will cover the gloss coat provided you sprayed enough of it. If you already know how a flat-coated kit looks like, then that's the look to achieve.

July 19, 2013, 1:21 AM
If you're not going to paint, you can just lightly sand away the stained with some high grit sandpaper after the wash has completely dried. The reason you are probably getting stains is that you sand the nubs. I am willing to bet the areas you've sanded are the parts getting stains. The "rough" surface is the same texture as a flat topcoat, so the wash is staining the piece.

July 19, 2013, 1:27 AM
Thanks both. Should I gloss coat first though to protect the plastic? I had two incidents last night where I accidentally put too much of the Tamiya accent onto a piece and it promptly cracked off.

As for applying the first gloss coat, do I spray all the pieces while they're still in the runners or assemble first then spray? The guy at the shop told me to panel line wash before assembling, so that the wash doesn't flow into the seam lines.

July 19, 2013, 2:38 AM
One thing that might clean up the bare plastic after the panel line smear is to use a soft eraser and rub it gently over the stained area.

July 19, 2013, 11:01 AM
Yeah, a gloss coat will certainly add protection to the plastic so that's another reason why it should be done when using washes (at least non-acrylic washes).

It tends to be easier (and looks better) to assemble first, then spray. Or at the very least, remove the parts from the runners, mount them up, gloss coat, then apply the wash.

July 19, 2013, 12:10 PM
Glad I didn't use my Lining Accent on anything unpainted yet. Might have been disastrous.

July 19, 2013, 12:49 PM
Here is my RG Freedom, unpainted bare plastic with acrylic panel wash.
http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae239/OkieRA29/Gundam/Freedom1_zps12fbca16.jpg (http://s975.photobucket.com/user/OkieRA29/media/Gundam/Freedom1_zps12fbca16.jpg.html)
http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae239/OkieRA29/Gundam/Stirke2_zpsd6a7b427.jpg (http://s975.photobucket.com/user/OkieRA29/media/Gundam/Stirke2_zpsd6a7b427.jpg.html)

I had no problems with staining as you can see. My panel wash is actually an acrylic 'sludge' wash that is popular with armor modelers. Basically it is just thinned acrylic paint (I use Vallejo) and some dishwashing soap. I put a couple of drops of the paint in a container and add water till it is the right consistancy. I prefer my washes to be a bit thinner than normal. I can always go back and add another coat if need be. Once the wash is mixed, a just a couple of small drops of dishwashing soap, I use dawn. Stir the soap in, do not aggitate the mixture... bubbles! Liberally apply the wash to your part and let it dry a bit. Then take a paper towel/q-tip what ever and slightly moisten it with water. Wipe the excess wash off.

This wash will give you more of a shadow effect than a stark outline of the panels. The effect can best be seen on the wings of my Freedom and the side skirts. If you are still experiencing plastic staining, then you might need to polish the parts a bit. I use a triple grit polishing stick available at most beauty supply stores. The only areas I really polish are where the nubs are removed from. Again, this technique will not result in crisp clean panel lines, but more of a shadow weathered effect.

July 19, 2013, 2:03 PM
Hmmm... I like the look of the wash, going to have to try your method out

July 23, 2013, 10:41 PM
Just wanted everybody to know, if you are using tamiya panel line accent color, DO NOT use it on bare plastic. It worked great on my mg zaku 2.0 kit when I sprayed on a gloss coat beforehand, but I managed to crack and break both beam sabers from my gm ground type kit within minutes of using the wash. You should be okay panel line washing if you put on a gloss coat first.