Painting prep, to wash or not to wash, that is the question

ok…so some model makers wash their new kits before assembly, something about the release agent residue from the injection moulding process…what is the ideal procedure here? how much soap to water, what kind of soap etc…

I REALLY want good paint adhesion on the gundam 00 unit 00 high grade I just got since I intend to paint rather than use color corrective stickers(which CAN, but not always do, look tacky)

Well modelers wash their kits not just to remove the mold release, but to remove the oils from your fingers and the dust from sanding that ends up on your kits during the build. Ideally you can get some dish soap and warm water. Some people use industrial cleaners like purple power or simple green, but dish soap works just fine. You want a soapy mixture like what you would use to was your dished and gently scratch the parts with tooth brush. Then rise with clean water and let dry. I recommend that you purchase a colander to use for rising your parts it will help prevent you from losing pieces and us a drain stop as well.

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I used Dawn to wash parts when preparing them for priming, and then a bit of 90% ISO alcohol to wipe them down when I’m ready to paint them. Seemed to work for me, but paint adhesion can have a couple of other factors that determine said adhesion.

I’ve never had any need to wash bandai kits, but to each their own.

some of my markers(I use them as model paints can be excessively messy, and I can better control the paint’s placement) tend to streak or not give an even distribution of pigment, so its either a given pen, or I’ve got chemical interference from release agent residue…

Bandai and kotobukiya kit are supposedly cleaned of release agents at the factory. I only wash my kits to remove the oils from my hands and the sanding dust.

Resin kits are a different story. You can feel the mold release agent on them and they need to be washed thoroughly.

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Markers can be really finicky imo, make sure they’re really shaken well, and then shake some more.

oh I know, I’ll spend upwards of 10 minutes working on one stubborn marker, then ‘bleeding’ it on scrap paper til I get good flow, and then I test on the tag plate on a given tree.

some color formulations are better than others, example, basic set white is watery, while seed white has nice even coverage.

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My journey with using paint has been quite an interesting one. My first experience with paints came from the 1/144 Turn A Gundam which needed a lot of TLC in this field. I tried out those MS Markers as well and…I learned quickly that they weren’t really that thin enough for some of the smaller details like the face; so I resorted to using a toothpick to dab on the tip of the marker and spread along the small portions which seemed to do the job enough though kind of odd that I had to resort to something like that.

Future model kits I tried with paint yielded better results probably because I actually used modeling paint and brushes. One day I’d like to experiment with different types of paint to see which ones work best, and I wouldn’t mind seeing if washing beforehand actually helps too.

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I actually have an easier time with the markers than standard model paints, though I have resorted to odd tricks like using sewing needles to deposit paint into lines that need something, yet are plastics colored in colors that need non standard paint choices for lining.

the most pain in the rear one was a wing kit and I used a cat whisker(no joke, and the whisker was a discarded one, thus humanely harvested) to do this as well.

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If all you do is single color, you can probably do it without a wash. If you need to mask painted surface to spray other colors, then you might pull the paint under the masking tape if they did not adhere well…

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Primers are worth it too. Sometimes I sand with 2000 grit on the larger surfaces. It was mostly to remove mold lines / waves, but I think it helps the primer stick too.