Need some masking advice!

09-28-2011, 01:01 PM
Hi folks,

Looking for a little advice in masking. I have an old 1/16th Revell VW bug that I've been working on and the interior needs some complicated masking. Last nite I masked an area, but when (carefully) peeling the masking tape back, it pulled the paint in the adjoining area. Arggghhh!

I'm using an airbrush, and I would prefer to spray only acrylics with it to lessen the toxicity and ease the cleanup if that's possible.

To prep the model, I wet-sanded the body with old 1500 grit, then washed it thoroughly with a toothbrush, dish-washing detergent and hot water and let dry.

I then sprayed Testor's acrylic primer and waited at least a week for it to dry. The section I was attempting to mask over was painted with Testor's acrylic semi-gloss black, then sprayed with Testor's acrylic flat finish, and had about 3 days drying time. I was masking this section with Tamiya tape which I had rubbed over with my fingers to lessen the tack.

I hadn't even painted yet, but was just trying to position the tape on the paint when it pulled up big flakes of both paint and primer together, exposing bare styrene underneath!

In searching here, it seems like I've done things right, so I'm at a loss to explain why the primer should pull up so easily?

Is Acrylic primer just inherently weak? Would I be better off spraying an enamel primer, then painting acrylic over it in future?

Do Testor's primers just suck?

Is 1500 grit too fine to give adequate 'tooth' to the surface for the primer to adhere to?

Anybody got any suggestions? Thanks all,


09-28-2011, 02:31 PM
i follow all the steps you just listed, but I use either tamiya or duplicolor primers only. i have never used testors primers but i would venture to guess that is your problem.


09-28-2011, 02:35 PM
The testors acrylics are junk IMO which is probably your problem. I'd recommend just using Duplicolor filler primer straight from the can.

09-28-2011, 02:37 PM
Yeah, I would love to use Tamiya primers and acrylic paints, but those seem to be unobtainable at present, so I had to resort to Testors.

Is it really that bad? I am painting over it with Testors paints after all...

How about the idea of using an enamel-based primer from a rattle can and painting over it with the Testors until Tamiya becomes available again?


09-28-2011, 02:44 PM
i cant speak to the enamel primers, but if you go to an advanced auto parts they have duplicolor primer in a spray can which is just one step beneath tamiya in my opinion from a quality standpoint. a 8oz size can is 7 bucks, look for the stuff called gray filler/primer. just be careful, it goes on thick, so light coats are a must! hope this helps and good luck!

09-28-2011, 02:45 PM
also, you can put any type of paint over the duplicolor primer and it should be fine. i havent had any issues with enamels, acrylics, or laquers

09-28-2011, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the tip Kans, I'll check for that tomorrow.

Just put 4 more bottles of the Testers on order last week too. Sigh...


09-28-2011, 06:27 PM
I've found Testors anything is pretty well terrible except for their Metalizer line, and some of the MM Acryl stuff.

I've only ever used Tamiya primers, but like you said, they are hard to find. Last week, my lhs finally got some in, and I had put in a request to hold 3 cans of white for me. If you can get your hands on a can, you'll never want to use anything else. :p

10-06-2011, 11:02 PM
Imo, 1500 is too fine for prep. I've been using duplicolor primer/sealer with good results so far. Not as thick as the filler primer. I did have issues with some black paint (also duplicolor) that baffled me. Just a warning, I'm not a seasoned modeler & use whatever is readily available to me...

10-07-2011, 10:16 AM
I was going to give the duplicolor a try, but I stopped off at the LHS and lo and behold, a couple of stray cans of Tamiya's fine white primer straggled in, so I nabbed them both and considered myself lucky. Maybe the Tamiya stuff will come back on stream soon; we can only hope...


Add your comment to this topic!