Hairspray failure... going at it again! (Hairspray 2.0)

Discussion in 'Weathering.' started by Jens Andrée, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. Jens Andrée

    Jens Andrée Active Member

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    Just attempted my first hairspray chipping procedure and I failed miserably... :(
    I don't think it was on my part though because I did everything by the book and I should've reacted to the early signs of warning when the masking tape let go as soon as I applied the hairspray to the areas that were going to get chipped.

    I let the hairspray dry for appx 15 minutes before I applied the first colour. The paint was Tamiya thinned with iso. I begun using a medium soft brush with plenty of water only a couple of minutes after I painted it since Tamiya + iso dries almost instantly and I'd read that you should do the chipping before 30 minutes has passed.

    It didn't matter whatever I did with the brush because no paint came off. At first I was gentle but as the minutes passed I brushed a bit more all over the place, and a bit harder but nothing. I tried to do a couple of fine scratches with a wooden kebab stick and it was easy to scratch but it had no effect when I used the brush on the scratch.
    I then tried rubbing a bit with a wet cotton swab and now I managed to get some chipping effect, but it wasn't just the top layer and hairspray that came off, it had dissolved the varnish, base coat and the primer too?!?

    The hairspray I used was the cheapest "extra strong" I found at the stores and according to what I'd read brand was unimportant. This one is called Xtra Hårspray/Hiuskiine (Finnish for hairspray the last one) and is sold at COOP as their own brand, but it's made by Royal Sanders in Holland. Stay away from this one!

    hairspray-fail.jpg

    I can salvage the situation with creative weathering but it's annoying as hell and not uplifting at all... :mad:

    The varnish under is Vallejo Matt Acrylic Varnish, permanent quickdrying. Normally works great for me. I know I shouldn't use matt varnish under weathering, but that's what I got at the moment and for hairspray chipping it shouldn't matter - or does it?

    I'm going to order one of those expensive bottles of "chipping medium" like scratches effect and chipping effect and throw the hairspray in the bin!!! (after setting it on fire obviously...)

    Can you see anything I possibly did wrong? I can't...
     
  2. beowulf

    beowulf Styrene Bodger

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    you used a soft brush..............use a stiff one and a 'stippling' dabbing action
     
  3. Jens Andrée

    Jens Andrée Active Member

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    Well, compared to all of my brushes it was the hardest brush I've got. The bristles feels a bit like wild bore hair to be honest, but I wouldn't call it "hard" like a floor scrubber...

    Still, why did all layers of paint come off? Annoying...

    I've looked at more than a few videos on youtube on the subject and I doubt my brush was much softer than what most others use. Some use really soft brushes...
    When I did winter camo chipping with my AMMO of Mig washable white (where you don't need hairspray under the white) it chipped very well with a soft brush, just as comparison...

    Still, I'm going to buy dedicated chipping medium and don't take these risks again because it's really annoying...

    Thanks for your reply! :)
     
  4. m1ks

    m1ks SMF Poster

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    Likewise, I tried it once and it was a chore to get any effect and be worthwhile, if you watch andys hobby headquarters, he does lots of afv builds and uses hairspray technique frequently but he always uses a toothbrush for the initial chipping, way harsher than the brush I tried like yourself. I definitely put that technique aside indefinitely. Salt chipping and sponge is way easier.
     
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  5. Jens Andrée

    Jens Andrée Active Member

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    I've seen him go at it quite hard initially but I've also seen people do it with really soft brushes. There's just too big of a variable using "hairspray". I'm sure many brands work fine but mine wasn't one of them.
    I did a test piece today and tried a few different approaches, and with different amounts of hairspray - none of them worked. My hairspray is now removed from the modelling toolbox for sure and I'm going to order Mig chipping and scratches effect instead. It wasn't expensive either - and it's probably just some brand of hairspray they've bought and put in smaller bottles for profit, just like varnishes and thinners.
    (Tamiyas expensive thinner is only isopropanol and nothing else. Much cheaper to buy it in 1 litre bottles ;) )
     
  6. john i am

    john i am SMF Poster

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    I generally approach new techniques with caution and trepidation and expect mistakes errors and failure as part as the learning curve which is all part of the fun. :D Does anyone become an expert at the first attempt of anything? It's like learning to ride a bike dust off you blooded knees get up and get back on. So although disappointed with you first attempt I certainly wouldn't give up. Don't be beaten give it another go. I'm sure you'd master it in the end.;)
    Good luck. Cheers John
     
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  7. Jens Andrée

    Jens Andrée Active Member

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    John - your are spot on! We learn by looking at our mistakes and analysing why we fail, and try again until we succeed.
    This hairspray malarkey though seemed so simple and fool proof that I actually didn't even contemplate that it could fail and I was thinking about the following steps, and that's when I realised it didn't work as expected... Not at all to be honest.
    But I'm now equipped with new knowledge and next time I won't take anything for granted. Always make a prototype when trying something new for the first time. Heck, I'm an expert in applied implementation and test methodologies and test is my old mantra - and still I ignored the obvious... :oops:

    Recovering from the failure was a bigger challenge and therein I learn another trick which is going to make my future kits better, so all in all it's a win, but I would've preferred that it'd worked to be honest!
     
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  8. m and c warchildren

    m and c warchildren SMF Poster

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    Sorry didn't read it all as was walking so apologies if it was answered

    Did you protect the colour you were chipping back to with a varnish before applying the hair spray?
    As I've found in the past either this or not giving it enough time to dry can have the result you showed.

    Cavan
     
  9. Jens Andrée

    Jens Andrée Active Member

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    Yes, 24 hours prior to hairspray event I did a healthy run of Vallejo Varnish. It's a "quick drying" sort so it was fully dry and hardened before hairspray.
    I test sprayed the hairspray before I sprayed it on the model and a lot was coming out so I was careful to not flood the model with hairspray.
    I then waited 15 minutes for the hairspray to dry before I sprayed the two colours. I'm using Tamiya + iso so it dries almost instantly so about 7-8 minutes after I started painting I was ready to chip it. The rest is history...

    But I've since made a couple of tests with the hairspray and I can't get it to work regardless what I do so I think I've bought some really dodgy hairspray to be honest.
    I'm ordering some proper chipping medium instead and will conduct a new test to confirm if my method is broken or if it is the hairspray?!
    I hope it's the hairspray ;)
     
  10. BarryW

    BarryW SMF Poster

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    Jens - as you can see on my Corsair thread I had similar issues with using chipping solution. I didnt take it through to the plastic but having such issues deterred me from doing this with the top coat. I will be using dry brushing of the chromate/metal powders and silver pencil as I have done previously.
     
  11. m1ks

    m1ks SMF Poster

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    This I'd disagree with, while I believe the bulk of the ingredient is ipa there's definitely something else in it, if I spray matte I thin with ipa if I spray gloss I can tell a drying time difference between ipa and X20
     
  12. Jens Andrée

    Jens Andrée Active Member

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    Nothing can be sold here without declaring the contents and X-20A from what I can decipher is more or less just isopropanol and a couple of drops of retarder.
    I buy 1 litre bottles of (extremely pure) ipa for cleaning electronics but at a fraction of the cost of X-20A, and I prefer the quicker drying time, but have added retarder when needed.

    They might've put something else in there that they haven't declared, but there difference is tiny and if you add some retarder it should more or less be the same, but a lot cheaper.
    Close enough anyway ;)
     
  13. Tony

    Tony Active Member

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    I remember watching a video on youtube telling you how to make your own acrylic thinner and that "recipe" had a Flow Improver to the other 2 ingredients you have already mentioned.
     
  14. Jens Andrée

    Jens Andrée Active Member

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    This post can be viewed as "Hairspray 2.0" instead of plain failure because I've gone back and analysed what I did, changed what I did and tried many different approaches in order to evaluate what works and what doesn't and I can tell you that only a few tests were successful whereas most of them were total failures - regardless of "professional" products or DIY ones.

    For the tests I've used the same cheapo hairspray that almost made me bin my Mk.IV - which I'm glad I didn't, and Ammo of Mig chipping effect, which is their chipping medium.
    For Paint I've used Tamiya XF-2, AMMO of Mig White and AMMO of Mig washable white. (a paint that's washable by itself and doesn't need an underlying "chipping" medium)
    I also tried with XF-2 with 30% iso, 50% iso and no thinner at all.

    Instead of making a matrix with all the above combinations I'm going to write what worked, and why I think it worked. There were just too many failures for it to be easily readable otherwise...

    First up is cheap hairspray vs. AMMO chipping effects
    The hairspray is a clear winner - despite my earlier failure. The AMMO chipping effect was a lot more unpredictable and very hard to control. It more or less washed off rather than looking worn, but only if the white paint was really thin. If the white paint it thicker and fully covering it just flaked off in big chunks with AMMO chipping stuff whereas the hairspray was more predictable, albeit required a bit more elbow grease to get going.

    Both the hairspray and the chipping effect require an initial "soak" to activate by brushing some water over the surface and then leaving it for 30 seconds. Hairspray needed more time.
    This time is significantly longer if the white paint is thicker.

    Tamiya with a lot of iso destroys the chipping medium regardless if hairspray or "real" chipping medium. Best results were with undiluted Tamiya XF-2, if we're talking Tamiya paint.
    AMMO white was the easiest to chip because it allowed the water to penetrate the paint layer easier than Tamiya, but that's also an indication that Tamiya paint covers better than pure acrylics.
    When using hairspray the acrylic paint often dissolved (not chipped) more than I'd liked to and that's because there isn't time for letting it cure properly since a good chipping effect is also time sensitive. This I discovered and used as a parameter too in the test. You must paint as soon as the hairspray/chipping medium has dried, otherwise it won't work, or not as well.

    I also tried AMMO washable white in combination with hairspray/chipping medium and found it somewhat useful, but it depends on the effect you want? Most of the paint would wash away before the chipping really started so it was a weak, but realistic looking, effect. Not very striking though...

    The amount of hairspray/chipping medium is also critical to getting this to work and this is where I failed last time. Easily the biggest mistake. I didn't use enough hairspray!
    If you apply reasonable coats with hairspray I say use three coats. You might get away with a really heavy coat, depending on the brand and how fast it dries, but it needs a heavy coat in order for it to really be a barrier between the underlying surface and the paint you're trying to chip. The same goes for AMMO chipping effects. A heavy coat.

    The best combination I found for making a really worn, scratched and faded winter camo effect was by using a heavy coat of hairspray and a light coat of Tamiya XF-2 without thinner and then activated with water on a brush for 30 seconds before you start rubbing it with a medium (hardness) brush. With AMMO chipping effects and acrylic paint you must use a soft brush, otherwise it's too aggressive, but it's still a lot harder to control and often it just came loose in big flakes, very unrealistic flakes.

    I've only tested one cheap brand of hairspray so this is a variable, but key is a heavy coat.

    Also critical is that the underlying layer is CLEAN! Hairspray and chipping medium doesn't stick to a greasy surface, i.e. fingerprints etc. Clean the model lightly with iso and paper from a kitchen roll before you apply the hairspray/chipping medium. You must also apply a clear coat/varnish before applying the hairspray/chipping medium. It was much harder with a dull coat.

    I've now got enough data to attempt this again on a model so tomorrow when the clear coat on my E-25 has dried I will give it a really good soak in hairspray and XF-2 before I start scrubbing away!
    I will paint the XF-2 one panel at the time so I've got more time to work than if I'd done the whole model at the same time.
    Hopefully I've got a better result this time... Will take photos and show the results here.

    I can also admit that making a worn winter camo isn't going to be something I do too often because there are still parameters I've yet to discover that can make it a disaster even though I'm using a tested method and combination?! Practise gives experience and perhaps one day I might've cracked the code but so far I've only scratched the surface - pun intended! :D

    Is this in line with your experiences or do you have other methods? I'd like to hear them in that case so I can crack this thing.

    p.s. My bedroom now smells like a hairdressers... Not pleasant at all - and very annoying!
     
  15. Airfix Modeller Freak

    Airfix Modeller Freak Specialist WWII Luftwaffe Modeller

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    BUY THE AMMO MIG HAIRSPRAY EFFECT PRODUCT. It will fix it up
    Cheers
     
  16. Jens Andrée

    Jens Andrée Active Member

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    That's the one I used in the test and it performed a lot worse than the hairspray!
     
  17. Airfix Modeller Freak

    Airfix Modeller Freak Specialist WWII Luftwaffe Modeller

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    funny. I use it great...
     

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