Resin FAQ

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Resin FAQ

Post by Asrodrig » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:10 pm

This thread is meant to answer many of the questions that have been flooding the boards lately concerning working with resin models.
What is resin?
Resin is a material used for casting fine-detail models. You will most likely encounter it in the form of infantry or vehicle upgrades from Forgeworld.
How is resin different from plastic?
Perhaps the first thing you'll notice is that resin is a lot more brittle than plastic. Where a piece of plastic will bend considerably before it breaks (try it with a piece of sprue if you don't believe me), resin will be more likely to break. This means you have to be a lot more careful when working with resin - drop a model and it will shatter like glass. Fortunately, since it is so inflexible, as long as you can find all the pieces, and it will look almost as good as new.
How to prep resin models?
Resin is a tricky medium to work with. If you don’t take the time to prep it properly, all your hard hours of painting work could go to waste. Your model could be warped, or not fit together well. Paint and primer could go on splotchy, acting as water does on a car surface. Sometimes by not washing your pieces, you can be fooled. The primer and paintjob goes on great, but the first time you touch the finished model the paint rubs right off down to the bare resin leaving you wondering how to repair that damage.
The larger the item is, the longer the prep time to prepare it will be. Resin pieces are usually coated in residual mold release agent which needs to be removed (the brilliant sheen when you look at a piece in the light). Excess resin gates (the large squarish plugs the resin was poured into the mold from) and flash need to be carefully removed, sometimes in multiple steps; trimming with an x-acto knife, filing, ensuring the resin dust is removed (a second washing after filing is recommended) and more, depending on the complexity of the pieces you are working on.
When the excess gates are sawed off, remember to leave approximately 1/8” of the gate on the model piece you are working on. This allows you to trim it down appropriately, rather than trim it too tightly and possibly ruin the part you are working on. Better too remove too little of the gate than too much. Remember that resin dust is dangerous, and it is best to do this outside if at all possible, or if inside, wearing a mask and try to limit where you are doing this.
Then with a fine file, finish cleaning up the spots that have been sawed off, making sure that they are flush with the surface. Once you have finished this, it is best to give the parts a once over again before continuing any farther. After the final check it is time for assembly if need be, or basing and priming.
Anything I should look out for when working with resin?
The first thing that should be mentioned is the obvious warning that is on anything that you buy from Forgeworld at least: Resin dust can be harmful if inhaled. Always wear a dust mask or respirator when sanding or sawing resin parts. This being said, use the appropriate safety equipment if you are sanding/filing resin parts. Resin dust has an oddly sweet smell and can easily be overlooked when working. It is best to throw out excess resin pieces, as unlike removing metal tabs and flash, resin has no weight so it isn’t really useful for anything else like weighting bases and such.
With resin kits, it is extremely important to do a dry fit, and make sure all the parts are the proper shape and not warped. If anything is warped, refer to the next section.
My resin is a little misshapen. How can I fix it?
A lot of the time the casting process results in pieces that are warped or bent. The best way to fix this is to soak them in warm to hot water for perhaps 10-15 minutes (more or less depending on the size of the piece you are working with) and then carefully bending it back into shape. Remember though, you need to get these parts out of hot water as well, so take care to have something that can grab them, or submerge them in a shallow pan for ease of removal. Larger parts can also be reheated and reshaped as well, however it is a bit more time consuming, as the thicker the piece the hotter it needs to get to press it back into shape.
Only literal trial and error will tell how much you will need to reshape your resin, and in this case it’s best to start out at lower temperatures and not have it work than it is to go too much heat and ruin the pieces. Make sure when reshaping the pieces you also have a bowl of cold water ready to submerse the piece into. It is best to hold it with your hands to make sure it ends up the way you want it to. Just dropping it in the cold water will not fix warped pieces, as they often bend back the same way they were if not held in thier desired final position. Just a quick dip into the cold water while holding it will set the piece. You should also be aware there is a chance if you accidently leave your model in a hot locations like a car on a hot day even after it is painted it could warp again and ruin the model.
What glue should I use with resin?
Super glue works wonderfully on the resin, as it bonds resin parts together faster than plastic pieces. Be wary of this before assembly, as once you touch the pieces together, they are solidly bonded together and there isn’t a chance to reposition in most cases. If you have extremely large parts you are gluing together it is best to leave the edges you are gluing together a bit roughed up. (An example: the wings of a Tau Manta are approximately 2” thick at their widest point. It is best to leave the inside seam rough so that when you attach these to the main fuselage they have better contact, as if both sides are roughed up just before glue, there is more area for the glue to seep into and make a stronger bond) This assists in the bonding process with large pieces, which will result in a stronger finished model.
How should I paint resin?
Just like when working with plastic and metal models, priming them is a necessity. Most primers honestly will work well on resin. The only thing to remember is that like any other model, choose your day wisely to prime it. Too hot of a day and you will could end up with a fuzzy model, too cold of a day and the primer may go on caked, or spotted, or worse. Each type of primer has it’s own personality and can have various reactions to weather conditions. It is best to save a couple of the excess resin gates and test your primer on them if at all possible.
Once it's primed, you can paint it just like you would any other model.
Resin can be stripped if your priming goes awry with Simple Green and few other cleaners (perhaps it would be best to check the Paint Stripping Thread if you are unsure as to whether your stripping agent of choice will damage your resin), but remember you are working on resin, or possibly a combination of resin and plastic when choosing a stripping agent.

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Re: Resin FAQ

Post by Clarkie » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:26 am

Does simple green remove paint off resin and not damage the mini?
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Re: Resin FAQ

Post by BewareOfTom » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:33 pm

yes, it works fine (concetrated or diluted)
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