doanduyhai

Custom Trans Neon-Green dying technique

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I'm a big fan of the classic Blacktron II color scheme (back, white, trans neon-green). I have spent sometimes to customize some Starwars Sets (X-Wing, Y-Wing, A-Wing, B-Wing, Z-95 Head Hunter, Tie Fighter, Tie Interceptor) with this color scheme.

The hardest thing for me is to find the appropriate trans neon-green windscreen for each set. Since Lego does not produce some windscreen in this color (for example Windscreen 7 x 4 x 2 Round with Handle 92279), I need to produce them by myself by painting on trans-clear parts.

I have tried many techniques, acrylic/enamel paining with model paint (very easy to find or to obtain the neon-green tint) but it tends to obfuscate the windscreen. The real hard part is to keep the windscreen transparent.

I've read on some forum that some folks successfully get the color using permanent marker on trans-clear parts. It does work indeed. I tried a neon yellow Sharpie marker on a sample canopy. The problem is it is very hard to get a regular paint on your part and the color is not that bright.

I was thinking then about Highlighter like Stabilo. Their Yellow ink get me almost the right tint but the ink itself is easily removed from the polycarbonate surface of trans Lego pieces. I then need some lacquer/vanish/coat to keep the ink on the pice. I tried acrylic/enamel lacquers again but the ink creates a chemical precipitate as soon as you mix it with the varnish.

The only lacquer that can be mixed with Stabilo ink is StarWax Floor Bright Renovator (not sure it's available outside of France though). It's a product to renovate your vinyl floor. The product will create a thin layer of plastic on your floor while drying. This is the perfect fixer for Stabilo Ink. Any ninyl floor bright renovator should work I think.

After a successful experiment with some sample, I just order 20 Stabilo Yellow Ink Refill on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Stabilo-Boss-Original-Highlighter-Refill/dp/B001J8FYP8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1500460912&sr=8-6&keywords=stabilo+refill+yellow) and then mix them with the renovator.

To apply the color, just dying the windscreen inside the solution for a few second, take it out and let it dry. Since the liquid is very fluid and takes 4h to dry, you should be super careful not to let it dripping otherwise you'll end up having a flat surface with ugly dripping effect.

Depending on the shape of your windscreen, you should tilt it around while the solution is drying to have a regular application on all the surface. It tooks me 5 mins tilting around before the renovator starts to dry.

If you want to accelerate the proces, do it on a sunny and hot day to that it dries quicker

I attach some pictures links of the solution and some results. Please notice that the color is not exactly the same as the original trans neon-green but it's very close. For a home-made dying, it's satisfactory. 

 

Starwax : http://imgur.com/ebmPprt

Stabilo Ink Refill: http://imgur.com/xiZE77D

Preparation: http://imgur.com/Q8dOG58

Solution Jar: http://imgur.com/dBMjKjU

Result: http://imgur.com/5BMdaOD

A-Wing with trans neon-green Windscreen 7 x 4 x 2 Round with Handlehttp://imgur.com/ztG61CZ

 

Preview:

Result1.jpg.2ca19c3d10f5663e7daeb48675ed2e78.jpg

 

Edited by doanduyhai

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Very interesting! Do the dyed parts "glow" under ultraviolet light the way the actual color does? If so I'd love to see a comparison!

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I did not try yet with ultraviolet light to test the glowing effect but it will strongly depends on the chemical composition of Stabilo Ink

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I think this topic would fit better in the Minifig Customisation Workshop, along with other brick customisation techniques.

Moving now.

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Wow, those windscreens look amazing, I never would have guessed they weren't originally that color! Maybe up close they look different, but in your photo they really look nice.

I have been messing around with other applications of solvents and various chemicals on ABS lately, but haven't done much with polycarbonate.

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I have been messing around with other applications of solvents and various chemicals on ABS lately, but haven't done much with polycarbonate.

Trust me, I've tried many combinations, spent 100€ worth of money into chemical products, in the end, only the floor renovator solution works out

- Acetone: never, it will dissolve any lego plastic (ABS or polycarbonate)

- White Spirit: OK to clean up glue marks or to remove stickers

- Alcohol F: Ofbuscate and make trans pieces cloudy

 

By the way, I did not mention it because it seems obvious but the above technique works for other Stabilo inks: Green, Pink, Blue, Orange

I'll post some samples of those color once I get my hand on those colors

 

 

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So here it is the comparison picture.

On the left, the original trans neon-green. On the right, my color

We can notice that:

  • original color is brighter and yellow-ish
  • my color is more transparent and greener-ish
http://imgur.com/hvPH0fo

mini_626846Difference2.jpg

Edited by doanduyhai

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