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Zero X Deteriorating!

saturnapollo

Alphans
I'm seriously hacked off with the Zero X kit I finished only 6 months ago. Here are a couple of photos of the gradual deterioration of the kit.

Although it looks like the paint has melted, it seems to be the underlying resin (I use the term loosely) which is the problem. The first photo shows the area around the embedded magnet on the Main Body underneath LB1 (a similar but not quite so bad problem is underneath at the join the LB2). The second photo shows bubbling n the surfact of LB1.

Anyone seen anything like this before?





And this wan't a cheap kit!

Keith
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
Sorry to hear that. It looks like excess uncured resin chemicals leeching out through the pin holes in the surface. Cheap resin or old resin most usually suffers this problem or a resin combined with a bulk filler or one mixed using the wrong proportions of A and B. Since you have nothing to lose, you might as well lift a section of loose paint and see if the resin surface underneath looks oily. If it does, that's the problem. Unfortunately, if that is the case, the fix is potentially only temporary and more work than simply chucking and starting again. If it were mine, I'd contact the vendor.
 

saturnapollo

Alphans
Thanks for the diagnosis, Chris. It started off bad and just seems to get worse. Not sure if the paint is actually loose (I know it looks like that in the photos), but just seems to have followed the bulging resin.

I think I will indeed contact either Federation Models or if I can find an address for AJAmodels, them directly.

I guess at least I got the photos taken which is always my main aim when I make a model.

Keith
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
In the case of faulty resin, washing the model will remove any residue from the surface but you can't stop more oozing through from inside through microscopic holes in the surface. It tends to be more of a problem where an area has been rubbed down. Mind you, even good resin you should wash down with thinners to remove any trace of mould release or silicone oils. Usually the problem makes itself known fairly quickly. In the case of enamel paints, any leech through will look like a tiny oil stain coming through the paint. Car sprays are more resistent so although you may still have the problem, It won't be seen until quite advanced.

Back to the Zero X though, if the paint is still stuck to the resin but the resin has lifted then it's clearly a resin problem. If you rotocast a part and then add a second layer, some resins don't bond very well with themselves and a very thin uncured layer can be left which again can ooze oily substances. If it delaminates or there is any kind of voids, hot air or himidity can cause bubbles. Without seeing it in person or breaking in to a damaged area, it's difficult to say. Bottom line is, with good well mixed resin, it shouldn't happen.

Looking at the photos again, it's curious that the only area on the fuselage appears to be the area directly under the lifting body. That suggests some kind of reaction or the material is being prevented from outgassing. Why this should be I have no idea.
 

saturnapollo

Alphans
Chris

I first noticed a problem directly under the nose of the Lifting Body on the surface of the Main Body and it looked like just the weight of the LB was causing the problem. As I stated previously elsewhere, the resin is almost of damp cardboard strength and easily marked. However that doesn't account for the dimples appearing on the top surface of the LB.

If I had known this was going to happen I would have laminated the whole thing in 10 thou plastic card like I had to with the MEV to cover the Aero chocolate like surface :( .

The lifting of the surface around the embedded magnet also looks like it might be following the magnetic fields.

Keith
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
I can't imagine why the resin would be bothered by the magnet unless it had a steel based filler in it. No company in their right mind would add steel to the resin unless they wanted it to look and feel and rust like real metal. There is clearly a fault with the casting material therefore the product is unfit for purpose and you should get your money back. Unfortunately you won't get all your labour back.
 

saturnapollo

Alphans
There is clearly a fault with the casting material therefore the product is unfit for purpose and you should get your money back. Unfortunately you won't get all your labour back.

I suspect I'll be lucky to get that (but I will be trying) - 4 months on this, half must have been spent fighting with the material.

I intend removing some paint tonight to see what's going on underneath - I'll let you know!

Keith
 

saturnapollo

Alphans
Well, I've just removed the paint and it appears to be kind of rubbery like it has never dried.

I first used Halfords grey primer, followed by a couple of coats of Halfords metallic blue as I tried to get a colour I liked. Giving up on that I airbrushed a blue colour mixed from Humbrol enamels. Now, each coat was well and truly dry, especially the primer as it must have sat for a good few days if not a week, before applying another coat

When I lifted off the paint, most of the grey primer came too. Although the resin surface is not apparently oily I can only guess your theory of outgassing or some such must be going on.

When I come to think of it, that would certainly be in keeping with the nosecone as I never did get Bare Metal Foil to stick despite undercoating with several coats of primer.

(edited to include last para)

Keith
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
Halfords car paints are very tenacious when it comes to bonding to a substrate. The thinner in them cuts into most materials. If the primer coat has lifted then it suggests that something acted as a barrier to adhesion. However, if you rubbed an area down first, that should have provided a more than ample mechanical key for the paint so any subsequent lifting must mean either a basic incompatibilty or something chemical in the resin has subsequently lifted the paint. The only things halfords paints don't like is styrene unless you use specifically their grey or white plastic primer first (as apposed to ordinary primer). I still think you should contact the vendor straight away. Eight months is not too long to expect an expensive model to stay in one piece. I'm betting you're not the only one with the same problem.

Having taken the paint off, is the resin surface solid like it was when it was new or has it too deformed?
 

saturnapollo

Alphans
Chris

This particular area was well sanded as this is where I embedded the magnet so had to ensure a level surface after installing it (most surfaces were sanded for one reason or another). Also well washed before I started. Standard grey primer too.

The resin surface looks pretty much like it did if I remember rightly. Slightly rougher and pitted than you would normally expect from resin, but that's why I applied the primer as soon as I could, to try and get a better surface.

I sent off a fairly detailed e-mail to Federation Models including the photos and here's the reply I got almost immediately. Sounds like no-one else has complained (there was a model show at Newcastle which I didn't attend, but a mate sent me a photo of some else's model, but it was extremely poorly finished, very poor paint job and decals on squint so I doubt he would have been too concerned about soft resin, but if I had attended I would have sought out the guy to discuss it with him).

Federation Models
I'm sorry to learn of your problems with this kit. We have not
receive any other complaints or issues with this kit. I wish you would have
contacted us about this sooner, before you had so much time into the kit...

I have forwarded this email to AJA Models. The guys name is Adam, if you
do not receive a responce from him in a short amount of time please let us
know and we'll make sure you two get this worked out.

What do you feel should be done to rectify this problem?


Without spelling it out for them I had hoped they would have made some sort of gesture!

Keith
 

Eagle

Commander Ret.
 
As they're only the supplier (not that that get's them off the hook) I think there's little they can do apart from offer a refund or some kind of recompense. At least they have written back and appear to be making some attempt at resolving the issue.

It's a bit puzzling though that they say "I wish you would have contacted us about this sooner, before you had so much time into the kit..."

How soon can you see the paintwork bubbling and flaking away? As soon as you open the box it seems... :roll:
 
 

saturnapollo

Alphans
Perhaps they meant as soon as I realised it was poor resin.

However I thought it was a problem I could overcome and I did take advice from others who suggested painting would add strength and fix the problem.

Who would have guessed this would happen!

Keith
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
Federation are fairly good about things so being polite is the way to go. The bosses name is Tracy

Firstly, your contract is with the person you bought it from. Federation are who owes you a refund or other solution. They in turn reclaim their loss from their supplier. That's the law. They can't abdicate responsibilty. You send it back to Federation if you have to and they send it back to "Adam".

I wish you would have
contacted us about this sooner, before you had so much time into the kit...

Make it clear that the problem has only manifested itself AFTER the model was finished. You can't very well complain about something you have no idea is going to happen in advance of it happening.

The only thing you can reasonably ask for is a refund or another kit and I'm pretty certain that's all they're obliged to supply. You may have to return the model to get that too. I fear your time building it is lost. Only you can make the decision about what you want to do.

Sounds like no-one else has complained

Well they would say that wouldn't they? True or not, this is why it IS important that people complain about a garage kit if there's a genuine problem otherwise the hobby will continue to be served with inferior product. In fairness, all manufacturers have the odd duff kit go through the net (some a lot more than most) but if a remedy is mutually agreed, then no foul. It may also alert a maker about an issue they were unaware of and save a lot of grief to other customers.
 

saturnapollo

Alphans
Thanks very much for the advice. Unfortunately no matter how willing AJAModels or Federation are to rectify the situation I appreciate my building time is down the tubes.

It is quite a difficult decision to make and I will have to think of whether I really want to remake this, albeit building a second one from decent resin would be quicker (no more large white Letraset for the underside lettering for instance, though I could get round that probably), or just put it down to a bad experience!

Tough!

At the very least, as you rightly said, I might have drawn their attention to a problem and hopefully might save another modeller the same grief in the future.

Keith
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
You could ask AJA Models directly what resin the kit is made from and is there any filler material in it?

Can you indent the resin with a fingernail? Does the resin look abnormally transluscent? I'm wondering if the mix ratio is wrong. The two parts must be mixed as near to 50/50 as possible.
 

saturnapollo

Alphans
Oh, yes you can certainly indent the resin with a fingernail (and you don't have to apply much pressure either).

No can't say it looked translucent. A very pale blue/green. Although each of the pieces have the same problem, by far the worse was the main body piece (the engine/tail section was separate). When sanding or filing, the resin turned into only what I can only equate to a cardboard sort of texture.

Keith
 

saturnapollo

Alphans
You're dead right there :)

I've probably been making resin kits of varying standards for about 20 years now, on a regular basis, but never encountered stuff like this!

Keith
 
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