Saturday, March 28, 2009

69 Charger 500--Disaster Strikes!

I was counting the days before the 69 Charger "Vintage MPC" build was done--but no longer. It's been one of the saddest days during the brief rebirth of this stupid hobby, and the bad news is that I've lost the otherwise great paint to some sort of issue with the clearcoat process.



As I said last time I was painting the body with MCW Hemi Orange, and it was looking good--in fact, the smoothest and most orange-peel free paint job I had yet done. There were a few chips in the engine compartment from the hood being test fitted, but otherwise, it was looking very good.




The problems began when I applied about the fourth coat of Krylon Crystal Clear. It's acrylic coating, so the label says, and I would assume that that means there should be little or no interaction with the underlying lacquer paint. Adding to this false sense of security: I have this used same clear coat over many Duplicolor Lacquer finishes without incident. And it was OK for the first 3 coats. So it should be OK to use over MCW lacquer every time, right?

Wrong. During clear coat pass number four a huge series of bubbles and orange peel welts welled up on the passenger side roof.



I tried to wet sand the bad spot with 2000 sandpaper--figuring maybe the extreme orange peel could be fixed with polish somehow. To make a long story short the entire paint job, all the way down to the primer and beyond, came up when I tried to sand it. So I had a catastrophic failure of paint adhesion here. What you see here is what's left--the paint literally got stripped down to the raw plastic.



I have no idea what happened or why, but I had already applied the bare metal foil--which came out pretty well, the Keith Marks decals (didn't do a perfect job, but it was going to be good enough) and painted in the side turn signals. In other words, in addition to the paint itself, there was a lot of time and effort put into this part of the build before disaster struck.

This is a major setback--I am now thinking I am going to have to strip the paint and start the entire paint process over--I can't see any other way to save this thing.

One thing for sure: I am going to do more research as to what sort of clearcoat works best over MCW paints and not assume every acrylic will be inert over every lacquer.