Fixative. -Does it need spray-gun? -Does it ship to Europe? -Solved-

OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
Hi all!

Totally newbie! so please advice if you find this to be a silly approach...

I'd love to test out printing and applying my own design and pictures. (I'm talking A4-A3 sheets here) But the availability of PVA and Fixative where I live is non existing.. Actually in all Europe there seem to be very limited offers!?
(None of the sponsors here what I can tell? -correct me if I'm wrong!)

I believe it might be a problem getting chemicals through custom to Europe (Norway)?, and the European (EEA) based suppliers I have found doesn't supply Fixative by aerosol can... And I am thinking, those small amounts I would need for to do one-and-one A4 sheet, would be quite impractically to handle with a paint-gun!...

So my question is, is it possible to apply Fixative e.g. by spray bottle?

Of course I will also by printed film from you guys that know what you are doing! ;) And there will always be need for activator, so it seem more natural to do that with a spray-gun.

Another question in the same lane is about ordering custom film.
@studebaker You're obviously a fantastic resource at this community! -Thank you for all your answers in here! And also seem to be THE guy to ask to print from file! But at your web-site I found that you do not ship outside US? Does this also apply film (no chemicals)?

Of course I might be overcomplicating this... :tongue:
Maybe you could enlighten me about products that ship to Norway?

Thank You!
/Jan Orre B)
Post edited by Orre on
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Comments

  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,006Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    The fractalcamo.com website, is now owned by Jonathon Blakely, not me, He has difficulty shipping anything out of the US. Just because US Customs loves to punish shippers and receivers... It's a fact of life that we must work with. When they hold almost everything for at least three days in some obscure location and it makes the shipper look bad. When an order is 2 hours later than the buyer is expecting it, guess who gets the blame....

    As far as Fixative goes, you can just use a LIGHT coat of clear lacquer paint from a rattle can for your fixative. Dip you object WITHIN 15 minutes of applying a LIGHT coat.

    It won't work if you let it dry overnight... Did I mention to apply a LIGHT coat? :-)

    Buy your A3/A4 PVA sheets from Alibaba, they will ship anywhere!

    The only thing I do anymore that is related to hydrographics is sell seamless patterns on my website at PatternCrew.com

    After a short hiatus, Hugas LTD Hydrographics in Europe is back in business with a new website abcustomcoatings.com He does custom film printing and sells the supplies for it also. They may be of some help to you.


  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    @studebaker Ok. Thanks a million for the info! That does make things quite a bit easier!
    (I've seen you have done a lot of research in the subject, but didn't dare to ask...) ;)
    And yes, I have seen your do seamless patterns at the speed of light! Really impressive!!

    When we're at the subject of PVA film, I haven't seen sellers advertise thickness... Is there anything ells to look out for when it comes to quality and usability?

    I did check out the abcustomcoatings thank you very much. They advertise 100cm. custom prints! -And some special interests... :tongue:
    (Anyone knows if their 1k "HH chrome" is up to standard btw.?)

    Yes I know about the US-shipping... It has made me more or less stop buying from US if I can avoid... -Been waiting up to 4 month for a parcel!!... (and at the other hand 3 days from inland China to my mailbox! -explain THAT if you can!!) :open_mouth:
    Actually has worked more flawlessly using a proxy mail service!
    (If of anyone's interest, my favourite is "Stackry", that consolidates, remove original packaging and let me set the value!) ;)

    Thank you for your time and fast answer!
    /Jan Orre
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    edited January 7
    AB Custom coatings also supply"Next generation" blank PVA film with no need for fixative called RFU! what ever that stands for?...
    Does need pigment printer though!..
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,006Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    All prints need pigment ink! I sincerely hope your printer uses pigment ink....

    ALL Paper backed PVA film comes from the same factory in China. Just different vendors distribute it. That factory only produces 30-micron film. Other thicknesses won't be necessary. 40 and 60 micron film is for heavy production work on automated machinery.

    PVA film without the paper backing won't transport through your printer. You can always buy some of that RFU film from Hugas and let us know your opinion.
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member

    All prints need pigment ink! I sincerely hope your printer uses pigment ink....

    Ha-ha-ha..... I had no idea! I'm sorry you have to deal with people like me!... :get_outta_here:

    Thanks for the reassuring film info!
    Haven't seen that RFU film before. Do you know what the letters stand for? Is it possible to store? Or what's the gain except the obvious no need for fixative?
  • NotSoFastNotSoFast Posts: 3,242Member, Moderator El Moderator
    Orre said:

    All prints need pigment ink! I sincerely hope your printer uses pigment ink....

    Ha-ha-ha..... I had no idea! I'm sorry you have to deal with people like me!... :get_outta_here:

    Thanks for the reassuring film info!
    Haven't seen that RFU film before. Do you know what the letters stand for? Is it possible to store? Or what's the gain except the obvious no need for fixative?
    And people wonder why EVERYONE doesn't print their own films. ;)
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,006Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Actually, I do wonder why everyone isn't printing their own film... It's much easier nowadays. A desktop printer that uses pigment ink, a rattle can of clear lacquer paint, sheets of film ordered off the internet. How hard can it be? You've got the rest of the process down pat already...
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    @NotSoFast -They just ask the wrong questions. Or maybe more common, doesn't ask at all... ;)

    As always there are probably quite a portion craftsmanship involved though...
    But my opinion have always been -If someone else can, why not me?...
    And why complicate things?...

    Got a cheap "Epson Stylus Pro 3800" at hand. I guess that should do the trick for now. :)
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    edited January 8
    Ps. @NotSoFast Off course this depends on nice knowledgeable people willing to answer your questions! ;)
    Post edited by Orre on
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member

    ...
    As far as Fixative goes, you can just use a LIGHT coat of clear lacquer paint from a rattle can for your fixative. Dip you object WITHIN 15 minutes of applying a LIGHT coat.
    It won't work if you let it dry overnight... Did I mention to apply a LIGHT coat? :-)
    ...

    @studebaker
    I am getting most of the theory sorted out, and some orders are on the way.
    But I might have got confused about the English jargon... -Please correct me if I am wrong!
    This "clear lacquer paint" you are referring too is "clear base coat" right? -As in "intercoat"? And NOT the "clear coat" as in "top layer clear"?

    Thank You!
    /Orre
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,006Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    No, @Orre It is CLEAR LACQUER PAINT.... NOT adhesion promoter, not enamel, not basecoat, not intercoat clear...


  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    Ok. Thank you @studebaker Then I misunderstood.
    -This time i blame language rather then stupidity... ;-)
    I guess for that use it would not matter if its matt or lustre? It is to be melted by Activator anyway, right?
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,006Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Correct, Either works for a fixative. Your observation that it will be melted and buried under the ink is correct.
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    Thanks. Good to have done ONE correct observation! ;)

    Today a bunch of film, both clear and painted, arrived from the east! -and more is expected...
    Eve at @AquaGraphix has quite a load of paint and activators on its way for me!
    The old Epson I've got I managed to clean out with patience and window cleaner, and is printing like a dream!
    Now I am shopping for a couple of nice paint guns. (-If anyone want to sell please shout out!)

    Exiting times! =)

    /Orre
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,006Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Remember to post your prints!
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    Got packets from @AquaGraphix to day! =) Marvellous service!! :hang_loose:

    So to night I have been hydro-dipping for the first time! :-)
    Far from perfect of course. First impression is there seem to be some different characteristics to different film to consider...
    And water-temp. And amount of activator. And so on.... :-p
    Tried a couple of self made prints too, and seem to work just fine with clear lacquer! Thank's a million for the tip @studebaker !

    Looking forward to get the hang of this!

    /Orre



  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,006Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for posting the pictures @Orre When you have a bad dip, take pictures so we can help with the diagnosis...

    I can tell from the trapped air spots on those speed shapes, that you are entering the water too flat.
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member

    Thanks for posting the pictures @Orre When you have a bad dip, take pictures so we can help with the diagnosis...

    Thank you! You're most kind!

    I can tell from the trapped air spots on those speed shapes, that you are entering the water too flat.

    Yes thanks. I figured that was the case.. ;-)

    What surprised me more was how the different film, or should I say patterns, behaved differently.
    Eager to try, I have only tried this few dips in a really primitive way.. but it seemed like as more ink, as more "viscous" and "resistance" from the film?. For sure I cant tell after just a couple of dips! But the "thin black clown thing" seemed to to be very easy to get right, but the "all colour abstract thing" was quite resistible, and exceeding paint did not want to let go/brake away...
    I don't know if this makes any sense?...

    All PVA film, both printed and blank is from the same China supplier, so I thought they might be the same?.. (Think I bought 12 different I'll have to try out)

    Did not have much control of temperature at this time... :tongue:

    Now I'm heading out to my workshop trying to invent space for a descent experiment setup! =)
    (Damn those chemicals was hard for my lungs!...) :-o

    Btw.
    I guess the inks will do a better job gripping onto a base coat rather then a untreated piece of plastic?...

    /Orre
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,324Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @Orre Unless the plastic is ABS, it will bite better to a painted surface
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    @WileECoyote Ok. Thank you.
    Hmmm.. The ones I got does float in water... I don't know if that's a certain test?
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,324Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    edited February 21
    I have heard of that... but I wouldn't trust it. Rub some solvent (acetone) on it, if it gums up, its ABS
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    edited March 3
    Finally manage to set up kind of a work space for this painting stuff, so yesterday I started trying things out! :)

    @WileECoyote Yes I see what you mean now. Quite an obvious difference... :tongue:
    ABS density should usually be about 1.06 g/cm³ But i read it could be as low as 0.9 g/cm³ (and my speedshapes actually DOES barely sink in water)
    -And quite a difference how the film bites to a fresh basecoat!

    @studebaker Had difficulties keeping a heavy (self)printed film together! (lots of ink that is) Tried several times, but seems I couldn't get the amount of binding lacquer just right... More lightly coloured prints seem to work perfectly fine though!
    Issues was mostly tearing up in small cracks, and the one time it actually held together it was full of small blisters...
    (Only tried "Hydrovator Plus" activator by aerosol. Also have the "K2 Brew" here.)

    I uploaded a small video here. (No vid. possibilities at the forum?)
    It's the guy with the bony finger I struggled with. Heres a slightly better outcome when I printed it b/w.
    The blister issue kind of the same as showed here with the zebra film. (This film was very brittle and strange btw. Kind of a NOT a compact roll. Is this due to hydration when stored?)

    It was a fun 1'st try anyway! (Nothing perfect of course) Had to test both matte and clear coat too...
    Even played a bit with the paintbrush... :joy:

    /Orre
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,006Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Orre just pasting the link to the YouTube video will insert it automatically. It just doesn't show up until you post.

    Heavy Ink prints will put too much water in the film and cause it to be "pre-hydrated" before you put it on the water and it will break up fast. Fully dry it first, before you lightly apply the fixative. Also be SURE to tape dam all four sides. Use K2 Brew.

    When you printed it black and white, less water/ink was being soaked into the PVA film, that's why it worked better!


  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    @studebaker Ok. That makes sense. Thanks mate!
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    Hi.
    I'm struggling with the blisters!...

    Stretching and stuff I seem to solve with suggestions above... But with the blisters I can't get the hang of any consistency?...
    Dipping over basecoat/intercoat seem to be worse then plain ABS?. (The basecoat at the pictures are several days old)
    Changing between K2 Brew and Hydrotvator Plus doesen't seem to solve it. Neither using less/more activator?
    I have been using aerosol though... I cant say I have seen or heard it spitting, but I guess that might be...

    For some reason the clown here has been the worst motive to get right!...
    For the fender I did use quite a fresh thin layer of intercoat, and what I thought was quite a lot activator. (And as you can see the chain motive dipped just after has no blisters?)

    Also had to increase the amount of clearcoat binder a notch to get rid of stretching. So even after putting on quite a lot of activator, I can still see that the film is a bit grainy from the binder.

    As said its all aerosol, so maybe not super consistent, but it seem to atomise fine.

    Been using meters of film for this bloody clown now. (It is quite cool though!) B) So any help is apreciated!

    /Orre




  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,006Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Orre You don't add more fixative to "get rid of stretching". The more fixative you apply the harder it is to melt the ink with the activator! Stretching is a function of the "pliability" of the PVA film. Lightly apply the fixative and shorten your soak time before liberally applying your SuperBrew activator.

    If you are having a problem with the spraying of your activator, try the Flarisol Sprayer. It works fantastic with activator. And you can leave the activator in it for months without affecting the pump. It sprays a fine, even mist without sputtering. These type of sprayers can be purchased worldwide.
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    @studebaker Sorry about my bad English...

    For "stretching" as in "floating away" leaving a "faded" dip I guess that is mostly because of too long soak-time (for the water temp) right? -But could it also be to little fixative holding it together?

    For "stretching" as in "cracking up" like in this picture then? Also see the small "cracks" or "stretch-marks" or what ever I should call it, quite obvious in her wing to the right of her head.



    And when we are at it, there is another thing with some factory printed film I don't understand, when it does not want to "let go" however long I let it soak?? Seems like it could be in water forever? And it's like dipping onto cling film!. Hardly brakes at all, and does "wrinkle" around bends.
    Same factory from where I got blank film. Seem to be with heavy printed film.

    Thanks for the tip with Flarisol!
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,006Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    "Factory film" won't "let go" when it's on the water upside down. The activator can't get to the ink to liquify it... And being "in the water forever" is another clue. The water is not getting to the PVA to liquify it.

    That cracking up is from too much/uneven fixative. Are you fully drying your film before you apply the fixative? You need it to be consistent to achieve consistency.

    Too little fixative isn't the problem! You are applying tape dams on all for sides of your film, right? Are you leaving a generous amount of "bleed area" around your print to let the stretching happen in the unprinted area?

    Video you next few dips, so we can see what's going on... Reading the dip after it's finished is only giving half the story.

  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    Ok. Yes you are right, I haven't always left generous amount of unprinted film inside the taped area. I can see that is an issue with the above picture.
    And I have used a bit more fixative to try to hold it together... I'll back that off again.

    Yes, at least I thought I did dry it completely after you told me last time... This lady thing had at least an hour or two.
    Would not take to long for the ink to dry right? I find it unpractical to store any printed film for to long as it starts curling. But I guess I could roll it together. Don't want to ruin the prints you know... ;)

    About putting the film upside down I HAVE tried the obvious... But I guess I could be wrong.
  • OrreOrre Posts: 44Member
    So about the blisters. Do you think this also might be due to excessive amount of fixative?
    I thought they might be a sign of underactivating?
    Or would you say this also would be a sign of "overhydrating"? (It actually DOES seem more lightly to appear at those more ink-heavy areas)
    @studebaker What would you say being an appropriate room temperature drying time for those actually quite loosely printed pictures?

    I have read at this forum, people teaching two opposite things.
    1.-Read the film, and use as much activator so you can see it is glazing out. (Even do a pause, watch the film, and add more if it does not glaze out)
    2.-Only use as small amount so it DOES NOT glaze out and remains a bit grainy.
    What should I believe?
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