For anyone who has made mistakes in building, painting and generally fettling slot cars, please take comfort from the following. I had spent hours building one of George Turner's ERAs. Its black paintwork gleamed beautifully, and all that remained to finish the kit was a coat or two of clear lacquer on the body before screwing the chassis in place.
With the kitchen at 25 degrees, and the lacquer warmed for 25 minutes in a bowl of hot water, I sprayed the sticky liquid on in the same manner I've been doing for years and... catastrophe. The black paint bubbled up and cracked all over. Nitromors couldn't have had a worse effect.
I can only imagine that the cause was a reaction between Halford's clear lacquer and Plastikote enamel. It's a combination I've used on many previous occasions without problems, but this is the first time I've used black paint.
Happily, after two hours with white spirit, wet-and-dry and a sharp implement, the car is back as it should be - shiny black and looking rather well.
You say that the car is back to shiny black. So I take this to mean that you have re-sprayed the black Plastikote enamel - is that correct?
I agree with Chris. Enamel and solvent-based lacquer are not compatible. Your safest bet may be an acrylic clear coat. Plastikote has T-45 Clear Acrylic, and one would hope that Plastikote's own clear coat would be compatible with their enamel color coatings.
However...you say that you used Halfords clear lacquer over the black enamel. Is the Halfords clear lacquer a true solvent-based lacquer? Or...is it an "Acrylic Lacquer"?
If the Halfords lacquer is actually a synthetic "Acrylic Lacquer", then you should probably not use an acrylic clear coat.
Thanks chaps most kindly for your advice, which is bang on. I can't imagine why Halford's lacquer hasn't ruined previous cars painted with Plastikote. Perhaps some pigments are more resilient than others.
Drying nicely the ERA is so shiny that I've decided not to lacquer it when the paint has hardened. Generally, I much prefer to use Halford's spray paints as they're easy.
I also used Plastikote orange on a Formula 5000 McLaren this afternoon, with good results. This won't be lacquered, either. In fact, Plastikote can be binned. You're right: it takes an age to dry. The McLaren, incidentally, arrived today along with a Formula 5000 Lola from Betta & Classic. Both are in that company's traditional GRP, which I rather like.
I don't know whether you chaps get on with these bodyshells, but I've found them to be very 'workable'. Many examples are also fairly accurate, and seem to bear up well to the odd "sortie de la piste".
Again, thank you for your advice. Most kind and very welcome.
I have had endless problems with Plastikote, mainly because it is no longer enamel. Would that it were. I had a pot of it which I sprayed on with my trusty "spotting gun". Then after it dried, I gave it another coat as it hadn't really covered well. overnight it crackled the previous coat like an old master.
This is the risk with all acrylic paints in my experience, especially Plastikote. What happened was they changed to water based muck from proper oil paint without letting on.
If I can't get cellulose, I use enamel. Decent stuff, not that excuse for enamel called Humbrol. Failing that, I can recommend Zero Paints, which are pre mixed for airbrush and are described as "cellulose, but different". I have just completed a model narrow boat in three of their specially mixed colours and they were superb, but do need a clear coat. For that, I use an Italian paint by Lechler called Akrifan. Dries in minutes to a glass hard finish.
Now I have used this on Halfords paints, which, we are told, are water based, yet smell almost like cellulose. And if you have them mix you some, what you get is cellulose, pure and simple. I have a pot of Aston green they mixed for me which is pure acid drops.
These days I would recommend Zero paints. They even do a set for about 8 quid of BRM green AND orange in a diddy pot for the noseband. That strikes me as value. I would say if you don't want Zero, stick with Halfords and Halfords clear, warmed as you did, but let the original colour dry for at least a week before clear coating. And very, very, very good luck!