Well, that's not encouraging. I've heard similar things, that's why I decided to mix up my own developer with Dektol and exhausted fix, instead of the kit stuff. It has not worked yet, so I decided to go ahead and use the kit developer. It's ripening as I write this. We'll see what happens.
Frankly, I'm still trying to get the exposure time figured out with the enlarger. Anyone have any suggestions?
Instead of using the tintype kit, I wonder how it would look if I simply use liquid light on the metal plates? Probably like a normal silver gelatin photograph, without any of the character of the tintype.
Ah, there are so many variables....when doing fake tintypes...... But I really want to do this project that requires digital manipulation (please forgive me APUGer's).
Just simply leave the digital part out of the discussion as it seems your issues are with chemistry/darkroom. How you have arrived at your negatives is your own business, as long as you keep to analog topics here.
I wish I had something to add, but I'm not familiar enough with the process to offer anything useful beyond conjecture.