Clear coats

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by serratia, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. serratia

    serratia New Member

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    Hi guys,

    Just a quick question first.

    I've been using testors dullcote (spray can) for some time and would like to move to a flat clear I can use in an airbrush. No major problems with dullcote, I just want a bit more control in coverage. Any ideas?

    Secondly some advice for any Aussies in particular. Since starting model building I had a lot of trouble finding a product that would take the place of future klear (gloss coat) - seems to be unavailable in Australia.

    I found one called: Passt - it's a clear acrylic polish sealer.
    does the same job as future, comes in 250ml and cost about $7Aus.
    I airbrush this straight from the bottle, works nicely.
    supplier is in brisbane. armsmodelit.com.au
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    When it comes to a matt clear coat, it's really a question of preference. Most enamel-type matt coats can/will eventually start to yellow, and many are not a full matt, but nearer a semi-matt, even after much stirring.
    Having experienced these 'problems' for 40+ years, I've recently changed tactics, and now use Johnson's 'Klear' (now known as Johnson's PLEDGE Klear), with the addition of Tamiya Flat Base. It takes a bit of trial and error to achieve a full, true matt finish, but this can be varied, by adding or subtracting in the edition of the flat base, to achieve anything from semi-gloss, through semi-matt to full matt.
    Beware though, as, if too much flat base is added, when dry, it will show a white or cloudy deposit in areas. However, this can be rectified by re-coating with the 'correct' mix. To gain the latter, just add a small touch of the 'Klear', test the finish, and adjust as neccessary.
    I'm afraid it's not really possible to provide an accurate mixing ratio, but start with the addition of a very small amount of flat base,(normally around 10% flat base) testing as you go. As the varnish dries very quickly when brushed, use a paint brush for the tests/trials, painting a small amount onto a piece of scrap plastic, such as a piece of sprue. Once sayisfied with the required results, use in the airbrush as normal.
    Hope this helps.
    Terry.
     
  3. Sweb

    Sweb Member

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    If you think about it, no warbird finish was truly dead-flat. New factory finishes were but that was very short-lived. They soon took on a sheen due to weathering, wiping down of certain areas by mechanics and slip-stream polishing effects. I used to produce dead-flat finishes but realized every period photo of every warbird I've seen seems to have at least a slight reflection in it indicating the finish has been polished to some extent.

    Now I produce a flat finish but after completely done (markings included) and dried I work the finish over with 0000 steel wool. This produces a patina that closely mimics supporting period photos. It's a study in technique but with careful work it can achieve very good results. This should be done after a couple coats of clear fixative have been applied and have dried for at least a week to ensure the vehicle has completely evaporated. Food for thought, anyway.

    Note: All steel wool is produced with an oil additive to prevent rusting. The wool should be washed first in regular dish detergent or liquid hand soap and water, squeezed out and dried.

    Edit: In some instances the patina can be achieved by using a cloth like a faux chamois.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good info Joe. There are some exceptions to the 'dead matt' though. For example, the early, to early/mid war RAF finish known as 'Night', was a very flat finish that eventually went quite sooty in appearance, and chipped and flaked quite easily. This was later replaced by a different black finish, one of which was known as 'Special Night', which was almost matt, and the later black which was more towards a semi-gloss.
     
  5. Sweb

    Sweb Member

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    Yep. There are definitely exceptions and attention to that detail should be considered.

    I started using the technique I mentioned many years ago when I mixed my own colors from gloss Pactra paints. I airbrushed the colors and then after completely dried I dulled them with the steel wool. Flat military colors were not available back then and researching various nation's colors was a pipe dream. So, I rendered models as closely as I could match them to the box art in gloss and then de-glossed with the wool. Later I found the technique could take the edge off the too-flat look. Stuff like Dull Coat, et al, was somewhere on the horizon still. Sheesh, thinking about it takes me back to about the mid-late '60's.
     
  6. Migrant

    Migrant Member

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    I've recently started using Gunze's lacquer flat finish, and am very happy with it. It dries very fast and very hard. I was a bit hesitant at first about spraying over acrylics with lacquer, but if the first couple of coats are misted on it doesn't seem to affect the underlying finish at all.
     
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