I've been building scale aircraft for more years than I'd like to remember,
however, recently I decided to give a car kit a go just to do something
different. It's a Ford 32' coupe and I want to lay down a gloss black finish.
I use acrylics. Here are my questions for the model car gurus out there. From
your experiences, do you find any one brand of gloss black acrylic that
surpasses the others? Also, what techniques should I be following to get as
perfect a final finish on the body as possible? Any tips or techniques would
be greatly appreciated. And, as usual, thanks.
I don't use acrylics but one thing I do is use those flexible foam filled
sanding sticks and sand across the sides and roof when the contours allow.
Often there will be some small undulations in the plastic due to uneven
shrinkage at edges, corners, and intersections and this gets rid of them.
When held just right in the light and moved around so you get a highlight
falling across it, the highlight should ideally be straight and
undistorted across all panels as you move it around.
Ditto Toms' remarks paying close attention at body panel seams and door
edges as these tend to form a lip that causes the paint to move away from
the panel line.
I too have never gotten a good gloss using acrylics. I personally use Boyd's
enamels in the Testors ModelMaster line. After applying two color coats with
a sanding with 2400 grit I apply a few coats of Boyd's clear gloss. Remember
that when using this stuff that you need to apply 1-2 coats within the first
hour or you must wait 48 hrs or your paint will crinkle. Also remember not
to cut you clear gloss to hot (too much thinner); keep it at less then 50/50
or it will again crinkle the underlying coats!
Scott A. Bregi
Model Building is FUN!.........model building is fun.......model building is
I personally find it hard to get a good gloss on acrylics. I use
enamels for gloss. I recently have been using the Tamiya spray lacquer
a lot - it is pretty good stuff, but my standby is still Testors enamel.
Spraying a good gloss coat is an exercise in brinkmanship. One needs to
have it very wet, like just a few seconds before it runs. How do you do
know a few seconds before it runs? Experience and practice. If you are
not experienced in this, try doing a few pieces of scrap first for
Don Stauffer in Minnesota
I too am primarily an aircraft guy with some sci-fi and figures stuff taking
more of my interests, of late.
I gave up on model cars a long time ago for the simple fact that i could not
get a dust free, good looking finish.
I have alot of unbuilt kits in the basement and tried to get my son
interested. Of course he wants to build cars. So we built him a Monogram
Mustang (Ford, not N.A.A.)
Anyway I bought some el cheapo Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic at Hobby Lobby when
they had it on sale like 2 for a buck. Why waste big bucks on what may be
something my son would not want to pursue.
I know some figure builders who swear by the cheap Acrylics like Delta, Folk
Art, Plaid, Apple Barrel etc. I experimented with this stuff a long time ago
and found I could thin it for airbrushing but it was alot less durable than
plastic model specific paints. It will scratch off with a finger nail. So I
thought what if I made it more durable by spraying Future Floor Wax over it,
when I built the Mustang?
Anyway I sprayed my sons car Cobalt Blue then later top coated it with
I did not try to get a perfect paint job nor did I care. Guess what? That
Model car has the shiniest, almost flaw free paint job I ever managed to lay
down on a car! I was so impressed with the results I am going to build a
Revell 79 Camaro (I had a real one) and use a 50 cent bottle of Delta
Acrylic Black and overcoat with Future. If it comes out as good as the
Mustang I may start building a Muscle Car or two.
Experiment and you may like the results. I found I did by accident.
I had Future crack and split when I put it over Gunze Acrylics. That was
over a decade ago. Never found out if it was the Future or Gunze. I did not
care to lose another project, so I stopped using it. I did spray Future over
Model Master enamel and over a decade later that finish is still perfect.
I gave up using Future. I still had the 10 year old bottle and figure what
the hey use it on my sons car. Afterall like I said it was never meant to be
perfect.so if it got the hairline cracks it was no biggie.
Again it has turned into the best finish I ever put on a car and months
later still no signs of cracking.
Some guys never have had a problem with it. Me, I am afraid of losing a
project where hours were spent detailing a cockpit and masking intricate
splinter camo. I guess it is Murphy's law for me. Lose a project I spend
alot of time on and build carefully and precisely. Have a project I rush
through, don't care about and spend no prep time on turn out fantastic.
Anyway. Yes beware Future. Some guys swear by it others at it. I believe
that it all depends on what it is sprayed over. Experiment is the key.
Interesting that you bring up the Ceramcoat line. I just finished reading
quite a number of postings about that paint. There are quite a few modelers
that have had good luck with those paints. Many thin them down with Liquitex
Low Viscosity Airbrush Medium. Did you thin with water and, if so, in what
Max Bryant wrote:
I have bought the Liquitex stuff, but as of yet have not tried it. I simply
have thinned with distilled water. I cannot tell you what ratio because I
go by sight. The rule of thumb I have always used before airbrushing any
paint was to thin it to the consistency of milk. I stir it with my mixing
stick and if a drop pools at the bottom relatively quickly (but not flowing
quick) and drips off then I am ready.
Sorry for my unscientific explanation.
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