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ST3Black

Advice needed regarding water-based, acrylic gloss clear coat

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Hi there,

 

I'm hoping someone can advise regarding the options available to me for an acrylic, water-based gloss clear coat. I have watched countless YouTube videos of people using various clear gloss coats including Future (I'm UK based so no idea what the equivalent is). Is there a water-based (and cleaned with water) gloss clear coat available? I tried the Humbrol Clear Gloss over Revell Aqua Matt Black as a test. The Black was dry at least 24 hours before I applied the Clear. The result was disappointing - satin at best and patchy dull in others. Definitely not gloss as I wanted it. I applied 3 more coats, leaving 30 mins between layers, yet nothing changed. Still satin, and mainly dull.

 

I do not want to go down the path of using any lacquer or solvent based products. I spray and brush only water based acrylics. I have read that Alclad is excellent, but don't know much about it. Is it a lacquer? And will it need to be cleaned with a solvent (and stink out my house!)?

 

I did look through the Paint topic in the forums, however most of the replies are quite old so I wanted to make sure I had up to date replies. Any advice greatly received!

 

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I can't tell you anything about water-based paints, as i don;t use them, but I can tell you that Alclad is a lacquer.

 

And I think Future in the UK is known as "Johnson's Klear."

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Maybe your technique was wrong? I sometimes use Revell Aqua Gloss, and it looks pretty shiny after it's dry. Not as good as a lacquer varnish, but good nevertheless. You need to lower the air pressure to the very limit, go in as close as you can to the surface and put some retarder/flow improver in the mix.  The retarder will help keep the varnish wet until you finish applying it to an area. If it dries off you'll get dull spots as the "overspray" hits it. Also try putting wet looking coats down, 

If you use plain water to thin your paints/varnishes think about switching to distiled/demineralised water, maybe your water has too many deposits in it. 

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1 hour ago, bmwh548 said:

Maybe your technique was wrong? I sometimes use Revell Aqua Gloss, and it looks pretty shiny after it's dry. Not as good as a lacquer varnish, but good nevertheless. You need to lower the air pressure to the very limit, go in as close as you can to the surface and put some retarder/flow improver in the mix.  The retarder will help keep the varnish wet until you finish applying it to an area. If it dries off you'll get dull spots as the "overspray" hits it. Also try putting wet looking coats down, 

If you use plain water to thin your paints/varnishes think about switching to distiled/demineralised water, maybe your water has too many deposits in it. 

Thanks for replying. I should have said I brush painted this on for the test, straight from the bottle. It sounds like spraying will give me the finish I am after - going to give it a go and see what happens!

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2 hours ago, Space Ranger said:

I can't tell you anything about water-based paints, as i don;t use them, but I can tell you that Alclad is a lacquer.

 

And I think Future in the UK is known as "Johnson's Klear."

Thanks Space Ranger - I'll see if I can find it.

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Posted (edited)

The Alclad Klear Kotes are lacquer, but Alclad Aqua Gloss is water based acrylic and may be what you're looking for if you want to try something different. Many people swear by it (look at the reviews on this very site), but I personally haven't had good luck with it. I'm fairly certain the problem is on my end though, as it is well reviewed and successfully used by modelers around the net. 

Edited by Shin

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10 hours ago, Shin said:

The Alclad Klear Kotes are lacquer, but Alclad Aqua Gloss is water based acrylic and may be what you're looking for if you want to try something different. Many people swear by it (look at the reviews on this very site), but I personally haven't had good luck with it. I'm fairly certain the problem is on my end though, as it is well reviewed and successfully used by modelers around the net. 

Thanks Shin - that clears up some confusion I had over the Aqua Gloss. Can I clean the airbrush with Vallejo /IPA and a blast of water afterwards?

 

Once the Aqua Gloss has fully dried, can other acrylics be used over it?

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Yep, cleanup with water/IPA, try not to leave it to harden inside your airbrush. I don't have Vallejo cleaner so can't speak to that.

 

I canopy dipped once using Aqua Gloss and was able to mask and paint acrylics over it fine.

 

Though I just remembered one of the downsides of this gloss - it didn't seem to sand very well, if you think that'll ever come up. 

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13 hours ago, Shin said:

Yep, cleanup with water/IPA, try not to leave it to harden inside your airbrush. I don't have Vallejo cleaner so can't speak to that.

 

I canopy dipped once using Aqua Gloss and was able to mask and paint acrylics over it fine.

 

Though I just remembered one of the downsides of this gloss - it didn't seem to sand very well, if you think that'll ever come up. 

Sounds like a great product - don't think I will be sanding it. Will buy some and give it a go.

 

I have a bottle of Pledge arriving today too, going to see what sort of results I get with that.

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It depends what type of models you build? I find that I can never get that fantastic shine from any acrylic/waterbased gloss clears and always end up with a dry patchy finish with a dull gloss. Only lacquer clears and paints have given me the shine that I wanted, or enamels, but they always take a long time to dry for me. As a result of this and as a car builder I use all lacquer, colours and clears for bodywork parts and acrylics for interiors, seats, engines etc. I don't think I could just use one type of paint for everything...

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On 13/07/2019 at 09:19, Steve Noble said:

It depends what type of models you build? I find that I can never get that fantastic shine from any acrylic/waterbased gloss clears and always end up with a dry patchy finish with a dull gloss. Only lacquer clears and paints have given me the shine that I wanted, or enamels, but they always take a long time to dry for me. As a result of this and as a car builder I use all lacquer, colours and clears for bodywork parts and acrylics for interiors, seats, engines etc. I don't think I could just use one type of paint for everything...

Hi Steve, I have just got back into model making after a 30 odd year break and I currently only build cars and bikes. After experimenting further with Pledge 'Revive It' I have found that I can achieve a passable brushed on gloss coat, but I am not surer how repeatable it is. I do not want to spray it as I'm not sure I wouldn't ruin my Evolution.

 

I have some Alclad Aqua Coat (the water-based clear, not the lacquer) on order so will experiment with that too. Circumstance dictates I can not use anything that gives off a strong smell, so only water-based acrylics for me!

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On 10/07/2019 at 22:45, ST3Black said:

Thanks Space Ranger - I'll see if I can find it.

@ST3Black, you can pick up the Johnson's version in Sainsbury's if you have one near. I got two bottles for about £6. Only place local to me I found it having trawled Tesco, Asda, wilkos, coop. 

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2 hours ago, Sharknose said:

@ST3Black, you can pick up the Johnson's version in Sainsbury's if you have one near. I got two bottles for about £6. Only place local to me I found it having trawled Tesco, Asda, wilkos, coop. 

Thanks Sharknose. I have already bought the Pledge (which set me back £12!) so I think I should be fine for a while. Am keen to see what the Alclad looks like though.

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On 7/15/2019 at 3:05 PM, ST3Black said:

Am keen to see what the Alclad looks like though.

New Pledge

 

2stbd2.JPG&key=e0d656fca2741bf34c9e557fa

 

Alclad Aqua

 

02port2.JPG&key=2ea4eb3960223427f8200ccc

 

 

Both work OK for me but the Pledge is helped by the addition of glycerol and IPA for spraying which I do when using any acrylic top coat

 

Finally there is the Mission models polyurethane gloss/anything: These are car finishing products repackaged and work best with dedicated urethane reducer & activator- it's no different to the Lechler & Eastwood stuff we are trialling at the car paint shop I own and may even be the same: I've tried and found it to be pretty similar to the Lechler:

 

Excellent self leveling finish, fast touch dry time (15-30 minutes) and decent cure times( maximum chemically bonded hardness) of 2-3 days ambient and 4-6 hours 40 Centigrade low bake. No beef beyond its outrageously priced and is part of a system with polyurethane additives, reducer and activator that are pretty hard to get of easily in the UK (outside of the car repair trade). so you'll get some pretty remarkable finishes but spend a fortune, for instance the very expensive reducer is also what you need to clean out the primer, paint, top coats and all additives- and tiny bottles cost £4+.

 

That said its mostly benign compared to VOC based stuff and if you can afford it, pretty amazing stuff but remember it's a system, mixing and matching primers, colour coat  and top coat brands will give you endless grief as like all systems it relies on the gassing out through layers: use a variety of materials on top of each other with different solvents and carriers and you're in the chemical reaction funzone...

 

Mazel tov

 

Anil

 

 

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On 21/07/2019 at 12:47, azureglo said:

New Pledge

 

2stbd2.JPG&key=e0d656fca2741bf34c9e557fa

 

Alclad Aqua

 

02port2.JPG&key=2ea4eb3960223427f8200ccc

 

 

Both work OK for me but the Pledge is helped by the addition of glycerol and IPA for spraying which I do when using any acrylic top coat

 

Finally there is the Mission models polyurethane gloss/anything: These are car finishing products repackaged and work best with dedicated urethane reducer & activator- it's no different to the Lechler & Eastwood stuff we are trialling at the car paint shop I own and may even be the same: I've tried and found it to be pretty similar to the Lechler:

 

Excellent self leveling finish, fast touch dry time (15-30 minutes) and decent cure times( maximum chemically bonded hardness) of 2-3 days ambient and 4-6 hours 40 Centigrade low bake. No beef beyond its outrageously priced and is part of a system with polyurethane additives, reducer and activator that are pretty hard to get of easily in the UK (outside of the car repair trade). so you'll get some pretty remarkable finishes but spend a fortune, for instance the very expensive reducer is also what you need to clean out the primer, paint, top coats and all additives- and tiny bottles cost £4+.

 

That said its mostly benign compared to VOC based stuff and if you can afford it, pretty amazing stuff but remember it's a system, mixing and matching primers, colour coat  and top coat brands will give you endless grief as like all systems it relies on the gassing out through layers: use a variety of materials on top of each other with different solvents and carriers and you're in the chemical reaction funzone...

 

Mazel tov

 

Anil

 

 

The results I achieved with the Alclad were better than expected. The Pledge 'Revive It' was good, but the Alclad was better. I'm still a little unsure about spraying either through my airbrush though - I use a homemade mixture of 99.9% Isopropyl Alcohol and de-ionised water to clean it, but some online accounts of Alclad and Pledge being difficult to remove from the airbrush mean I will be brush painting it for now. It seems fairly self-levelling from what I have seen.

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24 minutes ago, ST3Black said:

The results I achieved with the Alclad were better than expected. The Pledge 'Revive It' was good, but the Alclad was better. I'm still a little unsure about spraying either through my airbrush though - I use a homemade mixture of 99.9% Isopropyl Alcohol and de-ionised water to clean it, but some online accounts of Alclad and Pledge being difficult to remove from the airbrush mean I will be brush painting it for now. It seems fairly self-levelling from what I have seen.

You can use ammonia or Windex with ammonia to clean your airbrush after spraying Pledge/Future; ammonia is what is recommended for stripping floors waxed with it. But be careful. Ammonia can remove the plating on some airbrushes.

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