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Advice needed on issues with rough finish gloss acrylic (airbrushing).


ST3Black
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Hi there,

 

I am hoping that I can pick the brains of those of you who have experience airbrushing with Revell Aqua acrylics, as I am having a real battle getting a smooth finish on a Ferrari 458 build. I have a H&S Evolution, and used Humbrol  grey spray primer prior to spraying.

 

After reading as much info as possible, I thinned the paint to the 'semi skimmed milk' consistency using de-ionised water. I sprayed in light coats, gradually building up the thickness. However, for some reason, I am getting a rough sand paper-like finish, usually semi-gloss. I have changed the air pressure from 25 psi sprayed at about 10/12 cm distance to 15psi sprayed at half that distance. I also thinned the paint less the closer I was to the model. I have now stripped it three times and have no idea how to solve this, apart from sanding with 5000 grit then covering with Alclad 2 Aqua Gloss in the hope it will look OK.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

I have a few images but am not sure how to post them?

 

Many thanks,

Ant.

 

 

 

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Thanks Sabrejet. This is Revell Aqua water-based paint - and as this is the first of their gloss paints I have used, I wondered if anyone has had similar experiences with them and how they got around them.

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Hi Ant,

I have never tried to spray Revell Aqua gloss paints, so can't comment on them, However, I have managed to successfully spray Tamiya Acrylics thinned with Mr Color Levelling thinners at about a 50-50 ratio.

That seems to produce a decent gloss finish. I then tend to use a very 'mild' polishing compound afterwards to finish it.

I suspect that with the Revell acrylics, you might be better off using Isopropyl alcohol as thinners.

 

As an aside, I did an experiment. I tried my three usual acrylic paints thinned with Mr Color levelling thinners:

Old Humbrol - Produced a result that wasn't sprayable - no thinner than normal, but usable with a brush :(

Old citadel paints - Produced a sticky sludge! 😲

Tamiya acrylics - Superb, sprayed beautifully, but was a bit too 'hot' for brush painting. The second application, unless applied VERY carefully, would soften the previous layer and pull it off!. Lesson to self: stick to air-brushing this formula.

 

I also believe that the new Tamiya Lacquer thinners works with Tamiya Acrylics.

 

I am sorry, this probably doesn't answer your question though.

 

Cheers, Alan.

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I can't speak for Revell, but I had a similar issue with a rough paint texture when I did it the other way around (Humbrol clear over Revell matt paint) on the Trabi, and ended up just polishing it out. Do you just have a colour coat over the primer? I usually add a clear even when it is strictly speaking not needed, just as it often gives that little bit more shine. However, even then, I often find it needs a going over with the Micromesh (down to 12,000 grit) then Tamiya fine polish to get the final shine.

 

In terms of thinning, I only use the Revell acrylics for brush painting (or out of the rattlecan), but while they do thin with water I've started using the Revell thinner as it seems to give better results.

 

To give an indication of what I seem to have to do every build, here's a pic of the Skyline bonnet I took showing before the micromesh (left) and after.

 

40868833853_72c1b4993d_c.jpg

 

(As an aside, if you name refers to what I think it does, I commend your car choice :) )

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Hi Alan, hi Spiny,

 

Many thanks for taking the time to give your thoughts on this. So it could be the thinning with water that is causing the issue? I will buy some of the Revell Aqua thinners and see if it makes any difference and possibly try the IPA (I have to make sure the paints are not too pungent or it upsets the other members of the household!) - but I am very impressed with the finish achieved with the micromesh - superb! 

 

I have not tried Citadel paints - are they the acrylics from Warhammer/Games Workshop? Are they solvent based or water based?

 

Yes, I just have a colour coat over the primer. As this is only my second model since coming back to kit building after some 30 odd years, I am still picking up hints and tips as I go! I've only just learnt about putting a clear coat over colour - never tried it before. I have tested the Alclad 2 Aqua clear on a scrap model, over Revell acrylics and was impressed with the results. The only thing is I am nervous of putting it through my airbrush, in case it ruins it - so will be brush painted if I do go that route. Am I right in understanding that the clear coats such as Alclad 2 can be polished further, using micromesh? I had no idea, I thought they would just scratch-up and become dull/matt.

 

And thanks for thumbs up on the car - I wish it was the Focus, but am happy with the Fiesta - it is a hoot!

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Gloss paints can be tricky to airbrush and from what I've experienced do not like to be 'misted' on or sprayed lightly. Like some others, I've not used Revell acrylics however you may want to experiment on a test piece and spray it on rather heavily (or heavier than what you're currently doing). Gloss paints do like to go on wet and take a short time to dry and whilst in this 'drying' state the pigments tends to flow into one another to help create a smooth finish. This 'scientific' reasoning may be completely wrong, however I'd have another go and see if it works. As always, keep the airbrush movement flowing so that you don't pool up large amounts of paint in one area. For this reason I tend to use Matt / Semi Gloss paints and clear over the top, however when you need a good gloss black base for NMF finishes that technique is not always ideal. 

 

Cheers and good luck.. Dave 

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Hi Dave - yes, I tried spraying a heavier flow on the test model I used but still ended up with a rough finish (felt like sandpaper) - but with paint pooled on the edges and along bodywork edges. 

 

I did think about using a matt paint and then trying to get the shine using gloss clear, but couldn't find the right Ferrari red that was available as a water-based acrylic. I am going to give some of the advice from Spiny and Alan a go and see how I get on. Once I can work out how to post pics into the forum I will send a few to show my progress.

 

Cheers,

Ant. 

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I would suggest you try the Tamiya TS laquer paints in the can. Take the shell outdoors and spray light coats gradually building up the colour as you go. These paints give an excellent finish without a clear coat. I used these paints on my early builds with no probs at all and would happily recommend them

             Regards Andy

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13 hours ago, ST3Black said:

I have a few images but am not sure how to post them?

they need to be online somewhere, photo hosting site is the usual, eg Flickr, but you can even use them from Facebook. 

 

as for cars, try this

@cmatthewbacon  maybe able to add some info, 

 

HTH

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14 hours ago, ST3Black said:

 

I have not tried Citadel paints - are they the acrylics from Warhammer/Games Workshop? Are they solvent based or water based?

Hi Ant,

Citadel paints are the warhammer paints, and they are water based, not lacquer.

Codger is right, the acrylics require a lot of work get get to look shiny, but on a 1/24th scale kit, I think too shiny makes it look rather toy-like in my opinion.

 

Here's a link to one I finished entirely in Tamiya acrylics thinned with Mr Color levelling thinners. Shiny enough, I think.

 

Cheers, Alan.

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3 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

they need to be online somewhere, photo hosting site is the usual, eg Flickr, but you can even use them from Facebook. 

 

as for cars, try this

@cmatthewbacon  maybe able to add some info, 

 

HTH

Thanks Troy - I tried using a link generated by Google Photos, but no luck. I will try again shortly as it may be operator error!

 

I will have a look at Matt's tips, thanks for supplying the link. I am definitely going to give Spiny's suggestions a go - the finish on the Skyline's hood is really good, if I could get it half as smooth as that it would be a major improvement on what I have now.

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36 minutes ago, ST3Black said:

I tried using a link generated by Google Photos, but no luck. I will try again shortly as it may be operator error!

 

Google photos seems to be 'difficult' sometimes.

 

you can try going to your image, and try right clicking,  'copy image address/URL'  and the paste that in your post.   I have done that when other members have said that can't get pics to show.

 

cars are not my thing, but Matt's tips I enjoyed reading as they were well explained, and gave good results,  one interesting aspect of this place is sometimes looking at something out of my area of interest (by looking at 'view new content' ) and being greatly impressed by the sheer craft on display.

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1 hour ago, Alan R said:

Hi Ant,

Citadel paints are the warhammer paints, and they are water based, not lacquer.

Codger is right, the acrylics require a lot of work get get to look shiny, but on a 1/24th scale kit, I think too shiny makes it look rather toy-like in my opinion.

 

Here's a link to one I finished entirely in Tamiya acrylics thinned with Mr Color levelling thinners. Shiny enough, I think.

 

Cheers, Alan.

Hi Alan,

 

I might try the Citadel paints if they are water-based then.

 

Thanks for sharing the post on the 911 - what a tale of perseverance! Very interesting and the result was definitely worth it. I have a standard Revell 911/930 Turbo in my pile of kits to make, along with another Ferrari and a Honda RVF750. As it is only car and bike kits that I am interested in trying, I am determined to develop a satisfactory technique for achieving a smart gloss finish!

 

Best,

Ant.

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2 hours ago, Alan R said:

Tamiya acrylics thinned with Mr Color levelling thinners.

Re acrylic paint, some are water based (Vallejo, Citadel, Humbrol, Revell) and some are 'lacquer' * type, which is why there are two types of Gunze, Tamiya are a lacquer type, which is why you can use cellulose thinner with them. 

IIRC if you use Mr levelling thinners with proper water based acrylics, you get gloop.   I really should be doing something else, so not wanting to go hunt for the full details.

 

* lacquer maybe the wrong term,  but they two types of commonly used acrylic for modelling are not intermixable.

 

HTH

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29 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

Re acrylic paint, some are water based (Vallejo, Citadel, Humbrol, Revell) and some are 'lacquer' * type, which is why there are two types of Gunze, Tamiya are a lacquer type, which is why you can use cellulose thinner with them. 

IIRC if you use Mr levelling thinners with proper water based acrylics, you get gloop.   I really should be doing something else, so not wanting to go hunt for the full details.

 

* lacquer maybe the wrong term,  but they two types of commonly used acrylic for modelling are not intermixable.

 

HTH

Hi Troy,

 

Yes, it is the water-based paints I am concentrating on, as the smell of even the Tamiya is enough to cause havoc in my house.

 

Best,

Ant.

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1 hour ago, ST3Black said:

Hi Troy,

 

Yes, it is the water-based paints I am concentrating on, as the smell of even the Tamiya is enough to cause havoc in my house.

 

Best,

Ant.

 

Easy solution, just change the family ;) problem solved ! 

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8 hours ago, ST3Black said:

Thanks Troy - I tried using a link generated by Google Photos, but no luck. I will try again shortly as it may be operator error!

 

I will have a look at Matt's tips, thanks for supplying the link. I am definitely going to give Spiny's suggestions a go - the finish on the Skyline's hood is really good, if I could get it half as smooth as that it would be a major improvement on what I have now.

Thank you for the kind comments on the Skyline bonnet, however in the interests of full disclosure I think I should point out that the paint on this one is made up of Halfords white primer, then Halfords Nissan White (531 if memory serves) topped off with Revell acrylic clear (acrylic will usually sit on lacquer and enamels ok, but rarely, if ever, the other way around). With the exception of the Trabant, all my paint jobs have been using rattle cans, and only the Cuda and Trabi have acrylic colour coats.

 

If you do decide to go down the Micromesh route, I would definitely recommend getting the pads rather than the sheets as they give you much more control making it less likely that you'll sand through the paint (I've done this a few times). Putting on a thicker clear coat will give you something to work with too. Going back to that Skyline, for that, I used the 6000 grit (wet) to remove most of the orange peel, then followed it up with the 8000 and 12,000 pads. Finally (after the photo was taken), I used the Tamiya Fine polish to get a final shine, and Dodo Juice solid car wax to protect the paint. I'd also recommend cotton gloves when handling the car after spraying with acrylic paint - in my experience the oils in your fingers can leave finger prints. Be aware that you will spend quite a while (1-2 hours) sanding the car, and you do need to take care not to burn through the paint, something which is far to easy to do if you're not paying attention.

 

(From the owner of an older, larger ST3 ;) )

 

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4 minutes ago, Spiny said:

Thank you for the kind comments on the Skyline bonnet, however in the interests of full disclosure I think I should point out that the paint on this one is made up of Halfords white primer, then Halfords Nissan White (531 if memory serves) topped off with Revell acrylic clear (acrylic will usually sit on lacquer and enamels ok, but rarely, if ever, the other way around). With the exception of the Trabant, all my paint jobs have been using rattle cans, and only the Cuda and Trabi have acrylic colour coats.

 

If you do decide to go down the Micromesh route, I would definitely recommend getting the pads rather than the sheets as they give you much more control making it less likely that you'll sand through the paint (I've done this a few times). Putting on a thicker clear coat will give you something to work with too. Going back to that Skyline, for that, I used the 6000 grit (wet) to remove most of the orange peel, then followed it up with the 8000 and 12,000 pads. Finally (after the photo was taken), I used the Tamiya Fine polish to get a final shine, and Dodo Juice solid car wax to protect the paint. I'd also recommend cotton gloves when handling the car after spraying with acrylic paint - in my experience the oils in your fingers can leave finger prints. Be aware that you will spend quite a while (1-2 hours) sanding the car, and you do need to take care not to burn through the paint, something which is far to easy to do if you're not paying attention.

 

(From the owner of an older, larger ST3 ;) )

 

Thanks for the info on the procedure - I am going to buy the micromesh pads and use them on the colour coat. On the test model I used 3200 grit which was a bit too aggressive and scored too deeply into the paint, but I can imagine how the finer grits would work. I'm then going to brush paint the Alclad 2, leave that to settle and try some Tamiya polishing compound to get a final strong gloss. That's the plan, anyway.....

 

Once I have something to show, I'll post some images.

 

Thanks again all for the invaluable advice!

 

Best,

Ant.

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