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Varnishing coats - when to apply? Newbie posting!


Tramline222
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Just getting back into modelling after 30 years and also about to tackle my first model - Airfix 1-72 Wellington - it will also be my first use of an airbrush.  I've bought an Iwata paired with a Sparmax 610 compressor so I've a lot of learning and understanding to take onboard but I won't rush anything.

 

My main question is when and what do you use to seal coats of airbrushed paint?   I'm planning on using Vallejo airbrush paint.

 

Is it after every spray coat?  And what should I use?  Gloss, satin, flat? or something else?   

 

When applying decals what is considered the best process and what products are recommended?

 

I'm sorry to ask such inane questions but there is so much information - almost too much information about conflicting branded products affecting finishes and paints. I'd be grateful for any help and suggestions.  

 

Many thanks

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4 minutes ago, Tramline222 said:

My main question is when and what do you use to seal coats of airbrushed paint?   I'm planning on using Vallejo airbrush paint.

 

Is it after every spray coat?  And what should I use?  Gloss, satin, flat? or something else?   

 

When applying decals what is considered the best process and what products are recommended?

 

FWIW, from a non airbrush user....

 

base paint coats.  

Gloss coat - this is to provide a smooth surface for decalling. Should avoid silvering. 

Note, some base paints are gloss to start with,(Xtracolor/Xtracrylix) so no gloss coat needed.

if you are planning on washes, then another gloss coat to seal the decals and give an even surface.

final coat depending on finish required.

 

decals 

to an extent this depends on the decals,  the classic is Micro set and Micro set, one help the positioning,  the other softens the decal to get to it to conform to the surface.

 

But decals vary,  some are very thin and delicate, some thin and flexible, some are notoriously thick (like Tamiya)  and the same system does not work in every case.  

Some people use Kleer/etc (a self levelling acrylic varnish intended as floor polish..) as a decal system,  which works. 

see 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235038987-bedding-decals-in-klear-future-or-equivalent/

 

With decals, I suggest a case by case basis, as in search about and see potential pitfalls for different makes, or just ask.

 

Specifically.  

Vallejo are good paints, but very delicate and they don't stick that well to plastic, and scratch easily. Care is needed in masking as a result.

Vallejo and other companies do a plastic primer.

 

 

There are also different brands and strengths of sol/set systems.  warm to hot water also helps,  I stuck a metal jar lid onto a coffee machine hotplate to keep mine warm.... These were Airfix decals

 

19 minutes ago, Tramline222 said:

I'm sorry to ask such inane questions but there is so much information - almost too much information about conflicting branded products affecting finishes and paints.

Not inane,  and that's what forums are for.  

As you rightly say, there is a mass of information.    You do need to be specific in questions.

 

There is a build here of a Wellington, Italeri, but the builder is using vallejo acrylics

 

which may give some pointers.   Note in this build she used Quickshine as a gloss coat, which is the modern version of Kleer.

 

I really suggest doing a Work In progress build like the above,  we have a very friendly, helpful and nurturing community here,  happy to give help, support and advice,  and we get plenty of returnees as well.  

 

Also, what works for one modeller, may not for another,  some swear by acrylics, some swear at them....  the end point is a completed model you are happy with,  how you achieve this is up to you.

I say this as there are lots of trends and fashion and fads in modelling,  and as a result you see people making models that look like other models   :( 

 

Study the real thing, carefully.

 

This is a link to @Etiennedup  great Flickr account, these are period colour shots of Wellingtons

https://flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=wellington    (if you change the aircraft name in the address bar you can get other types up easily) 

 

Not masses of them, but really good for getting a feel for the real aircraft, how they weather, where stains appear, general finish. 

 

 

One final point, the site search is not great,  but if you add Britmodller into a search term, it works well.

 

try "britmodeller airfix wellington"  and you will get a page of hits.

 

You can always ask questions in those threads as well.

 

HTH

 

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1. Primer.

2. Paints (gloss or matt, doesn't matter)

3. Gloss varnish (helps decals adhere without silvering)

3. Gloss varnish (seals in the decals if you are going to do any weathering, to avoid spoiling the decals)

4. Matt or satin varnish (depends on your subject's 'real' finish) as a final coat to seal it all in.

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BTW, that's "MicroSet" and "MicroSOL". There's also Walther's Solvaset. It's good, but is very "hot" (it was alcohol based, and might still be), and I'm not sure how it would affect water-based acrylics. There were no issues with it on enamels, but on rare occasions it would dry fast and leave a decal wrinkled.

Edited by Rolls-Royce
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Further to that, there are some very different chemistries of decal out there. Generalising: Japanese kit decals tend not to respond well to American setting solutions, but like very hot water and can respond well to a bit of hairdryer treatment. Some decal setting solutions will destroy some decals. Using Klear / Quickshine is always safe for decals as it is inert and won't eat any of them, and shrinks very hard as it cures, so will usually suck a decal down into surface detailing pretty well.

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On 18/05/2020 at 13:06, Parabat said:

1. Primer.

2. Paints (gloss or matt, doesn't matter)

3. Gloss varnish (helps decals adhere without silvering)

3. Gloss varnish (seals in the decals if you are going to do any weathering, to avoid spoiling the decals)

4. Matt or satin varnish (depends on your subject's 'real' finish) as a final coat to seal it all in.

Agree with this completely. In addition I do a filter between 2 and 3. This gives the base coat a slightly worn appearance - so it doesn't look straight out of the factory. Look up dot filtering with oils to see one way of doing it. I then do any weathering, exhaust stains etc between 3 and 4. My reasoning is that filters prefer a matt surface and weathering is at the end just before the final varnish. The drawback to this is that you have to go back over the decals and filter them a little at the weathering stage. I must admit that I always think my decals look too clean and stand out too much but I'm not too bothered.

 

A further thought - if you haven't airbrushed before this is quite a large project. Have you considered something small and simpler to do as a run up?

Edited by Pete F
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7 hours ago, Pete F said:

In addition I do a filter between 2 and 3. This gives the base coat a slightly worn appearance - so it doesn't look straight out of the factory. Look up dot filtering with oils to see one way of doing it. I then do any weathering, exhaust stains etc between 3 and 4. My reasoning is that filters prefer a matt surface and weathering is at the end just before the final varnish. The drawback to this is that you have to go back over the decals and filter them a little at the weathering stage. I must admit that I always think my decals look too clean and stand out too much but I'm not too bothered.

why not do a filter coat after decalling and a matt coat, to tie it all together?  

IMO you don't need a varnish coat over final weathering, as in exhaust and oil stains. (unless you handle you model a lot)  

This is gunk that in real life gets cleaned off regularly, so adding onto the finished airframe gives a little contrast in texture and appearance, exhaust is a sooty mattish deposit, oils has a sheen, which a top coat will flatten out. 

Whatever works for you, just giving my reasoning.

 

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3 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

why not do a filter coat after decalling and a matt coat, to tie it all together?  

I think that this would be a good idea and the only reason I haven't done it is that I learnt dot filters from online videos etc and all of them showed it being applied on the base coat so I started doing that. It is one of those cases where I haven't had the inclination yet to do an experiment and move it up a few layers. I guess after all the work I am reluctant to try something new and maybe it will not work so well on the matt coat. I have been meaning to give it a try some time. It will mean an additional matt coat but that shouldn't matter.

 

As to the final coat - I always do this because some of my weathering sometimes uses powders and this fixes them. But I agree with your thoughts on this. I think my weathering isn't pronounced or professional looking enough to justify it.

 

Sometimes we do things by force of habit and it takes a conversation like this to make one question them and experiment - just not on my current model!

 

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Not really a WWII topic so I have moved to the paint section

 

I see you are new here but you might get more replies etc if posted in the right section.

 

Thx

 

Julien. 

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