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Clear coats.......need to find a better solution.


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One thing I seem to be struggling with is clear coats.  Not so much for decaling purposes, or sealing decals (but am open to ideas there as well).  Mainly for weathering and final clear coats.

 

Prepping for decals or washes I've generally stuck with Tamiya Clear.   I seem to be able to handle that one ok.

 

When it comes to oil weathering, I'm not sure on this one.  I've tried Tamiya Flat with Mr Leveling Thinner..........but it is never ever flat for me, more like a satin.  Last night I tried Vallejo Matt Varnish (100% acrylic resin) which I've used before and don't mind, but last night had some weird blotchiness that I had to sand smooth in a few places and it still left a halo outline of what was sanded smooth.

 

I used the Vallejo Matt Varnish on my recent A-36 and F6F-3 and it turned out pretty decent, not flat but decent over all.

 

I have some Alclad Klear Kote Matte that I sprayed many months ago on my 1/48 Stearman, which was definitely flat, but it stays tacky for quite a while (read others mentioning that too).

 

I have some old Polly Scale flat, that I use to use but haven't used in a long time.  Always needed to strain it.

 

I've been thinking of trying some of the Mr Color clears, but I always get confused on are they Lacquer or Acrylic Lacquer.  I love how the Mr Color Paint Sprays, used the Sea Blue on the F6F3 and that sprayed soooooo nice.  Some of their clears are Acrylic Lacquer like Tamiya's right?

 

Current clear coats I have:  Vallejo Matt (100% acrylic resin), Polly Scale Satin & Flat, Klear Kote Matte and Aqua Gloss Clear,  Tamiya Gloss, Semi and Flat, Future Floor Polish (never had luck spraying, but haven't tried in a long time)

Current thinners I have:  Tamiya X-20A (not much left), Mr Leveling Thinner, Regular Mr Color Thinner, Mission Models thinner (don't like their paints at all), original Floquil Dio-Sol, Isopropyl Alcohol, regular paint thinner, lacquer thinner (my go to airbrush cleaner).

 

I tend to shy away from pure Acrylics...............never had much luck with them

 

So to summarize my concerns/question.........

 

1)  What clear to use no only for decal prep, but for washes like custom oil mix and stuff like Mig Panel Washes

 

2)  What flat clear to use for working with oil weathering or final coat (that is more uniform of a finish)

 

EDIT:  99% of the colors I spray are Tamiya.  After using Mr Color Sea Blue I am definitely interested in Mr Color stuff more.  MRP looks interesting, but haven't tried it yet.

 

Sorry for the long ramble...........always appreciate the input.

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Not a fan of Tamiya's clear flat. I tend to stick to Mr. Color for all clears. The GX range is really good, the flat dries dead flat, without that noticeable white tint that some other products have. I've always used Leveling thinner for them, but Rapid thinner is technically more suited for really flat finishes.

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1 hour ago, bmwh548 said:

Not a fan of Tamiya's clear flat. I tend to stick to Mr. Color for all clears. The GX range is really good, the flat dries dead flat, without that noticeable white tint that some other products have. I've always used Leveling thinner for them, but Rapid thinner is technically more suited for really flat finishes.

So I was just watching Plasmo on YouTube and he used the GXII stuff before decaling, to seal the decals and to weather over.  Is Mr Color an acrylic lacquer then?

 

Which ones do you use?  UV Cut or Super Clear?

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57 minutes ago, BlueNosers352nd said:

Which ones do you use?  UV Cut or Super Clear?

I use both depending what I can get hold of. Both are Super Clear III. Difference being the UV Cut offers, wait for it, some UV protection. I can't pick the difference in terms of clear coat performance.  All my builds on Britmodeller use either GX100 or GX112 airbrushed with Mr Levelling Thinners. They do require a lacquer thinner solvent.

 

Ray

Edited by Ray_W
typo
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I tend to use the UV ones more, but I'm not against the normal ones. I think it's the same stuff, just with an extra in the UV resist bottles like Ray said.

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Just now, bmwh548 said:

I tend to use the UV ones more, but I'm not against the normal ones. I think it's the same stuff, just with an extra in the UV resist bottles like Ray said.

The UV Cut GX112 does seem to lay down a little better for me. It's a perception thing. I can't say there is any real science attached to it and I am exceptionally happy with GX100. If I see both I buy the GX112.

 

I edited the previous post GX 114 is the flat coat.

 

Ray

 

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On 8/31/2020 at 8:47 AM, BlueNosers352nd said:

1)  What clear to use no only for decal prep, but for washes like custom oil mix and stuff like Mig Panel Washes

 

2)  What flat clear to use for working with oil weathering or final coat (that is more uniform of a finish)

Hey @BlueNosers352nd, personally I don't use any clear coats before decaling, just sand the paint smooth. If your paint reacts to decal solutions or you don't want to sand, a gloss coat beforehand would be a good idea. I then apply a gloss coat of Tamiya X-22 thinned with Mr. Color Leveling thinner for panel washes, though I'm going to try GX100/112 next time I come across a bottle. Any properly applied gloss should do fine as a pre-decal/wash - it doesn't need to be automobile caliber glossy for these applications. 

 

Regarding flat, you mention the Tamiya you tried not being flat enough. If I need dead flat, the flattest I use is AK Interactive Ultra Matte Varnish, followed closely by VMS Flat Varnish - both acrylics. I started with Alclad Klear Kote matte and while I loved the finish, as you found out it doesn't cure quickly. If I want a touch of sheen I use Tamiya XF-86. Since you already have this, I suggest giving it a few more tests without Mr. Color Levelling thinner to see if it gets you to a desired flatness level. Perhaps try thinning with X-20A or isopropyl alcohol. 

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Interesting comments   - I am having nothing but trouble from Vallejo Flat  Acrylic Varnish  as I can't get it to  go flat  no matter what i do,  it just stays a kind of satin despite many layers spaced over days  leaving each layer a  day or so to harden.

 

Erk.

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Are you thinning the Vallejo varnish with their airbrush thinner (71.161), maybe with a couple of drops of their flow improver (71.262) added as well?  I use Vallejo polyurethane flat varnish (26.651) thinned to about 50:50 (they are thick) with their airbrush thinner and some flow improver and spray at a bout 12 psi.  As long as I go in light misted coats, I achieve a dead flat finish.  However, if the flat coat is not your final stage (for me it usually is), like all Vallejo products it can be delicate so weathering should be done patiently and not with too heavy or strong of a hand.  Also, give it enough time to cure.  I have not used the 100% acrylic resin varnishes, but I would have thought the same prep is involved, and they probably dry more resilient than the polyurethane stuff.  Have you made sure the varnish is fully mixed?  You can use pliers to gently pull the top of to allow for a complete mixing with a stirrer.

Be careful with the Mr. Color flat...  It is too flat and too rough in my opinion.  I agree Mr. Color sprays beautifully I have heard great things about their GX series clear flat (http://www.mr-hobby.com/en/itemDetail.php?iId=2580) which has a much finer grain.

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34 minutes ago, Matthew1974 said:

Are you thinning the Vallejo varnish with their airbrush thinner (71.161), maybe with a couple of drops of their flow improver (71.262) added as well?  I use Vallejo polyurethane flat varnish (26.651) thinned to about 50:50 (they are thick) with their airbrush thinner and some flow improver and spray at a bout 12 psi.  As long as I go in light misted coats, I achieve a dead flat finish.  However, if the flat coat is not your final stage (for me it usually is), like all Vallejo products it can be delicate so weathering should be done patiently and not with too heavy or strong of a hand.  Also, give it enough time to cure.  I have not used the 100% acrylic resin varnishes, but I would have thought the same prep is involved, and they probably dry more resilient than the polyurethane stuff.  Have you made sure the varnish is fully mixed?  You can use pliers to gently pull the top of to allow for a complete mixing with a stirrer.

Be careful with the Mr. Color flat...  It is too flat and too rough in my opinion.  I agree Mr. Color sprays beautifully I have heard great things about their GX series clear flat (http://www.mr-hobby.com/en/itemDetail.php?iId=2580) which has a much finer grain.

I brush paint everything as I do not own a sprayer,  also I have tried diluting but with  boiled tap water after it has gone cold, also  I shook the living daylights out of the bottle first before emtying half the bottle into a jar and then mixed in the water to 50/50 mix, then I thoroughly  mixed and shook the jar for about ten minutes  - I have been doing the stiring and shaking  before every coat applied lightly with a brush about 5 times now  but each coat is staying a satin finish.

 

Erk.

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