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Aqua Gloss


Mike
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Aqua Gloss



Alclad (ALC 600)

aquagloss.jpg

Alclad are working on expanding their ramnge lately, bringing some interesting new products to the market to fill gaps in their lineup. If you're not already familiar with their line, they produce an excellent range of realistic metallic finishes, including chrome, and a widening range of primers, all of which are pre-thinned for airbrush use, and clean-up with their own thinners (reveiwed here), or cellulose thinners if you don't have any to hand.

A couple of bottles of Aqua Gloss turned up on my doorstep a good few weeks ago, and I've been testing them since then. I prefer to review tools and paints once I've had a chance to give them a proper test-drive, so although we've had them a wee while, I'm only now getting round to reviewing the product.

As the name suggests, Aqua Gloss is an acrylic gloss varnish (for the avoidance of doubt!), and clean up immediately after use is with water. I should imagine that if you let it dry in the airbrush though, you'll be able to use household ammonia to re-liquefy it, in much the same way as most other acrylic paints. The bottle is plastic with a black screw cap, and contains 120ml of the varnish, which is a milky white in the bottle.

The one question that everyone seems to ask of new clear gloss varnishes (in the UK at least) is "Is it a substitute for Klear?". Quick answer is... yes, it does seem to be, as you can dip your canopies in it, and you can spray it to give a nice tough gloss finish. I did a test of a spare Fw.189 canopy first, not really taking too much care with drying it, as I wasn't too concerned if it didn't work. It did though, and the canopy is now nice and clear, although it does have a few fibres stuck in it due to my lack of diligence! Dip your canopies with impunity folks - although you'll have to decant some from the bottle, as the neck isn't all that wide.

Next was a spray test. The first test was a couple of removable panels from the Fw.189 I built recently, and as expected, it glossed up nicely, even with a relatively quick application. Enamel based washes don't seem to affect it, which is a good thing, as Mig Productions are my wash of choice these days. It also means that Mig filters should not affect the paint, which puts another tick in the box.

The final spray test was on the Tucano that I'm building at the moment (here), substituting Aqua Gloss for Klear in preparation for decaling. I was very pleased to see that it behaves very much like Klear in this respect, despite the initial milky look to the liquid in the bottle. The initial coat is somewhat matt, but as you pass over it (it dries very quickly) again, the gloss increases until you have a nice smooth finish that's suitable for laying down your decals without risk of the dreaded silvering - the trapping of tiny bubbles in the microscopic imperfections of a matt surface. I've left my Tucano in a more satin finish for the moment, as it'll be suitable for decaling, but will matt back quickly once I've finished the decals.

I'm not a brush painter, but I took a wide flat brushful of the stuff to one of the flaps on the Tucano, and was pleasantly surprised at how nicely it went down. It will probably take a few coats to obtain a properly glossy finish, but although it isn't intended specifically for brushing on, it does work.

Conclusion

It's a good acrylic gloss varnish in its own right, and will also be an equally suitable substitute for dipping canopies. It appears to brush on well too, so should also appeal to those of us that are still using brushes to finish our models. Top marks and a hearty recommendation.

Review sample courtesy of Alclad 2

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Nice, I'm glad you like it and it's immune to Mig Washes. I've got a bottle of this and the new Satins and Matte's to try out on my Spitfire. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes! The Promodeller washes will work fine unless you're using chemicals to clean them off, but they are water based so shouldn't be the case.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

@Chris - my usual 1bar of active pressure.

@ Bjarne - I've heard of one other case of the Klear Kote Gloss staying tacky, but never experienced it myself. The Aqua Gloss dries very quickly and with no tack... :)

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Hi Guys

Had two bottles from Paul a few weeks back, follow the instructions!!! Dont stir, shake or move at all before using. Works really well in light coats, highly recommended. Used it to dip some canopies instead of my usual Kleer. The dipped canopies where excellent and dry in a day.

Chris

Edited by chrismac60
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  • 2 years later...

I see the thread isn´t the freshest but I´ll give it a shot and see if someone has experienced what I´m after.

For me the most important question would be:

How much does the Aqua Gloss knock back the sheen and shine of NMF and silver finishes ? We all know Kleer puts the shine back a couple of steps over Alclad II... Wasn´t this product developed to maintain the same or a closer level of the shine as an uncoated Alclad II NMF sprayed area ?

Would appretiate to hear if anyone has done this comparison.

Thanks

Matt

Edited by Matt Kaeck
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Hi Matt :) In my experience, it doesn't knock it back much if at all. I seem to recall coating my Supermarine 224 with a coating of it before decaling, although my memory isn't the best :dunce:

complete1.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Hi there can this be used over Tamiya Acrylics, and is it safe to use Microset and Microsol over it when applying decals

Yes, it can. You can spray it over just about anything as it is acrylic based, just don't spray it too heavily or it will run and look awful. And it should be safe to Microset and Microsol.

Do correct me if I'm wrong.

Edited by Kuro Nezumi
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I am curious to know if a very smooth surface remains very smooth after airbrushing on this stuff.

And I guess I would like to know, if the surface is somewhat rough before spraying on Aqua Clear, how thick /gooey does this stuff seem to be if airbrushed on wet.

Presumably, one is to airbrush areas wet-in-wet but without flooding the areas. Correct me if I am wrong in assuming this.

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Just used this for the first time and I'm impressed with the finish, my question is, can this finish be polished to just bring up the sheen a bit more. If you do guys/ladies what polish do you use

Edited by Dunter1969
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  • 2 years later...

Hi folks,

 

I am currently building the Tamiya Porsche 956. It will be the 1983 Rothmans livery, hence there will be some decals applied.

My idea at this stage is to seal the white + blue basecoat with Alclad Aqua Gloss in order to have a smooth surface for those decals. I have worked with Aqua Gloss only to a minor extent up to now (at least not coating an entire body), so I'm not 100% sure if it will stand the final layer of 1k Zero Paints laquer clear that I am planning to seal the decals with.

 

I am aware that caution is generally required when applying the ZP clear on decals (spraying mist coats) but my question is if the two clears (Aqua Gloss and ZP 1k) will basically/ chemically be working fine in this combination?

The last thing I want to do is ruin those nice decals by having cracks in the varnish... ☹️

 

Any experiences or advice, someone?

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Your safest bet would be to do the final clear with aqua gloss then you know you'll be safe. I did it with a Tamiya 1/12 bike and got a very nice gloss finish with the aqua gloss

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