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Curt B

Best Clear Coat over Mr. Hobby Lacquer for post paint wash

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All,

 

I'm a newbie at 1/48 scale airplanes, but not new to airbrushing, etc.  I have just tried spraying Mr. Color lacquer paint for the VERY FIRST TIME today, and I am utterly thrilled.  I've watched so many videos telling us how critical thinning of paint is, and I have seen the light!  I just broke out my Iwata HP-C Plus dual action brush for the firs time in years (I have been using a Paasche Model H brush for years now, as I've been so terrified about getting thinning right, and knowing that cleaning the airbrush with lacquer thinner is something I HAVE to do when using  lacquer paints.  For that reason (cleaning) I've used the Paasch and Tamiya paints the vast majority of the time due to the Model H easy of cleaning.  But I did not want to limit myself to that syphon feed.  So, I finally worked up the cajones to thin Mr. Color to between 1:1 and 1.5:1 (thinner to paint) and it works like a champ in the dual action Iwata.  And, notwithstanding the lacquer thinner smell and mess, the airbrush cleaned up really well!

 

So, that said, does anyone have an opinion on the best clear coat to use over Mr. Color lacquer for the purposes of decals and, ultimately, dark washes for panel lines.  I'm planning to use oil paints made into a wash, with odorless thinner to make the wash, and then pure odorless thinner to clean up the wash.  What would be a good choice for a clear coat for those 2 things, again, over Mr. Paint lacquer paint.  I have Future, Tamiya clear gloss, and coming this week, Alclad II Aqua Gloss.  Would any/all of these make the right gloss coat, primarily to be impervious to the odorless thinner cleanup phase?  Any of these you would NOT use over Mr. Color for the necessary durability?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Any of the Mr Color Clears  Standard clear, Super Clear or the new GX range , 

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I use Mr Color lacquers. I haven't found a clear-coat is needed before applying decals over Mr Color because they go down so smoothly. To be sure, you do need a clear-coat atop the decals to ensure they are protected and fixed in place. You especially need a gloss coat over decals if you're going to apply weathering. As you noted, you want to make sure the gloss coat beneath weathering finishes isn't affected by the weathering media. As I've been using Tamiya and Vallejo washes, Mr Color C33 clear works just fine.

 

In addition to Mr Color C33 for gloss coats, I use Microscale Industries Micro Flat and Micro Satin respectively for the final flat and satin finishes; these thin with water. That's exactly how the models in my current signature were completed.


If you don't have a really smooth finish direct from Mr Color, or Alclad for that matter, you have a surface preparation or paint application problem. A gloss coat should fix that for you this time.

 

Lacquer paints provide the thinnest paint coat. Enamels provide a medium thickness paint coat, while acrylics are thickest--too thick IMHO. With that, surface preparation is critically important for lacquers. I use 6-cut Swiss Pattern needle files and polishing pads (up to 12000 grit) to get the smoothest possible plastic finish. Once I'm satisfied with the plastic surface, I'll give the model a wash-down with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol applied with cotton pads and cotton buds to ensure a clean and pristine paint surface.

 

I thin Mr Color, and all other paints, to the consistency of 1% milk using the paint's airbrush thinner. For Mr Color, I use Mr Leveling Thinner. I spray very thin coats at 1 atm (~15 psi). Adjust this pressure while air is blowing out the airbrush at full volume. I spray at distances between 0.25 to 2 inches. Use a grazing light when you paint so that you can see the paint hitting the surface. It should be wet when it hits, and dry quickly after that. So quickly that you can apply multiple coats in one session. If you want a gloss paint finish, apply thin coats until you have coverage and then apply a final wetter gloss coat. This is especially important for gloss white and yellow. Don't try to blast on a gloss color coat in one pass!!! Before color paint, I prime with thinned Mr Surfacer 1200 applied exactly as described above. This provides a beautifully smooth finish that hides slight surface scratches.

 

I use a 0.5mm nozzle for primers, base colors, clear coats, and Alclad or other metallics. I use a 0.3mm nozzle for detail work.

 

HTH

-- 

dnl

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Hi Curt,

 

I use the Aqua Gloss over BMF (and other) finishes, shooting first just where the decals go on.  After decals, another coat of Aqua Gloss over the decals and overall,  then weathering, etc.  Depending upon the desired finish, I'll then topcoat overall with any of the Alclad II clear finishes, including dead flat.  This gives me good results.  Over Alclad II Polished Aluminum and decals:

 

2v2J7nnTzxfzdhW.jpg

 

This one used Aqua Gloss as described above finished with Matt Alclad II overall, and Alclad II Light Sheen clear over the de-icer boots:

 

2v2EWwqJzxfzdhW.jpg

 

The latter coming soon to a Gallery article near you...

 

Ed

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I liked the way Alclad's enamel clear coats looked and sprayed, but they took forever to dry. Unfortunate. So, as others have testified, I like either Tamiya X-22 thinned with Mr Color Leveling thinner or one of Gunze's clear coats thinned with the same. Either gives me a smooth high gloss that goes on easy and dries fast. I use Testors clear flat or semi-gloss lacquers for finishing coats.

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Posted (edited)

Double post

Edited by Mstor

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Thanks, guys, for all your great ideas.  I'm thinking that for my Spitfire Mk. VIII, I'll probably go the Tamiya X-22 with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner.  I've decided, even though this is going to be my first airplane as an adult 😊 that I'm going to try to do something that I've not heard too many people discuss, and that is to make the panel wash a color similar to the paint, just a bit darker.  That should, I hope, bring out the panel lines and other details, but not so stark as black or dark brown.  We'll see if I really end up doing this, or if I go with what is typical.  

 

Ed...LOVE your NMF airplane!  REALLY cool!!

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