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Your preferred varnish pre-decals?


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Dear Modellers

 

With the demise of Johnsons Klear I have bought the Johnsons Pledge, but I'm a bit suspicious of it.  It does not seem to dry as evenly as Klear did and does not seem to behave with oil washes in a predictable way.  Am I being paranoid?  Maybe I should spray a gloss varnish instead?  What do you guys do?

 

Regards

 

Andrew

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   I’m going to get on my Xtracolor rant again. I’m a fanatic about less being better. With the very fine engraved detail on the newer models, all of the coatings ultimately can obscure detail. This hinders the application of washes for one thing. Since Xtracolor is gloss, no gloss coating is necessary. Properly thinned, Xtracolor sprays perfectly with no airbrush clogging, with near perfect feathering between colors and glass smooth when dry. Once dry it is hard as a rock and stands up to masking. It can be wet sanded between coats if need be. The range of colors is expansive. In the US Kitlinx and Sprue Brothers have it though SB has a limited amount. Hannants UK is the distributor and this is their house brand. The drawbacks are availability, long drying time (6-12 hours) and smell.To me though, all this stuff smells be it acrylic, enamel or lacquer. Lately I’ve noticed inconsistency between batches of the same color. Hannants must address this.
   The bottomline is this: you can’t get a truly gloss finish by spraying layer after layer of gloss whatever on grainy matt paint, not without diminishing detail to some degree. Save yourself a step or two, preserve detail and go gloss!
    

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Lately I've been using Mr. Color Clear Gloss, thinned quite a bit with their Leveling Thinner. My final flat coats are invariably acrylic - Micro Flat or Vallejo. As far as Xtracolor is concerned, it's just too hard to obtain where I live. As Model Master gradually fades out of the scene, I'm more frequently using Mr. Color or MRP for my main paint coats; they're both semigloss and so need much less clear gloss for decals.

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Thanks for your heartfelt replies all!

 

I'm curious to know  Seawinder how much you thin the Mr Color clear gloss with levelling thinner?  Is that 50:50?

As part of my research I have also ordered some Alclad Aqua Gloss!

Bill do you thin your Tamiya X-22 before applying and if so by how much?

 

Thanks

Andrew

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16 hours ago, Andrew CJ56 said:

Maybe I should spray a gloss varnish instead?  What do you guys do?

 

There are many superior hobby specific alternatives, such as Tamiya X-22, Alclad Aqua Gloss, MIG Lucky Gloss, MM Acryl Gloss to name a few.

 

My personal favorite is Gunze Aqueous H30, which is even more glossy than Tamiya X-22:

 

gloss_clears01.png

 

gloss_clears02.png

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I'm with @seawinder,  use Mr Color Clear C46. I always thin Mr Color to the consistency of 1% milk, or a little thinner. I never thin by ratios.

 

BTW, I haven't found it necessary to gloss coat Mr Color gloss colors (including FS 1XXXX) in advance of decals; the reason is quite simple, Mr Color paints always go on very smoothly. I will gloss coat over semi-gloss and flat colors, however, more out of an abundance of caution rather than their apparent surface texture.

 

For flat and semi-gloss coats, MSI Micro Flat and Micro Satin work really well. Again, thinned to the consistency of 1% milk or thinner. I thin all paint to that consistency.

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2 hours ago, Andrew CJ56 said:

Thanks for your heartfelt replies all!

 

I'm curious to know  Seawinder how much you thin the Mr Color clear gloss with levelling thinner?  Is that 50:50?

As part of my research I have also ordered some Alclad Aqua Gloss!

Bill do you thin your Tamiya X-22 before applying and if so by how much?

 

Thanks

Andrew

Hi Andrew. I'm with dnl47: I generally thin by eye rather than measuring. For paint, I go for a consistency that flows like milk down the jar when I touch the stirring rod to the side. When I'm thinning Mr. Color clear gloss for a wet coat, I'll thin more - like skim milk - more watery.

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1 hour ago, dnl42 said:

I'm with @seawinder,  use Mr Color Clear C46. I always thin Mr Color to the consistency of 1% milk, or a little thinner. I never thin by ratios.

 

BTW, I haven't found it necessary to gloss coat Mr Color gloss colors (including FS 1XXXX) in advance of decals; the reason is quite simple, Mr Color paints always go on very smoothly. I will gloss coat over semi-gloss and flat colors, however, more out of an abundance of caution rather than their apparent surface texture.

 

For flat and semi-gloss coats, MSI Micro Flat and Micro Satin work really well. Again, thinned to the consistency of 1% milk or thinner. I thin all paint to that consistency.

 

If you use Mr Surfacer previously then Mr Color paints (whatever color), all thinned witt Mr Leveling Thinner,

you don't need to put a varnish at all before decaling.

 

And If you got silvering (very unlikely), you've just got to delicately puncture the problematic decals with a design knife and paint some Mr Mark Setter on.

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I think the most interesting part of this is you all seem to be saying you go with the same gloss coat no matter what paints you use.

I cant imagine you all find just one manufacturer supplies all the colours you need.

I certainly dont and I use quite a few gloss coats depending on what paint I used.

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I try to use Mr Color Aqueous paint thinned with Mr Color Levelling Thinner for all my painting and have never needed to put on further gloss coat on with them

 

The other paint I use is Tamyia Acylics and even when thinned with Mr Color Levelling Thinner I don't find it as smooth so use X-22 thinner with Levelling Thinner to clear coat (I also mist a final layer of pure levelling thinner at the end for an extra smooth surface).

 

Something I want to try next time I used Tamiya is to add a little X-22 to the paint and levelling thinner and see if that means I can decal straight onto it 🙂 

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Thank you Team!

 

This has been very informative on your recipes.  I shall try different combinations and see what wins.  Interesting to hear that the Mr Color aqueous and Mr color levelling thinner would obviate the need for a varnish pre-decals

 

Regards

 

Andrew

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17 minutes ago, Andrew CJ56 said:

Mr Color aqueous and Mr color levelling thinner

Just to be clear, Gunze has an Aqueous Hobby Color line and a Mr Color line. I believe the former are water-soluble paints while the latter are lacquers. I only use Mr Color.

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2 hours ago, Sebastijan said:

None. Use a quality semi-gloss paint and do a proper surface prep and you'll safely skip this layer on your model.


I’m interested, what do you do to prepare the surface for decals?

 

Juan

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