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Spraying a Future coat


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I'm trying to learn how to spray a Future clear coat. I have lots of experience with shooting enamels and lacquer based paint though my Pasche airbrushes (H & VL). I'm (usually) able to lay on a nice smooth final finish with them. I have very little experience with acrylic paints. I have also dipped a lot of canopies in Future and know that drill. That being said, here's my question.

What should an airbrushed coat of Future look like? When I mist a few light coats on it looks really "pebbly" (a lot like a mist coat of enamel or lacquer). I always seems to end up with a few runs when I try to put on a wet shiny coat (over the misted ones) that looks like it does when I shoot a wet coat of enamel or lacquer. I'm shooting it through a Pasche H w/ #5 (large) tip. I've tried shooting at various pressures between 10 and 30 PSI. I've shot it straight from the bottle and thinned with varying ratios of 91% alcohol. It all seems to work about the same. Should I stop at the "pebbly" stage and not do the shiny wet coats? Is the magic amount somewhere between pebbly and wet? Is that where the magic "self-leveling" takes place? :bandhead2:

Any advice, tips or pointers appreciated. Thanks.

:cheers:

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my recipe:

1. low air pressure

2. thin NOT with alcohol (Future will dry faster - therefore it will not have time for "self-leveling"!) but with water or Windex about 75-25

3. 10-15 minutes between layers

Edited by Kasatka
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Here's what I do:

1) I thin the Future with a few drops of Windex or similar ammonia based window cleaner. This helps break the normal surface tension of the Future.

2) I only use mist coats to apply it (usually 2-3 coats at 10-15psi), waiting about 10-15 minutes between mist coats. Any form of wet coat will pool up. If you still get pooling with mist coats, the 'pool' can be removed with a touch of a paintbrush.

As to what it should look like, it should look like you just wet the model down. It should have a nice sheen to it.

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Another spin on the theme,

Add a few drops of Windex (again, to break the surface tension).

A couple of misty coats to give further coats something to grab on to.

If it's a small model, I spray a coat over the whole model, then spray the model with just air, to dry the Future, then move on to the next coat, rather than wait (huh!) for another coat.

After a few light, misty coats, I spray a wetter coat. Not WET, but enough that it stays a little soft on the model's surface for a few moments, leaving just a slightly orange peeled surface. Takes a bit of practice to work out just how much to apply - try spraying some scrapped models or plastic bottles to get a feel for it.

It usually takes two wetter coats to even out the orange peel and get a fairly shiny surface, then,

Fill the colour cup with Windex, and spray a flash coat. Not quite misty, not quite wet, spraying on Windex re-softens the surface and lets things even out again, giving you a glass smooth gloss. Might take a couple of applications of this. I usually spray one flash coat to level out the surface, spray the model down with air (leaving it slightly eggshell looking), then another Windex coat and leave it to air dry on its own.

To air dry, cover the model to avoid dust. I use a plastic cake tray, like you get from grocery stores, but a cardboard box will work in a pinch. You don't want a really tight seal, since you need a bit of air circulation.

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Aha! Windex. (light bulb goes on) :)

Thanks a bunch for the info, Kasatka, Smithery and Mofo. :bandhead2:

Mofo: I like that Windex flash coat idea. That's what I do with gloss enamels but using thinner--usually makes for a real smooth gloss.

Back to my practice hulks.

Hey, can I sand the small runs off of the cured (2 days) Future coat or do I need to strip it and start again?

:cheers:

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I have found that nothing beats applying Future by brush. Smooth, level, no puddling, no problems.

Airbrushing just does not work for me with Future. At least not to the level of quality I like to see.

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Hey, thanks guys for the tips. Success! :wave:

Now I know: when spraying Future, Windex is your friend. :)

I played around this afternoon trying out all of your tips and found that I had the best results when I thinned with several drops of Windex, sprayed at about 15 PSI and then did a thin Windex "flash coat" (per Mofo's tip) after it had set for a few minutes. Really nice. I also tried just brushing some Future on and it looked pretty darn good but then I hit it with the Windex mist and it was almost flawless. I also wet a Q-tip with Windex and worked over a few runs from my first Future trials. Just rubbed until the run went away and then sorta blended in with the surrounding area with a clean Q-tip dipped in Windex. Then, you guessed it, hit it with the Windex mist. Worked great.

Again, thanks everyone.

:D

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Hey, I'm going to try using the brush method - sounds good. I too have had problems trying to spray future and quit using it. I'll also try the windex. Thanks for the tips! Matt

Make sure you use a broad, soft brush. My 'Future' brush is a good 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide.

Although I use a lot of cheap crappy brushes, this is one case where I bought one of those ridiculously expensive ones.

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I have found that nothing beats applying Future by brush. Smooth, level, no puddling, no problems.

it doesn't streak or create a different texture from the rest of the model?

please explain how you do this. I tried it once with just regular ol' clear coat and the results looked, well, bad

r

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Great thoughts and tips by all of you..... :wasntme: Doug, nothing better than hearing about another modelers success. Moderators.....let's pin this please?? So many people have problems with spraying Future. If we pin this, perhaps we can get people on the right track sooner. Others can add tips and thoughts as well........ ;)

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I have found that nothing beats applying Future by brush. Smooth, level, no puddling, no problems.

it doesn't streak or create a different texture from the rest of the model?

please explain how you do this. I tried it once with just regular ol' clear coat and the results looked, well, bad

r

One of the nice properties of Future is it's ability to level itself because it is so thin.

Trying to get the same finish with say... a Testor's Clear coat and a brush, well that takes some doing...

Just try it. It's very difficult if not impossible to screw it up.

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:soapbox:

I love these ARC forums. A great resource. Thanks guys.

I would like to get some clarification on the Future:Windex ratio.

Kasatka says he thins his Future 75%-25%. So that's a 3:1 ratio (3 parts Future:1 part Windex), right? Smithery and MoFo say they add "a few drops" just to break the surface tension. A few drops into how much? A small color cup? A large color cup? A quart? :rolleyes: I used 15 drops (from an eyedropper) in a (1 oz??) Badger mixing jar about 3/4 full.

If all that is needed is to break the surface tension of the Future, a very small amount (drops) would seem to be sufficient.

Anyone else want to chime in with their Future recipes?

And hey, where does the Windex blue color go when you spray on a "flash coat"? :D :)

:o

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Honestly couldn't tell you - I never measure, just do it by look and feel.

I usually use a standard Badger colour cup, filled about halfway with Future (maybe a little more), and spray a bit of Windex in - maybe about a half a trigger pull, maybe less. It probably does work out to about 3:1, I guess, but I really couldn't say for certain.

I don't really think absolutely precise proportions are terribly important. If you get it in the general vicinity, you can tweak the way it sprays by varying air pressure, paint flow, how close you are to the model, how quickly you move across the surface, etc. etc. If it helps, when you're practicing your technique, got for a precise mix to eliminate one more variable, and try to get a feel for what the ideal performance is for you. Then work out what changes you can make to get roughly that same performance when other variables change.

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Do you really need to thin Future for use in AB?

And that Windex stuff, is there a European equivalent?

Cheers,

Jürgen

You dont' need to thin it, and it has worked for me fine in the past, not doing so. The window cleaner simply helps break the surface tension and make it flow better.

I think the one of the product names in Europe is "Windolene", but not 100% sure. You're looking for an ammonia based window cleaner.

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And what about Future. Here in Belgium you have a Future equivalent called Sols Plus (check Swanny's website). I noticed Future is transparant, like water, but Sols Plus has a beige colour. I've only used it before on canopies, and it looks OK, but can I use it to put a gloss coat on a model?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hy,

I had a lot of problems airbrushing Future, and mostly the surface didn't look gloos enough.

On my last model I used a brush an it worked like charmed.

I used it directly from the bottle - no thinner.

Try it. For me it's the best way.

Christian

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Just wanted to throw my 2 pennies in - all the tips on this string are GREAT!!! I just tried some future on my Beaufighter interior and I think I got it figured out. It went on great!! I had all but given up on future in favor of Tamiya clear spray cans, but now I can see what I've been missing.

If you tried the future routine and it hasn't worked for you in the past, read this string and try it again. It worked for me.

Thanks for pinning this topic and to all who gave their tips.

:crying:

Wally

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