Gloss & Dull coats

This is the place to get answers about painting, weathering and other aspects of finishing a model.

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Gloss & Dull coats

Post by SJM » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:19 pm

Hi, Im about to finish a model (yes finish!) and I thought I'd ask for some advice on Gloss & Dull coats. I have used them both before, but this time around I would like some do's & dont's. I dont know much about them thats all.

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Post by Joseph Osborn » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:59 pm

You didn't say what the final coating was going to be on your model, but here's some basics:

Do -- put a gloss coat over the decals to blend them into the previously glossed surface, then overcoat with dull if a flat finish is desired

Don't -- spray dull over clear parts unless you WANT them to be frosty-looking

Do -- go easy on the coats; build the dull finish in multiple thin coats. Get your gloss mix working right before you put it on the model-- you'll run into orange peel or some other undesirable texture really quick.

Do -- use clear acrylics and not Testors lacquers because you can put acrylics over just about anything and not worry about damaging decals, paint, etc.

I know there are more hints, but this is what was on the top of my head.

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Post by SJM » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:38 am

Thanks.

I've seen clear and gloss coats in spray cans etc (and used them)
Heres the stupid question, can you run gloss and dull coats through an airbrush? I don't think I've seen them in my hobby store. But if so any tips on running them through an airbrush?
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Post by TREKKRIFFIC » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:27 am

Up to this point I've always used Testors gloss and flat lacquers sprayed from a rattle can for my final coats. I've never had a problem spraying them over enamels so long as you wait 3-4 days for the enamel to cure. And they've never harmed decals on any of my builds. Never tried them over acrylics probably because I work mostly in enamels. I've heard of some modelers spraying a coat of Future acrylic between enamel and lacquer coats to protect the enamel but I can't say that it makes much of a difference in my experience. One thing I've noticed with lacquer though is a tendency to yellow after a period of time usually a few years and especially when exposed to sunlight and sprayed over a white finish. Now I've decided to try Krylon acrylic gloss and matte from a spray can on my current and upcoming builds. They claim to be non-yellowing and drying time is only 15 minutes or so to the touch. And I always use gloss before and after applying decals to get a good seal before spraying on my final finish.
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Post by Wug » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:20 am

Hi SJM,

Yes you can airbrush gloss coats and dull coats. Thin them with the manufacturer's recommended thinner to the same consistency as the paint you airbrush.

It's hard to see the clear spray. Too much clear gloss will run and too much flat coat won't be flat. You can always touch-up the finish latter so it's better to use too little than too much.

For the flattest finish, dust on the dull coat. If you miss some spots, spray them latter. Dull coats separate in the bottle, so always mix them thoroughly.

For a high gloss finish that will win at a model car contest, you'll need to polish.

Testors sells dull coat and clear in bottles. Most hobby shops in the US carry enamel and acrylic in bottles of paint from Testors and usually some other manufacturers. Thin them according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tamiya Flat Base is not a dull coat. It is an additive that turns acrylic paint flat. Add Flat Base to Tamiya's Clear or Future (now Pledge) to create your own dull coat.

HTH

Mike

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Post by SJM » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:36 am

Cheers Wug, that clears it up for me now.
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Post by TER-OR » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:26 pm

There is info in some of the other threads, but I think I'll make this sticky. I prefer PolyScale's flat clear. Thin well, it's pretty thick stuff. And two or three light coats are far better than one. Use a light source where you can see the gloss reflected. Airbrush a very light coat, just to see how the sheen changes. Then do it again later.
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Post by SJM » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:47 pm

Thanks for the tip.

I have this aztec effect I really like, would a gloss and dull coat kill it?

http://s236.photobucket.com/albums/ff20 ... 020260.jpg

http://s236.photobucket.com/albums/ff20 ... 020263.jpg

I just used the same base coat through a paper template so that it reflects light.
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Post by TER-OR » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:34 pm

If the effect is mostly from a difference in sheen, then equalizing that sheen will kill it. If it's a subtle shade difference, then you'll probably be OK.

If you can, it's WELL worth your time to paint a test piece. Some old unfinished kit - or even a good kit unpainted. You can strip acrylic really quickly, after all.

The project is really cool, and it looks like it's gonna be a standout when you're finished. I'd test it in real life, just replicate your effect on another test kit - but definitely styrene. Make it big enough you can test several variations between gloss and dead flat. You might find a satin looks best.

No quick answers! :?
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Post by SJM » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:01 pm

TER-OR wrote:If the effect is mostly from a difference in sheen, then equalizing that sheen will kill it. If it's a subtle shade difference, then you'll probably be OK.

If you can, it's WELL worth your time to paint a test piece. Some old unfinished kit - or even a good kit unpainted. You can strip acrylic really quickly, after all.

The project is really cool, and it looks like it's gonna be a standout when you're finished. I'd test it in real life, just replicate your effect on another test kit - but definitely styrene. Make it big enough you can test several variations between gloss and dead flat. You might find a satin looks best.

No quick answers! :?
Thanks TER-OR, I'll hopeflully get a 'test saucer' done tomorrow.

Either way, if I did'nt use any gloss or dull coats would it really look that bad?? I've made this model a few times before without any finishing coats. It still looks great, really good decals.

From what you said TER-OR, I'll destroy my aztec effect if I so much as touch any finishing coats. I'll do a test anyway, but would leaving out the finishing coats really be a bad thing?
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Post by Joseph Osborn » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:54 am

SJM,
I know what you mean about loosing the reflecting effect on your aztec panels. It will take some time, but you can still have that effect with the clear coats. The idea is to airbrush your gloss coat over the model and then after that cures, go back over the individual panels with hand-brushed clear flat. Obviously this can't be done with lacquer. There are a lot of little panels to go over on your subject, but I think it would be worth it because you'll get all the benefits of clearcoating and still have the surface effect you like.

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Post by TER-OR » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:06 pm

That does work, too. I've hand-brushed dulllcoats, they usually turn out kind of satin. The Humbrol matte lacquer is probably the best hand-brushed dullcoat. This will be tricky, and not easy.

You don't really need to overcoat, but it will increase the durability - mostly, of the decals. Those will be your biggest challenge if you don't want to overcoat.

Yeah, try a test. I'll be interested in hearing how this works for you.

I've had thoughts to do an Ent-A using white or silver pearlescent powder in clearcoat for the Azteking. You wouldn't even see it except as a reflectance at angles. Maybe I need to do an experiment myself....
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Post by TREKKRIFFIC » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:15 am

Has anyone tried doing an aztec with alternating flat and gloss panels and then overspraying with a single coat of semi-gloss ? My thinking is the flat would become slightly glossier while the gloss would become slightly flatter but so long as you didn't overdo the semi-gloss you would still be able to differentiate the aztec pattern left from the original flat and gloss paneling. Anyone tried this ?
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Post by TREKKRIFFIC » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:16 am

Double post. Sorry.
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Post by TREKKRIFFIC » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:16 am

Dang ! Triple post.
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Any Dull Coat subsitute???

Post by starmanmm » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:46 pm

With prices being what they are and getting into the home heating season... I need to start thinking about cost cutting methods.

So, besides using MM Lacquer Overcoat or Testors... are there any better option?

I use either acrylics (most of the time) but enamels for the base coats of some of my SS are not unusual.

I know that Krylon puts out a Matte but from what I understand... not recommended for enamels and not as great over acrylics.

Thanks

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Post by Lonewolf » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:22 pm

For my gloss coats, all I use is Future floor finish (I think it's marketed under Pledge now, but I have an older bottle). It's made by S.C. Johnson. I paid $5.99 for a 27 fluid ounce bottle at my local Meijer store, and a bottle usually lasts me about a year. I don't use Testor's GlossCote any more.

If I'm working on a kit that has a flat finish, I apply my paint, put down a coat of Future to provide a glossy surface for the decals, then apply the decals after about 24 hours. Once the decals are dry (about a day later), I apply a second coat of Future to seal them, then about a day later pull out the Testor's DullCote and spraybomb the kit.

No problems (yet) with yellowing on white finishes. The two coats of Future seem to provide a shield of sorts for the paint.

And these days I'm mostly working with acrylics. The only time I use enamels is when I'm doing brush-painting, usually detailing work. I'm trying to transition all of my enamels over to acrylics, except for the colors that I can't get in acrylic.
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Post by starmanmm » Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:46 pm

I'm fine with using Future for gloss coats.... it is the dull coat issue that my current concern is.

Alot of chinge chinge for a small spray can!

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Post by Joseph Osborn » Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:50 pm

starmanmm wrote:I'm fine with using Future for gloss coats.... it is the dull coat issue that my current concern is.

Alot of chinge chinge for a small spray can!
Check this thread for info on an artists' product that works well:
http://www.starshipmodeler.net/talk/vie ... hp?t=58557

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Post by starmanmm » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:24 pm

That was interesting reading! :8)

I have no HL, but I do have a Michaels. Will check this out this week.

One thing I am not clear on... cleaning of the AB. Did the Windex with Ammonia or Denatured Alcohol work to clean the AB?

If not... what are you using?

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Post by Lonewolf » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:33 pm

I thin my acrylics with 70% isopropyl alcohol. The paint brands that I use include Model Master Acryl II, Tamiya, and Polly Scale. My normal cleaning routine is:

Between coats of paint (same day, multiple applications), run a mixture of hot water & alcohol through the brush to blow the crud out. Follow up with rinse of plain hot water.

At the end of the day before I hang the brush up in the rack, I run a mixture of hot water & EZ Air Airbrush Cleaner through, followed by a hot water rinse. I got an 8 ounce bottle of EZ Air at Michael's for $5.99. Stuff is great, environmentally friendly, and easy to use. If you've got stuff gunked up in your airbrush, you can soak the parts overnight in a water/cleaner mixture, and it won't hurt the O-rings or any of the parts. I've had it strip off multiple layers of old paint, down to the chrome (including enamels).

I shoot all of the cleaning/rising sludge into an Iwata desktop cleaning station, and then empty/rinse it out once in a while (if I'm doing a lot of airbrushing, I rinse it before I shut down for the night).
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Post by starmanmm » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:47 pm

Cool.

My question really concerned what was being used to clean out the Right Step Varnish from the AB after its use.

I never tried the hot water cleaning method... but if it is acrylics that I am shooting... I'll shoot some windshield washer fluid, followed by a mixture of windex and distilled water and then a quick flush of W&N Brush Cleaner.

I have heard of this EZ Air Airbrush Cleaner but never seen it at Michaels. Where in Michaels did you find it? Never notice it in the paint section?

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Post by Lonewolf » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:52 pm

I found it back in the art supplies section, pretty much right by the shelves where they keep the empty airbrush boxes. I was looking for some other stuff, saw they had airbrushes, looked at the prices, and saw the cleaner on the shelf above.
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Post by starmanmm » Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:10 am

Cool.... Thanks!!!

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Post by Callandor » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:12 am

Does anyone have some photo reference showing the differences in appearance between dull, satin and gloss coats? I am trying to decide what to use for my final finish coat.

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Post by starmanmm » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:43 pm

On the subject of dull coats.... I read earlier that you should not dull coat over clear unless that is the effect that you are looking for.

So... would it be better to cover the clear parts (in this case the nacell front domes) with future and once it dries then dull coat the entire model?

I figure that the future would protect the clear parts from the dull coat and once the dull coat has dried... then go over the clear parts again with future.

Sounds right?

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Post by Kylwell » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:43 pm

You can still end up with a a bit of a hazy look. It's best to either leave the glossy clear parts off or mask them off.
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Post by starmanmm » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:38 pm

parts are on already.

Silly putty or tape to the rescue.

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Post by Dukat, S.G. » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:57 pm

Apologies if this has been covered before, but ...

I overdid the Dullcote on a model and damaged some of the underlying paint. I'm stripping the model now.

A lot of local guys LOVE Polly S Scale clear flat. One of them told me I should try airbrushing it for my flat coats. He recommended I spray it at 18-22 psi, try 60-40 paint-to-thinner and suggested isopropyl with water (50/50) as a thinner.

Just playing around, I tried a quick approximation of such a mix and hand-brushed it on a model part; it looked entirely too thick :-|

What do you ladies and gents think of the recommended thinner and paint/thinner ratio? Do I need to add rinse agent to the mix so it won't bead up? Mind y'all, I have VERY little experience with any kind of acrylics (well, apart from Future). But I'm very keen to come up with a nice flat coat alternative to Dullcote.

P.S. -- I like to use lots of water color/rinse agent/water washes. Would the Polly product reliquefy those?
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Post by Dukat, S.G. » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:45 pm

While I'm at it, a related question:

I find that very, very light misting with Dullcote preserves washes, pastel powder work etc. superbly. The only problem is that such a super-light coat leaves thousands of little specks instead of a uniform, dead-flat finish. Further very light coats (holding the can over 2 feet away, short bursts -- not a sustained spray) don't seem to alleviate the speckled look.

Say I sealed, say, pastel work with such a coat ... if I were to figure out the Polly S Scale clear flat and apply it, would the lacquer specks disappear underneath?
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