Cruz: This is a great thread. I'm just back into modeling after a 45+ year layoff and only build two originally which required no paint. My 1st return project was a Jungle Jim F/C which turned out amusingly; I am now working on an AMT '66 Nova Street car. This is my 2nd body as I ruined the 1st one. My intentions were good, however
So far, I have washed the body parts in soapy water, and applied 1 mist and two wet coats of Tamiya white fine primer. I had a crazy idea that I could apply 3-4 coats of a cheap gold spray enamel after that, then apply a Testors MM Clear Coat to preserve the gold. The final "base coat" was to be a Testors "one coat" metallic green, with the result being a green with a gold "shimmer" just underneath. I would then finish off with several coats of clear on top of that. Hopefully, you haven't choked while laughing up to this point.
My understanding now is that if I'm going to use aerosol can paints (that's all I can economically handle right now), I need to stick to laquer for it's quick drying purposes, correct? As for my approach to an underlying gold finish before the green, is there any practical purpose? I also take it that applying a clear coat on the gold enamel was pretty much foolish.
I'm going to use your advice and completely strip the body back down with Power Dissolver; can you give me a simple, step by step approach as to starting again with the primer, number of coats, thickness, etc. and proceed up through base coat using Testors "One Coat", then on to any sanding or finishing required prior to the final clear coat? I'm not trying to achieve a competitive level, I'd just hate to keep this foolish experimentation and wasting good model parts!!!
BTW, I spent quite some time living in Frederick Md before relocating to Berryville Va. Many Thanks!
No my friend, I am not laughing or telling you that you are going about it wrong, you are doing what you think is best with the amount of information or experience that you have. Every person goes about it different but the best thing that you are doing is that you are getting your hands dirty, that's always the best way to learn.
The first thing I do is address the plastic, you know? Little things like mold lines, indentations in the body or anything that may show up once the body is painted. Remember, paint will only reveal all the faults, you can take that to the bank! If you want to have great results when painting, the foundation work is a must, I can't never stress this enough.
If you are using Tamiya primers, you are starting off on the right foot, Tamiya primers are great, personally I just think they are a bit expensive. I use Floquil primers but let's stick with the Tamiya brand since this is the one you are using. I would shoot three coats of the primer and let it dry completely. Let that primer really dry, you want to make sure that when you sand it, it truly feels dry, not humid or anything like that. Yes, you have to sand the primer no matter how smooth it looks on the model. Think about this, in a real 1/1 car scenario, have you ever seen anybody shoot primer and go on to the paint? If you have, your painter should be looking for another job. The primer reveals all the faults on the plastic and gives you the chance to fix anything that might haunt you in the long run. After everything is smooth and you are happy, it's time for the color coats.
I see that you mentioned the gold color under the main color that you ultimately wanted to use. Personally, I would do something like that if I were to use something like a candy color which normally is more transparent than let's say an enamel or lacquer based coat. For explanations sake, let's just go with a color and the clear, I don't want to create confusion over what we are trying to explain here, just the basics of painting. You can always practice your gold base and color coats on a spare hood or plastic spoons some other time and see what you get.
Okay, lets say you are going with a yellow, this is the color I am using for the explanation because these light colors present bigger challenges than your darker counterparts. First thing you want to do is make sure you get complete and even coverage, very important because you don't want your hood to end up a dark yellow and the body a light yellow. Concentrate on covering all the areas of the body evenly even if you have to count your coats as you go. Personally, what I like to do in these types of cases is, once I have at least 3 to 4 coats of paint on the body, I let these completely dry and then I would place the hood in place and shoot at least 2 more coats, this will reassure that you have an evenly painted surface on the hood and body.
Now, I was just explaining the importance of coverage using light colors but I also want to explain the misting process I use no matter what color I decide to go with, it is something I always do. Why misting? Well, if you just shoot one coat and try to get coverage in one pass, you will only be asking for a lot of trouble, trust me when I tell you, please mist your coats. I will do this with the airbrush or the can, it doesn't matter, the process is still the same. Mist your first coat but make sure it is a light mist, just enough to cover the body, it doesn't have to be fully covered, you just want a light mist. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and mist the body again only you are trying to cover more of the body this time. Again wait another 15 to 20 minutes and start with your wet coats. Have you ever noticed how sticky paint gets while it's drying? That "stickiness" helps the next coats to actually stick better to the paint as you go, the chances of getting a run in your paint are a lot less when doing this.
Go ahead and wait another 20 minutes and again shoot another wet coat which means that you are actually getting your airbrush or can a little closer to the body. The wetter your coats, the less orange peel you will see at the end but again, be careful, you don't want to see runs at this stage. Following this method, not only would ensure good and even coverage, it will also keep a lot of the details on the body, you know? Important little things like badges or emblems and even body lines. I always end up putting 4 to 5 coats of paint on my cars but I usually don't go any further than that.
Let that paint completely dry, read this word again, COMPLETELY! Make sure that paint is dry before handling it and of course make sure your hands are always clean. Look for any small pieces of dust or imperfections and if you find any, grab a 3200 grit sanding cloth and take care of them. Try to fix any little issues but don't go too crazy with the sanding cloth, you just want to work with the fault right at the surface of the paint. When you are satisfied with the results, go ahead and give the body a nice wash and get it ready for clear. Some paints have enough inherent gloss in them that you might want to avoid using clear but it's up to you to decide that.
If you do decide to use clear, follow the exact method of misting and wet coats that I just finished explaining, it's as simple as that. This is the method I have always used and it has always worked for me, this doesn't mean that it will work for you or anybody else but one thing is for sure, the basics are addressed and that always means something.
Edited by cruz, 31 July 2013 - 08:25 AM.