Bill, undying respect for your experience and skills. Steve, we all do what works best for ourselves and if your method works and pleases you that's the most important thing. This question by Bernard has proved there are many ways to (successfully) skin the cat. Practice and time will be the best teachers.
Yes the topic has been well covered but I didn't articulate my answer to Bernard's question as I meant it. He asked about the problem of haze after wet sanding to the finest grits. I relayed that my chosen method on this model was to get to the 12,000 grit stage and then clear with no further sanding or polishing. This is how I chose to rectify the haze problem. The other responders all say that polishing after either color or clear will give a more 'natural' 1:1 finish. I do not contest this, merely state that my solution to haze was clear. Certainly the entire process of color sanding with fine grits at every stage and thorough dry times is part of a flawless substrate. Once the final coat is applied (either clear or color) polishing is always an option. I have done it both ways in model and 1:1 form. A correctly applied last clear coat eliminates the additional steps of polishing with multiple products. And if done correctly avoids the lollypop, thick gloss look. I do not think my result looks like the latter example; in person the model has a distinct premium 1930's finish. On the other hand my 1:1 project has the complete custom paint finish with sanding at each stage, (as does the model, except for polishes) primer, base color, two candy colors, stripe color and overall clear and 3M products by wheel and hand glaze. In spite of the number of finishes, it is not a 'thick' gloss finish - it lays completely flat. The additional benefit of the clear on models I've found, is the fact that it enriches the color beneath and makes it pop. I offered that to Bernard to achieve his goal of haze removal in an efficient, easier way. There are several ways to accomplish the same goal.
MicroMesh makes those cloths in grits to 12.000 and they are literally cloths not paper-backed grit such as normal Wet or Dry papers. Used wet with Dawn they are excellent. I agree with everything that Bill says as he does this professionally and has for decades. I too have done what he describes on 1:1 custom paint. But I have found that in model work, my outlined system works best for me. 3M Finesse-it and Perfect-it have been more problematic for me (on models) than a final clear coat - on lacquer and in 1/8 scale as shown. But they are excellent in 1:1 use with the proper preparatory color sanding work.
The only solution I have found is to do a final, flawless clear coat. Going to 12,000 will give you a flat flawless surface but it will unfortunately have that apparent haze. Shoot your clear over that 12,000. Compounds or polish, even cornstarch will only reintroduce 'scratches' in the surface. The trick is to shoot that perfect, medium to wet last clear coat. I like Testors Wet Look lacquer clear for that. It also makes the color more vivid than the hazed last sanding.
Thomas, your work and modifications are excellent. Your liberties with the original are also excellent and give the car great character. What is your expert opinion of the basic kit as it comes from Italeri? Likes / dislikes and trouble areas?
First - thank you Mike and Hugh for the compliments. Since you mention it Mike, I'll share a little backstory about Harry and the scratch building. Somewhere in about the eighth month of work, I contacted Harry off board and discussed my dissatisfaction with the tall Pocher top. He mentioned that he too had ideas about it for his Sedanca and had in fact removed the top from the main body, but went no further in the build. At my request, he sent me the neatly cut but stock size top, so I might measure, make drawings and a plan to shorten the height. I kept it a couple of weeks and gratefully returned it. Turns out Harry was more fond of the Pocher Benz and Alfas which he completed but not the Sedanca. He started the totally custom Shooting Brake Rolls but sadly never finished. We talked a lot about each. Ultimately I went a different way from how Harry planned the top chop; I pie-cut it to tip the too-high front edge down as well as lower it - 13mm in front, 6mm in rear. Without removing it from the body sides. He thought I was crazy for the work overload but always supported what I planned. I hope those models are still in his family...
Even if he used whips and chairs on us (he didn't) he had a positive impact on the work of everyone here. His compliments were more rare than his great insights. But everybody learned something good from Harry.
Thank you Scott - I have hoped he would have even just liked it - not necessarily LOVED it. We always conferred but had our differences too. But for sure, mutual respect was high. I'm sure that even maybe with a wink, he would have groused about no outside rear view mirror. I did the inside but...the spotlight won.
If feels like when you've been banging your head on a wall for three years and then suddenly stop...! I am adjusting by cleaning-up and organizing tools slowly and getting a display case and backdrop finished. Thanks to you and all for the kind compliments... C