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question about sanding/clear coat


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building a mercedez model, with tamiya ts-8 red. i primed it, sanded the primer smooth, did light coats of TS-8. sand off dust or whatever if needed between coats. the paint is looking pretty darn good. any person who doesnt build a lot of models would be very impressed. however, i am really trying to make this thing pop. for a test, i had finished painting the hood, sanded the hood with 4-6k grit, and then painted over it again. that thing was smooth!!

my real question is..i am planning on clear coating. 1) what is a good kind of clear coat to get? testors one-coat clear? and whats the difference between a clear- coat and a glosscote? and, 2) if i wanted to try to make it even shinier, what is the next step? sand the model with 4-12k grit, THEN clear coat? or just spray the clear over the red, THEN sand the clear cote, THEN spray another clear coat and call it done? i do not plan on polishing at this time. i dont think i am ready for this, as well as the model is turning out pretty good and i have no more ts-8 and dont want to buy another can for this model to fix any mistakes lol

Edited by allecb
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my real question is..i am planning on clear coating. 1) what is a good kind of clear coat to get? testors one-coat clear? and whats the difference between a clear- coat and a glosscote? and, 2) if i wanted to try to make it even shinier, what is the next step? sand the model with 4-12k grit, THEN clear coat? or just spray the clear over the red, THEN sand the clear cote, THEN spray another clear coat and call it done? i do not plan on polishing at this time. i dont think i am ready for this,

Actually, this is really the only way to improve shine - polishing removes most imperfections from the finish, and that in itself will improve the reflectivity. I would suggest your second option - spray the clear over the red - one or more coats. Every coat you give will protect the finish from burning through to the color coat. If you sand between coats... you're polishing without knowing it. Every step in polishing takes you from the larger grits, on down to about 12000. By then, you won't need any additional clearcoats (in fact, I doubt you'd see a difference).

My preferred clear is Testors One-Coat. You get more for your money. Some folks swear by Tamiya TS13, but there's less than 2oz in a can, and a can is already more expensive than the equivalent by Testors. That's my criteria.

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Technically, what you're doing is polishing. If you're going to go through the trouble of sanding it out to 12000, it's not really to much more work to go ahead and final polish it out with compound. TS8, being a solid color, you might be able to get sway with just sanding/polishing out the color, and not necessarily clearing it. However, what you can do is sand out the color as smooth as you can, then clear it, the sand out the clear. The better the base coats are, the less work you'll need to do with the final clear coats.

As far as a difference between "clearcoat" and "glosscote", there really isn't one. Testors calls their basic line clear gloss "Glosscote" to differentiate it from their flat clear "Dullcote". Personally, as far as hobby clears, I do like Tamiya TS13 better than Testors, although their One Coat Wet Look is pretty good. while the hobby clears are good, I generally tend to use Duplicolor clears, either their Paint shop premix clear for airbrushing, or their Acrylic Lacquer clear for rattle can spraying. Both work well with hobby paints, get even better gloss results, and are by far much cheaper that the 3 oz (Testors) and 3.38 oz (Tamiya) hobby clears.

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