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Is clear coating always the way to go?


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I've got some models that are almost done and was wondering on whether to clear coat them.

I clear coat the models that I spray paint or airbrush using tamiya paints , but haven't done any on enamel paint jobs that I've done. I have painted them using testors enamels and polished the paint and happy with the results, but wondering if I need to clear since I have decals on the bodies. Would i be okay if I just left them be without clear or what do you guys think?

Edited by I'm_PlanB
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I mainly build racecars.  As of yet, I have not clear coated any of them.  To the best of my knowledge most racecars are not cleared.  I have never had a problem with decals lifting or coming off.  There is nothing wrong with clear coating your cars.  The choice is yours.

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When you say "Tamiya paints" do you mean their acrylics or lacquers? Most solid-color Tamiya spray lacquers can be wetsanded and polished to a high gloss without needing to be clearcoated. However, clearcoating over decals makes the decal look like it was painted if done correctly, and also protects the decal.

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No need at all to clear coat if you're happy with the finish.

There are only two reasons why I clear coat.

1: The lacquer paints that I use are a "base/clear" paint that require a clear coat to achieve a shiny finish.

2: If you plan on polishing a metallic paint, a clear coat is a good idea to avoid any "smearing" of the metallic particles.

 

Steve

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OK, thanks for the replies, I am gonna skip the clear, since I got the paint polished, and shiny and didn't want to mess that up. 

One more question, I did a few racecars that I also painted in testors enamel, didn't buff and polish paint, as it came it pretty good with no orange peel and or runs etc. Plus they are heavily decaled.

Would a flat clear coat or semi flat be advised for these type of builds ( tamiya Aston martin DTM, Toyota supra jtcc, piaa Honda accord jtcc etc.) 

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No need at all to clear coat if you're happy with the finish.

There are only two reasons why I clear coat.

1: The lacquer paints that I use are a "base/clear" paint that require a clear coat to achieve a shiny finish.

2: If you plan on polishing a metallic paint, a clear coat is a good idea to avoid any "smearing" of the metallic particles.

 

Steve

Great answer, and this is pretty much where I am now too. I try to avoid clearcoat if at all possible.

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I can think of an exception to the whole "clear over decals" debate. Some of the Round 2 kits actually have a matte finish on their decals. If they are not cleared, it is very noticeable. Fortunately, their decals take clears very well, with no issues.

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  • 2 months later...

Not in my book.  Nothing makes an otherwise good looking model look bad as with a poor clear coat.  And nothing beats a good in between coat sanding and final polishing out.  When done right clear coats aren't necessary except for may some of the exotic paints that are used on real cars.

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