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What is your method to the madness for clearcoating over decals on body perfectly?


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First of all, enamel base coats should cure how many days before decal application?  Decals should then set how many days before the first clear top coat? I plan to use a Paaache H. My planned base paint is Testors enamel mixed with lacquer thinner which should give a smooth glossy coat to apply waterslde decals too. 

What gloss clear coat supplies are needed if one uses a Paasche H? I want gloss coat products for airbrush and not automotive products in large expensve containers. Are any 2K model clear coat products any good?

What Paasche H needle and settings are recommended for gloss clear? Should heavy wet clear go on over the whole body, cab, hood, etc. 5 minutes after decals are hit with a mist coat? Should the decals only be hit with a mist and then the whole body followed up with a mist also? 

 

The following non-miltary models are planned for sealing decals under clear with the modified Don Yost paint as a base:

 

1. amt Kenworth W-925 tractor (custom livery) and amt Wilson cattle trailer

2. amt Bell 205 helicopter, 1:48 scale, custom livery

3. Atlantis Boeing 727 jet plane*, 1:96 scale, custom livery

 

*Note: I plan to paint the plane's wings silver with no decals on the wings so I don't think they need to be gloss coated. Aluminum aircraft wings generally don't have a glass-like appearance like a custom show car body. The plane's fuselage in Testors Grape enamel will have decals and a high gloss shine is desired there. Civilain trucks, boats, motorcycles and aircraft tend to have shiny finishes like automobiles. 

 

What do people here think of thsi how-to video? Is it par for the course in sealing decals? 

 

 

I have one clear objective: to have a few beautiful shiny models in my living room that look very neat with decals. This hobby is proving to be somewhat expensive is I think it worth while to strive for neatness in workmanship. I have a ton of patience for this hobby but it's just a matter of hand-selecting the right equipment and acquiring the right skills to do it proper. I don't want hunderds of dollars put out only to get sloppy results. What I'm diving into here is not cheap Monogram snap-together models I had in boyhood. I am new to airbrushing and have not ordered any air brushing equipment yet. I want to do some homework and careful palnning before shelling dough out on airbrushing supplies. I want to get the proper stuff to meet my objective. I'm trying to avoid a financial boondoggle. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Plumcrazy Preston
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Another thought: My AMT Wilson cattle trailer will have a silver/aluminum body and "Wilson" decals so I think it should be sealed with a flat top coat. Alumimum-bodied truck trailers are generally not glossy. I will need the proper matte clear for the trailer and a gloss clear for the KW tractor. 

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So a question for you.

If you're trying to be budget-conscience, then why jump right into an expensive airbrush set up?

You can get pro results with rattle cans at a fraction of the cost. 

 

 

The end result has more to do with the prep, sanding, and polishing than with the method of painting.

 

 

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I have already failed miserably with rattle cans. I no longer trust them. Would you want your brand-new Porsche painted with rattle cans at the factory or with paint guns? Once I invest in an airbrush, it can be used for other things besides models as well. Rattle cans get to be expensive too and waste a lot of paint. They can be defective: low pressure. I think an airbrush is an investment that has a great payoff in the long run. I have had some success with rattle cans on wood projects and cast iron bird cages with flat colors but gloss colors often curdle up. The airbrush painter has complete control of the pressure, the fineness of atomisation, the spray pattern and the ingredients. I wish I had discovered airbrushing many years and botched rattle can paint jobs ago. 

 

I already own a compressor anyway and a paint booth tent. 

Edited by Plumcrazy Preston
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What I find amusing is that David is jumping right into advanced modeling, and striving for perfection at a first try.

Just like learning to play a piano (or even more so with modeling) you need practice, practice, practice.  Just like you wouldn't expect to just pick up bunch of sheet music and a nice piano, that at a first try becoming a virtuoso.  Same applies to modeling (and tasks like painting a model).  It took me quite a bit of time to get to the point where I thought that my models looked pretty good (and even contest-worthy).  Even if you ask bunch a questions, I wouldn't expect that just learning the answers will make you a master modeler in a week. As I see it, you need to practice, practice, practice.

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Never mind, I just emailed Testors Corp. this following message and I now wait for an answer. I don't think plastic models should be something of rocket science. Andy X made a perfect car body paint job look so simple. Paasche H seems to be the magic painting wand of both novices and pros alike. I'm sure Testors knows much more about model painting than I do or some other folks here do. 

 

Hello:

I have a few questions regarding Testors clear coat products for plastic kitted models. I plan to airbrush my plastic kit static models with Testors enamel (in 0.25 oz. bottles) mixed with an equal part of lacquer thinner according to Andy-X's "modified Donn Yost" method. I plan to use a Paasche H airbrush with 35 psi and a No. 3 needle. 

My models will have water slide decals applied to them. I will need a way to seal in the decals on some models with a gloss final finish and other models with a  flat final finish. Which Testors clear coat products work best for this purpose in airbrushing? Does Testors Dullcote and Glosscote need to be mixed with anything to make ready for the airbrush? Should decals be misted a couple times before heavy wet clear coats are applied? Are complete airbrushing instructions printed on the bottles? Please advise. Thank you. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

 Andy X made a perfect car body paint job look so simple. 

 

There are dozens upon dozens of You Tubers that get excellent results and they all make it look super easy. But just watching a handful of tutorials doesn't mean you will nail it first time.

I've seen countless videos of Eddie Van Halen, and I still can't play like him, despite how he makes it look easy.

 

Same thing here.

As both Peter and I said above, you can buy all the gear you want, but without practice, you won't get the results you want.

And now, a relevant anecdote.

Back in the day (kind of ironically based on your previous response to me) I used to sell Porsches. Sold a new 911 Turbo to a guy who ordered it with all the "go fast" options. Then when it arrived, he spent a ton on aftermarket parts. Then he complained to no end when he got spanked in autocrossing. He went out in his Turbo, and I would follow in my Boxster and destroy his times. The problem was always that his car must be broken, or other cars must have been seriously modified, or the timing gear is faulty. It was never because of his skills or that he had never been on a track before. 

 

If you want immediate perfection, you are in for some disappointment.

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16 minutes ago, iamsuperdan said:

There are dozens upon dozens of You Tubers that get excellent results and they all make it look super easy. But just watching a handful of tutorials doesn't mean you will nail it first time.

I've seen countless videos of Eddie Van Halen, and I still can't play like him, despite how he makes it look easy.

 

Same thing here.

As both Peter and I said above, you can buy all the gear you want, but without practice, you won't get the results you want.

And now, a relevant anecdote.

Back in the day (kind of ironically based on your previous response to me) I used to sell Porsches. Sold a new 911 Turbo to a guy who ordered it with all the "go fast" options. Then when it arrived, he spent a ton on aftermarket parts. Then he complained to no end when he got spanked in autocrossing. He went out in his Turbo, and I would follow in my Boxster and destroy his times. The problem was always that his car must be broken, or other cars must have been seriously modified, or the timing gear is faulty. It was never because of his skills or that he had never been on a track before. 

 

If you want immediate perfection, you are in for some disappointment.

I have some already-ruined amt truck parts I certainly can practice on before hitting the new good amt parts with the airbrush since I ordered a second Kenworth W-925 kit to bash (cannibalize) for some good parts. The already-ruined kit can be my "airbrush training model".  A good mechanic will train on old junkers before putting his wrenchs, srewdrivers and hammers to expensive cars belonging to paying cutomers in the shop. I'm sure pro auto painters and body mechanics train on rusty old clunkers. Not much valuable to mess up in training. 

Edited by Plumcrazy Preston
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1 hour ago, peteski said:

What I find amusing is that David is jumping right into advanced modeling, and striving for perfection at a first try.

This has been my overall thought after  reading through several of his posts.

I keep thinking to myself, if only I had asked these questions, I could have saved myself 5 decades of trial, error and practice.

I’m sorry, but even the guys who make it look simple have been honing their skills for many years.

I believe that this is is one of biggest misconceptions of modeling is that it’s somehow a very simple hobby that requires no practice or skill, just a couple of bucks and a few tools.

 

 

 

 

Steve

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To answer your original question bluntly, if you want to do anything “perfectly” in this hobby, plan on putting in a couple of decades of work!

It’s hard to make “anything” look like you put in the work unless you “actually” put in the work.

If it’s instant gratification you seek, collect diecasts.

 

 

 

 

Steve

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27 minutes ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

I believe that this is is one of biggest misconceptions of modeling is that it’s somehow a very simple hobby that requires no practice or skill, just a couple of bucks and a few tools.

Steve

Heck yeah, even a kid can do it right? Unfortunately, failure and disappointment (especially in ones own eyes) are at times a part of this hobby. As said though, with lots of practice, the successes will outnumber the screwups. Patience and practice are the most important keys to success in my mind.

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8 minutes ago, NOBLNG said:

Heck yeah, even a kid can do it right? Unfortunately, failure and disappointment (especially in ones own eyes) are at times a part of this hobby. As said though, with lots of practice, the successes will outnumber the screwups. Patience and practice are the most important keys to success in my mind.

And that’s the case with anything in life that you want to do well.

 

 

 

 

 

Steve

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My dad used to say, "You can read all the books there are about driving a nail with a hammer. But, until you do it, you don't know anything about it."

Skills come from experience. Not a book or a YouTube video.  

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I am actually a little hesitant to see David jump in with an airbrush if he is having so much trouble with rattle cans. I have never had the pleasure to experience Model Master Lacquer (colors) that behave as badly as he describes, but I have experienced it from the clear. It came out a foamy mess, much to my surprise. The bumpers came out a mess and I had to strip them.

There are basic things with temperature, humidity, application, etc. that are just Painting 101. When you add in pressure, thinning, type of thinner, how far to open the airbrush, etc. to the cocktail, it seems like even more of a recipe for disaster than rattle cans.

Like most have said, I suggest that you practice, maybe even get some plastic "For Sale" signs at the dollar store and use them to adjust the pressure and pattern of the airbrush before moving on to a model body. And once you do, I suggest that the flat silver livestock trailer be first. As I said before, I think that the H5 needle setup will be better for a semi trailer, but YMMV. Silver will be easier to spray and the livestock body should be somewhat forgiving.

Since you like purple so much, it's time to build a purple pond. Big plastic tub with a semi-airtight lid from WalMart, Target, Dollar Tree, whatever. Gallon of the real deal. We all mess up or want to redo something old, so it's part of the modeling tools. Yellow oven cleaner is nasty stuff, but it works as well on larger parts.

Don't get me started with novice 911 drivers who try to autocross. My old club in the 1980s banned me from designing courses when the local PCA chapter was going to join us. I designed three along the same theme. 1. Reasonably wide fast straight/sweeper. 2. A slalom with an odd number of pylons (5-9), each about  three feet closer to each other than the last. 3. A low speed 90+degree corner at the end. These folks were too smart to walk the course in the morning because they knew everything and were having brunch at the country club at that hour anyway, so the first view of the slalom was through the windshield, usually at way too fast a speed. Since there was an odd number of pylons, the side you chose to enter on was important so you were on the right line for the slow speed corner on the end. It also took most of them at least three pylons to figure out they were getting progressively closer together, and with how tail-happy 1980s 911s were, the outcome was consistently predictable. I think one guy took out around 23 pylons. Corner workers were not amused in 100+ degree heat, so I was usually banished to do that duty. A Corvette guy called me an evil genius and it made me proud to hear him say that.

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I dont think you need to spend a decade or more building cars to make a very nice model with shiny paint. I think you can learn the most important things quite quickly if you spend time reading/ watching youtube. 

There are some key elements that really make a big difference.... Mr levelling thinner really helps reduce orange peel for example.

People who use 2k clear, more often than not, get amazing results. I know I was amazed from the first time I used it. 

You don't need an expensive airbrush to get good results....

Of course practice does make a difference, but if you are using the wrong materials, you can practice all you like and fail badly. 

A lot of the failed attempts I see on here and other places, are all things people have done multiple times before, people can learn a lot from other peoples mistakes. A bit like how many people spray Tamiya lacquer over decals then wonder why they melt. Or lacquer over enamel is another example. Lessons learnt by others can really help you not make the same mistake.

 

Mike

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34 minutes ago, Rodent said:

I am actually a little hesitant to see David jump in with an airbrush if he is having so much trouble with rattle cans. I have never had the pleasure to experience Model Master Lacquer (colors) that behave as badly as he describes, but I have experienced it from the clear. It came out a foamy mess, much to my surprise. The bumpers came out a mess and I had to strip them.

There are basic things with temperature, humidity, application, etc. that are just Painting 101. When you add in pressure, thinning, type of thinner, how far to open the airbrush, etc. to the cocktail, it seems like even more of a recipe for disaster than rattle cans.

Like most have said, I suggest that you practice, maybe even get some plastic "For Sale" signs at the dollar store and use them to adjust the pressure and pattern of the airbrush before moving on to a model body. And once you do, I suggest that the flat silver livestock trailer be first. As I said before, I think that the H5 needle setup will be better for a semi trailer, but YMMV. Silver will be easier to spray and the livestock body should be somewhat forgiving.

Since you like purple so much, it's time to build a purple pond. Big plastic tub with a semi-airtight lid from WalMart, Target, Dollar Tree, whatever. Gallon of the real deal. We all mess up or want to redo something old, so it's part of the modeling tools. Yellow oven cleaner is nasty stuff, but it works as well on larger parts.

Don't get me started with novice 911 drivers who try to autocross. My old club in the 1980s banned me from designing courses when the local PCA chapter was going to join us. I designed three along the same theme. 1. Reasonably wide fast straight/sweeper. 2. A slalom with an odd number of pylons (5-9), each about  three feet closer to each other than the last. 3. A low speed 90+degree corner at the end. These folks were too smart to walk the course in the morning because they knew everything and were having brunch at the country club at that hour anyway, so the first view of the slalom was through the windshield, usually at way too fast a speed. Since there was an odd number of pylons, the side you chose to enter on was important so you were on the right line for the slow speed corner on the end. It also took most of them at least three pylons to figure out they were getting progressively closer together, and with how tail-happy 1980s 911s were, the outcome was consistently predictable. I think one guy took out around 23 pylons. Corner workers were not amused in 100+ degree heat, so I was usually banished to do that duty. A Corvette guy called me an evil genius and it made me proud to hear him say that.

I have a couple of Chinese-made die-cast model Toyota cars with slight orange peel even from the factory. If I could airbrush a plastic kit as nicely as those cars look I'd be glad. I'll practice on my ruined truck parts first before pointing the Paasche H aircap toward "the real deal".  If not perfect, even a novice, all else equal, should get a far superior paint job from a new Paasche (used properly) than a rattle can. In SW Oklahoma where I live, the humidity is high in hot weather. I live in an apartment so I have to spray paint outside at least under the paint booth tent I bought to shield work from the wind and dust. I'll say one thing, a little bottle of Testors enamel goes much farther than a can of spray paint. It will save money over rattle cans if nothing else. 

Edited by Plumcrazy Preston
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3 hours ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

I have some already-ruined amt truck parts I certainly can practice on before hitting the new good amt parts with the airbrush since I ordered a second Kenworth W-925 kit to bash (cannibalize) for some good parts. The already-ruined kit can be my "airbrush training model".  A good mechanic will train on old junkers before putting his wrenchs, srewdrivers and hammers to expensive cars belonging to paying cutomers in the shop. I'm sure pro auto painters and body mechanics train on rusty old clunkers. Not much valuable to mess up in training. 

Trying to practice on these "already ruined" parts won't give any better results if you don't first remove the old botched paint and clean the parts. For example, if the botched paint job has a grainy, almost rough feel to it, no matter how perfectly you apply the new test paint job, most likely it will have a grainy, rough feel to it, as well, leading you to believe you aren't doing any better.

You ask these questions, and these grizzled veterans of the model-building hobby have given you all kinds of important advice and suggestions. It seems that you disregard their advice because it isn't what you want to hear. Most of these guys agree with each other, with a few variations. However, just about every model-builder has a technique they use that others don't use. They learned their techniques by practicing. 

I've been building these things since 1963, and I have never achieved the perfect paint job. Probably never will. But, I have certainly backed up and started over, and at least did better the next time on some of my builds. I've had a couple that I stripped the paint off of at least three times! Buying products to strip paint, for me, is less expensive than chucking a kit in the bin and buying a new kit, just because I messed up the paint.

 

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7 hours ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

Never mind, I just emailed Testors Corp. this following message and I now wait for an answer. I don't think plastic models should be something of rocket science. Andy X made a perfect car body paint job look so simple. Paasche H seems to be the magic painting wand of both novices and pros alike.

So you don't like the answers given by many knowledgeable modelers here?  So you emailed Testors?  Well, you will be very disappointed.  The people assisting you will have no knowledge of plastic  models or how to paint them. They are just bunch of "off-the-street" customer service "drones" who will likely provide you some canned reply.  You actually get much better advise and help here (if you only bother to listen and not dismiss it).

You sure like to use the "rocket science" phrase. At first, it was "decals aren't rocket science", now you say that "painting is not rocket science"?  Really?  If you think it is so easy, maybe you should try it.  Oh wait, you have tried, and discovered that it is *NOT* that easy (especially if you keep dismissing advice you are given, or blame the tools or products for your failures.).

6 hours ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

I've seen countless videos of Eddie Van Halen, and I still can't play like him, despite how he makes it look easy.

Too funny!  You know what? You're right!  And guess what? The answer to your questions is practice, practice, practice.  Some truck parts and couple of bodies is just a beginning. If you really want to get good, you will have to "ruin" lots more models.

7 hours ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

I'm sure Testors knows much more about model painting than I do or some other folks here do.

You know David, that jab wasn't very nice!  Bite the hand that feeds you?  I'm done!

Edited by peteski
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2 hours ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

To answer your original question bluntly, if you want to do anything “perfectly” in this hobby, plan on putting in a couple of decades of work!

It’s hard to make “anything” look like you put in the work unless you “actually” put in the work.

If it’s instant gratification you seek, collect diecasts.

 

 

 

 

Steve

That has got to be the most accurate answer to something like this I have ever seen. You can certainly learn from videos and questions but you will learn the most by doing. I was a automotive painter for a little more than 10 years and had 3 years of school too but I still have issues sometimes. Best thing to do is practice and learn what to do when you do have issues...

 

2 minutes ago, peteski said:

You know David, that jab wasn't very nice!  Bite the hand that feeds you?  I'm done!

That was pretty bad for someone asking for advice...

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1 hour ago, Rodent said:

I am actually a little hesitant to see David jump in with an airbrush if he is having so much trouble with rattle cans.

I would feel pretty safe in assuming that the majority of us cut our teeth on rattle cans well before we ever considered moving up to an airbrush.

I feel like if David loses patience so quickly after such minimal effort with spray cans, it’s probably quite likely that his patience with the entire hobby will follow suit.

You’re going to need a much thicker skin to advance very far in this hobby.

 

 

Steve

Edited by StevenGuthmiller
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4 hours ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

 I'm sure Testors knows much more about model painting than I do or some other folks here do.

I missed this statement, and I have to respectfully say that this is about as naive as it gets!

If you really think that Testors is going to give you some sort of magical, omnipotent insight on painting your models, you’re in for a very rude awakening!

First of all, Testors has all but ceased to exist over the past couple of years, and is now basically a wholly owned subsidiary of Rustoleum, and if you’re counting on the fact that anybody at Rustoleum knows anything about models, I believe that you’re in for quite a disappointment.

 

 

 

 

 

Steve

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29 minutes ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

I would feel pretty safe in assuming that the majority of us cut our teeth on rattle cans

Well yeah, Dad painted my first few for me, then I was allowed to try. In the name of economy, I learned to stretch a single 69 cent can of Testors to as many as three bodies, LOL. The 5 and Dime also had Pactra, and I really liked them.

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6 minutes ago, Rodent said:

Well yeah, Dad painted my first few for me, then I was allowed to try. In the name of economy, I learned to stretch a single 69 cent can of Testors to as many as three bodies, LOL. The 5 and Dime also had Pactra, and I really liked them.

You were lucky!

My dad would have never painted anything for me! 😁

But I agree, a can of Testors enamel in one of a dozen or so color options, was all that I had available to me for years.

If I had given up after a couple of failed attempts, or a bad can of paint or two, I’d be playing golf or fishing today instead of modeling. 😉

 

 

Steve

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Thank you all for your input even though I am not the original poster. My builds from joining this forum have moved from so-so to occasionally better than average. I have also stepped up to an airbrush with mixed results.

Learning the techniques of others can shorten the learning curve but there are enough variables involved that can make or break a paint job. I hate sanding/polishing with a passion so a perfect paint job is going to elude me most of the time. I am ok with that. Of all the hours I enjoy partaking in the hobby, painting the body is such a small part. I too have dunked many a body into the purple pond. Paint application is a practiced art.

For clear, I usually take the shortcut of applying Future with a brush. It is self leveling, has zero chemical interaction with the underlying paint or decals and can be removed with ammonia without affecting any solvent based color coat. It also does a great job at holding down BMF with marginal adhesive.

Maybe David, could practice with that.

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