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Scalefinishes application tips?


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To those of you who have used Scalefinishes paint on a regular basis with success, can you share your application methods?  I've painted a few cars now, with the gloss enamels, and it seems that I always end up with paint that never dries.  I even painted one car that a year later still had that sticky feeling.  Not wet, but just that feeling that it wasn't dry, where it seems to want to stick to the table when you set it down, and where the polishing cloth/sandpaper seems to be digging in and dragging.  I can take a fingernail and make an impression like nothing, and have to be very careful not to get any particulate matter between the polishing cloths and the paint when polishing.  This is among the best paints ever for what it looks like out of the paint booth, save for this issue.  Heat/food dehydrator treatment does not help (I had the one year car up in my attic all summer!)

I have followed the application guide on their website, as well as tried laying down the paint more or less using the "Donn Yost method" all at once, with the same results.  I have a feeling maybe I need to do lighter coats and more time in between coats, but how much time?  I've painted with lacquers, and they seem to dry rock hard no matter what, but they don't give me the out of the booth gloss SF does.  Even Testors enamels have given me success and have not been fussy, and I have not run into this problem with them either.

I'm in experimentation mode now, having ordered some paint just to screw around with, but if anyone can get me to the answer faster than flying solo, I would appreciate it.  Thanks.

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This is why I hate using enamels, I now request all my Scale Finishes paint to be Basecoat. Jameston can mixed any colors in either enamel or Basecoat. The Basecoat dries quickly, covers great (less coats = thinner paint buildup). I use Zero 2k clear over Scale Finishes Basecoat without a problem. Btw, I did add some Zero 2k catalyst to some of my Scale Finishes enamel and it dried harder / quicker. 

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Same experience here. The paint dries but remains soft for years.  When I contacted Jameston he sent me a bottle of hardener to mix with the paint.  But since I din't need to paint anything at that time I just let the bottle of hardener sit. It ended up hardening in the bottle.  So I guess the non-clearcoat paints are 2-part paints which need hardener (catalyst?) to set them hard.  I prefer less hassle hobby-paints or automotive touch-up paints.

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To those of you who have used Scalefinishes paint on a regular basis with success, can you share your application methods?  I've painted a few cars now, with the gloss enamels, and it seems that I always end up with paint that never dries.  I even painted one car that a year later still had that sticky feeling.  Not wet, but just that feeling that it wasn't dry, where it seems to want to stick to the table when you set it down, and where the polishing cloth/sandpaper seems to be digging in and dragging.  I can take a fingernail and make an impression like nothing, and have to be very careful not to get any particulate matter between the polishing cloths and the paint when polishing.  This is among the best paints ever for what it looks like out of the paint booth, save for this issue.  Heat/food dehydrator treatment does not help (I had the one year car up in my attic all summer!)

I have followed the application guide on their website, as well as tried laying down the paint more or less using the "Donn Yost method" all at once, with the same results.  I have a feeling maybe I need to do lighter coats and more time in between coats, but how much time?  I've painted with lacquers, and they seem to dry rock hard no matter what, but they don't give me the out of the booth gloss SF does.  Even Testors enamels have given me success and have not been fussy, and I have not run into this problem with them either.

I'm in experimentation mode now, having ordered some paint just to screw around with, but if anyone can get me to the answer faster than flying solo, I would appreciate it.  Thanks.

I use a food dehydrator to "bake" all enamel finishes to a click-hard surface, as enamels do take much longer to cure out than lacquers.  With 5-6 hours in my dehydrator, my Scale Fiinishes Acrylic Emamels come out hard enough that I find myself concerned about their "chipping", not being soft or even slightly tacky feeling.

Art

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To those of you who have used Scalefinishes paint on a regular basis with success, can you share your application methods?  I've painted a few cars now, with the gloss enamels, and it seems that I always end up with paint that never dries.  I even painted one car that a year later still had that sticky feeling.  Not wet, but just that feeling that it wasn't dry, where it seems to want to stick to the table when you set it down, and where the polishing cloth/sandpaper seems to be digging in and dragging.  I can take a fingernail and make an impression like nothing, and have to be very careful not to get any particulate matter between the polishing cloths and the paint when polishing.  This is among the best paints ever for what it looks like out of the paint booth, save for this issue.  Heat/food dehydrator treatment does not help (I had the one year car up in my attic all summer!)

I have followed the application guide on their website, as well as tried laying down the paint more or less using the "Donn Yost method" all at once, with the same results.  I have a feeling maybe I need to do lighter coats and more time in between coats, but how much time?  I've painted with lacquers, and they seem to dry rock hard no matter what, but they don't give me the out of the booth gloss SF does.  Even Testors enamels have given me success and have not been fussy, and I have not run into this problem with them either.

I'm in experimentation mode now, having ordered some paint just to screw around with, but if anyone can get me to the answer faster than flying solo, I would appreciate it.  Thanks.

Ryan, perhaps an understand of how enamels work might help?  While lacquers dry entirely by solvent evaporation, enamels, which are basically some form of varnish or another, dry in "two" stages:  First, the solvent (enamel thinner, which is generally petroleum-based) evaporates, albeit much more slowly than lacquer thinners).  The second stage is the "oxidation" of the enamel/varnish resins--these don't evaporate, rather they "oxidize" upon contact with air.  This process does take longer than lacquers, of course, as even varnish takes a long time to cure out at room temperature.

Testors enamels have a plasticizer added to them, which makes them "flash off" to a dry touch rather quickly, but they still need, at room temperature, days to harden.  Industrial and automotive enamels take far longer at room temperature, and even an attic in summer isn't all that hot (unless you live in Arizona, perhaps).   This is where a food dehydrator really kicks in--mine is an Oster, factory-set at 125F, which is hot enough to force even Scale Finishes to dry rock hard in mere hours, and yet will not damage any polystyrene that I've come across over the past 5 years since I acquired it.  I generally put a body shell and related parts painted in enamels in mine for 6-8 hours, while I am doing other things around the house, and I've NEVER had a problem with any enamel finishes not getting rock-hard.

Art

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Thanks Art.  I started experimentation on Tuesday night, painting 4 light coats on a body about 5 min apart.  The car isn't even covered at this point.  Put that in the dehydrator, and as of this morning, it's still soft.  I will have to get a thermometer in there to see what the actual temp is.  It's a one setting job with a vent you can open at the top to cool it.

How do you lay the paint down initially, as far as # of coats, heaviness of coats, and any time between coats?

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Thanks Art.  I started experimentation on Tuesday night, painting 4 light coats on a body about 5 min apart.  The car isn't even covered at this point.  Put that in the dehydrator, and as of this morning, it's still soft.  I will have to get a thermometer in there to see what the actual temp is.  It's a one setting job with a vent you can open at the top to cool it.

How do you lay the paint down initially, as far as # of coats, heaviness of coats, and any time between coats?

My post pretty much says it all, Ryan.  

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Thanks Art.  I started experimentation on Tuesday night, painting 4 light coats on a body about 5 min apart.  The car isn't even covered at this point.  Put that in the dehydrator, and as of this morning, it's still soft.  I will have to get a thermometer in there to see what the actual temp is.  It's a one setting job with a vent you can open at the top to cool it.

How do you lay the paint down initially, as far as # of coats, heaviness of coats, and any time between coats?

I use the same airbrushing technique as I described in another forum right here on MCM:  http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/topic/116530-duplicolor-primers-too-hot-for-current-production-kits/?page=2#comment-1701235

Ryan, I treat my airbrush as if it were a scale spray gun--at least in its spray patter.  I use repeated passes with every step of my painting process, as I have learned to get maximum coverage with minimal paint buildup.  That said, I want even that first coat of paint to have complete coverage, even if the coat is too thin to withstand  much in the way of polishing out. Generally, for me, it's two coats of color, followed by a few hours in the dehydrator. after which I can polish out the finish quite easily

If anything here, I wonder if guys aren't trying to make the process of airbrushing a model car far too "technical"-----in my pea-pickin' little mind, it just ain't rocket science.  I suppose that comes from my being 72 yrs old, and growing up with a morning paper route in the middle-1950's having TWO body shops as customers.  Much of what I learned about spray-painting model cars came from watching those old autobody guys do their thing--then translating that to the very early Pactra and Testors rattle can model paints.  An airbrush was merely a step up from those.

Basically, Ryan, I do not try to get a finished paintjob in one sitting--rather it's a minimum of two steps with the finish colors.  Rather than "thinking of coats" of paint, I think of it as a series of "passes" across the body surfaces, to get the color coverage desired.  Each series of color passes with my airbrush constitutes a "coat" of paint--as trying to get full coverage with any one "pass" of the airbrush just won't give a very good paint job at all--runs, sags, heavy coating of wet paint "pulling away" from engraved panel lines. A professional painter of real cars doesn't try to get full coverage with just one application (Earl Scheib excepted!)--it's no different with a model car.

Art

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