Clear coatings / clear paint

308GTSi May 11, 2021

  1. 308GTSi

    308GTSi TrainBoard Member

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    I'm getting ready to do some painting after 40 years. Aside from discovering Floquil is gone I am trying to improve on the way I painted things long ago.

    I'm planning to finish off locos and cars with appropriate clear gloss / satin / flat finishes. While looking at decals I see there is Microscale Micro-Gloss. Under the name it says it is "Decal surface prep".

    I can't figure out if this is product is an acrylic top coat and essentially acrylic paint or something else. The instructions say it goes on before the decals ???

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    A lot of paints are a flat finish that decals show the edges when applied where gloss does not. For years I have used Testor's Gloss coat for applying the decals onto and then once the decal is set and dried Tester's dull coat both are available in a spray can.

    Recently I have switched to using Tamiya spray. TS-13 is the semi-gloss clear and TS-80 is the flat clear.

    I just apply the gloss spray to areas I wish to decal. Both finishes are available as a brush coat also with both products.
     
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  3. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Most MRR paints are flat so it dries with a microscopic rough surface. The decal prep gloss coat goes on before the decals to smooth out the microscopic rough surface so the decals have a nice flat/smooth surface to adhere to (more surface area vs. a rough surface).
     
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  4. 308GTSi

    308GTSi TrainBoard Member

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    OK, I'm beginning to understand. It's all about the surface the decal will attach too.

    I'm modelling SP and I've had a thought about painting the Daylight schemes for about 40 years now. The silver / light grey pin strips run right along rivet lines on PA's and those decals to me were notorious for looking not quite right. Although the details are good I think the rivets are a bit (lot really) big. I've visited Doyle McCormacks PA and many RR museums and looked at the rivets on diesels (steam loco rivets are bigger) they just don't seem to be that big. I'm seriously considering trying to make the rivets a bit less prominent on some brands of locos making the decal process a bit easier.

    I'm also going to check the surface finish on some older Atlas SD7's I bought recently. Their out of the box painted finish seems to be quite granular. I would not even try to add a decal over the current paint. One of the SD's is unpainted so I will try a bit of gloss straight on to get an idea of how smooth the bare plastic really is.
     
  5. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    Go here https://www.minutemanscalemodels.com/ you will find many decal ready gloss paints. They are petroleum based paints, (like Floquil) and gloss, (unless otherwise noted). Been using scalecoat for 40+ years.
     
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  6. 308GTSi

    308GTSi TrainBoard Member

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    Scalecoat looks great especially with the specific names for colours so no guessing matching required. I can't find any retailers in Australia , would you know any ? Scalecoat appears to be surface mail in USA only.
     
  7. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    Walthers is a retailer for their products if that helps.
     
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  8. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    I have always had a problem using lacquers like Testors Glosscoat for the decals and then Testors Dullcoat over the decals. I find the Dullcoat melts into the Glosscoat and becomes more of a satin finish except over the decal film where it is all dull. Makes the decals stand out. So, I try to use different types of paint for the two coats. I usually use Microscale High Gloss first then over spray the decals with Textors semigloss or Dullcoat.
     
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  9. 308GTSi

    308GTSi TrainBoard Member

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    I just saw some 8000 grit wet and dry paper , would it be possible to sand just the area where the decal will be applied (provided the decal location does not have details) ?
     
  10. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

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    I wouldn't sand personally. I had switched to the Tamya rattle cans mentioned above. I have started using the gloss and matt finish from the Mecha Varnish line by Vajello. It's an air brush ready acyllic formulated for Gundam models. I don't know what that entails but I found them easy to use with excellent results on the car I used them on. With the rise in popularity of the Gundam kits and paints for them it may be in hobby stores near you. My LHS has a Gundam club night so a good supply of the Mecha Varnishes is on hand.
     
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  11. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    Before you begin, what kind of model are you painting? If it's a plastic model, I'd recommend using Scalecoat II

    https://www.minutemanscalemodels.com/searchresults.asp?Search=Scalecoat+II+Daylight&Submit=

    Regular Scalecoat is actually designed to work on metal and wood. As others have mentioned Walthers carries Scalecoat paint, maybe your local hobby shop can order the paint from them?
     
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  12. 308GTSi

    308GTSi TrainBoard Member

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    I do appreciate the Scalecoat II suggestions but unfortunately none of the retailers (that I've been able to contact) have any. When I ask if they could get / begin to import Scalecoat they immediately suggest other brands and try to educate me about regulations regarding air freight. Surface freight does exist but it's slow so nobody wants to make large enough orders to carry them through for 6 months and be able to provide reasonable availability.

    Seemingly simple things like Microscale Liquid Decal Film are not available due to air freight regulations.

    Surface freight seems to be plagued with needing to pay a freight forwarder (customs agent) for anything coming by sea. For example I tried to by $100 / 2.5lbs of aluminium rivets from the USA by sea freight. The freight forwarder wanted $300 to process the paperwork.


    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway , I shall work with what I have available. I've got another question about paint coming soon. :)
     
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