Wednesday 29 April 2020

Falcon - gloss before decals

Inspired by having absolutely nothing to do in this Corona-quarantine, I picked up the Falcon again for adding some decals.

Normally, I always gloss-coat (or semi-gloss) before decals, but everybody is always going on and on about this not being necessary, so I decided to skip this step this once.

However, even with multiple applications of Micro-Sol and -Set, the decal film was still showing white spots.
Is it air trapped underneath or just the film not settling nicely?
Do some paints (I use Vallejo, also a very contested topic) yield a smoother finish than others?
On the second picture, you also see the water-marks (for lack of a better term) left by the Micro-Set, something I don't recall seeing on earlier builds.

I don't know just what it was, but after a few decals, I decided to go back to my old habits and spray a coat of Alclad II klear kote "semi-matte". It sprays very rough ("orange peel" is the technical term) if you use it straight from the bottle, so I always thin it 50/50 with White Spirit (aka "mineral spirits").

After that, there should be no more silvering, no more marks left by the Micro-Sol.

Thinned this way, it sprays and settles perfectly smooth, BUT :
  • take your time and apply multiple layers allowing each to dry (overnight, if you have the luxury of time). If you go too heavily, it stays sticky for ages.
  • clean out your AB extra thoroughly afterwards. 
    • I use Tamiya lacquer thinner as it seems to get rid of the Alclad best.
    • Once cleaned, I give it another round, just to be sure.
    • Remove the needle from the AB and let it sit overnight. It wouldn't be the first time that my needle is stuck in place because I didn't clean well enough.
      It's MUCH easier to remove the needle and next time, flush the AB with cleaner again before inserting the needle.
  • I use an older airbrush - that I never really liked - strictly for Alclad klears, just to be on the very safe side.
If all these cautions tell you it's a shitty product, who am I to say that your wrong. But switching to Alclad was a huge improvement coming from Vallejo varnishes that I used at first. I'm open to recommendations for better products. At least I'm not using floor polish :-).

This will look beter once dry

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