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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
Acrylic Clear Flat Woes
mwells63
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Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 07:35 PM UTC
I've had the same problem over the years with matt varnish frosting. My general method has been to airbrush a light coat of tamiya gloss over the kit before applying a matt coat. This avoids a matt on matt finish which can cause a chalk like effect. I have tried numerous types of matt varnish with various degrees of success, but none have been consistently reliable. A few months ago I picked up a bottle of Mig matt lucky varnish (mig 2051),and low and behold, problem solved. This is the best matt varnish I've ever used. Easy to use with a consistent and superb finish. A garuanteed one stop solution to the problem.
Brad-M
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Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 11:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Bill,

I have used Vallejo GAME COLOUR matt varnish neat through my Aztek for several years now and it has always given a perfectly flat finish. I recently switched to an Iwata and had to dilute it a little with water, but had the same result. How far away are you spraying from? I find that holding the model about a foot or so from the airbrush and misting it more than spraying it gives the best result. Hope this helps.

All the best,

Paul



Hi, is there really a separate matt clear in the Game Colour range, or is it just the basic Vallejo Matt Varnish?

Thanks
Brad
robw_uk
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Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 01:00 AM UTC
about to try Vallejo matt but having read this thread... well I will see how it comes out (reading the pages - neat, 25psi and 30cm from model sound the "starting" point)
MadModeler
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Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 03:35 PM UTC
I've had the same issue bud. I gave in to the Dullcote. I love it. Can't complain at all.

Cheers,
Tom
imatanker
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Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 12:59 PM UTC
Bill,glad the Dullcoat solved your problems.Now that you are a little more relaxed,in the future,I think you should try some of the Liquitex products.I have been using them for over a year now with no troubles.They are cheap,and in my opinion work very well.Jeff T.
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 05:16 AM UTC
Bill, glad to see that the Dullcoat did the trick. Sure sorry to read that the new Tamiya acrylic flat has the same frosting issue. This leads me to believe that a common factor is the cause, just don't have a clue to what it could be.

As far as the Dullcoat lightening of the paint including a more muted effect to the weathering, that's exactly what is supposed to happen, and it will happen with that same consistency every time you use it.

A gloss finish is a like a sheet of glass; smooth and shiny. It's those two features that creates a sharper, darker, glossy finish. Applying Dullcoat makes the reflecting light disperse randomly from all those hills and valleys. The end result is a duller, muted, flat finish.

You just need to get use to the final effect, and keep it in mind as you paint and weather.

Joel
Quasimofo
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Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 04:12 AM UTC
Finally have some time to report back with an update. I was able to get a few bottles of Testors Dullcote and am happy to say, I'm pleased with the results. That being said, I really don't like having to use a laquer based product. The fumes really make it difficult to work in the space I have available for airbrushing, but since I'm only using it as a final dull finish and not every step on the painting process, I guess I can live with it.

I'm spraying a 50/50 mixture of Dullcote and laquer thinner. The Dullcote is applied in light misting coats over a surface of fully cured Future. I'm getting a nice flat finish with no apparent reaction ot the underlying Future coat. The only thing I'm seeing is that there does seem to be lightening of the paint colors and a muting of weathering effects. It's not going on white and frostty as the acrylics were, but there is a definate tonal shift and muting of washes and streaking that was applied for weathering. I'm writing that off to still finding an optimal mixture, pressure and spraying distance. Only practice and more testing will resolve that. But, at least nothing is getting frosted and the actual paint colors are still visible.

During my Dullcote tests, the Tamiya XF-86 Flat Clear I ordered arrived. Not suprisingly, it frosted exactly the same as every other acryilic flat I've tried. I suppose I might never find out why I cant' get the acryilic flats to work, but at least now I have a solution albeit not an optimal one for my needs. The important thing is that now I'm able to forge ahead and get some projects finished.

Thanks to everyone for helping me out with this. I gained some valuable info and insight in troubleshooting this, and really appreaciate the help.

Attached are a couple quick shots of my first vehicle in 15 years: a 1/48 Tamiya GAZ-67B that will be part of an aircraft and figure diorama I have in the works. Such a small, simple kit but it has taken me nearly two months to finish off becasue of the clear flat issues. The Dullcote muted some of the subtle weathering effects, but at least it's not dusty and white.

Thanks again to everyone!





Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 06:52 AM UTC
If you don't have air conditioning, your water trap will work for short painting periods, but you need to drain it often, even during a painting session. Fortunately, we have central air (best investment we ever made for our house.

If your only use for gloss is as a decal base, then sealer, Pledge/Future shot from a air brush is fine. It's my preferred method.
Joel
Quasimofo
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Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 06:14 AM UTC
Thanks, Joel. Yeah, summertime here is a totally different story humidity wise. This past summer there were entire weeks where airbrushing was just out of the question.

Will likely stick to Future for my gloss finishes. I really want to stick to acrylics if at all possible...which with flat coats in my case evidently isn't. Have a brand new can of laquer thinner standing by, just waiting for the magic call from the hobby shop that my Dullcote has landed.
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 06:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

so what is the room temperature when shooting ??



Around 18-20 Celsius



A little chilly for this old bones, but it's fine for air brushing. Since you'r upstate NY, this time of year, there is literally no chance you have a humidity problem.

Just go with the Dullcoat and your issues will be a thing of th past. BTW, I use Glosscoat for those times when I want a high gloss, smooth as glass finish. Future through an air gun doesn't produce a really glassy finish, even though it self levels to some degree.

Joel
Quasimofo
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Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 05:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

so what is the room temperature when shooting ??



Around 18-20 Celsius
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 04:17 AM UTC
A bottle of Dullcoat will last a long time. Just remember to have a reserve bottle and you'll never have this issue again.

As for applying it, I just do a mist coat followed in a few min by a few Heavy coats. Dries almost as fast as you apply it, at least to the eye.

Joel
seb43
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Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 04:16 AM UTC
so what is the room temperature when shooting ??
Quasimofo
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Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 04:06 AM UTC
Stopped by my LHS Friday night to grab some Dullcote to experiment with….and they were out. They had two full rows of Glosscote bottles, but not a single Dullcote. DOH! Sort of reminded me of the Monty Python skit with the cheese shop that didn't have cheddar. Had them order me a couple of bottles that will hopefully be in by mid-week.

Talked to a friend this weekend who has been switching over to acrylics and has had the same issues with clear flats. He resorted to Dullcote in light mists over acrylics and has had no problems.

@Seb:
I live 3 hours north of New York City, temps are around 1-2 degree Celsius lately. My work room has a window that I use with a fan to vent out paint fumes. The rest of my flat is always very dry with no humidity with the heat going, but I think because of this window maybe the winter humidity this time of year is too high to use flat clear acrylics without frosting.

@Stephen:
Makes me a feel a little better knowing I'm not the only one going though this trouble.
seb43
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Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012 - 06:44 AM UTC
So where are you??
You think it's a stupid question but room temperature play an important role on the final aspect of the paint as well as the relative humidity.
It seems that your problem just pop up at this season.
I am shooting Vallejo paint and I am working in my basement. During winter time I am always warming up the paint before application.

So tell me
minas-ithil
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Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012 - 06:37 AM UTC
Bill,
I feel your pain. Polly-S was my favorite finish as well and I have just used the last of my 'stash'. I tried Testors Acryl - frosting; MicroFlat - was not flat and frosted; tried flatbase and Future - no luck. I really wish that Testors would resurrect the Polly-S brand - I loved those paints for airbrushing, brushwork, everything! (sigh)You can still get most of the Polly-S railroad colors, but their clearcoats are now Testors Acryl. Not good.

Stephen (Minas-Ithil)
Quasimofo
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Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012 - 06:34 AM UTC
Thanks for the insight, Joel. That's the same process I use for my aircraft, but I airbrush the Future in thin coats then let it cure for at least 48 hrs (just to be on the safe side). I like how the wash gives that natural weathering as you described.

I don't believe there is any water build up in my air line the more I think about it. Last weekend I used my Iwata to freehand graffiti on a 1/35 Berlin Wall section. As fine detail work as that was, I certainly would have noticed any water build up. It's just the acrylic clear coats that I'm having issues with.

So, it seems that I'll have to just deal with the Dullcote fumes. The upshot is, at least I'll get the dead flat finished I want without all the hassle. Will definitely test first though. Having too much of a sheen on military vehicles is what I really want to avoid. And not having them frosty white, either. :-)

Thanks again!
Joel_W
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Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012 - 06:13 AM UTC
Bill, I've built a few aircraft models the last few years, using
future hand brushed on. My panel washes are done as a general wash, then I use a damp cotton rag, and Q tips to remove the unwanted wash. There is a small residue left on the surfaces that really turns the pristine looking paint into a more natural weathered color. I Dullcoat right over that. I would test 1st just to be on the safe side.
If you had any water build up in your air brush it would also show up in you color coats.

Joel
Quasimofo
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Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012 - 05:37 AM UTC
Hey Joel-

My colors are not color shifting, but that's a good thing to ask about. I've been using a variety of color ranges the past few weeks and have had no foaming or frosting in the colors. I sprayed a lot of semi-gloss black the other night and would have noticed a color shift in that off the bat...nada.

Your workflow sounds very similar to mine, with the exception of the aircraft I do...no overall oil washes on most of them, just pin washes along panel lines and such, hence my wondering about Future/Dullcote interaction.
Joel_W
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Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012 - 04:57 AM UTC
Bill, the slight misting in the moisture trap is what you want, so it's doing it's job.

I use Tamiya and Model Master acrylic paints, then gloss with Pledge/Future shooting it straight from my air brush at 20 psi. One mist coat, then a light coat, then a few heavy coats. It's never smooth as done with a brush, but that's the nature of the product, as it was made for floors applied with a mop. I then apply the decals. 24 hours later I apply a few heavy coats of Pledge to seal the decals and it also makes the flash just vanish. Then over all oil washes. Then a few coats of Dullcoat, followed by more localized washes and pin washes. Another coat of Dullcoat. Then dry brushing and any detail painting. Then another coat of Dullcoat.

I've never had any issues other then my wife about the smell. I built a paint booth that helps. There is no reason to actually have the Dullcoat directly come in contact with the Future product you're using.

I'm still wondering about your clear issues. Are you sure that your color coats don't have any of that white foaming or a change in color? Have you matched the air brushed color to a piece of card stock with the color hand brushed on?

Joel
Quasimofo
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Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012 - 04:11 AM UTC
Thanks, Joel and Jeff…

You both were right on the money about draining the compressor tank. I never thought of needing to drain it, nor was even aware my tank had a screw plug on the bottom. Well, I opened it up last night, and man, oh man!!!! In the interest of good taste I can only describe what came out of it as resembling something found in a baby's diaper.

I've had this compressor since April, have used it a lot and this was the first time that drain had been opened…there was A LOT of brown crud that poured out. I was stunned. I turned the compressor on for a few minutes to let it run to force the rest of it out, and think I got most if not all of it out. I will certainly be aware of this in the future. I've also been lazy about bleeding off the air after my spraying sessions, so I have to start doing that again every time.

There was a little water pooled in the trap (it had never been opened since I bought it), the hose is brand new (as of April). I did some testing again last night after cleaning out the the tank and drying out all the parts of the trap I could get to. Still got frosting in all cases. During my test spraying, the moisture trap started to fog up a little bit, telling me there seems to be more moisture in the air than I had counted on. That might be the issue right there. I tell ya, this place is so bone dry though that I'm amazed there is any vapor in the trap. My work room does not have the radiators like the other rooms…heat flows in from the adjacent room. Maybe that is enough for the extra moisture to accumulate…who knows.

At this point I may begrudgingly have to go the Dullcote route. I still intent to use acrylic paints and Future as a gloss coat. I've read that Dullcote lightly misted over a fully cured Future finish presents no problems if it does't pool up.

Is this correct? Does anyone have any experience with that combo?
Joel_W
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Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012 - 02:26 AM UTC
I was also thinking about what Jeff suggested about your compressor. My unit has a large storage tank so that the compressor pump doesn't have to continuously run. It has a drain valve on the bottom, which I try to remember to open and drain every few months. You would be amazed at how much rusty water comes out of it. Another issue is the size of your tank if your compressor has one.

As far as your water trap goes, if you don't see water in it, or on the sides, it's clear enough. I wouldn't expect any build up in your hose unless it's very old and needs to be replaced.

Still, the issue is that it only happens with flat clear finishes and not with paint or gloss.

At this point I would go the Glosscoat/Dullcoat/lacquer thinner route and see what happens. Since there is no water used, you shouldn't have any problems.

Joel
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Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012 - 10:06 AM UTC
Bill,Talking about moisture,does your compressor have an air storage tank?If so,you might want to check and see if it has a tank drain.You will be amazed how much water builds up in the tank,and if not drained often,can bring on big problems.
I agree with Joel about the problem being equipment related.If this is happening with every clear combo you have tried,and that you have had good luck with in the past,then something has changed with your spray set-up.Jeff T.
P.S.Have you made sure that the paint cup cover vent holes in both guns are clear and open?
Quasimofo
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Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012 - 06:37 AM UTC
I'm inclined to agree with you on the airbrush being the problem, Joel. It doesn't make any sense that I'm getting the same results with trying so many variations of product, pressure and mixing ratios.

Two more things I am going to try tonight:
1: Take apart the moisture trap again but let it air out over night, hopefully to let any moisture that might be trapped inside the innards evaporate. There is a part in the neck I can't get to, so maybe there is some vapor stuck in it…airing it out might help.

2: The moisture trap is connected directly to the compressor…that's how it was when I bought it. I think I have an extra air hose, so I'm going to run that from the compressor to the trap, then the trap to the brush.

I'm thinking the air coming from the compressor is being warmed up and might be cooling down AFTER it passes through the moisture trap leading to condensation in the line, and then causing the frosting. With the trap mid-way between compressor and airbrush, maybe the air will cool down enough by the time it hits the moisture trap that no vapor will get past it.

But I've had no evidence of any moisture in my air line spraying regular paints, so it's just a theory. But at least if neither of these works, at least I can say I tried them.
Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012 - 02:55 AM UTC
The Micro Flat frosted when thinned with Iso through an air gun? That's an all time 1st as far as I can recall. Just re-read the directions and it specifically says to thin with either water or alcohol, which must be Iso. I thin it 50/50 and shoot at 18-20 psi.

Since you didn't use Tamiya flat base nor Future, and applied with an air brush, the issue now points to your air brush set up, and if there is a humidity issue (which you say there isn't one).

If you can get a bottle of Testors Dullcoat, thin it 50/50 with plain lacquer thinner. I use that 95% of the time, and never had a single issue. Then again, I never had any issues with Micro flat other then it's price compared to the cost of
Dullcoat.

If you still get that frosting, then it's your air gun/compressor as everything else has been eliminated.

Joel