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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
Weird matt varnish effect
blacksad
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: September 07, 2009
KitMaker: 182 posts
Armorama: 176 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 02:12 PM UTC
Hello !

I have applied a coat of matt varnish a few weeks ago to my model and it looks a bit too grainy for me, as if the surface is now rippled instead of beeing just flat and matt. Is it just me or.. ? if the varnishing really is screwed up, what can be done ? I used ak matt varnish.

Thanks in advance.


Grauwolf
#084
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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 02:29 PM UTC
I have never seen such results with any matte varnish.

What is your base paint brand?

Did you thin the AK varnish with anything?

What air pressure did you use?

More info will help determine the probable cause.

Sadly, worst case scenario...strip the model and repaint.

blacksad
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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 02:44 PM UTC
strip and repaint ? at that stage it's quite impossible to do; I'd be better off restarting a new model like this one...

I thinned the varnish with tamiya X-20A, and applied it over a coat of gloss varnish from the same brand that looked fine (see here for the results with the gloss coat applied : http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=210819&ord=&page=3) I normally use air pressures varying between 20 to 29 psi, so far it gave good results when spraying tamiya acrylics.

The effect depicted here does vary with the lightsource.. it looks more bad than it really is.
Grauwolf
#084
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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 03:06 PM UTC
So looking at the photos from the other post, that tank has a anti skid coating on it...correct?

If so, most of that rippling is the effect of the Anti Skid coating.

I do agree, though, that the side skirts look a little grainy.

Try thinning AK varnish with water instead as it may not be compatible with TAMIYA"s X-20A thinner.

I thin AK with distilled water for a perfect matte finish every time.





Cheers,


blacksad
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 03:30 PM UTC
Yes, most of the glacis is coated with an anti-skid surface. So spraying the model with another coat of varnish, be it ak or from another brand, could solve my problem ?
Grauwolf
#084
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 03:45 PM UTC
Yes, it should solve the problem just thin the AK varnish with
distilled water and you should see a change.

I apply 2 sometimes 3 very thin coats.

I suspect that there was a reaction with the Tamiya X20A
which is alcohol based.

Cheers.

PS May I ask where in Quebec are you located?
165thspc
#0
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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 04:14 PM UTC
My 2 cents worth . . . .

For me the Tamiya Flat Clear #TS-80 (rattle can) is about the best (flattest) product out there. I spray a final coat of the product on my models in a misting circular motion while standing off 18" to 24" so the paint lands on the model surface already nearly dry. (You definitely do not want the paint landing "wet" as this will cause it to perhaps flow out and form a smooth - more shinny - surface. You want the paint to have a dry "tooth" in order to break up any possible reflective surface in the clear coat.)

In my experience this produces the flattest (most lusterless) paint surface I have ever experienced. I feel this will salvage your situation.

p.s. As you say the top surface of the vehicle is almost all covered in the non-skid coating. This dry matte clear treatment should tone that down to the super flat texture you desire, close to the look of the real thing.

Best of luck!

__________________________________

It is hard to illustrate an ultra flat coating in a photograph but the curved ribs of this corrugated roof on the Holt Tractor should be picking up highlights from the studio lights like crazy IF there were any shine left at all on the surface.



p.s. Do you plan even a light weathering of dust for this build or is this vehicle to be "factory fresh"? Even a lite coating of pastel chalk sand or dust color would go a long way towards killing that shine and reflected apparent paint texture. Of course Mig makes an entire line of such powdered products. Myself I just use actual artist's pastel chalks I get at the art supply store.

__________________________________

The same treatment shown here, again using the Tamiya Flat Clear as a final sealer coating over paint and decals on this WIP 1/32 Arado.

blacksad
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 09:28 AM UTC
Hello, thanks to both of you for your answers. Tried to apply another coat of ak matt diluted with water, no effects. Then sprayed a coat of glossy varnish; still the same orange peel effect that won't go away. Below you can see how two coats of varnish had no effect at all on the skirt and the upper hull that has remained untouched... I'm not sure if another brand of varnish will help me get rid of this shiny orange peel effect.. is my paintwork really screwed up ?


Tank1812
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 10:02 AM UTC
I am wondering if the air pressure is too high as it almost looks like it is atomized before hitting the plastic or sprayed too far away.

I would test on a on scrap plastic at a lower psi.

Also thinking out loud, what about sanding the kit with a high grit (1000+) sandpaper to knockdown the bubble effect and respray.
ryally
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New South Wales, Australia
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 10:07 AM UTC
Hard to tell from the model but I have had issues when the paint/varnish sort of dries before it hits the model. I have heard people say that Vallejo Matte Varnish needs to be shaken extremely well, I know this because I found not shaking it well and it didn’t turn out so well ( not flat/matte) but then I did shake the bottle well for about 2 mins (maybe overkill) but it was a huge improvement and dried dead matte......maybe a bit of topic. I try not to mix brands unless I am 100% sure they work or have seen many people use them

For me this model would become a very weathered model with lots of dust and mud . I’m not joking I would take great delight in trying my best wet weather muddy tank. The camo will still show through, no way I would start again

Goodluck
amoz02t
#192
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Kentucky, United States
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 11:38 AM UTC
Pledge floor polish or used to be Future is self leveling and dries clear. Never tried to fix orange peel with Future polish, but might give you a high gloss, smooth restart. Would need another layer of flat finish after the Future finish is completely dry. Just a thought...
Lakota
#123
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 12:12 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Pledge floor polish or used to be Future is self leveling and dries clear. Never tried to fix orange peel with Future polish, but might give you a high gloss, smooth restart. Would need another layer of flat finish after the Future finish is completely dry. Just a thought...


I've heard the same but have never had to try it.
Take care,
Don "Lakota"
Vicious
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Queensland, Australia
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 01:09 PM UTC
and add some retarder medium?...
Scarred
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 01:32 PM UTC
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If a paint manufacturer makes a paint product and their own thinner then use their thinner! Don't go mixing multiple brands together, I've read paint thinning recipes that sound like a child mixing household chemicals found under the kitchen sink. Maybe nothing will happen maybe it will. The fact is that paint manufactures are making products that require their own products to thin them. That's the path the hobby is heading down, they want exclusivity. If you buy our products then we will make it so you have to buy our thinners and other products. In AK's catalog it states that you can thin AK's products with water though they recommend their thinner. Of course they do. What I didn't read was thin with Tamiya, Mig, Vallejo or other thinners. Those thinners my not be the same, in fact I'd bet they aren't and have different compounds that make them work ONLY with their paints.

Back in the good old days of modeling you could get some enamel or lacquer and go to the hardware store and get any old can of appropriate thinner and no problems. I started seeing issues with this when testors started marketing their own thinner. Then tamiya came out with their paints that worked best with their thinners and so on and so on ad nauseam.

99% of the time you might have no problems then BAM my paint is effed up and all I did was mix two different manufacturers products because it worked before and everyone is doing it.
nsjohn
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 01:52 PM UTC
I think that if you look at the pictures closely you will see that this is a reaction of the thinned varnish with the base coat that has caused the base coat to wrinkle slightly. I had this when I sprayed Humbrol varnish over Tamiya acrylic paint which had been thinned with X20, although mine was much worse. The bad news is that I ended up stripping the paint off and starting again.
blacksad
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 02:24 PM UTC
I guess that’s a lesson learned the hard way, never thin a varnish with a product from another manufacturer ! Thank you all for your insight. I originally planned to put the tank in the field during an ammo DP so dust and mud was on the list. I started to apply pigments this afternoon and I think it will look good enough. It’s just sad that after all the work that I have put through, a simple varnish coat ruined everything that was made before.
165thspc
#0
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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 02:20 AM UTC
I will leave you guys with theses final comments:

Since you don't seem interested in reverting to a "antiquated" (spray can) solution I will only point out the following:

With a fresh Tamiya spray can you get: A properly matched paint to thinner chemical combo, A properly matched thinner dilution, An optimum factory air pressure setting AND an optimum factory spray nozzle selection.


FYI - I feel that with last night's additional follow up coats of both matte and gloss that the problem has now gone too far to be corrected with any of my suggestions.

______________________________________


On another issue:

I too thought of suggesting the use of the Pledge/Future self leveling solution as I have used that method to refinish old heavily dinged up toy cast metal steam engines where I did not want to do a full repaint and thereby lose the original factory lettering.**

But I felt you guys might poo-poo that idea as too old fashioned so I didn't mention it. The Pledge treatment may now be the only possible solution to this problem. (Myself, I would brush on the Pledge for a heavier coating because you are now trying to level out those even taller peaks and valleys of the orange peal caused by the additional paint coats. Again test all this before applying to the finished model.)


No offense intended here with any of these remarks - however my philosophy has always been - "whatever works".


**p.s. I finished off those locomotive restorations with a final coat of Tamiya Flat Clear (from a spray can.)
BootsDMS
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 03:00 AM UTC
Not sure if this is too late but I recently had a not dissimilar varnish problem though I was using enamels so must stress that this method of stripping back to the plastic may not be relevant. However, I soaked the model in a bowl of disinfectant overnight and that stripped all the paint off without damaging the model. The brand was "Dettol" which may, or may not be UK specific.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 09:22 AM UTC
Well, I’ve been lurking from “afar” so now I’ll stick my two cents in—

1) I’m with Patrick here— manufacturers prescribed proprietary thinners are always the way to go to prevent issues like this. Never mix products, the results may be “unexpected”
2) I’m also with Michael here— self leveling with Future/Pledge/Kleer May “reset” the finish, but the more stuff you try and cover it with, the worse it will probably look.
3) If you put a lot of work into the detail and paint scheme, and are happy with the weathering, set it on the shelf and forget about it for a few weeks or a month or two, then come back and see if you even remember your paint issues. If it doesn’t look as bad later, you’ve “won”. Sometimes we’re our own worst critic, and time helps things look better...”sometimes”.
4) If you’re still not happy, and really want a good looking model you’ll be proud of, go back to “square one”, strip it all off and start again. You might try a good overnight soak in household ammonia or oven cleaner which ought to clear most of it off— followed by a gentle scrub with an old toothbrush, warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Them start over with experience and a clean canvas. Heed the words below:
“Good judgement comes with experience... while experience comes through bad judgement.” —Rest assured, we’ve all been there!🤣
VR, Russ
nsjohn
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: July 26, 2018
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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 11:29 AM UTC
I'm with Brian here. Certainly worth trying the Dettol method and there are videos of it on Youtube. I went with Revell Paint Remover which certainly did the job although it required a bit of agitating with an old toothbrush. I would be wary of oven cleaner, as one of my friends ended up in the emergency room of the local hospital with burnt hands, as it can be very caustic.
Scarred
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 12:02 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I will leave you guys with theses final comments:

Since you don't seem interested in reverting to a "antiquated" (spray can) solution I will only point out the following:

With a fresh Tamiya spray can you get: A properly matched paint to thinner chemical combo, A properly matched thinner dilution, An optimum factory air pressure setting AND an optimum factory spray nozzle selection.


FYI - I feel that with last night's additional follow up coats of both matte and gloss that the problem has now gone too far to be corrected with any of my suggestions.

______________________________________


On another issue:

I too thought of suggesting the use of the Pledge/Future self leveling solution as I have used that method to refinish old heavily dinged up toy cast metal steam engines where I did not want to do a full repaint and thereby lose the original factory lettering.**

But I felt you guys might poo-poo that idea as too old fashioned so I didn't mention it. The Pledge treatment may now be the only possible solution to this problem. (Myself, I would brush on the Pledge for a heavier coating because you are now trying to level out those even taller peaks and valleys of the orange peal caused by the additional paint coats. Again test all this before applying to the finished model.)


No offense intended here with any of these remarks - however my philosophy has always been - "whatever works".


**p.s. I finished off those locomotive restorations with a final coat of Tamiya Flat Clear (from a spray can.)



I love rattle cans. Already mixed, excellent coverage. I use Testor Glosscote and Dullcote for my final finish. They can be a bit difficult but remember to use thin light coats and you'll have no problems. Of course I use them after all the paints and washes have cured. At least 2-3 weeks. And since they are lacquers they are tough. Never tried tamiya flat cleat but I think I'm gonna give it a try.
165thspc
#0
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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 12:24 PM UTC
Patrick, I promise the Tamiya Flat Clear is even better! It is also very forgiving should you lay it on a bit too heavy.

(I wish it weren't so but Papa T has done a very good job!)

Using it tonight repainting and decaling some narrow gauge railroad boxcars.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 04:11 PM UTC
I just thought of something I don't think has been mentioned yet-- fine grain sandpaper or oooo fine steel wool. I've had some great success knocking down rough paint with fine 400 grit or higher sandpaper and fine steel wool, folding it to get into corners, then applying my flat coats. You might give that a try. Work lightly in a circular motion, it should work well, especially on the flat areas, and if necessary, you can touch up those areas with a little thinned paint through your airbrush before applying your flatcoat. You'll need to "wash" your model under some running water to remove any debris, and let it dry thoroughly before reapplying any paint or topcoat.
VR, Russ
Scarred
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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 09:30 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Patrick, I promise the Tamiya Flat Clear is even better! It is also very forgiving should you lay it on a bit too heavy.

(I wish it weren't so but Papa T has done a very good job!)

Using it tonight repainting and decaling some narrow gauge railroad boxcars.



Is that the TS-80 Flat Clear Spray?
blacksad
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 10:42 PM UTC
Hello all,

Thanks again for giving your 2c on this. Rattle cans varnishes are not an antiquated product, it's just that my mistake can hardly be reset to zero now. I still have some ammo containers to varnish that will go in my tank diorama, so I'll be able to get some ak thinner for these parts and see how the varnish will do this time. Anyway, as said earlier, a good weathering can make you forget about your paint issues and still make your model look good. I began to apply scratches and pigments to the hull and skirts, which will be followed by mud later on. I'm happy to see that the orange peel effect is hardly discernable now, and that the camo blends in quite well. Stripping off the paint wasn't an option for me; too much work was put into the model, I prefer to adapt to the consequences of my mistake, learn from it, and try to find a way that will make it look good.