Posts: 397
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2001 8:42 pm

Techniques To Achieve Glossy Finish On Airliners

Sun Sep 09, 2001 2:10 pm

I've recently started building airliner models (Up to now I had only built military). Right now I'm working on an Airfix 727, and I wanted to ask the more experienced modelers how to achieve a nice gloss white finish. I normally painted my models with a brush since on the smaller models I could obtain nice results, but it seems even with airbrush the gloss white finish is somewhat of a pain to obtain. I've heard some people use flat white, and then gloss clear on top of it. But I've also heard the gloss coat will yellow after a few years! I'd like to hear about your personal experiences.

RE: Techniques To Achieve Glossy Finish On Airliners

Sun Sep 09, 2001 2:31 pm

Well Iv'e been building military and civillian A/C for about 25 years, and I've tried everything from gloss paint to airbrushing Future floor polish. My best method to date is to shoot (Testors Model Master Enamel in my airbrush in my case) the aircraft with a flat white first. This will act as a primer coat exposing any flaws. Then I mist on light coats of gloss white about 15 minutes apart untill the paint has an even shine. Let the first good gloss coat sit 24 hours then repeat the gloss coats again the next night. once the plane has about 3 good light coats the second night, go a little heavier on the paint for one final coat, I call it a wet coat, let it dry again for 24 hours.
OK now the magic part...
Several model accessory companies put out detailing kits or polishing kits for model car builders ( I use Detail Masters set) The sets have a fine cloth backed set of sanding films from 3000 to 12000 grit. You start buffing the paint with 3000 and go through them all untill you get to 12000. By the time you get to the last film, your paint is MIRROR smooth, super hard and ready to decal.
It takes some practice, but the results are well worth the time.
Happy Modeling
Posts: 397
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2001 8:42 pm

RE: Techniques To Achieve Glossy Finish On Airliners

Tue Sep 11, 2001 8:29 pm

Thanks for your help, 1/144!
By the way, do you put a clear coat after you place the decals when doing the polishing method, or do you leave it like that?
Also, could you tell me a bit about the Future floor polish? Does it come off if you handle the model too much?
Thanks again for your advice

RE: Techniques To Achieve Glossy Finish On Airliners

Wed Sep 12, 2001 5:03 am

Hello again,
I prefer to use a laquer based clear coat, I use Testors Model Master semi goss or gloss coat shot at 20 PSI from a Badger 150 duel action airbrush, laquer mixed aproximately 60/40 laquer to thinner.
Any clear coat will eventually rub off if you handel it to much.. but try to let whatever you use dry for a couple of days before you handle your new plane (it's hard to resist if it turned out really well) :' )
If you decide to Use Future on your kits.. be advised you MUST wash out your airbrush as SOON as your done or you can count on a real mess to clean out.
Use amonia and water or pure amonia and flush the airbrush for at least 30 seconds.. followed by hot water to make sure you get it all out.
I shoot future at 25 PSI DO NOT MIX OR THIN.
MIST on coats very lightly and let it build up SLOWLY.. or it will run, and ruin your work of art.< yes I learned the hard way>
Hope that helps, and good luck.
Posts: 397
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2001 8:42 pm

RE: Techniques To Achieve Glossy Finish On Airliners

Sat Sep 15, 2001 11:07 am

Hello again, 1/144!
Thanks for your advice, I'm going to try using a gloss white finish and polish it, and see what results I get! I've got a few older kits to play with so hopefully I can work on the technique before working on nicer models. I wanted to ask you one last question regarding the clear coat. What kinds are available, and do they all eventually yellow? I'm sorry to be a pain with all these questions, but this is a new aspect of modeling for me, so I wanted to get familiar with the methods used and see what works best.
Thanks again!

RE: Techniques To Achieve Glossy Finish On Airliners

Wed Sep 19, 2001 2:43 am

I have used Varnish, like you would use on wood, thined down to a watery enough consistency to shoot through my airbrush, I have used every known gloss finish from most hobby paint manufacturers and as I mentioned previously, future floor polish (liquid).
I have models I built 15 years ago I shot with Testors glosscoat or dullcoat on them and still, no yellowing.
The yellowing you hear about is from exposure to UV light over time, like you left your finished kit in a store front window or close to a window on a shelf in your home. I have even heard of models displayed next to halogen lights for long periods of time doing funny things as far as changing colors, lightening, yellowing.
I'd say unless you intend to display your models in adverse conditions, your fine using most glosscoats for the long haul. As I said before, my tried and true favorite is Testors Glosscoat. I thin it 70-30 to 60-40 and build up the shine slowly.
Feel free to email me if you need any other suggestions.

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