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Prime, Paint, Gloss Coat, Paint, Dull Coat - confused

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  • Member since
    January 2021
Prime, Paint, Gloss Coat, Paint, Dull Coat - confused
Posted by BorisBaddenov on Thursday, January 21, 2021 5:01 PM

Hello Friends -

Up until now I've just been glueing kits together, not not painting.  I want to paint, but I'm a confused, and I hope several of you will chime and and help me understand better.

I do have an airbrush - so most of my painting will be done with that.

I think the first step is to Prime the model.  But I'm not even sure that's a reqirement.  Is it?  If you prime your kits, what is your favorite primer? 

After Priming, it seems that the next step(s) are to spray colors.  Start with a darker shade in the 'shadowed' spots, work up to a lighter shade on the flat surfaces that get more sun exposure.  

Then I think a gloss coat - this is where I start to really get confused.   Do I gloss coat before putting on the decals, and any weathering?   Why the gloss coat, would a dull coat work the same?  Do you spay the gloss coat through your airbrush, or use a rattle can?

After Decals and weathering, it seems the final step is a dull coat?  Is this a bottle or a rattle can? 




  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, January 21, 2021 5:31 PM

Th order you have there is generally what I do.  Gloss coat as decals need a smooth finish to adhere to otherwise you get slivering. Also the glosscoat will protect your finish while weathering/washing.  Just do your research/testing regarding paint type interactions.  Last coat seals everything up and gloss/flat depends on what you are building.  All general advice.  There are exceptions such a Natural Metal finishes depending on your choice of paint/material. 

Dark preshading sounds like what you are referring to which makes sense. But for the color coats I always go light to dark.  Again, there are exceptions.  



  • Member since
    June 2010
Posted by montague on Thursday, January 21, 2021 5:33 PM

Yes always prime. Good to show errors and to give the paint something to adhere to, The gloss is to give the decal a uniform serface to lay on so no air bubbles cause silvering. It Protects the paint from issues with the weathering also. You have the right idea. Others will help too.

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Thursday, January 21, 2021 5:56 PM

I would say the first two guys got it right.  Only thing I will add is be patient.  I've been modeling only for about a year and a half and this still confuses me sometimes.  The order of things can be daunting.  I watch modeling videos and read anything I can to get a process that works for me.  I clean the assembled main frame, prime, paint, clear coat(most of the time rattle can), decals, seal (gloss or flat depending on the subject), oil paints or powders for weathering, and final clear coat.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, January 21, 2021 6:42 PM

The very first thing to do is to CLEAN the model. Use 91% alchohol or a commercial cleaner like Plasti Prep".

Hand oils cause no limit of mischief.

As you get more involved in plastic modeling, you will start filling seams, removing scratches and otherwise making improvements to imperfections. Those really cannot be "hidden"with coats of paint. In fact a well-applied job of thin layers of paint will bring the flaws out.

Assemble, putty and fill gaps, sand, prime those areas to see what you need to keep working on. Do it all again. When you are happy with what you have, rub it down well and clean it.

Then start the overall priming process. As far as color, it has more to do with thickness and fine consistency. White or gray are most common; black is fine if the finish will be other than white and even then it can be made to work.

Don't try to get too fancy with shading until you are entirely comfortable applying solid colors with thin coats, good coverage and no glitches. 



 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.



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