SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Need advice on Tamiya lacquers, clear coating, and decals

538 views
7 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Michigan
Need advice on Tamiya lacquers, clear coating, and decals
Posted by gawrycht on Saturday, January 14, 2023 8:59 AM

Hello everyone,

I am typically an armor modeller but am attempting my first auto by request of my daughter.  She picked out a metallic blue (Tamiya lacquer).  I did a test shot on a spare piece, over sanded primer, and the two coats seemed to cover well with no orange peel, etc.  

Being a novice car modeler, though, i've been overwhelmed on how to get a smooth, glossy finish on cars.  The basic steps as I understand it are paint, clear coat, then decal prior to waxing.  Is that correct?  

The biggest source of confusion is when to wet sand.  I have the micro sanding pads up to 12,000 grit but do I need to wet sand the paint prior to clear coating, or just once the gloss clear coat is applied?  There is a lot of terminology out there that is confusing to newbies like me (i.e. cut sanding, color sanding, etc.) and I haven't found a good step by step on that part.  

There is a lot of opinion on what brands/types of clear coat to use over Tamiya but I'm not concerned about that right now since I can test shot on spare plastic; it's really the step by step mechanics I'm concerned about.  

Also, once wet-sanded, it seems "polishing" and "waxing" are interchangeable terms ... or are they two separate things?  Sometimes it sounds like polishing is using a compound and then you have to wax; other times not.  

Sorry for the long post, but if someone could even point me to a solid article on this that would be great!

Tom Gawrych

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Saturday, January 14, 2023 9:32 AM

Yes, 12000 is more of a polish than a sanding.  I start with about 6 0r 800 depending how good the painted image is,  I find I do not need to use real fine stoff if I am going to cearcoat- 1000 grit is fine under clearcoat.

Do not get too hung up on canned sequences.  There are two reasons to clear coat- to make it really shiny and to protect decals.  If your final paint coat is very shiny it may be good enough for factory stock, but decals may still need sealing.

I typically do not clearcoat older factory stock, only show cars and customs.  If it is a really shiny finish you may get away without decal sealing.

 

  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Michigan
Posted by gawrycht on Saturday, January 14, 2023 10:22 AM

Thanks for the info Missleman! So wet-sanding the paint through the finer grits would be good enough with no clear coat, then decaling once it's smooth and polished?  I read a few things about clear coating attacking the decals on some models so I didn't know if I should seal them with clear coat or just apply them over the paint or clearcoat.

  • Member since
    December 2022
Posted by Tcoat on Monday, January 16, 2023 1:28 PM

gawrycht

Thanks for the info Missleman! So wet-sanding the paint through the finer grits would be good enough with no clear coat, then decaling once it's smooth and polished?  I read a few things about clear coating attacking the decals on some models so I didn't know if I should seal them with clear coat or just apply them over the paint or clearcoat.

 

I was recently in the same boat being mosty an armour and aircraft modeler that was venturing into high gloss coat unknown waters. 

I was leary but the proccess I went with was recommend on many car modeling sites and it worked like a charm first try. I have yet to see if I can replcate the results though.

I did this:

Primed with Tamiya surface primer thined and airbrushed. Pretty sure this was the key to the success actually.

Wet sanded with 1,000 grit and washed really well.

sprayed with Tamiya rattle can lacquer. This was nerve aracking as I have neversucceed with rattle cans. NEVER!

Wet sanded again with the 1,000 grit

Applied decals (only a couple)

Airbrushed a coat of Tamyia X-22 clear cut about 25% with Tamiya lacquerthinner .

While the clear was still wet I misted it with straight Tamiya lacquer thinner.

The results were far beyond what I hoped for!

https://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/4/t/191661.aspx

 

Oh and I always seal decals no matter what the project.Never had any react with a clear coat.

 

 

  • Member since
    December 2022
Posted by Tcoat on Monday, January 16, 2023 1:37 PM

missileman2000

I typically do not clearcoat older factory stock, only show cars and customs.  If it is a really shiny finish you may get away without decal sealing.

 

 

This^

There is a time and place for super shinny. Same applies for chromed parts. Factory or aged chrome is not even remotely like what comes in a kit and really needs to be knocked down a bit. 

  • Member since
    January 2022
  • From: Canada, ON
Posted by q20v on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 2:40 PM

I don't disagree with the above (super shiny on models) but I recently took the plunge on my recent build for a sorta-super shiny finish. I basically wanted to remove the orange peel effect first off, and achieve a decently glossy finish.

FWIW I'm relatively new in the hobby so take that into consideration when reading the next bit.

I primed using Vallejo primer with my airbrush. It worked but it was my first time using it and I didn't like it much.

Applied 3 coats of colour, airbrush again.

4 coats of Revell rattle can clear, let dry for a few days.

Wet sand 3k, 4k, 6k, 12k.

Tamiya Coarse polish with Tamiya polishing sponge.

Tamiya Fine polish with Tamiya polishing sponge.

Applied Tamiya wax.

I was pretty happy with the results and despite being a lot of steps, they went pretty quick. I'm used to polishing real cars and spending 50+ hours on a polishing project, so this was nothing!

 IMG_6415 by barry.goss, on Flickr

 

 IMG_6419 by barry.goss, on Flickr

  • Member since
    December 2022
Posted by Tcoat on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 3:36 PM

q20v

I don't disagree with the above (super shiny on models) but I recently took the plunge on my recent build for a sorta-super shiny finish. I basically wanted to remove the orange peel effect first off, and achieve a decently glossy finish.

FWIW I'm relatively new in the hobby so take that into consideration when reading the next bit.

I primed using Vallejo primer with my airbrush. It worked but it was my first time using it and I didn't like it much.

Applied 3 coats of colour, airbrush again.

4 coats of Revell rattle can clear, let dry for a few days.

Wet sand 3k, 4k, 6k, 12k.

Tamiya Coarse polish with Tamiya polishing sponge.

Tamiya Fine polish with Tamiya polishing sponge.

Applied Tamiya wax.

I was pretty happy with the results and despite being a lot of steps, they went pretty quick. I'm used to polishing real cars and spending 50+ hours on a polishing project, so this was nothing!

Your results are the perfect gloss for that car. In real life you would expct that sort of shine on a car like that. 

  • Member since
    January 2022
  • From: Canada, ON
Posted by q20v on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 6:54 AM

I thought the gloss level suited the car as well, thanks!

 

FYI, the steps I followed were largely in-line with what is presented in this youtube video.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihtqGRLkylo&t=1031s

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS
FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.