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Big Scale Car Finishes


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Hello fellow car builders,

 

I,m in the process of building the new Revell Shelby GT 500 kit in 1/12 scale for the review team. The body color I want to use is the Ford color cobalt blue metalic. Questions, where can I get that color and since the model is so big I want it as smooth and glossy as possible, how can I get that level of finish quality? Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

 

Chris

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I would suggest auto parts store rattle cans. Many have specific manufacture color matches. Start with a good primer to protect your plastic. I prefer Duplicolor Sandable Primer. It is very good for body prep in general and has some scratch-fill properties. Since your primary color is a metallic you will NOT be able to polish it directly. You can sand metallics between coats but not on the final coat. (You will see why for yourself if you do sand between coats.) You will require a clear coat that can be polished out (should you want to polish any flaws away) Look for Krystal clear it is an acrylic spray that does not yellow. It is made by a couple manufactures...Krylon, Rustolium and Duplicolor too I think. Even if you are not going to polish the final layer, Krystal clear lays on nice & smooth and metallic paints don't always have much of a high gloss finish on their own.

 

Best of luck.

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Thanks for the advise. You'll see the end result in the review. This thing is so big I'm tempted to take it down the the local body shop to shoot it in a booth.

 

 

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Chris, one thing you'll find spraying a model that big with a standard model airbrush, is that coverage is going to be tough. For large scale builds I use an automotive touch up brush. I bought mine from Harbor Freight, if memory serves I paid something like $15 for it. For the most part I use automotive paint or nail polish for just about any build. Very seldom do I use model paint anymore.

Also, I use urethane clear for most all my builds, the urethane clear is a 2 part catalyzed paint, it hardens in as little as 20 minutes to cure depending upon how much catalyst you use. The best part of using the urethane clear is it does not react to the base coat color.

 

I look forward to seeing your review on the Mustang, it's one on my wish list.

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Tell me more about the nail polish thing. My wife has a collection with colors I've often thought would look great on models but I havn't mustered up the courage to try it. What do you cut it with and in what ratio of polish to thinner?

 

What type of urethane do you use and where do you get it? Can it be rubbed out if theres any gliches? I've got about a dozen cars under my belt and mastering high gloss finishes is still a challenge. I have used car touch up cans in the past but never got the gloss I have from Tamiya spray cans without a clear coat. For this project, I did find a color in the Tamiya spray can line for the color coat but its going to need a clear coat. Also, the Tamiya line is getting harder to find because of labeling issues they cant seem to solve that prevents shipping to the U.S. Bottom line, I need to find some alternates.

 

Chris, one thing you'll find spraying a model that big with a standard model airbrush, is that coverage is going to be tough. For large scale builds I use an automotive touch up brush. I bought mine from Harbor Freight, if memory serves I paid something like $15 for it. For the most part I use automotive paint or nail polish for just about any build. Very seldom do I use model paint anymore.

Also, I use urethane clear for most all my builds, the urethane clear is a 2 part catalyzed paint, it hardens in as little as 20 minutes to cure depending upon how much catalyst you use. The best part of using the urethane clear is it does not react to the base coat color.

 

I look forward to seeing your review on the Mustang, it's one on my wish list.

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Chris, Nail Polish is about the closest thing you can get to painting with lacquer without spraying lacquer. Here in Portland we were forced into finding a alternative for lacquer about 15 years ago when the city banned the use of automotive lacquer and nail polish was the best choice. I've used just about every manufacture of nail polish with no problem. I use standard hardware store medium grade lacquer thinner to cut the nail polish to be able to shoot it through an airbrush. The usual ratio is somewhere in the 50/50 - 60/40 nail polish to thinner, depending on the nail polish. You want the mix to have to viscosity of milk, I shoot nail polish at 15-20psi, you want it to hit the surface wet or it will look like sand.

 

For the most part I use Omni Sealer/Primer. Omni is a cheaper version of PPG and can be obtained at just about any PPG automotive paint dealer. Their sealer/primer does a good enough job that you can use it to seal red plastic then shoot white over it with no bleed through. Like most Automotive paint it requires a reducer (thinner), depending upon how fast you want the paint to cure determines which grade of reducer. I use medium grade for just about everything, that way it will cure the paint in a reasonable amount of time with no potential damage to the plastic underneath.

 

As for urethane I use the Omni brand, it's quite a bit less expensive then PPG, plus it only requires a reducer. PPG requires a reducer and hardener. The last Omni urethane I bought was $38 for both the clear and reducer vs the PPG which was $176 for the clear, reducer and hardener. Omni urethane clear is a 4-1 (clear to reducer)mix, if it requires thinning use the same medium grade lacquer thinner that you use for thinning nail polish. The only thing to remember with spraying urethane is clean the brush as soon as possible once you're done otherwise you'll get to go and buy a new airbrush.

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Thank you for the detailed information. Luckly, we dont have restrictions here in California (yet). I got lucky and found two cans of Tamiya rattle can cobalt blue so the Shelby is blue but the clear remains to be done. I've got a model in the stash I'm going to use as a test bed. I dont want to refinish a review model as I'm running out of time. My compresser is so old it doesnt have a regulator on it, the other reason I dont want to risk testing on a review model. You mentioned rattle can krastal clear, is that product buffable when dry?

 

Thanks Again

 

Chris, Nail Polish is about the closest thing you can get to painting with lacquer without spraying lacquer. Here in Portland we were forced into finding a alternative for lacquer about 15 years ago when the city banned the use of automotive lacquer and nail polish was the best choice. I've used just about every manufacture of nail polish with no problem. I use standard hardware store medium grade lacquer thinner to cut the nail polish to be able to shoot it through an airbrush. The usual ratio is somewhere in the 50/50 - 60/40 nail polish to thinner, depending on the nail polish. You want the mix to have to viscosity of milk, I shoot nail polish at 15-20psi, you want it to hit the surface wet or it will look like sand.

 

For the most part I use Omni Sealer/Primer. Omni is a cheaper version of PPG and can be obtained at just about any PPG automotive paint dealer. Their sealer/primer does a good enough job that you can use it to seal red plastic then shoot white over it with no bleed through. Like most Automotive paint it requires a reducer (thinner), depending upon how fast you want the paint to cure determines which grade of reducer. I use medium grade for just about everything, that way it will cure the paint in a reasonable amount of time with no potential damage to the plastic underneath.

 

As for urethane I use the Omni brand, it's quite a bit less expensive then PPG, plus it only requires a reducer. PPG requires a reducer and hardener. The last Omni urethane I bought was $38 for both the clear and reducer vs the PPG which was $176 for the clear, reducer and hardener. Omni urethane clear is a 4-1 (clear to reducer)mix, if it requires thinning use the same medium grade lacquer thinner that you use for thinning nail polish. The only thing to remember with spraying urethane is clean the brush as soon as possible once you're done otherwise you'll get to go and buy a new airbrush.

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One issue here that you have not asked but I think is very important is the gun/air brush you are going to use. Tamiya's cobalt blue is a metallic and on large surfaces is going to present a problem if you can't get a large spray pattern. With this paint you need to shoot multiple thin layers. It is very much like a candy. If you don't get it even, it will show. The problem with rattle cans and all airbrushes is that they have a circular spay pattern and you need to overlap each stroke by 50%. Remember that a circular spray pattern is going to put more paint down at the center along the axis that the spray is moving than on the edge. What that means is the the edge of one pass should go through the center for the prior pass to make the depth of paint as close to the same as possible. You need to be very patient with laying it on thin. The first and even the second coat may not cover the primer color. Be patient and build it up very slowly over time.

 

The other option is to get a gun that has a controlable fan pattern. These are distinguished by two air nozzles on either side to the center nozzle that the paint comes out of. Controling the pressure of these side nozzles, you can turn the circular spray pattern into a fan or tight oval pattern which makes the paint layer laid down a more even across the fan, thus you need less overlap. I can't speak to what type of gun or what a good price would be as I have had mine for years and because it works well, I have never felt the need to do further research. FYI this is the gun I use http://www.coastairbrush.com/proddetail.asp?prod=LPH50 and it suits me well. I like it because it can be purchased with differerant tips fordifferant types of paint and there is an attachement that you can get to replace the gravity feed canister with small standard sized airbrush bottles. It will give a fan up to three inches wide and fine lines up to about a 1/16" of an inch. You can do a 1:24 scale body in about 4 passes and because it is an HVLP you spray with a very low pressure setting.

 

If you are going to build a lot of large scale a gun of this type would be a good investment. If this is a one time deal, then stay with the rattle cans. You will go nuts trying to do it with an airbrush. To many passes. Good Luck.

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I will look for that. I also took a look at your album and realized I've admired your work for a while now. The last car review I did was the Fujumi Ferrari 458. Thats about the best paint I've managed on a car thus far. Tamiya rattle can Italian red.

 

Thanks for all the advice

 

The brand I have on my bench is Rustolium. Yes, it polishes nicely

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More great advice. I've often thought the best way to get that wet look is with a bonafide spray gun. The jury is out on big scale cars like this or airplanes for that matter which seem to be getting bigger all the time. The problem is finding room for them during and after the build. I find I'm more comfortable in the 1/48 1/24 1/20 scale range. Big enough to detail (and see!) but small enough to display. I also find the bigger scales start to feel toy like in some respects, unless you shell out big money for the base kit. I did look at the the link for spray guns and I'm very interested in one. Looks like a new compressor is in my future. I'm using an old badger without a regulator. I'm running an Iwata double action with it but like you said, its not made to deliver a lot of paint for large areas. This information is very helpful and I thank you for taking time to share it with me.

 

Chris

 

One issue here that you have not asked but I think is very important is the gun/air brush you are going to use. Tamiya's cobalt blue is a metallic and on large surfaces is going to present a problem if you can't get a large spray pattern. With this paint you need to shoot multiple thin layers. It is very much like a candy. If you don't get it even, it will show. The problem with rattle cans and all airbrushes is that they have a circular spay pattern and you need to overlap each stroke by 50%. Remember that a circular spray pattern is going to put more paint down at the center along the axis that the spray is moving than on the edge. What that means is the the edge of one pass should go through the center for the prior pass to make the depth of paint as close to the same as possible. You need to be very patient with laying it on thin. The first and even the second coat may not cover the primer color. Be patient and build it up very slowly over time.

 

The other option is to get a gun that has a controlable fan pattern. These are distinguished by two air nozzles on either side to the center nozzle that the paint comes out of. Controling the pressure of these side nozzles, you can turn the circular spray pattern into a fan or tight oval pattern which makes the paint layer laid down a more even across the fan, thus you need less overlap. I can't speak to what type of gun or what a good price would be as I have had mine for years and because it works well, I have never felt the need to do further research. FYI this is the gun I use http://www.coastairb....asp?prod=LPH50 and it suits me well. I like it because it can be purchased with differerant tips fordifferant types of paint and there is an attachement that you can get to replace the gravity feed canister with small standard sized airbrush bottles. It will give a fan up to three inches wide and fine lines up to about a 1/16" of an inch. You can do a 1:24 scale body in about 4 passes and because it is an HVLP you spray with a very low pressure setting.

 

If you are going to build a lot of large scale a gun of this type would be a good investment. If this is a one time deal, then stay with the rattle cans. You will go nuts trying to do it with an airbrush. To many passes. Good Luck.

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I will look for that. I also took a look at your album and realized I've admired your work for a while now. The last car review I did was the Fujumi Ferrari 458. Thats about the best paint I've managed on a car thus far. Tamiya rattle can Italian red.

 

Thanks for all the advice

 

Chris,

Thank you very much. That is quite a nice compliment. I agree with Pete about the fan style spray pattern being superior for larger area coverage. Most if not all of the rattle can opions I suggested previously have that type of spray nozzel.

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More great advice. I've often thought the best way to get that wet look is with a bonafide spray gun. The jury is out on big scale cars like this or airplanes for that matter which seem to be getting bigger all the time. The problem is finding room for them during and after the build. I find I'm more comfortable in the 1/48 1/24 1/20 scale range. Big enough to detail (and see!) but small enough to display. I also find the bigger scales start to feel toy like in some respects, unless you shell out big money for the base kit. I did look at the the link for spray guns and I'm very interested in one. Looks like a new compressor is in my future. I'm using an old badger without a regulator. I'm running an Iwata double action with it but like you said, its not made to deliver a lot of paint for large areas. This information is very helpful and I thank you for taking time to share it with me.

 

Chris

 

 

 

Chris - Glad I could help. I just noticed your location and before you purchase any of these, I would suggest a trip to Coast Air Brush. They are the link I gave for my gun. They are not far from you, just east of Disneyland. They have a great shop with super people to help you. You can try several differant brushes and guns to see what you feel most comfortable with and they have some of the best prices I have found. They will negotiate a little on packages of guns and compressors.

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I do get to that neck of the woods from time to time. Christmas is coming after all. :smiley20:

 

More great advice. I've often thought the best way to get that wet look is with a bonafide spray gun. The jury is out on big scale cars like this or airplanes for that matter which seem to be getting bigger all the time. The problem is finding room for them during and after the build. I find I'm more comfortable in the 1/48 1/24 1/20 scale range. Big enough to detail (and see!) but small enough to display. I also find the bigger scales start to feel toy like in some respects, unless you shell out big money for the base kit. I did look at the the link for spray guns and I'm very interested in one. Looks like a new compressor is in my future. I'm using an old badger without a regulator. I'm running an Iwata double action with it but like you said, its not made to deliver a lot of paint for large areas. This information is very helpful and I thank you for taking time to share it with me.

 

Chris

 

 

 

Chris - Glad I could help. I just noticed your location and before you purchase any of these, I would suggest a trip to Coast Air Brush. They are the link I gave for my gun. They are not far from you, just east of Disneyland. They have a great shop with super people to help you. You can try several differant brushes and guns to see what you feel most comfortable with and they have some of the best prices I have found. They will negotiate a little on packages of guns and compressors.

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK fellas, the wait is over. The Shelby review was just posted. I'm generally happy with it. The paint is not as glossy as I would have liked but I did learn a lot from all of you. Enjoy.

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