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The order of steps in creating a stunning auto finish

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  • Member since
    July, 2019
The order of steps in creating a stunning auto finish
Posted by kearly64 on Friday, July 05, 2019 11:42 AM

I got back into modeling about five years ago.  So far, most of my builds have been planes and spacecraft.  I have started on a Ferrari GT 250 and I am trying to get a shinny glossy finish.  The paint look reasonably good.  There are a few dust specks and some orange peel. I realized that I have to do some work to get the finish to look the way I want it to.  I realize that I will have to wet sand, and rub out the finish.  I have read articles and watched you tube video on the subject.  They have provided many helpful tips.  They just don't tell what in what order to perform the steps.

My question is:  In what order do I wet (color)sand; rub out (polish, wax, swirl remove, etc. . . ); apply decals, and apply gloss coats?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Keith

 

 

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Tuesday, July 09, 2019 10:11 AM

There are various methods of dealing with a finish, depending on who you ask. Different methods work well for different people. The following is briefly my method;

The process to a good finish starts with the initial body work preperations.
- I scuff up the bare plastic body with 600 or 800 grit sand paper and remove any mold seperation lines.
- I scribe all panel lines nice and deep. Scriber slips are repaired with Gunze Mr Surfacer 1000 or 1500 (a brushable primer that feathers really well).
- Any low spots or sink marks are filled with putty.
- Then I block sand the entire body. To do this I cut smallish pieces of 800 or 1000 grit sand paper and wrap them over the end of a vinyl drafting eraser (the sanding block), then wet sand the entire body, paying particular attention to door & trunk lid shut lines and panel gaps. Panel gaps often have a slightly raised edge right at the gap. It is almost imperceptable, but when polishing the paint later on you can burn through easily if it is not removed. Careful wet block sanding will get rid of it.
- Wash body thoroughly under warm running water and mild hand soap or basic Dawn dish soap (ensure no lanolin, silicones, or moisturisers are in the soap as these can cause paint problems)
- I then mask any fine engraved body details (such as badges, etc) that are easily buried under primer, and lay down a medium coat of primer. When dry I check for imperfections, mold lines that got missed, and ensure filled sink marks and panel scriber slips are invisible. If there are issues such as body putty that didn't feather out well, apply Mr Surfacer and wet sand with 1000 or 1500 grit until its sorted. (Note: Primer can be applied earlier in the process, if it suits you).
- When happy with the body work, sand the entire body lightly with fine (1000-1500) grit paper. This can be done dry. Apply one last, light coat of primer. When dry, lightly sand with 1500 grit paper.
- When you are happy the body, wash it again, blot off excess water with a lint free cloth, and let it air dry completely.
- Apply paint. When airbrushing, first apply paint to raised edges and curves to reduce the chances of burning through the paint when polishing. Also, paint the panel gaps, and tricky areas such as scoop inlets, curved under lower body contours, etc before laying down the overall body paint. Apply a couple mist coats and let flash off. Apply one or two good colour coats and let flash well. Then apply your wet coat.
- I like to let paint cure really well before proceeding with polishing. Because it suits my style, I put the body in the dehydrator for several days to a couple of weeks. This is longer than necessary, but I'm working on other parts of the kit, so why not. Besides, I often paint with enamels, which take a long time to gas out. If there is any masking tape on the body, remove it before putting the body in the dehydrator.
- If there is orange peel in the paint or junk such as dust, lint, pet hair or wayward critters, remove it with a semi coarse sanding pad. You want to use the finest grit you can get away with to save work down the road, but it needs to be coarse enough to flatten the high spots (I will try to start with about 4000 grit, but if the paint needs a lot of work I will start with 3200, or even 2500, but that's pretty coarse). This will be done with a sanding pad (such as MicroMesh) or using the sanding block. Using a pad or block is necessary until the high sports are flatten down, otherwise you will simply end up with shiny orange peel or critters. All of this colour sanding is done wet. Go easy and carefully. It is helpful to put a thin strip of masking tape on raised edges to avoid burning through the paint. Raised edges are easily done with finer abraisives later on.
- Some builders will clear coat following the curing of the paint (or even before it is fully cured). Others will clear at this point in the process. Personally, I rarely apply clear coats unless painting with metallic paints. Because I won't be doing my final polishing on a clear coat, I try to ensure I get enough paint on during the paint application. Also, many  builders apply decals and foiling before clear coating, so if you are one of them, now is the time. Personally, for maximum realism, I apply both after clear coating (if and when I clear coat) except decals that represent actual painted graphics.
- Carrying on, your model is either cleared now, or it isn't. Either way, I would now use a 4000 or 6000 grit polishing pad, always used wet. Do the whole body thououghly and check your work often. Check to see if the scratch marks from the previous grit pad are being removed. In most cases I will follow on with 8000 and 12000 grit polishing pads, again, used wet.
- I then move on to Tamiya polishes. In many cases you can stop with the polishing pads at 4000 or 6000 and move on to Tamiya Coarse polish. If I go right to the 12000 grit pad, I follow on with Tamiya Fine polish. Becareful as this stuff can remove a lot of paint layer. I will do two runs of the Fine polish, wash the  body, then move onto two rubs with the Finish polish (Tamiya polishes are awesome on kit glass, too).
- Thoroughly wash the body.
- Apply foil now. Apply any decals. Attach any PE, or anything else that will be adhered to the body paint.
- Finish off with a couple coats of Tamiya wax (This stuff works great on kit glass, too). Keep in mind that once wax has been applied, nothing is going to stick to the body work. Also, the waxed body will be quite slippery.

Well, that's my process, and the materials I use. Hopefully I haven't left out a major step. Other builders will have a different but roughly similar process, and may use different products. It may be a bit more than you asked for, but I wanted to stress the importance of proper prep of the body when still in bare plastic, as this will pay off when doing the final polishing.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    July, 2019
Posted by kearly64 on Tuesday, July 09, 2019 7:31 PM

Thanks Trevor, That was very helpful.

Keith

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Tuesday, July 09, 2019 8:23 PM

Well done, Trevor! Nicely detailed information generously provided. You, sir, are a true gentleman and represent the forum well. Bow

chucky

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 8:00 AM

Cheers guys. My painting was quite primitive before joining this forum years ago. As a result of things I've learned here my paint, and therefore my models, have improved tremendously. It's good to give a little back when I can. It is the forum membership as a whole that deserves the thanks.

And of course, the above process is not set in stone. Most builders develope their own personal take on the process.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    February, 2016
Posted by Plowboy on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 9:45 AM

Always wet sand your primer, paint and clear. I wet sand the body with 600 before primer. Sand the primer with 1000. Paint with 2000. Clear with 2000-4000. I usually spray two coats of paint, allow it to dry, sand and spray one more. Then sand with 2000 unless it's a metallic paint. Then I'll spray two coats of clear, allow it to dry, sand with 2000 and spray another coat. If the clear has much orange peel, I'll start with 2000 and finish with 4000. I've done several with just 2000 grit. I polish the clear with Tamiya polishing compounds (Course, Fine and Finish). The most important step when using these compounds is to apply them with a cotton cloth. Don't use your fingertip as that does nothing but just smear it on. When you use a cotton cloth, you're polishing as you're applying it. 

As for decals, if you want to clear over them. Sand the paint smooth, apply the decals and clear over them. I brush a coat of Pledge Floor Polish over just the decals before I clear over them. This keeps the clear from potentially attacking the decals. I've only done it a couple of times as I rarely clear over them. If you apply your decals over your paint, just polish the paint and apply them.

  • Member since
    October, 2015
Posted by Tim Boyd on Monday, August 05, 2019 6:14 PM

kearly64

I got back into modeling about five years ago.  So far, most of my builds have been planes and spacecraft.  I have started on a Ferrari GT 250 and I am trying to get a shinny glossy finish.  The paint look reasonably good.  There are a few dust specks and some orange peel. I realized that I have to do some work to get the finish to look the way I want it to.  I realize that I will have to wet sand, and rub out the finish.  I have read articles and watched you tube video on the subject.  They have provided many helpful tips.  They just don't tell what in what order to perform the steps.

My question is:  In what order do I wet (color)sand; rub out (polish, wax, swirl remove, etc. . . ); apply decals, and apply gloss coats?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Keith

 

 

 

Keith,,, beyond the excellent suggestions in this thread, if you haven't already done so, check out the April 2019 issue of Scale Auto for an in-depth article on this subject....best wishes on further developing your painting technique....TIM 

PS - it's available as a back issue here... 

 

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