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Painting and polishing. Step-by-step guide.

Many modellers prefer weathered models; I don’t. I prefer to make clean and shiny models, except few cases. In this article I would like to share with you my experience.

Picture 1.

Picture 1

First of all what do you need for painting? Please see picture 1:

  1. White or black primer (optional).
  2. Grey primer.
  3. Base colour.
  4. Second colour (optional).
  5. Polishing cloth.
  6. Sanding paper 1000, 1500, 2500 for wet sanding.
  7. Polishing compound.
  8. Dupli-color clear lacquer (in same cans like the primers)

Step 1.

First of all you need to apply the first thin coat of grey primer. I use Dupli-Color nitrocellulose primer for both plastic and resin models. It dries very fast (15-20 minutes) and shows you all imperfections on the parts. CAUTION! Be careful when you apply this primer on plastic. Never apply too many primer and don’t let it flow on your model. It will damage plastic parts.

Step 2.

When primer dries, sand cab with sand paper 1000, remove all imperfections and dust. If necessary apply one more thin coat of grey primer.

Step 3.

Apply one coat of white primer, or one coat of black primer for black base colour.

Step 4.

Wet sand cab with 1500 sand paper for removing all dust from cab. Repeat step 3 if you have grey dots or large grey areas. Before next step you need to have completely white (or black) cab.

Step 5.

Apply the first thin coat of base colour. You have to avoid “orange peel” on this step, but don’t worry if your paint will not be shiny.

Step 6.

Masking.

Step 7.

Apply second colour on your cab.

IMPORTANT! Some of paints are semi-transparent. For this case it was red paint. I don’t like such paints, and this was the hardest  step for me. I used my air-brush for applying first few thin coats of red lacquer. Be extremely caution when you use such paints! You must to put layer by layer and avoid dark stripes and spots. If you got any darker spots in 9 cases of 10 you have to strip all paint off! On this step don’t mind about shine, just avoid “orange peel”. When I have colour close to desired, I waited for few minutes (4-5) and applied the last coat just from rattle can.

Step 8.

Remove masks.

Step 9.

Remove imperfections of painting with brush if necessary.

Step 10.

Apply 2 thin coats of lacquer and let it dry completely. I prefer to use nitrocellulose lacquers when it possible, because they can be polished easy with great result. Avoid “orange peel” again!

Step 11.

Now time for wet sanding again. Use sand paper 2500 and soapy water. On this stage you should remove steps between base and second colours. Also paint must be flat and matt when you finish.

Step 12.

When you have completely matt paint, apply 2 last thin coats of clear lacquer. On this stage you should worry about shine and avoid “orange peel” again.

Step 13.

Again matt your paint with sand paper 2500 in soapy water. CAUTION! Never change direction of sanding! You should use the only one direction: forward-backward and vise versa, or top-bottom and vise versa but never both directions. Also never sand with circular motion.

Step 14.

This is the almost last step – polishing paint with polishing cloth and polishing compound. Place some compound on the cloth and rub paint with circular motion. Be careful on the edges! As you can see on the second picture you can remove your paint with ease.

Picture 2

Picture 2

After few hours of polishing you will have result as on the picture 3.

Picture 3

Picture 3

That’s all. Now you have to remove polishing compound from panel lines, then to accent them with water-based acrylic paint, then to paint rubbers on the windows and your model will be finished. Yes?

In fact not yet. How about that place where paint has gone? Don’t worry about them. Use your thin brush or tooth-pick for applying small amount of paint. When paint will dry, nobody will find these problem places.