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Why are we using matt paint on aircraft?
drabslab
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European Union
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 05:24 PM UTC
Why are we using matt paint on aircraft?

Consider it. We airbrush our planes using matt paint, then we put a gloss coat over it before decalling to avoid silvering, and afterwards we add a matt or satin coat before weathering.

Aircraft are built with high quality metal plates or composites with very smooth surfaces.

One difference between matt and gloss paint is that the pigments in matt paints have a larger granularity than gloss paint. Maybe this makes matt paints more suitable for AFV but for car and aircraft models, gloss could be more appropriate?

Should we all turn to gloss paint?

Or have I finally turned totally mad

What do you think about this, the paint choice I mean?
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 08:59 PM UTC
Most military aircraft when new are not painted a high gloss, but more of a semi-matt, with a low sheen. Over time this tends to weather into a matt shading. Commercial aircraft and autos are painted gloss colors to repel the effects of weather-- and to make them more stylish. Personally, I use Testors Model Master Metal Sealer as an overcoat for new finishes on new military aircraft and some vehicles-- it gives a nice semi-matt sheen, although the new Alclad "light sheen" is pretty good too.
VR, Russ
looperp55
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England - West Midlands, United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 09:57 PM UTC
I agree with you, why not use Xtracolor gloss paints first, then decal the model and finally uae a matt or semi-matt finish over that? You get a thin, smooth finish that is decal ready and reduce the number of layers by at least one, thereby preserving the fine surface details better. I used these excellent gloss paints for years with great results.
BigfootV
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Colorado, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 10:18 PM UTC
Very interesting question you ask here Drab.

What paints are we using? Enamels or acrylics? Each one has their own uses. Enamels have more matte and gloss choices verses acrylics, in my opinion.
Having said that, I'm just now starting to get into the world of acrylics, so there are few extra steps in paint I'll have to get use too verse enamels.
For me, it comes down to what effect one is trying to get out of the aircraft, AFV, or Car/truck.

My two cents.

See ya in the funnies..............
Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 11:01 PM UTC
I think the real issue is the difficulty in applying gloss colors, as they are far less forgiving to apply than matt colors. Gloss colors usually take longer to dry, tend to be more transparent, and have a tendency to build up on the finish. Matt colors are much easier to apply. That being said, I use gloss colors as a base color sometimes, it just depends on the subject, and the quality of the paint. I prefer Gunze Mr. Hobby Lacquers as they have the best coverage, and dry quickly (but they are hard to get here in the US). Floquil colors (now OOP) are my next choice (they've been re-issued by Testors, but not in the same formula-- however they still appear to work OK). I've had less luck with Model Master gloss, and Tamiya Gloss (the "X" numbers)-- the latter I've found has great coverage, but it softens with decal setting solutions in large concentrations-- therefore requiring an overcoat of gloss, which defeats the purpose in my opinion. I've heard of folks using Xtracolor, but I have no experience with them, as I prefer the durability of lacquers and enamels. I know some modelers who decant Duplicolor automotive touch up colors and use those-- but then there is a shade and mixing issue to overcome.
VR, Russ
JClapp
#259
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Posted: Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 11:37 AM UTC
I like my planes shiney. I use Tamiya gloss enamels on almost everything I build.




But then also, I don't like weathering or pre-shading panel lines, so I must be a heretic.
tinbanger
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 05:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I like my planes shiney. I use Tamiya gloss enamels on almost everything I build.


But then also, I don't like weathering or pre-shading panel lines, so I must be a heretic.



I do not pre-shade, waste of time and a lot that I see are over done.
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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Posted: Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 09:18 PM UTC
Drabslab,

Interesting question. I'm really old school so I learned military model painting using a primer, flat color coat, clear gloss, decal, clear gloss, weather, then matt coat.

What I've found over the years is that gloss paints often don't have the same available colors even from Tamiya. Most of the Acrylic paint companies military lines are matt not gloss. Gloss paints are much harder to work with in close and draw fine lines, and it takes a lot more paint to cover properly. There is also a longer drying time to properly cure.

I can tell you that auto modeling today the top paints are dead flat Lacquers from Zero and Gravity. The gloss is achieved by the use of a 2 part Urethane clear coat.

Joel