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Armor/AFV: Techniques
From Weathering to making tent rolls, discuss it here.
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Why don't we....
Scarred
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 04:51 PM UTC
Looking at post after post after post about painting and weathering AFVs and aircraft why do we even bother with flat or matte paints?

What's the first step of weathering? Putting down a smooth layer of gloss. This has now become the first step in weathering of all types, planes, trains, tanks, ships.

So why bother with flat paints? Lets just cut a out a step in the process and shoot base colors and cammo's in gloss.

Everyone seems to have issues with the laying down of a gloss layer. Using the new acrylic matte and gloss coats seems to be a bit difficult. And Future/Plegde/or whatever it is called now, causing confusion with the various types and names around the globe just adds another layer of stress. One man's Pledge was another man's Future. I still use Testors Glosscote and Dullcote as the final layer because they're lacquers, premixed and simple. I used to use Glosscote for decal and weathering but I mostly use Future/Pledge/whatever now.

So why do we even bother with flats? Sure for touchups and whatnot but perhaps we should just shoot gloss.

mudlark
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 05:03 PM UTC
Some people don't follow current fashions and start the weathering process before the clear coat and it's not always a gloss clear. It would depend on what's being modelled, if decals are used and the finish you are trying to get.
PanzerKarl
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 06:01 PM UTC
Well to me Matte paint flows better through airbrush and levels much better.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 06:01 PM UTC
I find it easier to spray matt/flat/dull than gloss but maybe it depends on which brand/type of paint is being used. The stuff that makes the paint gloss also makes it "thick" somehow.
/ Robin
11Bravo_C2
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 06:33 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Well to me Matte paint flows better through airbrush and levels much better.



Which in itself is strange because Matte is a gloss with an additive (talc or chalk perhaps?)
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 07:16 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Well to me Matte paint flows better through airbrush and levels much better.



Which in itself is strange because Matte is a gloss with an additive (talc or chalk perhaps?)



Different solutions for different brands of paint.
Tamiya have a "matting agent" which the user needs to mix with the gloss clear to get a matte surface.

In the case of Humbrol the matte and gloss are probably additives to a base paint. The gloss has a "sirupy" feel to it which the matte does not have. If the matte was gloss + some powder the "sirupy" feel would still be there.
/ Robin
guni-kid
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 07:40 PM UTC
That's true, it totally depends on the composition. Take Ammo, AK, or Vallejo as examples, where the flat paints do in fact have this "eggshell-sheen" to them in contrast to being dead flat like for example the AK REAL COLORS or many Tamiya flat paints.

And then the gloss coat is often not solely to have it glossy but to have firstly an even and smooth finish as a base for the stuff to follow. When spraying different colors like with camos you end up having those "breaks" between colors and layers, which is not an even, uninterrupted finish.
Secondly, those gloss coats also more often than not have the purpose to seal everything off for the weathering that follows in order not to damage the underlying paint job. In fact, varnishes do very often have a different chemical composition to paints in order to fit this purpose aka trying to give the whole paintjob a bulletproof seal.

That is in my opinion why we should always consider what we want to achieve and in which order so. And then there is no single "yes" or "no"; sometimes it would do ok just using glossy paints, sometimes it would just not be enough...
ReluctantRenegade
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 08:13 PM UTC

Quoted Text

So why do we even bother with flats? Sure for touchups and whatnot but perhaps we should just shoot gloss.



I think that's partially because most of the paints modelers use for painting AFVs are only available in matt. Just look at Tamiya's matt paints range vs. its glossy one.

panzerbob01
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 02:21 AM UTC
And then there are old modelers like myself who only apply gloss (usually in the form of Future) to very small areas of otherwise satin (acrylic mattes mixed with Future!) or matte surfaces to mount decals on and in... And I very seldom use decals for other then small and specific labels, etc., so...

Oil-based enamel paints are originally glossy, owing to their vehicles, and get stuff added to make them matte or flat... Acryls and the like are, in contrast, inherently flat or matte and need stuff added to make them glossier. Acryl vehicles consist mostly of water and alcohols - both of which evaporate without residue. Non-evaporative additives to the acryl vehicles provide the bonding which holds the pigments in the dried paint layer. Oil vehicles are mixes of drying oils and organic solvents. The solvents (xylene, toluene, acetone, etc.) evaporate without leaving residues, but the drying oils have distinct residues which "dry" to form waxy surfaces that bond pigments in the finish layer. So, if you like using less-toxic acryls and want the colors offered in those types but not available in glossier oil / enamel / lacquer lines... You'll get mostly matte and flat paints and need to add the glossy layer if that's important to your finishing process.

When I started modeling almost 60 years ago, there were few paint options and most were more glossy then not enamels. When nice matte and flat types became more available, I happily pounced on those and never looked back!

In my case, I came to generally use spray-painted "base" weathering coats, followed by application of carefully-worked washes, chalks, charcoals, and pigments and mud mixes to get the dirt and dust weathering I want. I've never needed to make my tanks or trucks glossy!

It surely comes down to one's habits, techniques, and experiences as much as anything - some like one approach, some another. I think that the plethora of acryl and related paints in matte and flat finishes reflects manufacturers recognizing that lots of modelers either genuinely like those materials or are at least confident in using them - maybe out of habit.

Just my take, of course!

Bob
18Bravo
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 02:50 AM UTC

Quoted Text

And then there are old modelers like myself who only apply gloss (usually in the form of Future) to very small areas of otherwise satin (acrylic mattes mixed with Future!) or matte surfaces to mount decals on and in... )



Exactly. Most of my moderns builds are done this way - HMMWV's, RG's, Cougars - all require minimal decals. A little spot of Future here or there is a lot quicker than busting out the airbrush. Or if I decide to use dry transfers, then obviously no prep is involved.
Then there's a whole troop of Armor at my COP in Iraq needing nothing at all. Curiously MENG even included decals like this in the M2A3 Bradley kit - just irregular tan shapes to replicate what you could do with paint.




barkingdigger
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 02:58 AM UTC
Intriguing pics there Robert - were they existing markings painted out for security reasons, or is that a base coat in prep for new markings?
18Bravo
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 03:14 AM UTC
They were existing markings painted out. Their commander was very security conscious. Odd, given they rarely left the COP. One of the few times one of the Abrams did attempt to leave, they rolled it.



By the way, Humbrol Khaki Drill #72 is a near perfect match for that color.
Biggles2
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 03:28 AM UTC
I find gloss paint usually runs off raised detail and pools in recesses. Takes more coats for even coverage.
KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 05:10 AM UTC
I've thought it might be handy to have gloss camouflage colors but it would not be a meaningful benefit to me. I see an advantage of having a barrier coat of a single medium over colors because the color paints might be acrylic or enamel (i.e "water based" and "petroleum based"), from different brands, and "brushable" and "sprayable" formulations, so even if all my colors were gloss I would still use a clear barrier coat before weathering.

I also don't have any of those issues or "stress" you mention in using or buying clear coats so there's nothing to saved by me in that regard.

KL
PanzerKarl
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 05:17 AM UTC
Well if you want to hide all that nice fine detail like rivets and bolts then gloss away
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 05:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Well if you want to hide all that nice fine detail like rivets and bolts then gloss away



Is that were the expression 'to gloss it over' comes from??
Scarred
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 06:10 AM UTC
40 plus years ago when I started it was rattlecan glosses, which were pretty well thinned, for spraying. You had to use thin layers and I usually shot them over gloss white to make the colors pop. When I started doing armor it was flat Testors rattlecans and brushwork until I got an airbrush. The old drybrush and wash technique worked on flat paints quite well.

I've got one kit in the queue that is going to need gloss paint and I'm going to do something I've always wanted to try. I'm going to shoot nail polish for an intense color and depth.
Been wanting to try that for years just didn't have a kit to try it on.

But it's been an interesting read on people's opinions regarding this.
steel_tiger1
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 06:33 AM UTC
My go to is Xtracolour enamels. All gloss you have to flat them.
Best enamel on the market in my opinion. Sure wish we could get them here again.
PanzerKarl
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 06:56 AM UTC

Quoted Text

My go to is Xtracolour enamels. All gloss you have to flat them.
Best enamel on the market in my opinion. Sure wish we could get them here again.



Hannants are still sending items to other countries
Scarred
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 07:19 AM UTC
Decades ago it was Testors, Pactra, PollyS and Humbrol the only paints we could get up here. I used enamels and laquers so long that it was second nature to thin them correctly for shooting or washes. In fact that was one reason you used Dullcote and Glosscote. It kept your washes from lifting, softening or eating your base color. Pactra was my favorite line of paints. Their flats were truly flat and the had a lot of colors. Testors flat black was a semi gloss while Pactra had the flatest black available. You could even mix the brands on occasion. You had to test of course but sometimes you could mix Pactra and Testors. That stopped in the early 80's tho.
18Bravo
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 07:32 AM UTC
My favorite color ever was Pactra scale black. Absolutely dead flat black, and yes it was scale black - actually a very dark grey.
My friend and I used to trade the colors from the set that it came from back and forth. This was in the mid seventies.
steel_tiger1
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 08:19 AM UTC
Last time I checked the Royal mail wouldn't accept them to be shipped to the US. I could find some here and there, but other than Hannetts they don't seem to be available. And the Royal mail info was from Hannetts. So I don't know.
steel_tiger1
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 08:21 AM UTC
I think I still have a bottle somewhere of the Scale Black from pactra. will have to look.
V2Phantom
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Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 02:17 AM UTC
Tom

There is at least one US based source for Xtracolour enamels. The company is Kitlinx based out of Utah. I placed a good size order with them about 3 weeks ago and received my order in about a week. A lot of the useful colors that I needed were sold out but I received an email announcement from them that they were placing another large order from Hannants and you could preorder the colors that they are currently missing.
Have fun modeling
Mike




Quoted Text

My go to is Xtracolour enamels. All gloss you have to flat them.
Best enamel on the market in my opinion. Sure wish we could get them here again.

Neo
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Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 03:17 AM UTC
Delta Ceramiccoat (Craft Acrylic)
Dead (DEAD) Flat

Lots of colors, good availability at most local Craft Stores.
And cheap too (a big plus for ppl. like me on very limited budget) usually about 1 USD.