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when to sand/buff paint?
Illinois, United States
Joined: July 27, 2015
KitMaker: 502 posts
AeroScale: 110 posts
Posted: Friday, July 31, 2020 - 06:22 AM UTC

I've seen modelers do this on YouTube. When do you sand and/or buff paint on a model?

I'm wondering about this right at this time because I just painted the wings on 1/72 Nieuport 17 olive green and red brown. The green has a kind of streaking to it. It looks like the streaks are from paint going on thicker in the streaks maybe? I've been pushing up the thinness of the paint (tamiya) and down the pressure on the airbrush. Not sure whether or why that would cause it. But instead of putting more paint on, I'm wondering if this is one of those cases where I want to buff it out to get a smoother finish.


California, United States
Joined: December 24, 2002
KitMaker: 4,105 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Saturday, August 01, 2020 - 05:44 AM UTC
This all depends on how much care you want to place into your paint job.

For example, I spray paint outside and sometimes dust settles on the paint. I can quickly wipe it away with a tissue and respray that area with no mess to the surface leveling.

If I have runs, I use a very smooth sandpaper and buff out the run when the paint is dry, but that requires respraying to get the proper level finish and sheen.

If you're camouflaging with an airbrush and you see streaks, fixing that all depends on if you desire to take the time to buff out the mistakes. You CAN cover up the mistakes with washes and weathering if it's not so bad so that the streaks don't show...enhance them with weathering.

I've learned from modeling experience that sometimes it isn't worth fixing minor painting mistakes and creating larger ones, especially when weathering, pigments, washes, and finishing can cover up small painting mistakes very well and make me move forward and not backwards to fix small issues.