Paint & Finish
For automotive paint and finishing topics.
Polishing paint
North Carolina, United States
Joined: November 28, 2005
KitMaker: 2,216 posts
Auto Modeler: 522 posts
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 05:48 AM UTC
Since getting back into modeling I have been watching a few videos on youtube on the proper way to get paint to shine on a model car.

The spoon on the left is simply two coats of Model Master spray lacquer from a can with a coat of Future clear.

The spoon on the right is two coats of the same paint, wet sanded with 4000, 4500, and lastly 6000 grit sand cloth. I used some plastic polish after cleaning, then a coat of Future.

It doesn't really look that different in the photo, but in person the difference is stunning. Notice the overhead lights reflection in the two spoons. On the left are just light blobs, while on the right each light can be seen individually.

I'm really pleased thus far and can't wait to try this on my two cars for an upcoming campaign on AutoModeler!

England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
KitMaker: 2,249 posts
Auto Modeler: 6 posts
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 03:33 PM UTC
Hermon, I've been looking at this too for my first car painting attempt. I can see youhave managed to get rid of the orange peel finish down to a smooth one. The thing that concerns me is how to do this over the whole model, as when it comes to raised detail and some shapes then you need to be really careful not to end up removing some of the paint completely. I already had that issue with my first attempt, as well other things going wrong with the striping, and had to start again...
I'm trying it with automotive paint as I think it will take the masking tape and polishing better than model paint, and so far it has, and looks smoother out of the can. I am also going to try with polishing paste rather than sand paper..Anyway, good luck with your actual car.
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 8,156 posts
Auto Modeler: 2,953 posts
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 04:15 PM UTC
Nice work Hermon, a very good little prep test for the pending shenanigans!

That colour is going to look awesome on your build mate, nice choice.

Thanks for sharing your methods and results.

Cheers, D
Netherlands Antilles
Joined: September 02, 2014
KitMaker: 1,977 posts
Auto Modeler: 1,371 posts
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 06:54 PM UTC
Good example, Harmon. My I suggest that preparation it is as important as the colour coat? I have applied the same color coat, in the same session, over three different primers:
left: flat white enamel - Testors
middle: home brewed oil based primer (distilled from rust-o-leum grey flat primer)
right: flat black enamel - Testors.

2. The same spoons after polishing with micromesh #2 & #4 and Future coating... The result speaks for itself:

Please disregard the left side spoon: I failed to apply a transparent blue filter... still experienced on the formula

Warm Regards and Happy New Year everyone!
British Columbia, Canada
Joined: February 20, 2012
KitMaker: 1,909 posts
Auto Modeler: 118 posts
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 07:02 PM UTC
Hey, now I have a use for that box of plastic spoons!

Cheers Rob.
North Carolina, United States
Joined: November 28, 2005
KitMaker: 2,216 posts
Auto Modeler: 522 posts
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 09:26 PM UTC
@Matthew: The sanding sheets I'm using are literally as smooth as printing paper so I'm not concerned about burning through the paint. Also, around raised details such as badges, door handles, etc., my personal opinion is that there is no reason to really get close to those details with the finishing paper. As long as the large areas are polished up really well the eye isn't as drawn to the less shiny or small areas. I hope that makes sense.

@Damian: This color is just some paint I had left over from a build a few years ago. My Camaro will actually be Arctic Ice Blue Metallic.....with a lot of oil stains etc. being a Chevy.

@Gabriel: You're absolutely right about the prep work before the paint. My test was done without any primer as I just wanted to see what level of shine I could produce with the micro sanding papers. I agree with you 100% about the prep work BEFOR the paint being extremely important. Also, I got the idea of using the spoons as test beds from reading your post about your mini.
North Carolina, United States
Joined: November 28, 2005
KitMaker: 2,216 posts
Auto Modeler: 522 posts
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 09:27 PM UTC
Rob, the spoons are part of my 2015 diet plan. The slicker the finish, the less food will stay on the spoon, thus the more weight I'll loose.