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Matte Finish

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Matte Finish
Posted by staybolt on Thursday, June 2, 2022 10:53 PM

I've been using diluted Model Master flat clear acrylic through an airbrush to get a matte finish on rolling stock and structures. It dries with a slightly milky appearance, especially over darker colors. 

Has anyone tried Liquitex acrylic matte varnish? The manufacturer claims it dries to a clear, non-yellowing finish.

I've used Testor's dullcote laquer in the past with good results, but I've since preferred to stay away from solvent (petroleum distillate)-based paints and coatings (yes, I use a spray booth with exhaust, but still.....).

If not the Liquitex I mentioned, anybody recommend another product they like that's plain flat?

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, June 2, 2022 11:03 PM

All Matte overcoats have a colour shift associated with them.

For detailed analysis of each brand and what amount it changes the colour of the finish coat you should look at military modelers websites. They are much more picky than we are.

I had poor results when I tried Liquitex. It was not very matte, more semi-gloss.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by rrebell on Friday, June 3, 2022 6:09 AM

Recomend Liquitex for scenery but never for models. My go to for models has always been Model Masters lusterless flat in a rattle can (no longer available).

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Posted by dstarr on Friday, June 3, 2022 10:11 AM

I have been using DullCote from a rattle can for a long time.  It dries good and flat and looks good.  One drawback to DullCote, it absorbs chalk weathering and makes it invisible. 

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, June 3, 2022 10:25 AM

I've used Testors Dullcote from rattle can and it produces a smooth finsh. 

Both Rustoleum and Krylon produce Clear Matte in big rattle cans, but they may not be as smooth of a finish.  Good for structures.  Test your results with more detailed models.

- Douglas

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Posted by John-NYBW on Friday, June 3, 2022 11:26 AM

I had one bad reaction with Testor's Dullcote. I sprayed it on a surface I had painted with Scalecoat. For some reason, the surface turned snow white and I had to repaint it. I have no idea why that happened and it hasn't happened since.

As for Dullcote making weathering powders disappear, my experience is that it mutes them but does not make them vanish. I actually like that. I think there is a tendency to over weather structures and rolling stock so I think it is a plus to tone it down a bit.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, June 3, 2022 1:18 PM

I've used Testors Dullcote (and Glosscote) for well-over 40 years, but always in the bottled version rather than a spray can.
I usually thin it about 50/50 with lacquer thinner, and in most cases, use my airbrush for application.

staybolt
I've used Testor's dullcote laquer in the past with good results, but I've since preferred to stay away from solvent (petroleum distillate)-based paints and coatings (yes, I use a spray booth with exhaust, but still.....).

I also use a spray booth (homemade), with an exhaust to the outdoors, but if the fumes from petroleum distillates bother you, a good two-stage respirator will completely eliminate any vestige of those scents and any particulate matter, too.

I first learned of these respirators when I worked in the steel industry (a couple or three of them, plus a carton of filter cartridges followed me home one day). 
The mill in which I worked had, on the operating floor, heavy steel plate, which periodically required painting, a task often assigned to newbies on the weekly down-turn day.  I swear that that paint (applied with rollers) would stick to anything...a bowl of jello or even a blast of air, and its scent was overwhelming.  We were required to wear two stage respirators and I was astounded at how well the cartridges prevented any trace of that smell.


For airbrushing or spray-can painting when using an exhaust system, the two-stage cartridges won't clog-up with particulate matter, so you can get very long life out of them as far as obnoxious scents are concerned.  
It wouldn't surprise me that if you were to accidently spill a quart of lacquer thinner, it would be unlikely you'd smell it at all.

Wayne

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Posted by dstarr on Saturday, June 4, 2022 11:35 AM

 

 

John-NYBW

As for Dullcote making weathering powders disappear, my experience is that it mutes them but does not make them vanish. I actually like that. I think there is a tendency to over weather structures and rolling stock so I think it is a plus to tone it down a bit.

You can call it muting, but it is a powerful muting, so powerful as to make light chalk weathering disappear and heavy chalk weathering become very light.

I do all my spray painting out on my deck.  I tape a piece of newpaper to the 8 inch wide deck railing and put the pieces to be painted on top of the newspaper.  Keeps the fresh paint smell out of the house and keeps over spray off the floor and walls of my shop.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, June 4, 2022 11:52 AM

dstarr
You can call it muting, but it is a powerful muting.

I use powders I believe were sold by Moloco.

Testors #1260 Dullcote mutes these nearly completely.

Very powerful muting.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, June 4, 2022 1:44 PM

While I generally prefer airbrushing weathering for freight cars, locos, and structures, I've occasionally used oil-based pastel sticks, too.  I simply rub the stick over some suitably-coarse sandpaper, then dump the resultant powder into a paper cup, applying it to the car or structure using a not-in-great-shape brush.  I seldom bother to overspray it with Dullcote, as any excess is easily blown off, and in a few days, the applied powder has bonded to the painted surface, allowing handling without disturbing the weathering at all.

This one was a pastel-powder weathering...

 

...while these were airbrush jobs...

...while this one was airbrushed, then partially brush-painted on random boards, I also used an airbrush for some of the other weathering...

Cars like this one were airbrushed using a piece of cardstock, cut to match the spacing of the riveted joints...

...and I also added notes to the masks, indicating their use on various makes of cars...

Wayne

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Saturday, June 4, 2022 4:19 PM

There is a comprehensive comparison test that was done on TrainOrders a year or two ago which may be of interest - color shift is discussed:

Dullcote Alternative - A Fixative Shootout

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,5069479,5078295#msg-5078295

Fixative Shootout (Part 2)

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,5086356,5086356#msg-5086356

Fixative Shootout (Part 3)

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,5116682,5117197#msg-5117197

Fixative Shootout (Part 4)

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,5117206,5117206#msg-5117206

 

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Saturday, June 4, 2022 11:42 PM

riogrande5761

There is a comprehensive comparison test that was done on TrainOrders a year or two ago which may be of interest - color shift is discussed:

Dullcote Alternative - A Fixative Shootout

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,5069479,5078295#msg-5078295

Fixative Shootout (Part 2)

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,5086356,5086356#msg-5086356

Fixative Shootout (Part 3)

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,5116682,5117197#msg-5117197

Fixative Shootout (Part 4)

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,5117206,5117206#msg-5117206

 

 

 

 

Jim,

Thanks for the links. Unfortunately the hands down winner in these tests is out of production.....I'll have to keep looking

 

Guy

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, June 5, 2022 12:04 AM

In my opinion, the problem is the reluctance of the users to use an airbrush, which can be adjusted to give a very fine control over the amount of sealant applied to the pastel weathering.  Most spray cans are akin to a garden hose on full pressure.

An airbrush also offers an opportunity to control the amount of thinner used with the clear sealant.

Wayne

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, June 5, 2022 12:10 AM

riogrande5761
There is a comprehensive comparison test that was done on TrainOrders a year or two ago which may be of interest - color shift is discussed:

Everything discussed here seems right on par with the results I have read on several military modeling forums. This was good information.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
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Posted by staybolt on Sunday, June 5, 2022 12:33 AM

Thanks to all so far for ideas, including the suggestion to check on what military modelers are using for matte finish. I've used a respirator, along with my spray booth, for solvent-based stuff, but the dang thing is cumbersome and feels like I've been wearing some medieval torture device after a painting session...ha!

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, June 5, 2022 10:05 AM

doctorwayne

In my opinion, the problem is the reluctance of the users to use an airbrush, which can be adjusted to give a very fine control over the amount of sealant applied to the pastel weathering.  Most spray cans are akin to a garden hose on full pressure.

An airbrush also offers an opportunity to control the amount of thinner used with the clear sealant.

Wayne

 

I wish that were an option but I tried three different airbrushes and never could get the hang of it. This all happened in the days before YouTube so I could probably find a useful tutorial now but I've managed to get along without an airbrush or this long that I think I'll just stick to the rattle can. One thing you can do is vary your distance from the object to control the thickness of the spray. I have a large cardboard box which I use as a spray booth.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, June 5, 2022 10:10 AM

dstarr

 

 

 

 
John-NYBW

As for Dullcote making weathering powders disappear, my experience is that it mutes them but does not make them vanish. I actually like that. I think there is a tendency to over weather structures and rolling stock so I think it is a plus to tone it down a bit.

 

 

You can call it muting, but it is a powerful muting, so powerful as to make light chalk weathering disappear and heavy chalk weathering become very light.

I do all my spray painting out on my deck.  I tape a piece of newpaper to the 8 inch wide deck railing and put the pieces to be painted on top of the newspaper.  Keeps the fresh paint smell out of the house and keeps over spray off the floor and walls of my shop.

 

We'll have to agree to disagree. I use AMI weathering powders and after spraying them with Dullcote, they have a very different look than an unweathered car so the weathering does not disappear. 

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 10:47 AM

I use Tamiya flat finish in a spray can. Tamiya's military spray can paints come with a finer spray than hardware store spray cans (which are designed to paint things like patio furniture) and works very well.

Any clear spray is going to pretty much dissolve any chalk weathering, you have to spray the flat finish and then add the chalk or powder weathering over it. However, you can use powdered charcoal for weathering, the spray doesn't remove it, it seals it in.

Stix
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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Thursday, June 9, 2022 8:42 PM

trainnut1250
 

Jim,

Thanks for the links. Unfortunately the hands down winner in these tests is out of production.....I'll have to keep looking

 

Guy

 

Looks like Dead Flat is available still, trainlife lists it as in stock, but the Rustall kit itself is out of stock currently.

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, June 9, 2022 9:59 PM

John-NYBW
I wish that were an option but I tried three different airbrushes and never could get the hang of it.

I was also somewhat reluctant to try airbrushing, but my Paasche VL came with an instruction booklet with some simple exercises.
Knowing pretty-well nothing about using an airbrush, I decided to simply jump right in and give it a try.
The first exercise was to use a pencil on either paper or cardboard (I chose cardboard) to create a grid of half-inch squares, then, with the airbrush about 1/2" away from the cardboard, spray a small dot of paint at each intersection of the lines.
I actually got pretty-good with that exercise, then continued by spraying lines to connect the dots - the idea was to keep the lines not only pencil-thin, but also as straight as possible.

After only a couple of tries, I was creating pencil thin lines that looked as if they'd been done with a pen and a straightedge.
I doubt that I could even come close to replicating that nowadays, but it did give me confidence to continue-on using an airbrush.
While I have painted commercially for a now-gone hobbyshop, I still paint for several friends, usually gratis or at worst, for the cost of the paint if I don't already have it on hand.

Any success with a spray can continues to elude me.

Wayne

 

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, June 10, 2022 11:13 AM

I found airbrushing became much more difficult when acrylic paint became the norm. I found my fairly expensive airbrushes became permantely gummed-up with the quick-drying acrylic paints. I switched to Tamiya spray cans whenever possible, and found they produced a much finer spray compared to Testor's or "big box" hardware store spray paints. I found if I really needed to spray a specific color only available in one of the acrylic railroad paint lines I could use an external-mix airbrush without it gumming up, but I haven't had to use the airbrush in maybe 10 years now.

Stix
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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, June 10, 2022 11:52 AM

wjstix
I found airbrushing became much more difficult when acrylic paint became the norm.

I have to agree, and I saw scads of posts suggesting the "proper thinner" for acrylics:  windshield washer fluid, alcohol, Windex, etc., etc.
I tried some of those suggestions, but with no success...clogged airbrush every time.  It then dawned on me to check what Pollyscale would recommend, and that turned out to be distilled water. 
I immediately hopped in my car and drove to the supermarket to pick up a gallon of distilled water.
When I returned home, I set-up to paint 48 freight cars, in a variety of "boxcar-red" colours, changing paint colours and/or altering any particular colour as I worked.
Everything worked perfectly - no clogs, no mess, and easy clean-up between colours, too.  This is the main reason that I sorely regret the demise of Pollyscale paints - best paints I've ever used.
Nowadays, I use water from the dehumidifier in the basement - if you choose this option, make sure to thoroughly clean the water-catching bucket, as it can also collect airborne dust.

I still have a pretty-good amount of Pollyscale paints left...probably enough to finish whatever is left to be done.

I do also use other types of paint, using chemical-type thinners like MEK and lacquer thinner.

Wayne

 

 

 

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Friday, June 10, 2022 12:58 PM

ricktrains4824

 

 
trainnut1250
 

Jim,

Thanks for the links. Unfortunately the hands down winner in these tests is out of production.....I'll have to keep looking

 

Guy

 

 

 

Looks like Dead Flat is available still, trainlife lists it as in stock, but the Rustall kit itself is out of stock currently.

 

 

Thanks for that!! I just ordered some from them. I did a cursory search a few days ago and couldn't find any in stock at the ususal places but missed Trainlife.

We'll see how this flat compares to the other options out there. The dullcoat in a can is much diffrerent than the dullcoat in a can from years ago and it isn't very flat. I do have the old dullcoat in the bottle but I try and avoid airbrushing solvents these days.

That has left me trying lots of other acrylic options. My most recent attempt was the Vallejo matte varnish which worked OK but still wasn't dead flat even after two airbrush coats.

I agree with Wayne on the distilled water with pollyscale and I also use it with Vallejo. I use the manufacturer's recommended thinner when using clear/dull coats. I also use an airbrush for nearly everything when it comes to painting rolling stock with the exception of the old dullcoat cans - long gone now...

I have had good success with acrylics in an airbrush by using an external mix single action and not letting things sit too long before running water or alcohol through the brush. I have had to beef up the water trap to prevent consensation from the hot compressor air spoiling things with water blobs...

 

Guy

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by staybolt on Sunday, June 12, 2022 11:16 PM

Looked at a military modelers site. A flat coating it recommended is AK Interactive ultra matte varnish...water soluble and manufacturer claims it works well through an airbrush. Kind of expensive at $12 for 2 ozs.

In a Google search I found Minwax Polycrylic Clear Ultra Flat coating...water-base and $12 for 8 ozs. Anybody tried it? Results?

 

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