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Tips for sealing decals over Alclad?


Daywalker
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I am at the decalling stage in my NMF P-51D build, and am looking for advice on sealing the decals over the metal paint before weathering.  I have scoured the Internet looking for tips and advice, and there seems to be just as many opinions as total aluminum finished models ever built!  On my test pieces, I have tried sealing them with thinned Future (my usual favorite), Alclad Aqua Gloss Clear, and craft-store cheap matte coat (another favorite).  I have about the different clear coats affecting the "look" of the aluminum finish, and if possible would like to find a method which will be the least intrusive to the Alclad finish, yet protective enough to seal the decals and unify the sheen of the surface.  I do realize that I may be opening a can of worms on this one, but I would love to hear any tips and advice from those who do these finishes and manage to make them look so real.  Thanks in advance, I look forward to hearing from you!

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Thanks Doogs, any idea how long they typically take to cure?  I understand that temperature and humidity play a large role in determining the drying time.  Just trying to determine whether an average time would be hours, days, or weeks.  Thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, I've used Alclad Aqua Gloss and was a bit disappointed at how it took something away from the metal-look of the underlying Alclad lacquers. My current favourite is Vallejo acrylic polyurethane matte (26.527) which always loses decal carrier film and sprays really nicely.

Hope this helps, all the best,

Geoff

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Greetings Geoff, thanks for the input!  I have the Vallejo matte varnish, part number 70.520.  Is this a similar product?  I remember picking it up at my LHS a few years back but didn't really do anything with it.  What is best to thin these with, is distilled water OK?

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Hello again and thanks for the reply,

I believe 26.527 is slightly different as Vallejo describe it as a 'hybrid' acrylic/polyurethane resin. The 70.520 is 100% acrylic - and I found it didn't spray as smoothly (although that might have been because my bottle had been opened quite a while).

I dilute all my Vallejo's with their own-brand thinner mixed with a drop of Winsor and Newton acrylic flow-improver. However distilled water works fine.

I recently got some Alclad Klear Kote semi-matt (Alc-312) to try out on my next NMF project (HobbyBoss F-84G Thunderjet) - will let you know how it goes!

Looking forward to seeing your P51-D,

best regards,

Geoff

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Thank you again Geoff!  I did try the 70.520 the other night, and thinned it with distilled water.  It seemed to work OK, but not quite what I had hoped for.  I ended up spraying the model with some Alclad Aqua Gloss clear, will let that sit for a couple of days before moving on.  Hope to get the rest of the decals on soon!
 

Thanks again for the advice, much appreciated!

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  • 1 month later...

Future.

 

Has no effect on the finish of alclad. My spit on LSP is future over alclad and decals. Tough as glass.

I have used alclad gloss and Matt finishes and they still allowed fingerprints to develop after a week. Want some?

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Future.

 

Has no effect on the finish of alclad. My spit on LSP is future over alclad and decals. Tough as glass.

I have used alclad gloss and Matt finishes and they still allowed fingerprints to develop after a week. Want some?

No, Thanks.

:D  :D  :D

Cheers,

Jamme

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  • 7 months later...

ALCLAD sells a clear "sealer," so i figured they expect their paint to be glossed over by some builders.  That said, there are some who say that once you apply ANYTHING clear over metal paint that you ruin the finish and defeat the whole purpose of using stuff like ALCLAD in the first place.

 

I don't buy that argument.  i use good old Future floor polish shot at 8-10 psi straight from the bottle.  Lay it on lightly at first, then add more.  I have gotten excellent results, with many metal projects, including the 1/32 Tamiya P-41 and the 1/32 Hobby Boss F-84, and decals adhere with little or no solvent.  If you think the metal is now too shiny, knock it down with a LIGHT mist of Future with the air brush held at a distance from the plane while you spray, or you can go right to the heavy stuff with Testors flat.

 

You need to allow the Future to cure for a day or so, depending on humidity, before decaling so you don't wind up with finger prints.  And, be very careful to apply any decal solvent over Future with great care.  Do your best to confine the liquid to the decal itself, and NEVER put any on before you lay the decals down.  Your clear finish will turn a cloudy white, and you'll have to re-shoot the section.

 

JA

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