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I'm painting a brass loco with Scalecoat. Decals will be applied. From all I've read, decals should be applied on top of a clear gloss finish. Of course, after decals are applied, a dull coat will be added as the final finish.

So, which clear gloss top-coats work with Scalecoat paints? Testors? Other?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Ralph

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If your using Engine Black. It may be glossy enough on it’s own.

As for alternatives. I’ve used Testor’s over it with good results. Nothing as valuable as a brass engine though. I still prefer to not mix paint brands. I use Scalecoat 1. Just give the Scalecoat a few days to a week to dry and always test first. Spray something with the black your using and then try different clears over it.

I have a few more projects and just picked up some Scalecoat clear from Walther’s. I have a pending order with Minuteman that I’ve pretty much given up on. Time to move on. My gut feeling is it’s going the way of Flouquil. Terrible communication and customer service.

Just visited Scalecoat’s site. It looks like plain Black will give a gloss finish. Just wanted to correct my prior post. They have other blacks listed as flat, satin or matte with Engine or Loco preceding them. There paint dries glossy unless specified on the bottle.

Just wanted to make sure your using water slide decals and not dry transfers. The gloss is needed to help hide the decal film better. The dry transfers actually may work better on a matte surface as they may adhere better with a little more tooth to the paint.

@Dave_C posted:

Just visited Scalecoat’s site. It looks like plain Black will give a gloss finish. Just wanted to correct my prior post. They have other blacks listed as flat, satin or matte with Engine or Loco preceding them. There paint dries glossy unless specified on the bottle.

Just wanted to make sure your using water slide decals and not dry transfers. The gloss is needed to help hide the decal film better. The dry transfers actually may work better on a matte surface as they may adhere better with a little more tooth to the paint.

Yes, using water slide decals. I'll try Testors on a test strip first.

@harmonyards posted:

If you have a piece of the decal film, try that directly on a test strip of your scale coat…..remember, your actual lettering is printed in the film, and is just along for the ride,….you might be good right on the scale coat,….

Pat

Yes, but, the Scalecoat I'm using is a matte finish. I think I'll need the gloss first. Then, the decals. And then, a flat or dull coat.

I know several "well known and established" modelers who use Scalecoat paint on their brass, and then bake the piece in the oven.  They claim that hardens the paint and makes a super glossy finish for water slide decals.

Others use Future Floor Wax, or the latest version called "Pledge with Futur Shine"

I, on the other hand, am a great fan of Testors High Gloss Clearcoat Spray # 2936.  Spray on two light mists, then a final "Wet Coat."  Let it cure fully (about a day) and then decal.  The advantages of this Clearcote are:

1) It produces an almost mirror-like surface. See below

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You can clearly see see the track and ties reflected in the surface

2) The Clearcoat Gloss is impervious to any decal solvent. Including Walthers Solvaset, MicroSol, Micro Set, etc

3) It has a cutting matt type resiliance to fine cuts from a #11 blade, so its very easy to slit silvered decals, apply setting solution. The cuts will never be seen.

4) It goes over any type of paint without crazing

5) It takes any type of top coat, without crazing

6) it really hides the decal film

The only downside is the final wet coat needs a level surface to prevent runs or sags. So you need to paint one surface, let it sit for few hours, then paint the next.  You can't put the painted surface on anything for about 24 hours, so you need some sort of holder (rotisserie) to paint a car in a reasonable time.  See the cabin car photo above.

But the results are worth it:

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4377

The decal film is vitrually invisible:

4377B

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Last edited by John Sethian

I know several "well known and established" modelers who use Scalecoat paint on their brass, and then bake the piece in the oven.  They claim that hardens the paint and makes a super glossy finish for water slide decals.

Others use Future Floor Wax, or the latest version called "Pledge with Futur Shine"

I, on the other hand, am a great fan of Testors High Gloss Clearcoat Spray # 2936.  Spray on two light mists, then a final "Wet Coat."  Let it cure fully (about a day) and then decal.  The advantages of this Clearcote are:

1) It produces an almost mirror-like surface.

2) The Clearcoat Gloss is impervious to any decal solvent. Including Walthers Solvaset, MicroSol, Micro Set, etc

3) It has a cutting matt type resiliance to fine cuts from a #11 blade, so its very easy to slit silvered decals, apply setting solution. The cuts will never be seen.

4) It goes over any type of paint without crazing

5) It takes any type of top coat, without crazing

6) it really hides the decal film

The only downside is the final wet coat needs a level surface to prevent runs or sags. So you need to paint one surface, let it sit for few hours, then paint the next.  You can't put the painted surface on anything for about 24 hours, so you need some sort of holder (rotisserie) to paint a car in a reasonable time.  See the cabin car photo above.





John...This is great. Thanks for the detailed explanation. Answers a lot of questions for me. I'm going to do some testing with Testors gloss on an old brass locomotive shell.

Which brand of top coat (final coat) do you use? I looking for a matte or maybe a flat finish.

@Lou1985 posted:

I use matte finish as a base for decals all the time. I just polish the area I'm decaling with automotive polish to make sure it's smooth, decal, then clear coat. I did that process with this Santa Fe tender. Decal film disappears.

20210720_111543

The clear coat adheres to the polish? Which brand polish do you use?

I'll be painting the loco and tender with Scalecoat loco black in a matte finish. Have a couple bottle of the stuff in my inventory. So, are you saying to use the black matte and then polish before decals?

The clear coat adheres to the polish? Which brand polish do you use?

I'll be painting the loco and tender with Scalecoat loco black in a matte finish. Have a couple bottle of the stuff in my inventory. So, are you saying to use the black matte and then polish before decals?

Any automotive polish will work. Just use a light one (i.e. not a cutting compound) and polish only the area you are going to place the decal. Just give it a bit of gloss/smooth it out. You don't polish the whole model, just the area you are decaling. The rest of the model will still have matte/flat paint. Apply decals to the area you polished, let the dry, clear coat, done.

Automotive polish only. No wax, no combination polish/wax either. Automotive polish should not leave behind any reside. It just brings up the gloss on a surface and does not provide protection/water beading like a wax.

Last edited by Lou1985
@Lou1985 posted:

Any automotive polish will work. Just use a light one (i.e. not a cutting compound) and polish only the area you are going to place the decal. Just give it a bit of gloss/smooth it out. You don't polish the whole model, just the area you are decaling. The rest of the model will still have matte/flat paint. Apply decals to the area you polished, let the dry, clear coat, done.

Automotive polish only. No wax, no combination polish/wax either. Automotive polish should not leave behind any reside. It just brings up the gloss on a surface and does not provide protection/water beading like a wax.

OK. That's a really key point...polish only. No wax. I was struggling to think how a clear coat would adhere to wax. Thanks.

John...This is great. Thanks for the detailed explanation. Answers a lot of questions for me. I'm going to do some testing with Testors gloss on an old brass locomotive shell.

Which brand of top coat (final coat) do you use? I looking for a matte or maybe a flat finish.

Any brand that comes to hand. That is the beauty of the gloos enamel. It depends on the sheen I want

Semi Gloss: Testors Semi Gloss Laquer (1059..probably hard to find), Tamiya Semi Gloss Clear (TS-79)

Clear gloss: Krylon Clear (1303) Tamiya Gloss clear (TS-13)

Flat:  Krylon 1311, Testors Dull Cote (hard to find), Tamiya Flat Clear (TS 80)

I know that comon wisdom is the final top coat should be flat.  I disagree. Unless the car/loco is old and the paint faded, I start with a semi-gloss.   After all, underneath all that dirt and grime is shiny painted car.

@Pingman posted:

@John Sethian, please post a photo of the "rotisserie" you mentioned above.  I'm very interested in the "wet" application you describe, but need more info on the rotisserie, please.

Thank you.

Carl

I don't have a photo, as I usually take it apart after each paint job.    It is simply a foam block that is wedged inside the car body.  That block is glued to the end of a 1 x 2 about 16" long. I clamp the free end of the 1 x 2 in a vise, the  paint the upper facing level surface as described above (two mist coats, then a heavier wet coat). When that cures enough so the paint won't run or sag (a few hours), unclamp the 1 x 2, rotate it 90 degrees so another surface is horizotal,  and spray the gloss clear on that surface

Tank cars are a bit trickier, just be careful with the final wet coat so it does not run:

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What is recommended to thin Testors Dullcoat? Found some online.

Dullcoat is a lacquer base product. However, you must be very careful reducing it with lacquer thinner, as it can cause crazing and lifting, …..I’ve seen some modelers use Testors # 1159 thinner with success mixing 50% in Dullcoat, …..remember, a little Dullcoat goes a long ways,…..it is sprayed in light coats to hide gloss or decal edges,…

Pat

@Lou1985 posted:

Any automotive polish will work. Just use a light one (i.e. not a cutting compound) and polish only the area you are going to place the decal. Just give it a bit of gloss/smooth it out. You don't polish the whole model, just the area you are decaling. The rest of the model will still have matte/flat paint. Apply decals to the area you polished, let the dry, clear coat, done.

Automotive polish only. No wax, no combination polish/wax either. Automotive polish should not leave behind any reside. It just brings up the gloss on a surface and does not provide protection/water beading like a wax.

Thanks so much for your advice on using polish. Here is a tender that I just painted and applied the decals using the process with polish.

20220516_215749 [002)

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