Monday, December 29, 2014

Too much of a buffer

Buffing timeMy red enamel paint job looked very nice but close up, the finish wasn't perfect. Not to worry, my understanding is that those flawless finished on both model and real cars don't arrive straight from the spray gun - there is a load of hand finishing, or "buffing" to bring up the deep gloss.

Anyway, I had a "4 Way Miracle Polisher" on my bench that I'd bought at the IPMS show out of curiosity. It's a foam block with 8000 and 12000 grit surfaces.

Starting with the 8000, I polished the paint. It quickly became noticeably smoother to the touch but also dull. Assuming that the finer grit would restore lustre, I tried this but while the paint felt ever smoother, the shine was gone.

Next, I tried a little Brasso wadding, this cleans up clear plastic so was worth a try. Result, plastic showing through paint.

Finally, some Turtle Wax Safe Cut - their version of T-Cut paint restorer. I've used this on car paint with excellent results so felt it was worth a go on the model.

Some shine returned but not much. In the polished areas, every raised panel line was back to primer so this obviously wasn't going to work.

Mind you, the next spray of red enamel did come out a lot smoother than the previous one...

I suspect that I didn't allow enough time for the paint to harden. 24 hours is OK for acrylic and cellulose, but gloss enamel is a slow-drying substance and perhaps a couple of warm days drying time would produce better results.

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