To topcoat or not to topcoat

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When I started discussing the Strike Freedom commission with my client I asked whether he wanted normal or high shine for the inner frame, and as you can imagine he wanted high shine. The problem is that what I have noticed with Alclad is that the shinier it is the less durability it has.

Normally with an issue like this topcoat would be the easy solution but normal topcoat tends to dull high shine metallics. Alclad realizing this recently released a new acrylic topcoat that is supposed to be made specifically for their high shine lacquers. So when buying paints for this I got a bunch of Alclad Polished Brass and Alclad Aqua Gloss Clear. Even though Alclad has no high shine gold polished brass comes as close to it as possible as well as has a more yellowish hue to it.

After painting a few spoons I topcoated one of them and once it cured gave both a scratch test. The bare brass was stronger than I thought but eventually my nails were all it took to scratch it, the topcoated one on the other hand I gave up on trying as dozens of nail swipes didn’t have any effect on it. Also the difference in shine was very slight (it would probably be worse for something like chrome).

This was all great news until I started to realize that this Aqua gloss was basically the same as Future floor polish and the same problems I have had with that product would happen again.

Most people swear by future but I have never liked using it. Not only does it tend to pool easily since it is transparent but for me it also tends to fade the top layer of paint. Just like with models I did years ago (MG Astray) the acrylic topcoat faded some of the brass off some of the pieces specifically the pelvis region, hands, and the wings. It made them darker since the base coat underneath them is black. So in order to deal with this I took the same spoons from before and tested to see if there would be a negative reaction to spraying the lacquer Alclad on top and it came out fine, so I sprayed a mist of brass over those areas opting not to follow-up with another layer of topcoat.

Finished off with painting the secondary colors, leaving the big ones for last.

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2 thoughts on “To topcoat or not to topcoat

  1. Hi! I have tried using the alclad polished brass however, I wad not able to achieve the yellow shine as shown in your SF’s inner frame. I also used high shine gloss black as a base. Would you tell on what went wrong with my application of it? Thanks!

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