I managed an airbrushing session tonight. I painted the cockpits of the Airfix Scottish Aviation Bulldog, the Xtrakit Canberra PR9, and a Huma DFS 228. Then a group of natural metal bits (mostly wheels and landing gear for the Hasegawa B-25 and B-47). Finally, the overall black paint job on a new Airfix Hawk T1 and the grey lower surfaces on a Hasegawa Mc-202.
I generally put two coats of most paint colors down, at least for exteriors. The first is meant to be a color coat – in other words, the paint is a bit less thinned and is meant to go on pretty strongly. That’s one reason I don’t use pre-shading. Then I get out some very high-grit sandpaper. It is polishing cloth, really. This gets rid of any surface imperfections and orange peel effect that may have snuck into the color coat application. Then comes a surface coat. The paint is very highly thinned and only enough is shot on to even out the surface and produce a nice level shine. Since I only use Xtracolour paints, this usually takes it back to a glossy shine, though at times it can look almost satin. Still, it makes decal application very easy. Sometimes I get lucky and the color coat goes on smooth and glossy and no surface coat is required. But it seems that most times I get enough roughness to require some additional buffing. Once the decals are on, I’ll shoot a final satin coat overall, which has the virtue of hiding a lot of problems.