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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:20 PM
What - Me Hurry?
redball8's Avatar
United States, IL, Naperville
Joined Jul 2004
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Glow-Resistant Water-Based Clear-Coat over Latex?

Made my way back to the WarBird Colors website today, to see if their formulation problems with catalyzed urethane clear-coats had been solved. Was disappointed to find that they finally gave up, and reformulated their line to preserve their colors (makes sense), but these are not (glow) fuel proof. There are threads on the subject but they are all pretty dated, so I would like to find out if there are better products / methods out there!

To help focus the discussion, there are a couple of observations I can make which were gleaned from all those older threads (and my own experience):

1. Water-based polyurethanes (PU) are not resistant to alcohol-based fuels. A number of folks (including me) found this out through experience, but a call to Valspar and conversation with one of their application specialists confirmed this as fact.

2. Solvent-based one-part urethanes (outdoor or spar varnish) are resistant to glow fuel, but yellow over time. This can be desirable, but usually not.

3. Lusterkote rattle cans. Apply very judiciously; very light mist coats to build up a layer. Heavier coats will soften & lift the latex, creating "alligator hide". Some folks have used the water-based PU as a barrier coat between the latex and lusterkote (me included), but this is one more coat, more weight, etc. And some comment that the Lusterkote will turn brown after a few years, though I have not experienced this.

4. Klass Kote epoxy systems. Very well established as applied to RC model aircraft so a great experience base, gloss and semi-gloss. It is a solvent-based system and they caution that light mist coats are advised over latex.

5. Two-part urethanes (PPG Omni, like TCP's Hot Rod Flatz). Now you're using automotive clear coats, and while these no doubt work, there is still the problem of solvents over latex. Plus you need the proper equipment for these coatings to stay healthy - these really should be used by professionals that have the proper spray hoods, ventilation and personal protective equipment.

What I would like to understand is what happened to the water-based catalyzed urethanes that Nelsons Hobby & Warbird Colors had offered. Are these gone for good?

Would like to keep the discussion focused on glow - yes, I know the hobby is going gas or electric, but that's not what this thread is trying to address so let's not punt and suggest a change of power train.

Let's also focus on latex, or at a minimum water-based coatings. Yes, dope is glow-resistant and very traditional, and one can catalyze Rustoleum enamel to make it fuel-proof, but latex offers color versatility and water-based systems are much kinder to lungs in the typical home hobby shop.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:46 PM
The Prez....... again
kenh3497's Avatar
United States, IA, Rockwell
Joined Jul 2011
4,289 Posts
I would think there a flatteners (sp) that can be added to paint to take out the gloss.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 09:06 AM
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
Traverse City, Michigan
Joined Dec 2005
11,914 Posts
Flatteners, in my experience, tend to give clear coats a milky look. It's why I don't care for many clear paints.

Nelson is still in business. http://www.nelsonhobby.com/hobby_paint.php I've used their pigmented paints, but not the clear.

Jerry Nelson told me that the clear made his paints look like they were covered in Monokote. Not an effect that he, or I, like.

My preference is to use a fuel resistant color coat, as it provides a realistic finish on the scale models that I prefer to build.

If one wants to stick with an eco-friendly product, I would suggest Nelsons.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 11:17 AM
The Prez....... again
kenh3497's Avatar
United States, IA, Rockwell
Joined Jul 2011
4,289 Posts
It doesn't help much for your flat paint but I have used some of the acrylic paint from our local Hobby Lobby store. I think I grabbed the cheapest one they had at 99 cents. I did some touch up work on the cowl of my CAP (in my avatar). I brushed some automotive urethane over it with out any reaction. I used a solvent base urethane. I believe there are some water based auto products now also. IMO, I believe all our hobby paints trickle down from the automotive world.

Ken
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