Clear coat question

Hello all

So I’ve painted my first armor kit and i used tamiya acrylics, a 50/50 mix of buff and dessert yellow thinned approximately 40%. I was quite happy with the results. My issue is the clear coat darkened the base color. Is this normal? Should I have lightened my ratio in anticipation of this? Decals are done, just needs weathering and flat coat.

Ps…I’m normally an automotive modeler for the last 40 years so this armor thing is totally new to me. Any info would be appreciated.


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Gloss clear coats always darken flat paint - it’s normal. At a microscopic level flat paints have a rough texture that scatters light, so they look lighter. The gloss coat fills those textures so you get more colour reflected, giving more saturation. Once you apply your final flat clear coat the colours will lighten up again.

BTW did you seal the decals with another coat of clear gloss? It helps hide the edges so your weathering won’t highlight the edge of the decal film.


It’s been my experience that Tamiya flat acrylics get darker when a clear coat is applied.




I usually add some Tamiya x22 clear gloss to my mixes so I don’t have to lay down too much gloss afterwards for decals, but more importantly for me, the colour doesn’t change so much when you do gloss coat, if that makes sense.

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I haven’t sealed my decals yet so thanks for that. All good info so far…thanks so much!

I will post-shade lighter shades to not only add interest, but to off set the darkening of weathering and clear coat. In camo-schemes I will lighten the colors 10 or 20 percent. After decals, a clear coat and that is it. I do the chipping, weathering, rust tones, mud, dirt and dust and no top coat after that. A clear coat after that just blends everything together, which is the opposite of what your trying to do with weathering. It is like you build a car. You clear coat the body color and your done. Hoses, plastic parts, carpet, fabric and so forth have there own sheen and finish. Hope it helps.

I think i’ve got the idea now