Not sure if this is the right place for it. It’s more about technique than paint perhaps?

I’m looking for additional options for gloss varnish. For flat I’ve used testor’s dullcote through the airbrush kind of forever and it works well.

I never got the hang of future. I tried Alclad (not the Aqua) but I think some stuff I varnished three years ago is still drying… I keep coming back to Tamiya X-22 but I seem to go through it so fast I’d like an alternate (or a way to buy it cheaper in a big bottle). I have just tried Alclad Aqua. I might be able to get cozy with it. It went on great, was quite smooth, but then I had a bit of an accident with it. It sputtered out of my airbrush when I was spraying post decals and left a couple of blobs. I brushed it out but it didn’t finish smooth. So I chalk this up to poor technique on my part. But it leaves me with a question: can I know sand this somehow to get it smoothed back out? Will another coat of it level the whole thing (sounds like wishful thinking).

With X-22 I would probably spray it with a couple of thin coats of Mr Leveling Thinner.

Phil, I sometimes run into a similar problem with Future. If you sand the blobs with 2400 grit, then reshoot a light coat, it will be all fixed.

Testors also sells (sold, now, I suppose) Gloss Coat which was the gloss lacquer equivalent to Dull Coat. Reduce and airbrush just like Dull Coat.

So, I would submit that the first question is, what type of clear gloss do you want to use, a lacquer, a water-based acrylic, a cellulose solvent based acrylic, or an enamel reduced with something like mineral spirits.

Personally, I use Future (water-based acrylic), Tamiya X-22 (cellulose solvent based acrylic) and Testors Gloss Coat (lacquer based - but becoming hard to find now that Model Master is going away).

FWIW, I generally hand brush on Future when I use it, sometimes thinned with a little water just so that it has “less body” when it dries. This means it usually takes a couple of coats to get a high gloss (allowing each to dry out completely).

For airbrushing, I spray either Testors Gloss Coat or (mostly) Tamiya X-22. I have airbrushed Future, though, but I find clean up more convenient since I don’t normally keep glass cleaner (or water and ammonia) in my studio.

The only kind of paint that I’m away of that will self-level after drying is a true lacquer which will often soften under a wet layer of plain lacquer thinners. All the rest are pretty much resistant after drying, at least in the way you’re asking about. (That is, some dry paints will soften and craze or lift under wet coats of some more aggressive thinners, but they don’t re-dissolve and level.)

Any clear gloss will spray and hand brush pretty much exactly the same as any other paint of the same type. So, if you’re experiencing difficulties with the Alclad Aqua Clear (and I’ve never used it), the solution to airbrushing it should be the same as if you were using any other water-based paint.

Alclad Gloss Clear

There’s a link on this page to a review that might have some specific suggestions and tips for spraying it.

First, thanks for making the time to write such a detailed response.

Yikes! Does this mean that Testors Dull Coat will be going away???

I buy it when I see it now. Not sure if it will survive the great Model Master purge.