Basecoat Paint Application Guide
What are Zero Basecoat Paints?
Basecoats are Solvent Paints being either Metallic, Mica/Pearl or Solid colours, which require a clear coat. They can be colour matched to almost any 1:1 car and motorcycle. The colours are mixed using a formula which guarantees a perfect reproduction of the original colour.
Start by removing all mould lines from the body, using various grades of abrasive paper P400 - P1000
Most manufacturers of resin and plastic kits use a mould release agent to allow castings to release better from the mould. The release agent prevents the paint from adhering to the parts. For this reason you will need to remove it from the body/parts. This can be done by cleaning the body with Key and Clean, (available separately), this contains a dual-action cleaner that removes silicones, waxes, other contaminates and contains micro abrasives which help to scuff the plastic so the primer adheres better. Alternatively wash with mild warm soapy water and lightly sand the panels/body with abrasive paper to key the plastic for the primer.
Primer is a preparatory coating put on before paintingand required before applying Zero Paints. This ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface, increases paint durability, and provides additional protection for the plastic/resin/metal parts being painted. Basecoat paints can be applied over virtually any primers; they have been tested with most popular brands with model makers e.g. Halfords, Tamiya and Mr Hobby (Mr Surfacer) and our own Airbrushing Primer/Micro Filler. Apply your chosen primer with a light mist coat followed with a few medium coats until you have full coverage. Leave until fully dry. Flatten the primer with abrasive paper, or Micromesh 4000/6000, wash clean with warm water. (The smoother the primer coat the smoother the over finish will look). Ensure the body is clean and dry. It is recommended to use a Tack Cloth to remove all contaminants, surface dust, dirt, etc, left from sanding before continuing.
Always give the paint a good shake/stir to ensure it is fully mixed. (The individual colour components can separate and settle over time.) Set the pressure of your compressor between 20-40 PSI, test and adjust as necessary for your own equipment. Zero Basecoats Paints are supplied pre-thinned to suit most airbrushes with 0.3 or larger nozzles. If more additional thinning is required, Basecoat Thinners are available separately.
Most colours can be applied over a white/light grey primer, but some require a particular Groundcoat colour to be applied first to get the correct finished colour. If these are required, apply 2-3 coats ensuring an even coverage.
Depending on the colour supplied, you will need to apply about 2-5 coats. (figure 6) Each coat will dry within a few minutes. DO NOT apply Wet Coats, the paint will dry MATT (this is normal), just ensure you have even colour coverage. The final coat should be applied in a criss-cross fashion to allow an even consistency of the metallic particles.
As mentioned earlier, the basecoat colours will dry with a Matt finish therefore MUST be clearcoated. For the ultimate shine and colour depth Zero 2K (2 pack) High Solid Acrylic Clearcoat is recommended. The following Clearcoats have also been tested without any issues: Tamiya TS13, Mr Hobby range (Mr Top Gloss etc), Halfords Lacquer, Automotive Lacquer.