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New Alclad 2 Klear Kotes

And Alcad2 does it again!
I came across the new line of clear coats from Alclad2 at my local hobby shop, and I was immediately curios. Back in March 2011, the folks at Alclad 2 announced the introduction of 6 new finishes to their product catalog:

ALC 311 Klear Kote Light Sheen 4oz/120ml
ALC 312 Klear Kote Semi-Matte 4oz/120ml
ALC 313 Klear Kote Matte 4oz/120ml
ALC 314 Klear Kote Flat 4oz/120ml
ALC 408 Armoured Glass Tint 1oz/30ml
ALC 600 Aqua Gloss Clear 4oz/120ml

Bare metal finishes on model kits don’t scare me. It just disappoints me the fact that clear coating and sealing our work, renders our long hours of prep with a less than realistic looking model. I like the buffing properties of Model Master ‘buffing’ Aluminum Metalizer. But the finish although good, does not lends itself to all bare metal scenarios.

My recent project, the new Academy 1/48 ‘The Huff’ which is a model still a bit hard to find in the states, was a good opportunity to test out the new Aclad2 Kotes.

I’ll be honest, although I swear by Alclad 2, I was a little hesitant to spend my money just to beta test these products. The owner of my local hobby shop -Hub Hobby- understood my concern.

He proposed me to take the coats home, do a small test and if I wasn’t satisfied, he was more than willing to receive them back and give me a refund. Sounds good! I did painted my F86-F with Alclad2 DURALUMINUM ALC 102.

The model came with a nice set of decals printed by none other than Cartograf. Now the moment of truth, should I leave the model finish raw like I use to? or should I seal the whole model and give a uniform sheen to it? I had to take the model outside for painting, I have no spray booth and these coats are made with mineral spirits and alcohol.

Temperature and humidity plays a big influence with lacquers and enamels. So my humidity was right but it was a bit cold still in the morning. Around 10 in the morning the temperature to paint was very good.

Outside I went with my AZTEK A-470 airbrush, a brand new bottle of Klear Koat Semi-Matte ALC 312 and a white hi-flow nozzle. The clear coat flows very nice straight out of the bottle without further thinning.

Viola! For the first time I get a nice protected bare metal finish, without loosing long hours of prep to a dull finish thanks to a less than good product. The folks at Alclad2 recommend at least and hour to handle the model. True, but if you still need to handle to add final touches, e.g. landing gear, bay doors, etc, you might still encounter a slightly sticky surface.

Although it left no finger prints, it is a lot better if you let it dry overnight or until that unpleasant mineral spirits odor is gone. That’s a good indication that the surface is completely cured.

Will I return the Alclad 2 to my hobby shop? Why? This product is a keeper, I look forward to trying the Aqua Gloss ALC 600 and the rest of the new coats and metal finishes missing from my paint stash in the near future. If you ask me if the new Klear Kotes from Alclad are worth trying,
I highly recommend using them!

More pictures of this model will be included in a kit overview. Also, I tried their new Armored Glass green tint and it works like a charm. More on this soon so stay tuned.

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.