SPlease help paint scratches off my models


26 posts

I am quite new to airfix,so i recently was doing the bf109 starter set, i finished the paintjob and i was hoping for it to be scratch resistant, so i had a look only to find when i scratch it the model the paint slowly chips away and its really worrying me because i just ordered the bandai at st from starwars!



14 posts

 Hi Will,

I am sure you will have a great time with the bf109 - but dont be tempted to scratch the paintwork after you have just painted it. If it is not too badly scratched - you will just need to touch up the scratched areas. If it is very badly scratched - i would be tempted to respray it with a grey primer and start again.

Most starter kits will use acrylic paint - so when it has dried, apply a gloss varnish, or Airfix Clear / Johnsons Klear - over the model (For applying the decals). I usually let this dry overnight before applying my decals. (Gloss is a great surface to apply decals - and will prevent silvering much later). After you have applied the decals - give it a couple of Matt varnish coats (Airfix Clear Matt shaken / stirred well is pretty good, or you can spray Airfix Acrylic Matt Varnish from a rattle can) - this will seal the model and will prevent the paint chips you are experiencing. Remember to give it a bit of time between the two acrylic matt varnish coats.

The best tip I can give you as a beginner (speaking from my own experience) is be patient - let every dry/cure according to the instructions - and always have a clean set of brushes and work surface. I use turps or low odour brush cleaner to clean brushes.

I am sure you will end up with a terrific looking 109 Will

Happy New Year


Now - where did I put my loop glasses!


1218 posts

Most paint "directions for use" quote the recoat time as "drying time"; treat the curing time before varnish, decals (and weathering if liked but remember there are accounts that involve $pilot getting a brand new aeroplane so weathering is not always appropriate) as being at least overnight.

Though I fly through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am at 65_000 feet and climbing.

John Symmons

978 posts

Hi Wil S.

Welcome to the forum and all the best fot the new year. As Jonno 65 mentioned above if the scratches are not too bad then a simple tough-up could be all that's required to restore the model. You don't say how the scratches occured, but most model acrylic paints are not known for there wear-&-tear if the model is being subjected to some serious play-time, even coating with a matt varnish won't really help much. Enamel paints seem to have better durablity but then you have the problem of having to use white spirit or turps. Primming the model before painting can help when using acrylic paints to help adhesion, but then again it's another step to do when painting, Tamiya's primmers are very good, but be warned they are Very Very smelly so don't use indoors, use the garden shed if possible.


If your scratches have damaged the decals then you have a problem of getting fresh decals. Maybe Airfix can help but at a cost. Or you can try some of the after market decal sheets. 


If the model is very badly scratched it might be better to completely repaint the model. If it's painted with acrylic paints then this is easily removed with meths and warm soapy water. Or it might be better buy a new kit and completely remake your model, All part of the learning curve. What-ever you do the best of luck and I hope this helps. Looking forward the hearing about your adventures and seeing the results.


Remember we do mthis for fun                                      John the Pom

Patrick Camilleri

509 posts

Community Moderator

Hi Will.

Did you wash the model before painting it?  Washing with warm soapy water removes the release agent.  The release agent does not allow the paint to adhere properly.  I usually wash the parts in a plastic bowl ..... not in a sink.  That way there is no risk of parts going down the drain!


26 posts

thank you very much for the advice john i sure hope i do get a nice 109 im doing it traditional paint job!


Happy new year sincearly from Will

Peter s

40 posts

It's more like advice for your next model but hopefully my experience helps. I've found airbrushed tamiya paints (alcohol based) dry very quickly and bind strongly to Airfix plastic but my preferred Vallejo model air (water based) needs a primer first and can be easily damaged within 24 hrs of spraying. I rarely use enamel paints.

Acrylic varnish in spray cans protect the paint really well but can temporarily soften the paint (for a few minutes) and I've had the odd funny reaction where the varnish has blistered the paint or damaged decals. Use with caution! I use Humbrol spray varnish out of preference. Johnson s floor polish brushed on is glossy but never causes problems.

Dad Paul B

387 posts

One thing to notewhen using the spray can varnish is to make sure you have sealed the decals with varnish first as the solvent in the cans is pretty aggressive on decals (there is a thread in the techniques section on this).

Humbrol acrylic matt and satin varnishes can leave a white residue so I tend to use either Vallejo or Ammo Mig varnish, though I have had excellent results with Humbrol Matt Cote and Satin Cote, but these are spirit based so need white spirit to clean brushes.

I would definitely use a primer with acrylics and have found that the Humbrol primer works best for brush painting when you use the acrylic thinner rather than water. Then varnish over the top to protect your paint job.

Paul - Classic Jet Fan


26 posts

@Patrick Camilleri

Hi Will.

Did you wash the model before painting it?  Washing with warm soapy water removes the release agent.  The release agent does not allow the paint to adhere properly.  I usually wash the parts in a plastic bowl ..... not in a sink.  That way there is no risk of parts going down the drain!



26 posts

just to mention it comes off when i scratch it with my fingernail

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