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Air-drying models leaves water spots

Q: Many magazine articles about painting models state to wash the model and let it air-dry. I've always washed my models, but air-drying leaves water spots, and I end up towel-drying them to prevent spots.

-Rich Wilson
via E-mail

Ken: You air-dry a model after washing and prior to painting to minimize handling that could deposit oil or dirt from your fingers (or fuzz from a towel) onto the freshly washed surface. The less you handle the parts after washing, the better.

Contaminating the surface with oily fingers can ruin any attempt at a good paint job. If water spots become a problem, carefully wipe down the model with a lint-free towel. I've even used a hair dryer before the air-dry step, so spotting wouldn't be an issue.

Don't rush the drying phase; a tiny pocket of water hiding in a deep crevice will ruin your day if it gets hit with a blast of paint. And it's always a good idea to wipe down the model with a wax-free tack rag to pick up any traces of stuff that could botch your paint job.


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