How to achieve different shines with paint, but also protecting the paintjob?

Hi Stan Winston Family!

I'm new here, I know, I have thought about it for years lol. Finally joined and I'm loving the courses. I recently watched both Terminator and Predator metallic finishes and I was really glad I did.

I have one question though. All the paintjob looks fantastic when you guys are painting the helmets, I am super surpirsed the Paint doesn't chip off when you handle the props, like with the rags to make the scratches! That is some good handling right there.

My question is, how do you keep the different shines once you have clear coated the whole thing at the end? How do you keep that awesome mirror finish on the "clean" metallic surfaces, and how do you keep the washes, rust and all that goodness from having the same amount of shine. In the videos I have seen, there is no clear coat at the end or any kind of varnish. So I was just wondering.

I am going to experiment with a few ideas, I'll let you guys know asap.

Thanks for everything, thank you for this amazing community!

Henry Creations


  • Hi Henry,

    Clear coating metallic paints is a tricky issue.  Most clear coats will dull the reflective quality of metallic paint, so often the best option is not to use one.  Sometimes it's the solvent in the clear coat that messes up the metallic, other times it's just the shine/reflection/refraction of a clear coat that just does not fit the metallic look.

    There are clear coat formulas designed for metallic paints, like the one from Alclad, which can work pretty well.

    If I plan on working with metallics and want to seal them I'll usually paint a few test pieces and hit each one with a different sealer to see what impact they have.   A lot of the time I just end up skipping clear coat.

    As you mentioned, there is also an issue with adding shine to things like rust or oil that you want to keep a bit more flat or natural, and a clear coat will add shine to those as well.   You can use a matte clear on those spots, but it still changes things a bit.

    Let us know how your experimenting goes!


  • edited June 2020
    Hi Chris, thank you for the fast answer. Edit: I think I might have open the thread on the wrong category. Could we move it where it fits best?

    Yeah I agree 100%, it is so tricky. I come from the videogame world so I'm so used to having different shines and textures and I want to replicate that! I won't stop until I achieve that. 

    My idea was to use Alclad II Aqua Gloss Clear on the metallic Surface, around 3 coats, but before I weather it. Then I want to try with oil washes or acrylics and mix some matte varnish in there, not really sure how that would turn out, but the Aqua Gloss and the matte varnish already have different sheens, 

    I'm trying to avoid airbrushing or spraying varnish on different Surface materials.

    For the Starlord Blasters I am making now (versión 2 already 3D modeled and printed by myself, woho!) there is a clear difference between the shines. I will do the latex masking for the edges of the barrels, but I also want to try this:

    Black undercoat, clear coat for the shine, Alclad II Polished Aluminium or Chrome, 3 coats of Aqua Gloss, then Gun Metal, then 1 or 2 coats of Aqua Gloss, then scratching the edges to reveal the Polished Aluminium. 

    Just worried that the scratching will dull the Aluminium Paint and have a lower sheen than the Gun Metal.

    I will keep this thread with updates and pictures.

    Take care!

    Henry Creations
  • Hi Henry,

    Your planned approach sounds great.  I hope you can share your results and progress with us.


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