I wanted to start off with a helpful "how to do it" post; Over the years (since 2012) I have developed and refined a finishing technique for what was once Shapeways "FUD" (Frosted Ultra Detail) or currently "Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic" material. It's not an absolute--you may tweak as per your own preferences of course--but I find it works well.
- Clean any oily/waxy residue off the shell. For me, this is a three step process;
- First, I use a solvent to clean it; I use Vallejo Airbrush Thinner because it's readily available and I use for my airbrush, and it's not very noxious; NOTE: Some modelers use Bestine and soak the model; You might also try other acrylic or wax solvents.
- After this, wash gently with a #6 brush or equivalent in warm soapy water, rinse, and allow to dry completely. Inspect and repeat if necessary to remove any remaining waxy gunk.
- Finally I use a stiffer brush to gently whisk the surface after this is done. Be wary around any thin parts.
- NOTE. It's not absolutely necessary to do the solvent step, just warm water usually works fine and I did that for years. The solvent cleans it just a little bit better.
- Sand any rough areas or printing striations lightly with fine sandpaper or sanding sticks. Wash/rinse, let dry.
- Apply 2 or 3 thin coats of Future acrylic floor wax (or other acrylic clear coat). I apply with #2 brush and put it on thicker on any rough areas. Inspect surface, sand and touch up again if needed . Remember the next layers of paint will also add thickness so try not to add too much . For information on Future or it's equivalents: http://www.swannysmodels.com/TheCompleteFuture.html
- Prime with spray primer of your choice. I use Tamiya Fine Surface
Primer rattle can. Sand lightly again *if needed* and touch up.
Primed, and a little extra sanding done.
- Apply finish coat(s); I have successfully used both acrylic brush-on, and rattle can spray-can lacquer.
That looks better! I actually put a liiiiitle bit too much clear sealer on this one but it's ok.
- Decal and weather as needed/desired.
- NOTE: Always allow coats to dry thoroughly before adding more, especially if different base (ie. lacquer vs acrylic).
- TIP: Window glass can be represented with MicroScale Krystal Klear or using clear decal film. I have used both successfully.
- TIP: I drill a 1mm hole in the base of solid models, or put a small piece of foam in hollow ones, then insert a toothpick into the model as a temporary handle. This can then be put into a hole poked in a "stand" or your choice--I often use an old Shapeways box!