Beginner Questions

Using clear before painting wouldn't help you get the effect you want, youre just adding a layer of "invisible paint".

The only reason to do that is that it would be easier to remove the paint if you messed up (although clear itself is also something you can messup :p).

If you want to see the wood grain through your paint job most people would use a candy. A transparant has a similar effect but will reduce the visibility of the grain a bit as it also will cover the grain itself a with the color used.

A candy (urethane) will not, or atleast a lot less affect the color of the grain (if the grain is darker than the candy used).
 
Or what haasje said..lol I should be a little more discriptive I suppose. You can get coloured wood dye... Its designed to show grain, I bet it would airbrush too.
 
A little more info would be appreciated, do you intend to use an airbrush and or airbrush paints?, what exactly are these models and are they for outdoor use or display?, what is their purpose and how big are they?

If you question isn't really airbrush related but you a re looking for a solution for wood treatment, at any decent decorator shop you can find a variety of wood stains in both natural wood colours and brighter spectrum colours, reds, blues, yellows and just about any colour you could think of, and simply apply a couple of coats of normal varnish when your done.
 
I am with Madbrush here. More info is needed. I am no airbrush expert however I do know a bit about finishing wood toys, and objects.
 
I'd be asking what wood? Depends on the grain of the wood, is it a really open structured grain or a dense grain. Most paints will soak into the wood to some degree, i'd use something quite reduced down as to much pigment may just close that grain structure up and you may start loosing the grain, or a candy/trans as mentioned. Also you can add color then gently sand it to reveal the grain again but yer really depends on what your trying to achieve-best of luck.
 
I'd be asking what wood? Depends on the grain of the wood, is it a really open structured grain or a dense grain. Most paints will soak into the wood to some degree, i'd use something quite reduced down as to much pigment may just close that grain structure up and you may start loosing the grain, or a candy/trans as mentioned. Also you can add color then gently sand it to reveal the grain again but yer really depends on what your trying to achieve-best of luck.


Wood varies but I'll be starting on cherry wood
 
Get some cake food colouring, water it down and spray that.
I use it to spray things I make out of wood and want to see the grain after.
I've also sprayed wood stain over things and that works as well.
 
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