Thanks. Ya I used to have a paint booth too for my model trains. Basically weathering. The key that I’ve seen is the dam rifles like to peel from use and I do use my pieces a lot. So main reason why I asked if there was a better sticking primer. I used to use chalks brushed on cars to give them a weathered looked. Then spray with tester’s dullcote. Have you tried using chalks ?
A flat finish is going to eventually start to wear off in the high spots of the piece with a lot of handling. Honestly, I think its probably inevitable. As stated, you could try using a gloss clear over top of your painted finish. Let that cure, then go back over it with a dull spray. Be aware that I have not tried this and it is just a suggestion. I will probably try it myself to see how it works though. The gloss will not wear off nearly as fast as a flat finish. Sure, with handling you will wear off the dull coat in the high spots of the piece with handling, but underneath that will be the gloss protective coat that will protect the color coat against wear. I think the piece would still have its flat appearance as the worn off areas would only be in the high intricate edges of the piece.
For gloss coats, try simple “Future Floor Polish”. I think its just called “Future” now. It is acrylic based, but it is durable. It needs to because its formulated for use on hardwood floors. It is one of the many “tools” in my arsenal of tools in my hobby room. You can paint it on with a fine brush, or squirt a bit in your airbrush, thin it with some water and spray. Because this is an acrylic, it is a “cold” base. I have used Testor’s solvent based flat clear over the top of it, but you need to be absolutely sure that the “Future” is completely cured, and then only spray the solvent flat in very thin coats. Wait at least 3 days before spraying over the top of “Future” with a solvent base flat clear coat, if flat coat is your final coat on your piece.
Yes, I have a full array of pastel chalks and use them often in the weathering process for military models.