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TOPIC: Painting and Finishing

Painting and Finishing 5 days 11 hours ago #2718

  • Robert Bantly
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BAR: back in the day I didn't worry too much about body tube spirals, etc. If I got a clean set of fins and smooth paint, I was OK with it. Papering and/or silk span on fins make them a non-issue on finishing mostly. Things have changed, and I have been working hard at getting a quality finish.

First I tried the water-based wood filler (I have Min-Wax but Elmer's may be better) and didn't care for it - too gritty and I seem to have an issue with roughness down in the spiral like pieces come off, even with 240/320 grit. Next I tried Bondo glazing putty diluted with lacquer thinner. Smelly and requires ventilation but smooth and dries quick. You have to move or more thinner is required to keep it at proper consistency. I like this stuff much better and I am not putting water on cardboard either.
I tried the sanding method shown on the Apogee DVD and had some issues with dig-in of the sanding block. So I tried the "tried and true" Stine method of using a very small square of sandpaper and swirl motion. Still getting a little dig-in around the spirals and fuzzys when I prime also. Shows I am going through the cardboard clear-coating. Next will be a 1/4" sanding stick with strip of sandpaper for better area control and just a hair of putty color outside the spiral/defect.
Can someone post pics of a really good build they did in steps? What did the tube and fins look like post-fill, what did high build primer look like before and after sanding, etc.? Topcoat, how deep do you go on wet-sanding...

Final question: is it even possible to get a "knobble-free" smooth finish with topcoat and clear gloss from a rattle-can?

Need some benchmarks to know when I am where I should be. Like I said, finishing is a soft spot - pretty fair at building.

Cheers / Robert
There are some obvious and easy answers - blue tube and basswood, though the weight would be a penalty.
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Painting and Finishing 4 days 10 hours ago #2719

  • Robert Bantly
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Answered p/o my own questions via other boards and an experiment. There is a post called "die spirals, die" on the rocketry forum that has several methods. Using the the stick as a miniature block will help fix the issue with spiral fill. With a square of sandpaper and a finger, you sand down slightly into the spiral groove and fuzz the tube also. OK.

On the paint. First, probably not enough primer. Once your thick coat is truly smooth, another coat and finer sanding prior to topcoat. Possibly even wet sanding of primer. Next model I will try that when I am certain it is completely sealed.

And, wet sand the topcoat between coats. The Renegade bash I am building is on it's second coat of red with a second wet-sand. Each time you do this you get a smoother topcoat and it appears one isn't enough :) Am hoping the third coat will be satisfactory - at this point it is the best finished model I have made but that isn't saying too much : )

Cheers / Robert
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