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Author Topic: How to Paint Big Planes  (Read 800 times)

Offline Motorman

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How to Paint Big Planes
« on: November 26, 2018, 08:37:18 PM »
Been modeling for 58 years, painted allot of planes but just recently started building big stunt ships. I've been using film on the first few or built ARF so it's never come up before now. 

How do you (dope) paint a 650 Sq. In. airplane? Do you use a 2" brush or just spray it?

Thanks,
Motorman 8)
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Offline Don Jenkins

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2018, 06:08:12 AM »
I'm sure everyone has their own technique and I'm sure they all work well.  Here is mine, assuming you are using dope and silk-span, I use a high quality one inch brush for applying 3 coats of 50% thinned dope on all bare wood surfaces, sanding lightly between coats.  Then cover all surfaces with silk-span and apply 3 more coats of 50 % thinned dope with the one inch brush, sanding lightly between coats.  Then I spray primer, sand, spray color, sand, spray clear, sand and polish.  The initial brushing of dope works it into the grain/surfaces and ensures good adhesion of the covering.  I hope this helps, but I'm sure other builders will provide additional input that will also give you more ideas and techniques.  What ever you do, have fun!!!

Don

Offline Jim Svitko

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 07:53:27 AM »
I do something like Don.  I brush on any preparation coats, like clear over bare wood,  silkspan, or polyspan/Thermal Span.  I am not after a 20 point finish so I do not go thru all the necessary steps to achieve that.

Some colors of dope cover poorly, even when sprayed.   It is worse when brushed.  Maybe it depends on the brand but I never had much success with brushing on the dope final colors or the final clear as well.  So, for final colors and clear coat, you are much better off spraying.  For a real small area, maybe you could get by with brushing it on, but even then, it is noticeable.

Offline Ty Marcucci

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2018, 08:59:22 AM »
Like Don and Jim, I brush the first coats of clear and filler, sand, then spray on primer, sand, spray every thing from that point on with the exception of fine trim lines.. I mask and brush them if possible.

Regardless of which you use, brush or spraying, the key is to sand , sand, sand and use the proper grit and sanding blocks until you are sick of sanding, then sand some more. It pays off.  y1 y1 y1 H^^
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 11:51:09 AM by Ty Marcucci »
Ty Marcucci

Offline Motorman

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2018, 09:38:34 AM »
With polyspan and open bays, about how many sealer, color coats and clear coats (Sig white) to make it fuel proof. Assuming you thin the dope 50% for brushing.


Thanks,
Motorman 8)
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Offline Ty Marcucci

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 10:11:23 AM »
On polyspan, I seldom go over three coats of clear, brushed, and no filler over the open bays.  Two to three coats of THIN white. White does not cover well, so two or three coats are usually needed.  I thin my white 60% thinner, 5% retarder, 35% dope.  Same for clear, but I let each coat gas off two days and may go as high as 5 coats, each sanded with 600 to 800 wet or dry sand paper, used wet..  I tried the 0000 steel wool, but it tends to leave a lot of  tiny steel fibers behind and they are a pain to clean up even with a magnet. Great in limited areas. D>K

Remember, filler is to hide the grain, which polyspan does not have.

Also, I use Randolph dope exclusively with SIG Lite Coat clear. It is fuel resistant. Very few dopes, butyrate, are truly fuel proof. Epoxy paints are fuel "proof". D>K
Ty Marcucci

Offline Joe Ed Pederson

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 12:22:55 PM »
Some places to look for applying a dope finish:

Page 7 of Brodak's Control Line Catalog #21 (There is a newer catalog #22) has a really brief description half way down the page.

Brodak sells their fuller description of using Brodak dope In a booklet, catalog number BH-1599 for $10.99.  The booklet is 14 pages with black and white pictures.  They tell how much to thin the different coats for brushed and sprayed, how much air pressure to use, what grit sandpaper to use for different coats, etc.  One of the interesting points is that their color dopes need to be stirred for 15 minutes or more because of how pigment rich their color dope is.


I have no plans to attempt a 20 point finish like Windy Urtnowski, but the "Windy U" videos on you tube are invaluable.  Windy has a series on using Brodak dope on You Tube.  The Brodak dope videos are in 5 volumes, with number 3 unavailable on You Tube, but there are ways to get volume three. 

 These are just some of the sources.

Joe Ed Pedersojn

Offline Dave_Trible

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2018, 04:58:26 PM »
Some colors like white can be hard to get to cover whats underneath.  A good trick is to put just a little base color in your clear dope as you build up the finish.  When you finally do apply color it won't take too much since the base is built up with the same color and will be easy to cover.  I thin my color to water constancy and spray on with an airbrush.  It takes a while but puts down no more than necessary.  After dusting on some clear to protect my color trim, ink lines etc., I brush on the clear top coats-two or three.  If you are going to rub it out you will sand off all the brush strokes anyway.  If you aren't after any BEST FINISH awards the brushed clear will look fine enough.  A little retarder in the clear will make it flow out smoothly and produce a very nice shine.

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Offline Skip Chernoff

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2018, 05:00:40 AM »
This thread has some very good information ,thanks to all who jumped in.

Offline Paul Smith

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2018, 05:57:15 AM »
I agree with the idea of brushing the clear.  I only spray the color.

But coat-counting is a losing deal.  Also thinning by percentage.  Thinner evaporates with time and you don't really know the starting viscosity.  So you need to be like an artist (or a chef) and thin by feel. 

Harry Higley suggested using a flow meter, but I think of painting as more of an art than a science.

Thus, the number of coats is done by feel as well.  With silk, it's done when it's tight.
Paul Smith

Offline Ty Marcucci

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2018, 08:57:23 AM »
Brushing the initial  coats is fine,  but once you have sprayed color, the last thing you want to do is brush on clear over the colors.  It has to be thinned enough to flow onto the surface and this will

dissolve the colors under it and make them run. Been there, learned the hard way.  Once you start spraying, only spray all following coats. Trim , if fine, can be brushed on, but alike any lacquer, it must

 be brushed in one direction only.  None of the back and forth or guess what???? D>K y1
Ty Marcucci

Offline Dave_Trible

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2018, 03:56:23 PM »
Brushing the initial  coats is fine,  but once you have sprayed color, the last thing you want to do is brush on clear over the colors.  It has to be thinned enough to flow onto the surface and this will

dissolve the colors under it and make them run. Been there, learned the hard way.  Once you start spraying, only spray all following coats. Trim , if fine, can be brushed on, but alike any lacquer, it must

 be brushed in one direction only.  None of the back and forth or guess what???? D>K y1
Hello Ty.  Thats why I dust on some clear coats with the airbrush.  I usually do ink lines too and don't want them to smear.  Since I actually only use an airbrush it would take forever to get enough clear over the top to sand and polish-though I've done it a few times.  A couple coats of Certified thinned about 60% usually is enough to sand.  Certified seems to have more solids in it than other brands and builds quickly.  I used Lite Coat for years but my last few with it got very brittle and started to split the covering with a light touch after a year or two.  Now I'm not sure if it was the dope or less-than-stellar 'silkspan'.  The Certified seems to fill much better and is quite a bit less expensive in clear-the colors seem high priced.  Going to Randolph for those.....Another plus for the Certified;  it produces just a fraction of the odor of the other brands so it doesn't drive the family crazy....

Dave
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 04:14:09 PM by Dave_Trible »
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2018, 08:11:28 PM »

 Fellas,

 How about showing us some photos of your favorite paint stand/hanging system for paint work on your bigger birds?
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
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Offline Don Jenkins

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2018, 06:04:21 AM »
I obtained this paint stand from a friend a few years ago for $50.  The best $50 I have ever spent!

Don

Offline Ty Marcucci

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2018, 12:12:31 PM »
Quick and rough drawing of mine. Photos follow.
Ty Marcucci

Offline Ty Marcucci

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2018, 12:13:54 PM »
Photos. Easy to make using 1" pipe from Lowe's
Ty Marcucci

Offline Ty Marcucci

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2018, 12:14:30 PM »
More
Ty Marcucci

Offline Ty Marcucci

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2018, 12:15:19 PM »
One more.  Been around for over 15 years.
Ty Marcucci

Offline Ty Marcucci

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2018, 12:17:59 PM »
Wood  can break, no welding needed, just braze a nut over the hole. I tapped the pipe first, but after 12 years it was cross threaded, thus the brazed nut.
 
My legs are too  long and I would use 36", vice the 48" I have used.  Just too lazy to remove then and cut them down. Maybe this spring   The end caps are needed to keep it on the level.  D>K
Ty Marcucci

Offline Mike Griffin

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2018, 09:31:07 PM »
I obtained this paint stand from a friend a few years ago for $50.  The best $50 I have ever spent!

Don


This looks like the one that Byron Barker produced a few years ago.  I bought one from him and it is invaluable.

Mike
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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2018, 01:46:11 PM »
Hi Guys,
Very good info here.  Before painting your white base coat mix 4 ounces of white into 1 quart of your sanding sealer.  This gives you a more of a white base to start with.  After you sanded off the sanding sealer spray one coat of clear (50/50) over model and allow to dry.  Using 600 sandpaper (wet) scuff the clear to a dull finish and clean the entire model with Windex glass cleaner (one or two times) and allow the model to dry.  Use a tack cloth and wipe off the model in preparation for the first white base coat.

After the first coat of white is dry, scuff off with 1000 sandpaper (wet again) and follow the same procedure for the second coat of white.  Depending on how you layout the trim you may need additional coats but on most of my models two is enough.  Once you are finished with the white, seal the white base coat with a coat of clear dope.  This may sound like a lot of dope but it is not.  Add the trim and any detail you (ink lines, numbers and decals) want and spray clear again.  Sand with 1000 wet again and clean with Windex.  At this point it ready for more clear dope or switch to your favorite clear.  Typically this only adds about 10 ounces to  40 size model.

Later,
Mikey

Online Matt Colan

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2018, 09:03:56 PM »
Quick and rough drawing of mine. Photos follow.

Thanks for posting this Ty! Iím about to start painting my new airplane and Iíve been fortunate enough to use either my grandfatherís shop or Gene Martineís since Iíve been building and flying. Now Iím on my own and been looking to try and find a paint stand or make one with relative ease. This should fit the bill.

Thanks again!
Matt Colan

Offline Ty Marcucci

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2018, 09:35:04 PM »
HI Matt.  All told I think I p[aid about $12.00 for all the the pipe and connectors. A few years back.   D>K
Ty Marcucci

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Re: How to Paint Big Planes
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2018, 05:04:24 AM »
I just clamp my models to a table. Done correctly and secured properly, the model can be easily rotated for priming, paint, detail colors and the final clear coat.

Plus, the table is a great place, close by, to put all the parts and equipment needed. Soda and a sandwich also.  LL~

Here's the ARGO 2 clamped to a table for the final clear coat.
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