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Author Topic: Klass Kote airbrush notes  (Read 1882 times)

Online Brett Buck

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Klass Kote airbrush notes
« on: June 19, 2020, 07:51:47 PM »
Now that I am getting some practice airbrushing KlassKote again, I thought I would pass along some random notes. I will emphasize as always that I am not necessarily the world's expert on the stuff, I have learned some stuff over the years.

    Mixing:  You want to mix up your color and catalyst well ahead of time, stirring frequently, 15-30  minutes, to let it start reacting. It is not super-critical, but I never mix less than 10ccs of each using the small mixing cups, for give me enough volume that missing it by a cc or so is not the end of the world. Do all that chemistry class stuff, measure to the meniscus, etc. Using more "part b"/"hardener" will not make it go off faster, missing it either way will make it less likely to cure properly. The 15 minutes is for the regular paint and the "slow" primer. The "fast" primer tells you not to do that, they are right, mix it (thoroughly) and then use it right away,

    Thinning:  The instructions say is is safe to use up to 10-15% reducer (per mixed volume). It is utterly inconceivable, it is far too thick to even imagine spraying it that way.  10% thinner, and you might do better with a spatula, it is FAR too thick to spray through an airbrush or any of the typical detail guns. Different colors vary, so you will have to experiment, but 1:1:1 is usually about right, or 50% per mixed volume. It's thicker than any K&B Superpoxy I have used. The problem with more thinner is "solvent trapping", where the epoxy part cures before all the thinner evaporates. This is not a problem for any of my experiences *spraying* it, the paint covers so well that you use only a tiny amount and the film thickness is nearly nothing, so at least the "slow" thinner (#500)  will have no problem. "Fast" (#550) should be even better, but I have only used that with K&B, not KlassKote. Thin it until it flows out, don't worry about the volume.

    Spraying: Most of the solid colors cover *very very well*, vastly better than any dope I have used. You need very little of it to make the colors solid. That's why it is so light. A few colors *do not* cover that well, "Deep Red", for example, covers poorly, while "Bright Red" covers very well. The white covers better than most white, good enough that I don't usually use a blocking coat, although it might be a good idea. As always, put on just enough.

    Actually spraying with an airbrush, it can go on with a bit of orange peel and still flow out. It is not a fast-drying paint, it will flatten itself out very well. It also brushes very well and levels out brush strokes much better than most other model paint.

   I use an internal-mix gun, the usual Paasche VL, with the #5 aircap, needle, etc.

     Clean up: Just spray some thinner until it comes out clear. And then, the next day, throw it away and get a new one, because it is completely locked up. You must disassemble the brush/gun and clean each part that comes in contact with paint, and for an internal-mix gun, *remove the needle and clean it, clean the paint path through the gun very carefully, and leave the needle loose and separate from the gun, because even if you leave even a little bit of paint in it, it will be locked up when you grab it the next time. I usually remove the  needle and store it separately. Roll up the tip of a paper towel to get into the spigot that you push the paint cup into, clean that first, then dip the entire front end in lacquer thinner over an over until it is clear. Then get the real thinner, and repeat it. I also use a small bottle brush to come in from the rear through the needle seal, clean it again.
 
    I suspected this would be a problem, so I was very careful, but even I have had a few close calls, and one damaged nozzle where I had to replace the entire #5 set.
   
    The real thinner works far better for cleaning than any variety of lacquer thinner, but I use lacquer thinner to get most of it, then finish with the real thing, because it is so expensive. If you try to actually use lacquer thinner in the paint, it will clot up a bit, but it does work in small repairs if you don't have the real thing.

     Dried paint - once it "dries" - really, chemically cures - the only reliable means I have found to remove it are mechanical, not chemical. The thinner will not touch cured paint, you can safely clean the airplane with acetone or lacquer thinner. Fuel on bare colors can discolor it, for some colors, but it won't soak in or make it soft or sticky. It's tougher than the 2-part urethane you put over it.

    It takes a good 12 hours at normal room temperature to become completely immune to fingerprints, much slower or never below 50 degrees, and much faster above 90. It will continue to cure for about a week, at which point, it's like it was baked on, glass-hard, or like the paint on a refrigerator. It will sand OK with wet/dry paper no matter how long it has been, and it won't gum up the paper used dry, but it's vastly tougher than almost any other hobby paint.

     It dries very shiny, and if you could keep the dust out of it for 12 hours, you could at least imagine using it with no clear, even on a nationals-quality airplane. I paint in my bedroom, that isn't happening.

     Brett
   
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 12:22:55 AM by Brett Buck »

Offline Dan McEntee

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Re: Klass Kote airbrush notes
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 09:41:33 AM »
  I've never used the stuff, but this looks like something I will try and this needs to be pinned at the top of the listing. Make it easier for the "search function challenged" people to find.
  Type at you later,
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Tom Vieira

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Re: Klass Kote airbrush notes
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 05:51:55 AM »
i had good luck on my nemesis a little thinner, about 1:1:0.85, but people do spray differently.  I sprayed the red, yellow, black, and white.  They all behaved just about the same (over the white primer).  While spraying with an airbrush and a large surface, i always try to start in a corner and while making concentric circles normal to the surface, just go to town "mowing the lawn".  starting in a corner and working out in only one direction with about a 60% to 75% overlap, you needn't worry about the streakiness that is so easy to get with an airbrush and a larger surface, plus the orange peel/dry spray settles down even better (in my opinion).

Klasskote can leave (and maintain) extremely sharp edges....  my pitman sliced a finger open grabbing it for a pit the other day without a glove......

Offline Shorts,David

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Re: Klass Kote airbrush notes
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 10:09:20 AM »
Hi Brett,
You are using an airbrush. Does it work with a spray gun too, or would I be overspraying too much.

Also, you mentioned using it without clear. If one needs clear, are there any special polishing techniques?

Offline 944_Jim

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Re: Klass Kote airbrush notes
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 11:29:21 AM »
I paint in my bedroom...

Mr. Brett,
I got kicked out of the house while doping a model in the bathroom with the vent running! LL~

Seriously, I appreciate your notes regarding catalyzed paint. I'm a dope guy myself, and recently came into some catalyzed paints. Your warnings regarding equipment cleaning are much appreciated and noted. I will pay particular attention ensuring I fully/properly clean my junk based on your advice.

Thanks much!

Jim in NE MS
« Last Edit: October 04, 2021, 11:28:22 PM by 944_Jim »

Offline Mike Quinn

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Re: Klass Kote airbrush notes
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2022, 12:38:47 AM »
Hi

Great tips Brett.

What kind of coverage do you get with the Paasche VL?  Iíve used HF type HVLP guns and am still getting the hang of it.  I think I spray too much and end up with edges, but that another story.

Iím guessing the VL wonít do a full sized 46 model.

Whatís your experience with say the Iwata touch up guns, think it was you who mentioned you had one in a previous thread?  They are expensive I know.

Cheers

Mike

Online Brett Buck

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Re: Klass Kote airbrush notes
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2022, 12:59:31 AM »
Hi

Great tips Brett.

What kind of coverage do you get with the Paasche VL?  Iíve used HF type HVLP guns and am still getting the hang of it.  I think I spray too much and end up with edges, but that another story.

Iím guessing the VL wonít do a full sized 46 model.

Whatís your experience with say the Iwata touch up guns, think it was you who mentioned you had one in a previous thread?  They are expensive I know.

     I use the airbrush only for relatively small areas. Of course, you can do larger areas if you don't care how long it takes, but the chances of getting it uneven are pretty high. I am sure you have seen my paint scheme, I do base color for the whole airplane, and red areas on the wing and stab, with a touch-up gun, and the red areas on the fuselage, and all the blue, black, silver, etc, with the airbrush. I am very confident of my skill with the airbrush and can do that at home, and pretty easily fix any mistakes, so I am not so concerned about it as with the touch-up gun.
 
     I do not have a touch up gun or an air compressor big enough to run it - I live in a small apartment, where the nice quiet airbrush compressor and very low overspray make it practical.

     For larger areas I am dependent on my friends who are far more accomplished - 20 Point Uncle Jimby, and the late 20-Point PTG and Concours Winner TGF. . This requires fairly long trips and special planning (for which I disrupt everyone else's life), so I am *extremely stressed out* doing it at all, and will generally accept whatever the results are because trying to "fix" anything means imposing on my friends even more. I do all the work myself, with their guidance, but I have never developed a very good touch with this equipment and always screw something up to one degree or another.

    Note this is also why I build so infrequently. I can pretty easily build and am decently fast about it. But I am embarrassed and ashamed of myself for mooching off my buddies for painting, so I am unwilling to do it too often and only if absolutely necessary. I was much more prolific when I used Monokote because it did not require outside help, usually two airplanes a year.

    Brett

Offline Fred Cronenwett

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Re: Klass Kote airbrush notes
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2022, 08:47:24 AM »
I am repainting an airplane now with Klass Kote, I have been using an HVLP paint gun with a pressure regulator and water trap on the air gun.  You will need a 20 gallon or larger compressor to keep up with the air gun. The main tank on the compressor might be 120 psi but the pressure at the gun (depending upon the thickness of the paint you use) will be about 30 psi. You spend more time mixing the paint and cleaning the gun than you do actually painting the model. You also need something that will hold the model or wing panel so that you don't touch the surface and you can hang it up while it cures for 3 or 4 days or more.

Do yourself a favor and to a sample part just to test your paint equipment and your skills.

Great stuff
« Last Edit: May 22, 2022, 11:13:41 AM by Fred Cronenwett »
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Online Brent Williams

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Re: Klass Kote airbrush notes
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2022, 04:32:29 PM »
     I use the airbrush only for relatively small areas. Of course, you can do larger areas if you don't care how long it takes, but the chances of getting it uneven are pretty high. I am sure you have seen my paint scheme, I do base color for the whole airplane, and red areas on the wing and stab, with a touch-up gun, and the red areas on the fuselage, and all the blue, black, silver, etc, with the airbrush. I am very confident of my skill with the airbrush and can do that at home, and pretty easily fix any mistakes, so I am not so concerned about it as with the touch-up gun.
 
     I do not have a touch up gun or an air compressor big enough to run it - I live in a small apartment, where the nice quiet airbrush compressor and very low overspray make it practical.

      Brett

Brett, have you ever considered using any of the the larger airbrushes like the Sparmax GP-850 which has a .5 needle and fan pattern tip. 

What CFM can your current airbrush compressor provide?

https://airbrushes.com/product_info.php?products_id=22739



« Last Edit: June 06, 2022, 10:07:47 PM by Brent Williams »
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Online Brett Buck

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Re: Klass Kote airbrush notes
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2022, 12:03:18 AM »
Brett, have you ever considered using any of the the larger airbrushes like the Sparmax GP-850 which has a .5 needle and fan pattern tip. 

What CFM can your current airbrush compressor provide?

   I have not tried that, because I didn't know such a thing existed. Nor do I know how much air capacity my Badger compressor than move. I might investigate that, although I anticipate my living arrangements will change before build another airplane.

     Brett


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