Question 1: "Hello Rob!, My question is this :Building a 1/5 scale P-47 representing one flown by the USAAC 56th.Fighter Group "standard colors" being over all Olive drab upper surfaces with Gray under surfaces. I'd like to use a 2 stage paint such as Dupont Croma base custom mixed of course; and probably answering my own question would need an authentic "color chip," such as offered by
FTE but would like to avoid paying 30-40+ dollars for such an offering. Is there a mix ratio or something that would duplicate the fore
mentioned colors? Regards, Fast Richard"
Rob: "Fast Richard, I found a real good site to get color info for US, UK, Germany, just about any country that you could want. If gives FS #'s, RLM #'s...check it out, it is at http://www.cris.com/~Rojo1/camocolors.html I reckon that with this info, a good paint man/woman at Home Depot or your local paint store could get it pretty darn close. I hope that this helps you out...and saves you some $$ as well. Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 2: "Welcome, Rob, My name is Karl, I live in Washington state and have been referring regularly to this site for tips, info, and links for about 9 months now as I am in the process of research for documentation for a Meister 100' Corsair kit. My goal is to wow the throngs at "fly-ins" in both static and flying. My questions are these: since the F4 Corsair used a revolutionary spot-welding (for the time..) technique for attaching the skin, isn't putting the convex rivet heads not correct? If this is true, how do you duplicate that and how do you make the panel lines? I am not going to flood you with all my questions 'cause I have several, but how's these for starters? Thanks, Karl."
Rob: "Hi Karl, To be honest, I've never built a Corsair, so I've never truly gotten into researching one. However, I do have a site for you to check out...it is dedicated to a Corsair restoration project. There are a lot of great pics that show the process step by step. I just was poking around on it for a few minutes and there are some good shots that may help you out, it is:
http://www.americanaeroservices.com/f4u_photos.htm Sorry I couldn't be of more help on this one. Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 3: "Rob, Welcome to RCWarbirds! Why do you use latex house paint? How do you fuelproof it for glow and/or gas? Thanks
Rob: "Hi Jon, Why do I use latex house paint, I guess the #1 reason is that it is so easy to use. The #2 reason is the cost. I do primarily Luftwaffe birds, and I can buy a gallon each of RLM 74, 75, and 76 for less than it would cost for automotive lacquer to do just one airplane! Also there is no smelly, toxic thinner to mess with, just plain old water. Clean up is simple. Another plus is that I can paint in my workshop.
As for fuel proofing, I fly primarily gas engines and I've never had a problem. It has been my experience that once the paint has been allowed to cure, that it is pretty much fuel proof (gas) providing you don't pour a gallon of gas on the fuse or wing and allow it to soak in...I don't know what effect that would have as I've never done it. I usually use Behr Exterior flat latex which I buy at Home Depot. I give it at least a week before I get to the point where I would consider gassing up and flying (for latex to fully cure it takes a month or longer). Also I normally don't apply a clear coat as I fly just for fun, not competition. Lot's of folks use a clear coat such as Nelson Hobby Flat Clear for fuelproofing...see their website at: www.nelsonhobby.com . They say that their clearcoat is fuel proof with the addition of a recommended Cross Linker Additive for 40-50% nitro fuels, and can be used without the Cross Linker when using gasoline or low nitro glow fuel. Some folks have used a product called OMNI clear coat, which is a 2 part urethane. I have heard that is will go over just about anything without compatibility problems and that it dries quickly and doesn't yellow. It is said to be fuel proof for both gas and glow. However, I haven't used Omni myself, so I would recommend doing a test subject prior to putting it on my model.
Also for use with glow fuel, lot's of folks use Top Flight flat clear over latex.
Another interesting bit, NEO from Newark Ohio did a fairly involved test regarding polyurethane and latex. It might be worth checking out his article at: http://www.renderwurx.com/rc/glasstest/index.htm
I try to keep things as simple as possible, whenever possible. Since I use latex paint to do my warbirds, I always try to keep any other painting such as insignia, markings and the like to a water based paint as well, if not latex also. After all, you can get latex in any color imaginable and it is easy to mix to achieve varied shades, so why go looking for trouble. If I ever find the need to mix media, I will always test thoroughly prior to putting anything on my model. Why take the risk, a little time is all you have to lose.
I have a couple of projects that I will be going whole hog on with the detailing/weathering bit. I will use latex for just about everything. For weathering etc., I like to use artists pastels/chalks (NOT oil pastels) ground up and applied with a brush, cloth, or whatever works for the technique I'm looking to achieve. For this, I will need a clear coat. I'm planning on using Nelson Hobby flat clear...and you can bet your bottom dollar, that I will do plenty of testing before anything goes on the model itself. Hope this helps you out Jon. Happy flying,
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Question 4: "Hi Rob, welcome to RCWarbirds. I have a question about clearcoating my model. I have used off the shelf Rustoleum spray paint, and I was wondering if a clearcoat is needed. I am using a gas engine, not glow. If so, what kind would you recommend.
Rob: "Hi Rusty, Thanks. From my experience, I would say that you will need to use a clear coat on your airplane. I would go with the Nelson Hobby flat clear, which is according to Nelson's compatible with just about anything. I would also get their Cross Linker additive...so for a 1/2 pint of flat clear and the Cross Linker you're looking at about $16.00. You can check out Nelson stuff at www.nelsonhobby.com . Nelson's recommends that before applying the clear coat, that you should lightly dry sand the areas to be painted with 320 grit sand paper. This gives the clear something to bite, or hold on to. Don't worry about scratches, just sand lightly and they won't be noticeable.
I have used Rustoleum in the past on smaller (40 - 1.20 sized) glow powered airplanes and never had a problem. So long as I didn't use high nitro fuel. I've never used it on a gas powered airplane though. I have a good friend who say's that he always uses Rustoleum for glow, and Krylon for gas. I think the biggest knock on Rustoleum is that it takes a long time to set up or cure. Sure it dries to the touch quickly, but it is still soft underneath! I find that too many folks are impatient...they think that because a paint is dry to the touch it is fully cured...NOT TRUE! Even latex takes a long time to cure fully, up to a month or more.
I would make a test subject, glass a piece of balsa, paint it as you did your airplane, let it cure a bit then put some fuel, whether it be gas or glow on and see what happens. Next do the same test with whatever clear coat that you want to use. Painting can be very tricky when you start mixing media...latex, lacquer, polyurethane or what have you. I always try to stick with the same media, that way the chance of a problem arising is substantially lessened...can still happen, but less frequently for sure. And...I always test compatibility before anything goes on my airplane if I am not familiar with the products. I hope this helps you out a bit. Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 5: "Hi Rob I have been using the epoxy finishing resin such as z-poxy , and others with half ounce fiberglass cloth to finish several of my planes . I have on hand a great deal of silk span covering material that I use back when I was younger. Will silk span work with the epoxy finishing resins , and if so will it give you comparable strength to fiberglass cloth?. What can you tell me . Silk span gives a very nice finish but I have been hesitant to use it. What can you tell me? Thanks, Tom"
Rob: "Hi Tom, Good question. I have only ever used silk / Silkspan with nitrate dope once or twice, and that was many years ago. As far as using silk or Silkspan with finishing resin, I couldn't say with any authority as I've never tried this combination. I don't see why it wouldn't work, unless the resin attacked the silk for some reason. As for the strength, I would think that fiberglass cloth and resin would be a stronger combination. Since you have a good supply of Silkspan on hand, I would suggest doing a test to be on the safe side. Don't forget to let us know the results if you test this out Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 6: "Question, what is the best paint to use on my all glass 100" Corsair? Want gray belly and deep blue top, also some weathering....thanks, would like a good hard paint."
Rob: "Hi Donnie, Well, for a big bird like that I personally would go with latex house paint...but you specified that you want a "HARD PAINT"...so, I would go with something like PPG automotive paints, or Chevron Perfect Paint. They are both fairly expensive, with the PPG being the most costly. However, you will have to have the PPG custom mixed and I am not sure what the smallest amount that you can get is...it may vary by vendor. You will need to provide a color chip or sample of what you are looking for. The Chevron Perfect Paints are a bit less expensive and are "hobby oriented" so many colors are available. However, I have heard that the Chevron paints
are getting difficult to find??? I haven't used them in many, many years so I couldn't really say with any authority. I am assuming that your reference to "hard paint" is also applying to weathering? With either of these paints mentioned above, I would use Testors Model Master paints for weathering/shading and the like. Keep in mind though, that unless you are really proficient with an airbrush, it will take some practice to get subtle effects with these paints. Personally I would still do my weathering and stuff with pastels and then a clear coat. The biggest thing to remember is to first make a test object if you are not familiar with how any products go on...or for compatibility issues. It is always better to find out on a test subject if something isn't going to work as desired rather than on your model.
You can get more info on these paints at the following sites: Automotive Paints
Chevron Perfect Paint
Testors Model Master
I hope that this is a help to you Donnie, and don't forget to send us some photos of the bent wing bird when you get her finished. From what I have heard, it's a really nice model. Happy flying, Rob Bailey"
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Question 7: "Rob, What is a good technique for replicating gun barrel smoke residue? Is there any way to make it look real good without an airbrush? Mike"
Rob: "Hi Mike, To replicate gun barrel smoke residue without an airbrush isn't too difficult at all really. I like to use artist chalks or pastels (NOT oil pastels). First you should have some good reference photos of what you are trying to replicate. Next I take a razor and the desired color and basically just start shaving the pastel into a pile of powder. I apply it in various ways, dry brush, finger, tissue, damp tissue, or even wet the brush a bit. I just start putting it on and working it. Try to get the same flow, or effect as your reference photos. This takes a little practice, but the good thing about pastels is that you can usually get everything off with a damp cloth if you mess up...Notice I said usually! If you are working over a very light base color and you apply a dark pastel heavily it could stain it. A good point to remember when doing any weathering, take your time, don't try to get the desired effect in one shot, build up your finish. Remember, it took time on a real bird to get the effects that you see...and going slowly and building up your finish also cut;so down on errors and headaches. Again, as I always stress, get a test subject to practice on. Always, practice any new technique and test any new type of media before applying it to your model.
Okay, that sounds easy enough...right? Well, here is the the tricky part. You will have to apply some type of fixative over the pastel or it will rub off, smear, or whatever. I usually would use a flat clear coat applied in very light coats. If you apply too heavily in one shot, it can make the pastel run, discolor or both. What kind of clear coat to use? That depends on what type of finish you have on your model. Compatibility is the big issue here...check some of the other posts, as this has been addressed before. Some clear coats can be purchased in spray cans, and others require an air brush. Again, always practice any new technique or media before applying it to your model. Always, practice any new technique or media before applying it to your model. Happy modeling, Rob"
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Question 8: "I'm thinking about using spraying a coat of flat primer, a couple coats of color, then a couple coats of flat clear coat over a layer of white Monocoat. Would that be ok? And is there fuel proof spray paints available?-- Aaryn"
Rob: "Hi Aaryn, Well, you didn't really give me too much to go on here. It would help to know a bit about the airplane that you're working on...type, size, weight, engine (gas/glow)??? But here is a general guide so to speak...send me some more info and I can help out a bit more. If the airplane is already built (used/flown) my first consideration would be it's weight...if it was ever damaged/repaired this could add to the weight. Lets for argument sake say that this is a new airplane and was built and covered well. Yes it is possible to spray over Monocoat. However, I would first get some 320 grit sandpaper (dry, NOT WET) and lightly go over the Monocoat...this will give something for the paint to hold onto. Then give it a couple light coats of primer. The real purpose of primer is to make any imperfections in the finish visible...I don't really know if this is absolutely necessary over Monocoat, but other than adding a little weight, it certainly will not hurt anything. When the primer is dry, hit it again lightly with the 320 sandpaper...then go over the entire airplane with a good tack cloth to get rid of any dust etc. Then mask off the areas to paint as per the color scheme that you've chosen, and start adding color. Again, it is always better to give several very light coats rather than one or two heavy coats. I know lot's of folks don't have the patience...they just want to get the airplane painted and go fly...but believe me...take you time and it does pay off. You will have a much better looking airplane, the finish will hold up better and it will be lighter as well. As for fuel proof paints, that depends on whether you're using gas or glow? If you aren't looking for a competition scale finish, just something that looks good and isn't too far off, Rustoleum and Krylon have heaps of colors available...you just have to remember Rustoleum is fuel proof for glow (up to about 15% - 20% nitro) As for a clear coat...for glow Top Flight ( http://www.top-flite.com/ ) flat clear should do the trick, and for gas I like Nelson Hobby's ( www.nelsonhobby.com )flat clear
and Krylon is fuel proof for gas. Okay, now for my standard disclaimer...I always recommend testing out any new combination prior to attempting it on my model. If you have an old wing that was Monocoated how long would it take to go through this process just to test out the results? Not long really...and it could save a big headache down the road if something turns out to be not compatible!
I hope this helps you out...again, if you give me a little more info I could be more specific.
Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 9: "I'm detailing out a yellow aircraft p-47 razorback thunderbolt, and was thinking about making it aluminum instead of the norm OD green.....whats the best paint or covering I can use over glass to get the real aluminum look? thanks"
Rob: "Hi Donnie, Wow, you are one prolific builder... how's that Corsair coming along? If it's done, how about some pics???
As for a natural metal finish on your P-47, I would check out I.M.P.'s product called Skinny-Dip. I have never used this product, but I have seen aircraft done with this process and they looked really, really nice. I.M.P.'s site is www.impscale.com They don't give much info but I would email them and see what they can tell you. In fact, I'm going to do that myself just so I have some documentation on this product.
Also, I have seen Testors Model Master Metalizer www.testors.com products at the local hobby shop and have wondered how they would work for an RC application? I have seen this system used on plastics, and it looked outstanding. Testor's web-site say's "Model Master Metalizer is a unique metalizing plate finishes especially formulated for plastic models. It is a high quality product manufactured with the finest materials available. The Metalizer system consists of a wide range of buffing and non-buffing ½ oz. Colors, which allow the modeler to duplicate virtually any natural metal, finish."
I would most likely use a clear coat over either of these products.
Of course, I have to put in my disclaimer now! Before you ever try any new technique or product on your model, test it first! Take a piece of scrap or even manufacture a test piece and try the products for appearance and compatibility. Compatibility applies not only to paints or solvents that will be used together, but with fuel as well...glo or gas. I wish that I could be of more help, but if you do try either of these systems, please give me a report on them...ease of use, results...and if you had any compatibility issues...remember to test before you put on your model!!! Happy flying, Rob"
Update: "Hi Donnie, I inquired to Testors last night after answering your email. This is what they had to say:
"Hello Robert, Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately the Model Master Metalizers were formulated specifically for polystyrene plastic and requires that they be sealed once dry. The Metalizers can create a fabulous finish but are also very delicate. The flat clear may not present any problems but I don't think you will get the results you want with the fiberglass/resin material. Mike Butterworth
Testor Customer Service"
I am going to do some experimentation with these products myself within the next week and I will notify you of my results. Happy flying, Rob "
Update: "Hi Donnie, Hey I just realized I forgot to mention to you another possible alternative for your natural metal P-47...I hope it's not too late? Anyway, I've never used this product, but am considering it for a future bird. It's called "Flite Metal" from ScaleAero, check it out at : http://www.scaleaero.com/flitemetal.htm
It looks good from photos I've seen of a few planes that have used it. Just thought I'd pass the info on to you.
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Question 10: "Hi Rob, Is that a P-47 with the Nose art Meat Hound? If so do you have any references to that particular airplane? Please let me know, I am trying to find a reference that will stand out. Thanks, Nick"
Rob: "Hi Nick, Sorry, Meat Hound isn't a P-47...it's a B-17. I found the pic in a photo editor package somewhere awhile back. It was one of those things where you take a picture and impose it in the photo. I thought it was cool so I did it and saved it...that was about 5 or 6 years ago. Sorry I don't have any info on "Meat Hound" and I honestly don't even know if there was a real aircraft of that name...I figure there probably was, but I've never seen any other reference to it. Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 11: "Hi Rob, Can you give me a supplier of fine aircraft stenciling, such as the :AAC serial number max crew weight ,no push, no step, drain here and all that kind of "fine" stenciling found on Warbirds. Thanks,"
Rob: "Hi Richard, Well as I didn't have a good answer off the top of my head, I went to my friend Ray Harris of AirRayInc. , Ray by the way is a super builder and pilot. Here is what Ray had to say; "There is 3 - 4 ways to go. The first and best way, is from plastic models. Just copy and enlarge as needed, or even scan these days and enlarge as needed. The other ways are from three views where available, or books specific about that particular aircraft that give out the different nomenclatures. Pro Mark and Aeroloft are great sources for dry transfers ready to go. Just give them the size and they do the rest. Ray" Okay, so that is the word from a pro builder. You can check ProMark out at http://www.pro-mark.com/ and Aeroloft at http://www.aeroloft.com/start.shtml I hope that this is a bit of a help to you...at least it's a good starting point. Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 12: "Howdy, Rob. How do I make panel lines in the glass in a 100" Corsair? Thanks, Karl"
Rob: "Hi Karl, Well there are 2 ways that are most often used. Creating them with ChartPac or Pinstripe tape or etching. With either method, the first step is to prime the surface and then lay out your panel lines in pencil. Some folks prefer etching with a sharp object such as a sharpened metal rod of the appropriate diameter. I have seen any number of tools devised specifically for this purpose each to suit the individual user. This is probably the fastest way, but I think it has less margin for error than the tape method. You have to have a steady hand and apply relatively even pressure, and it is for me at least, difficult to use a guide other than tape. If you are not careful you can go off course and then have to fill and sand. Also there is the possibility of going too deep into the glass and weakening the structure. Of course this depends on the thickness and the quality of the glass. The second method and one that I prefer is to hit the model with a coat of primer, lay out the panel lines in pencil, and then lay down the chart pac or pinstripe tape. Once this is done, spray a couple more light coats of primer. Let the primer dry thoroughly, then I use a fine grit dry sandpaper i.e. 320 and go over the lines lightly this makes the process of pulling up the tape easier. Sometimes the tape will cooperate and come off nicely in long pieces...and sometimes it won't. If you get into a situation where the tape keeps breaking in little bits use a pin or something like a #11 exacto blade to lift up the ends so you can pull lightly. Once all the tape is removed, examine the lines. Sometimes there is a built up area of primer on the sides where the tape was...you may want to hit these areas again with the 320 paper to knock down the high spots. Either method is not really difficult to master...they just require a little practice. Even if you make a mistake, you can sand it down and give it another go. I hope that this helps. Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 13: "Hi I would like to ask u: I had a chat in my local hobby shop about these silver paints (humbrol exactly) I read your answer about it, and we think if you use a plastic filler under the paint, and over the paint you will use clear gloss paint - foolproof
and it SHOULD work, viktor. P.S. I´m apology about all grammar mistakes"
Rob: "Hi Viktor, Yes, I too am of the opinion that they will work on our scale models. I have not looked into the Humbrol line, but I have done a little research on the Testors Model Master Metallics. I haven't gotten to the point of testing them out yet though, too much rain here and I do my painting outdoors. The thing about the Testors at least is that these are very delicate after applying so they will need to be handled carefully and definitely will need a compatible clear coat. As soon as I get some good weather and some time, I plan to do a fairly thorough test on the Testors products. I tend find a combination that works for me and stick with it...even though more research may reveal an even better more compatible/wearable combination. So please, if you do any research or testing on the Humbrol line, please let us know your results wether they be good or not so good. Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 14: "Hi Rob, How does latex house paint hold up to nitro and or gas? I've not used this before and I'd like to learn from others who have experience with this. I'm experimenting with automotive paints and I have a industrial paint booth to use and the correct equipment, but I'd rather use something that is safer and environmentally friendly. Any thoughts here would be appreciated. Thanks,
Rob: "Hi Joe, Wow, I'm envious of your setup and equipment! You are definitely a member of the fortunate minority!!! Anyway, to get to your question, I have found that latex holds up well to gasoline. I usually use Behr latex from Home Depot. Now take into consideration that I have never "soaked" a model painted with latex in gasoline. But from normal use and the occasional over fill, I have never had a problem. Some modelers like to use a clear coat, but I have not found this necessary personally, except with the exception of competition airplanes, where the weathering affects and the like need to be protected. For glo powered models I would most definitely use a clear coat, such as Nelsons Hobby clear, check out their products at: http://www.nelsonhobby.com/contents.htm I have been told by some modelers that latex hold up to 10 -15% nitro well, but as I haven't painted a glo powered airplane with latex I can't say with authority. I always recommend that before putting anything on an model that you haven't used before or uncertain of, TEST IT FIRST on scrap or even make a test subject. I try to keep the larger pieces of any crash victims that I have just for this purpose. For some additional info, look at my reply to Jon re: "Why Latex". I hope that this is at least a bit of help. Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 15: "Rob, I am working on my first scale project, a Yellow P47 Bubble Canopy. This will also be my first attempt at glassing, and I would like some tips on how to proceed. I have searched the web and have come up with very little information on technique. The other question is what is the best resin/epoxy product to use when glassing? Thanks,"
Rob: "Hi WRL, Well, I could probably fill up several pages on this topic but most likely confuse you than anything else. I found a great "How To" guide on glassing at Art's Hobby website...check it out at: http://www.arts-hobby.com/fiberglassing.htm
It's about 4 pages / 21 steps but it is a very thorough and easy to understand guide. After you've done a couple of airplanes yourself and talk to other folks, you will probably refine your personal process somewhat. But, this is a very good starting point. As for the best resin/epoxy products to use...that again will be a personal preference. I used to love "Smooth N Easy" which was made by Hobby Poxy, but hasn't been around for some time now. I have been using the Z-Poxy products the past couple of years and have had nice results. Also, many modelers swear by West Systems products http://www.westsystem.com . I just purchased a bunch of their stuff earlier today as a matter of fact, but have not used it as yet. The Meister Me-109 that I'm now building will be my first shot with the West Systems line of products (I'll keep ya all posted). I hope this is a help to you...if you run into any problems don't hesitate to ask for more detailed help. Happy flying, Rob Bailey"
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Question 16: "Rob, Do you know of a way to simulate dutz fasteners if using latex? Thanks, Joe"
Rob: "Hi Joe, Well I think that you may be referring to "Dzus" fasteners? I would make them basically the same as I would with any other paint/finish. Most detail such as fasteners, rivets, panel lines, and the like are simulated prior to the finish painting. I would first get some good photos of my subject, to determine the best way to represent them. Are they round head? Flat head? Recessed? Most are going to look for the most part, like a rivet with a slotted head so they can be turned to loosen or tighten. To simulate this is a bit more work and time consuming than just rivets. For example, if they are round head I would probably go with the glue rivet process...using a syringe or other instrument to apply just a drop of glue that when dry will resemble a raised rivet. Then when they have dried thoroughly I would use a #11 exacta or some such device to slot the head. If it is a flat head that you are trying to simulate, I would use the sharpened brass tube/solder gun method and then go back with the #11 for the slot. As I said, rivets and the like can be a time consuming process. Some folks have the rivet thing down like crazy and others like myself, just labor along until the process is finished. But when you want to go that extra mile to make the project really outstanding I believe the time/effort is worth it. I hope this is some help to you. Happy flying, Rob "
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Question 17: "Hi Rob My question for you is, in the attached picture there as some really nice weathering effects and as I am building a Hurricane, I was hoping that you could shed some light on the chipped paint look and also how you would tackle the rivets in the picture. Thanks"
Rob: "Hi Robert, Sorry for the delay in getting to this one...I was away at the WMWA Dino DiGiorgio Memorial Warbird Scale Classic...and had a great time! Well first let's look at the rivets...I zoomed in on the photo, and they look like they were most likely done with glue, like Elmer's, white or Carpenters glue. I like the carpenters a bit better as it doesn't tend to flatten out or dimple as much as the white. The consistency is more a personal preference...I usually thin it a bit with water...but not too much. I have some old non-disposable hypodermic (large bore) needles that I got from an Veterinarian friend many years ago, but you can buy tools/needles for this purpose...some folks just dot it on with a toothpick...whatever works for you and you are comfortable with. Just practice on an piece of old wood or scraps from an old deceased airplane to developed speed and consistancy....practice makes perfect!
As for the chipped paint, well there are several ways to achieve this effect. The easiest would be to just dry brush on some aluminum , but this usually doesn't look quite right. It's okay for a stand-off scale type model, but not competition. Another way is to paint the areas that will show heavy wear with an aluminum base coat, then use some steel wool, or fine sandpaper to take down your finish color to get to the silver...you have to have a light touch to do this right...too hard and you go right through the color coat and the aluminum base too. Another method I like, is to make panels that will show the heaviest wear with real aluminum or "Flite Metal"...then after final paining you can do the steel wool or sandpaper routine to show the natural metal. On most really great models you will find several different techniques as different areas require different techniques...for example, it would be pretty difficult to canopy frame with real aluminum litho plate or Flite Metal...so the aluminum paint base coat would probably be the way to go there. One thing I see many modelers do that I personally think detracts from a model...they use the same material and technique on the entire airplane...look at as many photos of the real thing as you can get a hold of...better yet, get to an aviation museum and look at real aircraft...you will be amazed at the variations often found on one airplane! Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 18: "Hi Rob. What specific equipment (airbrush/compressor size etc) do you use to apply your latex paint? Also, I imagine acrylic paints like Polyscale applied with a hobby airbrush onto latex would work fine, is this correct? If so do you need to let the latex cure first? Thanks very much, Patrick"
Rob: "Hi Patrick, Well I don't really have anything fancy. I have a 2 HP, 4 Gal compressor from Sears for my air guns, and a small Pasche D500 1/10 HP compressor for my airbrushes. As for airbrushes I have a Pasche, and an Aztec...to be honest I like the Aztec better...the results are just as good and the cost is 1/4 that of the Pasche! I use these most for fine detailing and weathering, etc. As for spray guns, I like gravity feed (with the cup on the top) and have a small touch up gun that I got at Home Depot for about $35 which I use for primer (most times I just use spray cans though, less hassle!) and I have a Sata Minijet 3 HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) that I use for the bulk of my painting...base colors, camo, etc. I would think too, that Polyscale would be compatible with latex...I have never used Polyscale myself, so this is just a generalization...I would definitely test any media that I was not 100% certain of before ever putting in on my model. As for letting the latex cure...that is always the preferred way to paint...but too often our lack of patience overcomes us, as it takes quite a while for latex to fully cure! I hope this helps. Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 19: "hi I am doing large scale p-51 and don't really want to cover it. I think I can make it look more scale with paint. Its fully sheeted so my question is how do I do this. Please send direction on this thank you Perry Hack"
Rob: "Hi Perry, Well, since you don't want to cover, I'm assuming you mean something like MonoCoat. Even if you choose not to go this route, the airplane still needs to have a covering...i.e. fiberglass cloth and resin. I found a great "How To" guide on glassing at Art's Hobby website...check it out at: http://www.arts-hobby.com/fiberglassing.htm It's about 4 pages / 21 steps but it is a very thorough and easy to understand guide. After you've done a couple of airplanes yourself and talk to other folks, you will probably refine your personal process somewhat. But, this is a very good starting point. As for the best resin/epoxy products to use...that again will be a personal preference. I used to love "Smooth N Easy" which was made by Hobby Poxy, but hasn't been around for some time now. I have been using the Z-Poxy products the past couple of years and have had nice results. Also, many modelers swear by West Systems products http://www.westsystem.com . After you glass the airframe, you then should sand it, with fine grit sandpaper...about 220grit to start. Don't apply too much pressure or you'll go through the resin and glass back down to the wood! Then go to a finer grit, and end up with about a 600 grit paper. The purpose of so much sanding is to take down the excess resin and have a nice smooth, even finish. After everything has been sanded good, clean up the airplane with a good tack cloth to remove all the dust and residue. Now you're ready to apply the primer. I usually give a couple of very light coats, you don't want to apply any paint too thick. If you're going to add panel lines and rivets, now is the time to do this before you even think about finish painting. If you check back through some of the past forum topics, I've covered panel lines, and rivets and painting previously. But, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask away! I hope this is a help to you. I hope this is a help to you...if you run into any problems don't hesitate to ask for more detailed help Happy flying, Rob"
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Question 20: "Hi Rob its me again I read your response to a question about rustolium paint, and you said to use krylon on gas models. I have also been told this by other modelers . Krylon has a very nice NAVY BLUE which I have used on my ZIROLLI CORSATR . Is there a clear sealer in a spray can available to put over the krylon or do I need to worry about it? I am using a SACHC DOLMER 4.2 GAS ENGINE. ALSO in response to the question I sent you on using suilk span with finishing resin. It can be done but I would not recommend it because it is much harder to use. Thanks Tom"
Rob: "Hi Tom, Whether you will need to clear coat depends on a couple of things. The first question I would ask you is what type of insignia will you be using? If you use waterslide or rub on then I would clear coat as these are fragile without some protection. If you're using vinyl I wouldn't clear coat. The other possibility is if you paint the insignia...on this one I could go either way. I prefer to paint insignia on my airplanes...for a couple of reasons...I think the imperfections add to the realism, and it also helps to keep the cost down a bit...of course it increases the time aspect, sometimes substantially depending on the level of detail that you are trying to acheive. Now that's all said and done, don't forget to check compatibility of paint used with gas, with other paints and with clear coat if you chose to use it. Thanks for keeping us posted onthe silkspan/resin question! Happy flying,"
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Question 21: "Hey Rob, this is my first attempt at applying stencils to an aircraft and am looking for an easy and simple method. Im detailing my Top Flite P-47 with the Mayos No Guts No Glory scheme. I just need to apply the No Guts No Glory in yellow cursive writing. Is this something I can do myself or do companys such as Aerotech do custom jobs? Thanks, Pat"
Rob: "Hi Pat, To answer your first question, well the simplest way to detail your bird would be to purchase decals, either water slide, rub-on/dry transfer, vinyl. The trick here is to find what you want in the correct scale, if I'm not mistaken, the TF jug is 1/6th scale. I would check with companies such as Tango Papa Decals http://www.tangopapadecals.com/ who I know will do custom work and does a super job too, Strike Eagle Productions/AeroMaster http://www.eaglestrikeproductions.com/cgi-bin/amd2.pl, or ProMark out at http://www.pro-mark.com/ and Aeroloft at http://www.aeroloft.com/start.shtml. As I prefer to paint my insignia and markings, I am not familiar with pricing and what is actually available from these companies...but I have heard good things about them. If you want to give your own creative talents a shot there are a few ways to go also. If you can find a suitable photo of what you want to reproduce or but a plastic kit and scan and enlarge the decal sheet on your pc and then print your own decals that is another way to go. The thing is to not lose the sharpness of the image when enlarging. Or...you can buy some frisket paper commonly used by airbrush artists and such and cut out your own stencil...again you can use an enlargement as a guide, and then position the frisket paper on the model and shoot it with a spray gun. If you get a chance, pick up Dave Platt's "Black Art" videos, he does a great job of covering how to enlarge and paint your own insignia. I hope this is a help. Happy flying,"
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Question 22: "Rob I have been painting all of my latest designer/built aircraft with exterior latex house paints. Lately I have been trying to get away from having to use automotive primer and was wondering if you have come across any water-born primers that are as easy to use as latex paints? Jim, Canada."
Rob: "Hi Jim, Real good question. I too have been using automotive primer under the latex. However, I just repainted a Meister FW-190 D9 and I used a Behr latex primer from Home Depot. Mind you that I haven't had this airplane out of the garage yet let alone in the air so it hasn't been put to the durability test. I experienced no problems during the application of either the primer itself or the color coats. My main area of concern is if the latex primer adheres to the glass/resin as well as the automotive variety. Within the next week or so, I will be painting on the insignia so I will see if the masking tape or frisket paper will pull up anything? A little color coming up with the tape isn't uncommon or a major concern, it happens sometimes...but if I get any primer coming up with it, then I will be seriously concerned for sure. I was going to wait to respond to your question until after I painted the insignia, but as I have been getting side tracked a bit lately with other things, I thought it best not to keep you hanging. I will keep you posted as to the results, and if you do any experimenting please let me know your results too. This is one of the great things about this hobby, sharing information and experiences with other modelers! Happy flying, Rob Bailey"
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Question 23: "Rob, I am finishing construction of a TF P-40 Gold Edition, and need to know what is the best method for finishing the vehicle. Should I glass the plane or just use wood sealer and paint. Since I am in California, which paints should I consider using. I am concerned when I am told that it would be at least 1 month until Latex paints are fully hardened so I can move to the next steps. What are your suggestions? The plane will be powered by an OS .91 FX 2 Stroke, Robart retracts, etc.
Additionally, where can I get decals or stencils for the P-40 flown by John D. Landers (9FS, 49FG) for the Top Flite?"
Rob: "Hi Lewis, I would glass it for sure. Don't let the curing time of latex paints scare you. I have been using them for a long time, I can cmpletely paint a multi-color scheme in just a couple of days, and have flown the day after painting was completed. Any paint takes time to truly cure properly. As far as latex is concerned, it is a "softer" paint than say automotive lacquer. It can be more prone to chips and scrapes for a few weeks than some other paints, but I think that the cost comparison, ease of use, ease of cleanup, and touching up is so much easier than with other paints, that it far outweighs any disadvantages.
As for decals, I don't know of anyone off hand that does that particular scheme, but lot's of folks will buy a plastic kit if one is available and either make their own decals at home on the pc, or get in touch with a specialty shop such as Tango Papa http://www.tangopapadecals.com/ , I have never used them yet myself, but I have heard nothing but good things about their products. If you are just looking for the standard stuff likethe stars and bars and not all of the minute nomenclature, you can usually get by with vinyl and probably find a local sign shop that may be willing to do them for you. Or if you want pressure sensitive or water slide decals you could check out Major Decals, a.k.a. Northeast Screen Graphics in East Longmeadow, MA 01028 Tel.: 800-557-5617, sorry I don't have a web address for them. I hope this has been a help. Happy flying, Rob Bailey"
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Question 24: "Rob, I am building a Hellcat and having a little trouble finding the right color I need to latex paint it. The color is semni gloss sea blue #FS 25042. I was hoping to buy the color at the local Home Depot but they said they need paint numbers of another company that makes the color. Do you know of or have a connection to get the color I am talking about as far as numbers (Behr paint) that I can take to the paint counter at Home Depot. I hope there is someone who has already been down the road that I am trying to go. Do you have a file of HD Behr paint numbers that would replicate the colors you, myself and others are trying to use? Thank You, Blaine"
Rob: "Hi Blaine, Well there are a couple of ways that you can go. You can purchase a "color chip set" from FTE Enterprises http://www.franktiano.com/ , I think Frank sells a set with something like 96 chips all of WWII for around $35 - $40. With these chips you can take them to Home Depot and they will put whatever you need into the spectrometer and match your color. The other and probably less expensive alternative (less expensive only if you don't do very many scale warbirds) would be to get a small jar of Testors Model Master paints, check out their site at http://www.testors.com/ ,and you can make your own chip to take to HD. Remember, if you plan on doing many WWII scale models, your best bet is to buy a good set of color chips, they will serve you well. I hope that this is a help. Happy flying, Rob Bailey"
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