Masking and painting the panels and rudder

Today I spent a good chunk of time masking off the sheet metal panels and prepping the fuselage and panels for the silver mettalic paint. I masked off anything that wasn’t going to get painted and really pressed the 3M 233+ fineline into the surface with a credit card to make sure there would be no bleed through. I then scuff sanded the area to be painted with some 320 sand paper and then gave it a good cleaning with alcohol. I tried to make my life easier by masking off the lines that I was going to paint then bringing the masking paper up to about 1/4 or 1/2 inch of the that line then bridging the gap between so that when I go to pull the tape while wet that I don’t have to mess with paper too that greatly increases the changes of touching the paint and ruining your paint job. As for the sanding, I just sanded with the tape lines intact and tape holds up just fine.

A few words on masking tape. I have both the 3M blue vinyl like electrical tape and the green 3M 233+ fineline tape. I had heard that they make the same sharp line which is awesome since the blue fine line is $11-13 per 35 yard roll where as the 1 inch green tape is only $7 (in town) or (ordered on TCP global $4 per roll but you pay shipping). Both can be sanded on, however the green won’t turn corners as well, but will conform to fairly tight radius if you get the 1/2″ or less. The green is also good for long straight runs as it stays straighter than the blue which will wiggle bad on a long straight run. I tested both on a test panel and as it turns out they do make the same sharp line only if the green is pressed down with a card.

Anyway I loaded the panels and rudder into the booth and shot the silver on to them 30 mintues after I was done I pulled the tapes making sure to “sheer” the line and I was left with a great sharp line! no bleed through. Make sure you wear gloves doing this or you will have paint all over your fingers!

Time spent today 8 hours
Total time spent 1314 hours

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