Pulling the masking and masking and sanding the cowlings

May 17, 2012

So tonight I was pretty excited to pull all the masking off the fuselage and the sheet metal panels. They turned out great beside the rudder which had a good sized run in it so I sanded it smooth to re-shoot it.

After I finish that I got to work on the engine cowling and masked them up in preparation to shoot the white on them. I then sanded them down.

Time spent today 2 hours
Total time spent 1322 hours


Shooting the White on the fuse, panels, and rudder

May 16, 2012

Tonight I carted the fuse into the paint booth and decided I could paint the fuse, the panels and the rudder all at once. So I did. 2 hours later I was done and the tape lines were pulled. I did put a bit too much paint on the rudder and will have to sand that down and re-paint it the next day. Sorry no pictures of the rudder or panels.

Time spent 2 hours
Total time spent 1320 hours


Re-masking the fuse for the white

May 15, 2012

Tonight I re-taped the trim line between the white and the silver and re-masked the fuselage and panels areas that have silver and slice of blue from where my previous masking stoped. Really tried to lessen my work so that i wouldn’t have to remask everything. After that I sanded down the white areas and cleand the to be painted areas with alcohol. I’ll see if I can get some white sprayed on tomorrow.

Time spent 2 hours
Total Time spent 1318 hours


Shooting the siliver on the fuse

May 14, 2012

Tonight I wanted to get the silver on the fuse in hopes to finish the fuselage this week sometime. Anyway I unloaded the panels and the ladder and rolled the fuse into the booth. It was pre-sanded the other day so I quickly wiped it down again with alcohol and tacked it off. I mixed some paint and got to shooting. 42 minutes later I was done, and about 1 later I started to pull the tapes everything pulled well but what I am learning is you need to be a little more ginger with sanding then I was. Some of the tapes don’t pull super clean but we are talking a very very small amount and it nearly un-noticeable if you don’t know where to look.

Time spent today 2 hours
Total time spent 1316 hours


Masking and painting the panels and rudder

May 13, 2012

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


Taping lines on the fuselage

May 13, 2012

Thursday night, Friday and Saturday I started taping lines on the fuselage to match my chosen scheme. As some of you can notice that I kinda “borrowed” the scheme from the Wolf Pitts atleast on the fuselage. It just a great scheme but I put my own twist on it color wise. The wings are completly different though. This is the goal:

So to start I had to install the side and kick panels and the engine cowling which takes some time. Anyway to lay out the lines I started with the top line and measured down 3 inches from the longeron at the tail and then marked several points along with way with a small piece of tape. I then started with my 1 inch 3M 233+ fineline tape and strung them along kinda line connect the dots. It got pretty tough at the nose to get the tape to make a curve around the nose of the engine cowling and meet up at the top of the bottom cowling lip. It took a lot of stepping back and forth to get it lay right but it finally did. The second line I marked several locations again this time a the panel breaks and then free formed the tape to meet the small pieces of tape. I wanted to bisect the engine cowling side vent so that was an easy reference point as well. Again getting to conform around the cowling was kinda a bitch but in the end it does what you want it to. The last line was simply rinse and repeat from the other 2 lines. I then moved ove to the other side and repeated the process but measured at each panel section and mirrored it on the other other side. I would say the lines are probably less than a 1/4″ from each other if you could see both a the same time, which you can’t.

After that I installed the rudder and extended the lines on to it. I also taped the lines on the top of the vertical. I then got to work on masking everything off. The load of green tape you see is where I masked off with 1-1/2 inch 233+. I will be painting the silver first since I still waiting on my new batch of white. so as soon as I paint the silver I simply pull the green off and match the silver with another lay of tape and mask off the silver and I am ready to spray white.

Time spent today 12 hours
Total time spent 1306 hours


Top coat on the fuselage and other misc things

April 14, 2012

Today, I worked on the cowlings briefly to sand off the polyester filler I added to the cowling to fill the rivets and other low spots. I then prepped the fuselage for top coat by using compressed air to get the sanding dust off. I then wiped the whole thing down with alcohol and then loaded into the paint booth. I mixed up paint and tacked the fuse off and shot the top coat.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 1260 hours


Shooting Insignia White on the Stabs and the elevators

March 28, 2012

Tonight I decided was enough practicing as I was getting very consistant results on my test panels, so I shot the insignia white on to my stabilizers and elevators. I mixed up 10 ounces of Part A for the first three coats and I came up a little short on so i rush back to mix up another 10 ounces to shoot the rest. All came out well. Some lessons learned was get down stairs and get the fans installed in the windows before it gets dark so that the bug don’t come in the few seconds I have the winds uncovered. Second, make sure that you get the edges real good from several angles as they don’t cover real well if you don’t. Other than that I got great results from the Eko-poly nice and glossy buttery smooth.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 1215 hours


Shooting test panels of Eko-poly

March 27, 2012

So the last couple of days I have been shooting test panels of the Eko-poly in the different colors to re-aquaint myself with the process and gun speed, quanitity and timing. To date I have shot 3 22X28″ panels of poster board. Last night I masked off one of the blue test pieces with some fine line and my other masking tapes to test tape making techniques, tape pulling techniques and more painting techniques. I have been getting really good results and I think i’m ready for the game day. I think I will try it out on the stabilizers and elevators tomorrow.


Sanding the 2nd X coat and spraying the 2nd coat of grey on the fuse

March 16, 2012

Today I spent the day first sanding everything I sprayed the day before which was the I-struts, horizontal tails, elevators, rudder and fuselage. After the fuse was sanded I sprayed a 2nd cross coat of Eko-fill on to it. With the 100 watt light bulb test I could still see light through in some areas so it still needs another cross coat which is what I planned for anyway.

Time spent today 5 hours
Total time spent 1184 hours