Painting and Finishing

This process was essentially routine.

This photo was taken just after the main shell was painted and before final details were added.  I have put it up at this stage just to show that the model has really been painted - it's been a long time coming!  Sorry about the soft focus.  I think my digital camera has not been quite the same since it fell off the car roof.   Ouch! paint1.jpg (24114 bytes)

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Early on in the process I discovered that the shell could be broken down into parts (cab, short hood, long hood, and walkway with pilots.  Painting it in parts made for easier masking and the cab did not require any masking at all.

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Because some of the detail parts added to the shell are metal and my preference to use an etching primer for metal, especially brass, I chose Wattyl Super Etch primer which is styrene and ABS safe.  I have no idea what the solvent is for this primer but it has a particularly pungent smell.  So safe is it that I have found the thinner that is sold for use with this primer is an excellent paint stripper for styrene and ABS shells.

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By way of preparation for painting I used an air eraser to 'blast' the surfaces of the model.   For the delrin handrail stanchions I blasted with 1200 grit aluminium oxide.   For the shell parts I used bicarbonate of soda which has enough 'bite' to brighten up dull brass and white metal but is not harsh on the plastic surface.

That was followed by a good blast with a plain air gun to rid the shell of any traces of blasting grit residue.   I should say that for the blasting process I wear rubber surgical gloves so as not to impart skin oils onto the model and handle it only with gloves until it is painted.

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All the parts were sprayed with primer.

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The two hood ends were sprayed with Platinum Mist (Aluminium).

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The pilots and sills were sprayed with Daylight Red.

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After several days when all vestiges of solvent had gone (by the 'sniff' test!) the hood ends were masked off as were the red stripes around the sills and pilot beams.

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All parts were then sprayed black and the masking removed.

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Again, after several days, all parts were sprayed with Floquil full gloss in preparation for decaling.

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Decals were applied - striping from Microscale 87-201,  lettering from 87-11 and details from 87-48.  I did not use the lettering from 87-201 because the lettering on that sheet is aluminium in colour whereas it should be SP Lettering Grey.

The aluminium coloured radius between the top stripe and the hood end at each 'corner' of the shell were brushed on using a number 5/0 brush.  I don't like brushing paint like this.  I find that my eyes are no longer up to this work even with magnifiers.  There's got to be a market for decals for this radiused section to make it easy to get them consistent and accurate.

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The hoods and cab were assembled to the walkway using a cyano glue.

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The assembled shell and the other parts like fuel tank and truck side frames were sprayed with Floquil Flat Finish which I like because it is not absolutely flat and lifeless.  It has just a hint of sheen which highlights detail.

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The numberboards were cut from the clear light transmitting mouldings and the outer surfaces painted black,  white decals applied for numbers and then the faces given a coat of Floquil High Gloss.  This gloss surface in contrast to the low sheen finish of the rest of the shell creates an impression of the number boards being glazed.
blueball.gif (230 bytes) The handrail sets (already primed with the other parts above) were sprayed by first applying white to the vertical sections that affix to the steps and pilot beams.  I chose Scalecoat for this in view of its reputation for opacity.  That reputation is well earned.  After several days I masked off the white sections and sprayed the rest with Tamya semi gloss black in the hope that this acrylic will be up to the rigours of the inevitable flexing of handrails/stanchions in day to day use.

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