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Painting Part 1
Topic Started: Jun 24 2018, 02:57 PM (135 Views)
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Hoping to help with painting and how I do it. I have been air brushing for over 60 yrs. and was a professional model maker for over 50 yrs. My way isnít the only way, everyone develops their own way. This is just a starting point. Good paint jobs arenít so much how good you paint but how good you prep for the paint. Painting takes a few minutes to spray a nice coat of paint but preparing the body to give a good smooth surface with no blemishes and a good adhesive surface for the paint to stick to takes a little more time and work.
I always told the people I trained, this is my way, if you do it a different way Iíll try it and if it works Iíll stay with it until a better way comes along. Simple, my way isnít the only way, its just a place to start and it works for me.
Pic 1

1. Disassemble all the parts and if changing wheels check the axle size and drill the opening larger if needed.

2.Strip the old paint and be sure to remove any plastic parts before stripping. Some paints will come off easy and well, some take a lot of soaking, scraping and words of encouragement. The older the diecast the harder to remove the paint.
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3. Remove all the casting marks and imperfections.
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Some brands are worse than others on the mold lines
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next sand with 400 grit wet/dry paper and media blast (used to be called sand blasting) the body to get a consistent base for the primer to grip to.
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I use a Paasche Air Eraser as it really cleans up the casting as a lot of strippers leave a little paint in door lines and little corners. And most of the metals used in die cast arenít consistent on the finish so the blasting gives a fine consistent tooth finish for the primer to grip to. After sandblasting wash the body good and let dry. I use lacquer thinner in an airbrush with a little higher pressure, really cleans all the little nooks and crannies. And only handle with a pair of gloves, I use the white photo gloves for handling film, they are cheap. Fingers leave grease smudges causing paint not to stick where you have touched.

4. After it is thoroughly dry it is ready to prime. It is better to use a couple thin coats as opposed to one thick coat. One thick coat will fill in a lot of detail as can be seen on a lot of factory painted cars (9).

After the primer coat I let dry over night. I set all paint work on a shelf which has a light reflector with a 100w bulb to help set the paint. Color coats are left to cure for a couple weeks before any further work.
If using rattle cans I warm the cans in a sink of hot water for 20 - 30 minutes. This thins the paint for a finer mist and also creats more pressure in the can.

5. When it comes to air brushes, I prefer the Paasche H3 for models, it is the one I taught beginning modelers (some experienced?) to use back on the job. It is a simple, single action, siphon feed and VERY durable. I have everything from an old Badger from the Ď60s, about $5 or $6 to double actions costing in the $100, the high end airbrushes will only use dyes for photo retouching and art, paint has to thick of viscosity. The Paasche H3 can be bought at Hobby Lobby in a kit. You can get #1 & #5 tips, for finer work #1 or for larger items #5. For practice and learning I recommend liquid food coloring and a coloring book. Food coloring can also be used for airbrushing cakes (wedding, birthday etc). You can make a few extra $$ doing that.
Walmart and Harbor Freight haves sales on inexpensive air compressors. Airbrushing only needs about 18 to 20 lbs. Be sure to use a moisture trap on your compressor.
Edited by Z28HO, Jun 24 2018, 02:58 PM.
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Wow, that is a precise style!

I use rattle cans and just strip the body with acetone (and soft wire brush), don't sand it all and let the primer to dry for just 15 minutes before going for the body color, which I usually do two times, or three to four on metallic paints. Then after an hour I apply two layers of clear coat on solid colors and four to five on metallic colors. I always aim for somewhat thicker paint because that's how they come from the factory.
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Personal Luxury Car
Do you make paint customs for people? Or is it too much trouble?
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Thank you for posting this Z28HO, this is really good information. I haven't used an airbrush yet on any of my cars but it is something I want to start using. I do use a lot of rattle cans so I will definitely try you tip about warming them with hot water.

By the way, you mentioned you used to work as a model maker, what type of models did you make?
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