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Painting for Dummies?

#1
Hi everyone!
Over the summer, I built my first plane ever - an FT Bushwhacker. I'm super proud of how it came out, and it's an incredible bird. Because it was my first build, and because I'm still fairly new to flying RC, I decided I didn't want to paint the plane before the maiden in case something happened. Now, I've got a couple flights under my belt with it and I'd feel ready to take the next step and get a nice contrasting color scheme on it. I've got the paint and a design in mind, but with all of my electronics installed, I'm unsure about how to start. I've watched/read up on a good amount of techniques with painting this foamboard, but they never seem to go over details like taping off electronics, etc.

Here are some of the questions floating around in my head: Should I try to take out my servos, or do I just tape over them? Do I tape over the servo arms too, or not necessary? What should I do with the motor? Should I try to remove the mounting board? I know it's supposed to be swappable, but will it weaken it, etc.?

Please - gimme all your painting advice! I'm sure ya'll know of some great comprehensive resources for a beginner's guide to painting. Any direction to that would be wonderful, too.

Pics of the plane pre-maiden (a sunnier time) and my paints for tax.

P.S. This is also my first post, so thanks for your patience and understanding!


IMG_1377.jpg IMG_1372.jpg
IMG_3162.jpg
 

FDS

Well-known member
#3
You can use painters tape, blu tac can be handy on the tops of the servos. Remove the servo arms and control rods on the ailerons/flaps.
Be sure to key the whole surface first with either 400 grit auto paper (wet n dry stuff, use dry) or medium grade Scotchbrite pad before you paint anything and make the coats light, a mist coat on the first pass is essential.
 

Tronglodon

Junior Member
#4
I used the same paint on my Simple Cub, just go with light coats and you're good. I pulled out my power pod but didn't tape the servos, I just painted right over everything. I painted the Cub on a drop cloth on the ground and had some little problems with the plastic drop cloth sticking to the fresh paint. When I painted my next plane, the Spitfire, I hung it from the ceiling of my shed with a bungee cord. If you've got a corner you can mess up with paint overspray I'd recommend hanging the plane instead of painting it on the ground. I also did camo with masking tape on the Spitfire that turned out great.
 

Attachments

#5
You can use painters tape, blu tac can be handy on the tops of the servos. Remove the servo arms and control rods on the ailerons/flaps.
Be sure to key the whole surface first with either 400 grit auto paper (wet n dry stuff, use dry) or medium grade Scotchbrite pad before you paint anything and make the coats light, a mist coat on the first pass is essential.
Blue tac! Interesting. Thank you!!
 
#6
I used the same paint on my Simple Cub, just go with light coats and you're good. I pulled out my power pod but didn't tape the servos, I just painted right over everything. I painted the Cub on a drop cloth on the ground and had some little problems with the plastic drop cloth sticking to the fresh paint. When I painted my next plane, the Spitfire, I hung it from the ceiling of my shed with a bungee cord. If you've got a corner you can mess up with paint overspray I'd recommend hanging the plane instead of painting it on the ground. I also did camo with masking tape on the Spitfire that turned out great.
Okay, great. I think I can handle pulling the power pod, so I'll do that for sure. Yeah, I've seen that hanging method - I'll be sure to do that. The Spitfire looks gorgeous!
 
#8
Tronglodon, what was your process for cutting the masking tape to shape? Did you lay it all out and cut it or score it while on the plane then take it off and cut it, etc?
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
#10
a mist coat on the first pass is essential.
+1 on this

I've painted a lot of things so I should have known better, but I was in a hurry on my first paint job. I "sort of" did my mist coat, but ended up blasting 2 coats in a short time thereafter. It all turned out ok, but it added a lot of weight to my first painted FT build and I had to do a lot to get the balance right after that.

As far as the rest, a bit of tape over the servos and motor is all it takes IMHO... (I removed the servo arms and painted them by hand too so they wouldn't stand out so much)
 

FDS

Well-known member
#12
I also take the powerpod out and fill the holes in the fuselage with paper.
If you take the servo arms off you can blu tac over just the servo splines and the bearing below, then you can paint the servo body with the same base colour.
 
#13
I also take the powerpod out and fill the holes in the fuselage with paper.
If you take the servo arms off you can blu tac over just the servo splines and the bearing below, then you can paint the servo body with the same base colour.
Ah, good idea!
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#14
+1 to
Be sure to key the whole surface first with either 400 grit auto paper (wet n dry stuff, use dry) or medium grade Scotchbrite pad before you paint anything and make the coats light, a mist coat on the first pass is essential.
(DTFB doesn't need it but the waterproof stuff does.)

If you are going to mask/graphics, let the base coat dry at least a day (longer if you can manage) to cure and that will help prevent lifting.
Do lightest color first then darker on top.
"untack" the masking tape by lightly getting some fuzz off your shirt. Remove it 10 or so minutes after you shoot the second color (by 30 min for sure!)

Any good quality paint will work fine after that first "mist" base coat.