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  1. #26
    JetCatJimmy's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    So, it takes 20 minutes for your paint to flash? I was learning when I painted my BobCat and it seemed like it would start to flash off very quickly. Although it was in my garage around 80-90 degrees in Arizona.
    Jimmy

  2. #27
    LGM Graphix's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Jimmy,
    It depends on what you're using for reducers. There are slow, medium, and fast reducers. There are also clears that are faster than others. Sometimes the paint will appear dry on the surface after only minutes, but I like to give 15 to 20 minutes between coats to ensure that the solvents have gassed off. If you trap solvents under fresh coats of paint, they will eventually come out leaving solvent pop's, those micro pinholes all over the surface. The DT860 I'm using right now is for colder weather spraying (it was only about 60 degree's today). DT870 is a medium reducer and DT880 is slow reducer for higher temps, around 80 or more. If it was that warm I'd be using DT880 to avoid dry spray or a host of other potential problems.
    Jeremy
    remember when people actually BUILT their airplanes?

  3. #28

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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Pure gold Jeremy. Pure gold. Thanks for teaching us something worth wile. I'v tried even your tips on rattle cans and was amazed at how much better my finnish was. Roy
    Scratch it till it bleeds Convert it till it chokes

  4. #29
    JetCatJimmy's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Thanks for the info! I will keep that in mind. I know I battled a run on the fuse with my 5 minute flash times. I was worried that it wasn't going to flow out. I also wasn't using such a nice quality paint as you were either.
    Jimmy

  5. #30

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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thanks for passing all this great information on to us.
    I notice in of the pictures you are not using an air pressure fed mask which I thought was necessary for these types of paint.
    Can you tell us the type of mask you are using as I hate using the air fed mask.

    Regards

    Arthur

  6. #31

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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Great thread,
    What is your secret for the dreaded last second dust particles that find their way onto that super gloss? Do you have filtered air supply ventilation?
    Andre

  7. #32
    LGM Graphix's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    I notice in of the pictures you are not using an air pressure fed mask which I thought was necessary for these types of paint.
    Can you tell us the type of mask you are using as I hate using the air fed mask.
    I probably should use a fresh air system, in fact I even have one, but the truth is, the paint booth moves enough air that I'm never standing in a cloud of overspray anyway. The mask is a 3M carbon filter mask rated for iso-cyanate's. The very first paint booth that I had years ago did not have a strong fan and there was always overspray in the booth. I always used a fresh air system then. Since I moved into full size automotive booth's with proper fans, the overspray gets sucked out very quickly. You do need to make sure to keep the filters in the mask fresh though as they do break down.



    What is your secret for the dreaded last second dust particles that find their way onto that super gloss? Do you have filtered air supply ventilation?
    Wet sanding and polishing is the secret, you can't see it in the pictures but there is a few pieces of dust in everything. I've sprayed in half million dollar down draft paint booths and you still get a bit of dust in there. The only way to an absolutely 100% smooth finish is to wet sand and polish. That part of the tutorial will be coming along shortly
    remember when people actually BUILT their airplanes?

  8. #33
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Jeremy, nice work.

    Out of interest, did you get a before and after weight?

    Rgds,
    Mark

  9. #34
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Mark,
    Yes I mentioned that I weighed the Stabs before I painted them, once I get to the shop today and get them sanded and polished I'll weight them again and post the difference here.
    Jeremy
    remember when people actually BUILT their airplanes?

  10. #35
    LGM Graphix's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Ok, so lets get started turning pretty paint into perfect paint!

    First here are the materials I use when polishing.

    Picture 1. First of all, 1500 grit sanding disks. I really cannot express how important it is to use a GOOD high quality paper for these stages. Cheaper brands do not have consistent Grit in them and can leave deep scratches that you will have a very hard time getting rid of. The 3M disks are phenominal, they aren't cheap, but they will last a fairly long time, much longer than just a wet/dry sandpaper will.

    Picture 2. This is part one of the magic process, 3M trizact 3000 grit disks. These are painfully expensive but they are phenominal, they leave a perfect uniform sanded surface and will remove the 1500 grit scratches with ease. These disks are around $100 for a pack of 15, but they are worth the money for all the time you will save in the end. (sorry about the blurry picture)

    Picture 3. 3M's extra cut polishing compound. Again, it's not cheap, but the results are definitely worth it, when it comes to these products you do get what you pay for.

    Picture 4. 3M's swirl remover for use after the extra cut compound.

    Picture 5. 3M waffle polishing disk for the extra cut compound

    Picture 6. 3M waffle polishing disk for the swirl remover

    Next I will detail the polishing process.
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    remember when people actually BUILT their airplanes?

  11. #36
    LGM Graphix's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Ok, so, here is where a paint job really starts to take on a life of it's own. This is really the difference between a nice job, and a "HOLY $^!^" job.

    Picture 1. Here is the stab, it looks pretty good, but you can definitely see the orange peel in the light reflections and yup, there's some dust in there!!!

    Picture 2. Some more dust just to show you that even with a paint booth, and doing things properly, dust is inevitable.

    Picture 3. First, using the 1500 grit sanding disks on a soft block (I use a foam rubber sanding block, again from 3M and just wrap the disk around the sides to hold onto it) begin sanding the surface, check it regularly by wiping it dry, you will instantly see the orange peel, and any dust in there.

    Picture 4. Sand the surface until it's uniform and you no longer see any dust or orange peel. Don't worry that there's no shine, we'll bring it back! While sanding, I first sand in one direction and then again at 90 degrees to the first. Don't start sanding in circles.

    Picture 5. Change to the trizact 3000 grit pads and go over the surface until you can no longer see any 1500 grit scratches. It will start to change to more of a satin looking finish at this point.

    Picture 6. Now wipe it dry, and put a few drops of the extra cut compound on. Use it sparingly, to much and it won't break down while polishing and you'll end up going through your finish. Use the white waffle pad on the polisher on it's lowest RPM setting. Before starting, wash out the pad, keep it damp.

    Picture 7. Before turning the polisher on, rub the polishing compound over the surface with the pad, this will spread it out evenly without flinging it all across your shop.

    Picture 8. When you polish, always make sure the polisher is running OFF the edge, in other words, make sure it's running so that it cannot hook a corner or dig into the edge. This means holding the polisher at a slight angle on the edges. Overlap your passes by at least 1/2 when polishing and do NOT press down on the polisher, the weight of the polisher itself is more than enough. Pressing down will generate to much heat and you run the risk of burning your clear. Using to high of an RPM will do the same thing. At this point, it's looking pretty good, but still slightly hazy and swirl marked. repeat this step if you still see minor scratches, if you see deep scratches you'll need to go back to your sanding and sand the scratches out first.

    Picture 9. Switch to the swirl remover and repeat the previous step with the grey waffle pad, again, wash it out and keep it damp. Now you should have a surface that is mirror like! If you still see swirls or scratches, repeat the process.

    Picture 10. Now the light reflections don't have that hazy uneven edge as the orange peel is all gone as is the dust!

    Picture 11. Here is the bottom of the stab with the pearl white.

    Picture 12. Here are the stabs back on the airplane, now, just the rest of the plane to paint!!!!

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    remember when people actually BUILT their airplanes?

  12. #37
    LGM Graphix's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Last of all, here's a picture of some of the inside of the jet including that sexy bypass cover, to bad so much of it is hidden with the stab servo above it, but man it looks good in there!!!!

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    remember when people actually BUILT their airplanes?

  13. #38
    LGM Graphix's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    OH yeah, I forgot to add, the weight difference between the unpainted stabs and the painted stabs was 2.1 ounces for BOTH stabs. That's pretty freakin good when you consider that both the white and the rattlesnake are tri-coat paints! I am estimating adding approximately 28 ounces total to the airplane with paint, time will tell
    remember when people actually BUILT their airplanes?

  14. #39

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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    [X(] WOW NICE JOB [8D]

    thanks for some great info
    here is a pic of my buddy Francis's Super Bandit wing that I painted and cleared I am going to love that 3000 Paper
    But a question if you shoot your clear on and not get the orange peel why sand and polish it OH and them specs of dust well sometime you have to live with them when your clear comes out smooth
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    Robert \"VIPER\"
    Never make the mistake of thinking that you know everything about anything

  15. #40

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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    jeremy, excellent work as usual. thanks for taking the time to do this tutorial , it,s much appreciated... take care bud...rob m

  16. #41
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Is there a difference between the two waffle pads? I was never told why one is for a certain polish and not the other by the paint shop. Also, you wipe down the wing between every buff, right? Just making sure I have good notes in my head. Thanks for the lesson. This is an excellent thread.
    Jimmy

  17. #42
    LGM Graphix's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial


    ORIGINAL: flynaples

    [X(] WOW NICE JOB [8D]

    thanks for some great info
    here is a pic of my buddy Francis's Super Bandit wing that I painted and cleared I am going to love that 3000 Paper
    But a question if you shoot your clear on and not get the orange peel why sand and polish it OH and them specs of dust well sometime you have to live with them when your clear comes out smooth

    When you spray the clear, it is possible to have it flow out absolutely like glass. However, today's clears are designed to pinch back into an orange peel when they dry to match a factory paint job (gotta remember, paint is designed for collision shops, not custom guys haha)
    The bandit wing you did looks awesome, but I can see the orange peel in there, the wet sanding with a block will get rid of all of that and get rid of the dust. If you do happen to get clear that lays out perfectly, and doesn't shrink back, you can always just spot sand the dust out and polish those area's.
    remember when people actually BUILT their airplanes?

  18. #43
    LGM Graphix's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial


    ORIGINAL: JetCatJimmy

    Is there a difference between the two waffle pads? I was never told why one is for a certain polish and not the other by the paint shop. Also, you wipe down the wing between every buff, right? Just making sure I have good notes in my head. Thanks for the lesson. This is an excellent thread.

    Hi Jimmy,
    Yes, sorry I forgot to explain that. The two pads are of different hardness's. The white one being firmer and "rougher" than the grey one. The white one cuts heavier, in combination with the heavy cut compound it takes scratches out very fast. However, if you were to use the white pad with the swirl remover, you would still have swirls as the pad itself is somewhat abrasive, conversely, if you tried using the extra cut compound with the grey pad, it would not polish out as well since the polishing compound would work it's way into the pad faster than it would cut the surface. Eventually it would come out ok, but it would take far longer and you would seriously risk burning the clear. Also, you don't want to use the same pad for 2 different compounds, if you tried using swirl remover and the extra cut compound with the same pad, you would still have some of the grit from the extra cut compound in with your swirl remover and never be able to fully remove the swirls. I wipe down the wing in between the 2 different compounds yes. When buffing, you keep going until the polishing compound is almost all gone, it will break down as you polish, starting out quite aggressively and then toning down into a smoother finish. If you are having to wipe a lot of polish off of the surface, you are either using way to much polish, or not buffing long enough to let it work properly.
    Jeremy
    remember when people actually BUILT their airplanes?

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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Jeremy - you mention not getting the clearcoat too hot when polishing, but I've always been told you need to get it reasonably hot in order to get the best shine ... was that wrong info, or is it a case of 'must get it hot but not too hot' - if so, how do we tell how hot is OK and how hot is too much (preferably without ruining the paint job in the process !)

    When you buff the surface - do you tend to work one area repeatedly until it is fairly good, and then move on, or do the whole area in one pass before starting a 2nd, 3rs, ... 15th pass on the whole area ?

    Last but not least - when I try to keep the paint thin (for keeping the weight down), I often can't get the balance right - try to keep it light, and I sand or polish through it ; try to put enough on to not go through, and add too much weight. Other than simply your immense experience, do you have any tricks / tips on how to tell when you are about to go to far and go right through the remaining clearcoat or color ?

    Thanks for sharing - and if you ever do get around to doing the tutorial DVDs you can sign me up !

    Gordon

  20. #45
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Hi Gordon,
    It's funny, you guys always ask the obvious questions that I forget to discuss. I have the same problem when I'm teaching guitar to beginners, sometimes you just assume knowledge that isn't already there.

    onto your questions:

    1. Probably the biggest oops I made is forgetting to mention the short window of opportunity you have to polish clear coat. Most clears require 24 - 36 hours to cure hard enough to polish. However, your window of opportunity is between 36 and 48 hours. If you wait more than 48 hours your clear will be to hard to polish all the scratches out of easily. In that case you will have to run a higher RPM which will increase the temperature, the clear however will not burn as easily at that point. The best shine comes from using the correct products, and using those products correctly! If you get fresh clear to hot, it can streak, basically it will ball up the clear and smear it. If you get it to hot, when it cools it will shrink and you'll see scratches again. The biggest problem on our models, is if you get it to hot, when it cools off, you will see the fiberglass weave, or internal structure. This also happens if you are applying more pressure than just the weight of the machine. The polishing removes a very tiny amount of clear from the surface. When the fiberglass gets hot it becomes softer, with pressure when you go over a former or other piece of structure, the fiberglass cannot move away from there, so you remove more clear from that area than the surrounding area's, in the end, you see the structure. Keep the surface cool, and use no more pressure than the weight of the machine, and assuming it is good fiberglass work you won't have those problems.

    2. When I buff the surface I work an area that is generally about 2 feet square (pretty easy to do on a model, other than the fuselage there aren't a lot of area's bigger than 2 feet square). I am continually moving the buffer over that area, this keeps the heat out as well as keeps me from spending to much time in one spot and ending up with inconsistent polishing (some area's buffed more than others resulting in uneven shine). When I move to the next area, I overlap the first area a little bit and continue polishing. I move at a medium rate of speed I suppose over the surface, it probably takes me 8 to 10 seconds to go over a 2 foot length, then when I come back, I move the buffer so the polishing pad is overlapping the first pass by approximately half. When I buff the wing panels I'll try to maybe do a quick video.

    3. As I mentioned earlier, I do not thin my clear anymore than the manufactures recommended amount. By spraying 2 wet coats as I described, you are not putting that much clear on the surface, but it is still more than enough to sand out tape lines and polish without going through (as long as you are careful). When you over reduce your clear, you are breaking down it's polymer structure, it will not cure as hard, this makes it easier to polish through all by itself along with a reduced film build.
    As for tips or tricks on how to tell when you're about to go through, there really aren't any outside of using a paint meter to measure the thickness. But one that will work on fiberglass or plastic is very expensive (costing a few thousand dollars) and on our models I'm not sure how well it would really work for that application anyway. You would need to calibrate it before spraying the clear to know how much clear is on there and then you would have to make sure you measure in the same area all the time, so really, you wouldn't know anyway if you were thinner in some spots than others. Your biggest risk for burn through is on edges, or tighter radius curves. Flat surfaces are pretty safe, you'd almost have to try to burn through on those.
    Jeremy



    ORIGINAL: Gordon Mc

    Jeremy - you mention not getting the clearcoat too hot when polishing, but I've always been told you need to get it reasonably hot in order to get the best shine ... was that wrong info, or is it a case of 'must get it hot but not too hot' - if so, how do we tell how hot is OK and how hot is too much (preferably without ruining the paint job in the process !)

    When you buff the surface - do you tend to work one area repeatedly until it is fairly good, and then move on, or do the whole area in one pass before starting a 2nd, 3rs, ... 15th pass on the whole area ?

    Last but not least - when I try to keep the paint thin (for keeping the weight down), I often can't get the balance right - try to keep it light, and I sand or polish through it ; try to put enough on to not go through, and add too much weight. Other than simply your immense experience, do you have any tricks / tips on how to tell when you are about to go to far and go right through the remaining clearcoat or color ?

    Thanks for sharing - and if you ever do get around to doing the tutorial DVDs you can sign me up !

    Gordon
    remember when people actually BUILT their airplanes?

  21. #46

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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Jeremy that shine is phenomenal!
    I feel inspired to try my hand at a paint job like this again. I always got fairly good results but only if I spent weeks on rubbing & sanding until my fingers have zero skin!!
    This time I will follow your lead rather...
    Andre


  22. #47
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    I was in Jeremy's shop yesteraday and the pictures don't really do this paint and polishing justice. It definately l likes the curved surfaces where the color changes really take effect.

    Can't wait to see it completed and out in the sun. [sm=shades_smile.gif]

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  23. #48

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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Awesome ! I always wondered why I sometimes see the fiberglass weave appear on my clear, in areas where I did not see it previously. Now I know.

    I think you need to relocate to the SF Bay Area, so that I can just have you do all my shiny paint work for me.

  24. #49
    AndyAndrews's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    LGM, I know this is slightly off topic, but what do guys use to get that gold reflective glass effect on their F-16 canopies? I figure I would ask the paint Yoda while he is giving lessons.
    The bitter taste of poor quality lingers long after the sweet taste of low price is forgotten.

  25. #50
    SPLIT S's Avatar
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    RE: Painting the JMP Firebird, a tutorial

    Hi Jeremy,

    Job looks fantastic. One question for you though. I use the gray foam pads for my polishing and glazing, but have always used wool or wool blend for the compounding. How do you feel using the white compound foam pad differs from old school wool? I guess I'm concerned with the pad wanting to skip until it's loaded a bit. Any tips there?

    And on another note, do you have someone helping as far as holding pieces while you are polishing? I usually use my CP7200P with 3" wool and the 3M 5725 3" gray waffles for alot of my work. I've used my big DeWalt with 9" pads, certainly quicker and more consistent results, but sometimes afraid I'll grab an edge accidentally and send the part sailing....

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Hi Dad, Doing anything? Want to go to the field?


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