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Sealing/Painting Balsa sub-sections AFTER assembly

Old 08-18-2014, 09:35 AM
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Radical Departure
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Default Sealing/Painting Balsa sub-sections AFTER assembly

Looked through a LOT of threads regarding sealing and painting balsa. It seems though, that 100% of the threads are about sealing /painting the fuse, wings, where glassing and so forth is to be expected. But what are guys doing for areas that can't be glassed or treated like a wing... flap and LG bays, cockpit areas and such. Any suggestions would be helpful.. Thanks!
Old 08-18-2014, 12:19 PM
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Zor
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Originally Posted by Radical Departure View Post

Looked through a LOT of threads regarding sealing and painting balsa. It seems though, that 100% of the threads are about sealing /painting the fuse, wings, where glassing and so forth is to be expected. But what are guys doing for areas that can't be glassed or treated like a wing... flap and LG bays, cockpit areas and such. Any suggestions would be helpful.. Thanks!
some of us, as you wrote, do "Radical Departure".

Most modelers ( who build model airplanes from scratch or from a kit) would consider that I have always done "Radical Departures" from the majority.

Here is what I do _ _ _
After the balsa or other wood material is shaped to final dimension ( shape ) that may include last shape sanding with proper size grit paper ( or cloth ) I apply a first heavy coat of clear nitrate aircraft dope. Within one hour it is ready to do some sanding touch up IF NEEDED. My finger tips tells me if there is any rough spot or areas due to some wood grain lifting a bit. 320 to 400 grit abrasive takes care of that.; hardly any sanding is needed; a few strokes back and forth.

A second heavy coat of clear nitrate dope is applied and again finger tip check is done. I make sure my finger tips are not greasy. The surfaces are now ready to apply the fabric ( silk, nylon, or polyester is used ).

Where fabric is applied ( that is nearly everywhere as it is reinforcement ) the fabric transparency ( spaces between fabric threads ) is well filled. A bit more dope in areas where the fabric is not fully sealed. These dope coats do not need any sanding if applied evenly and rapidly..

NOTE: I use only genuine aircraft dope as used by full size airplane recoverers.

At this time I apply white butyrate dope in areas where the final color may need it ( typically yellow and red finish need a white background. Two coats of white are used. Dope coats fuse into each other.

I am now ready for masking according to the final scheme of finished colors.

The results are the same as full size airplanes that have dope finish and are subject to outdoor exposure to the weather ( sunshine or rain; summer and winter {snow}).

There is many ways to cover a model and no doubt you will read about them.
Shrinking plastic is popular but not used on full size airplanes.

A bit of searching will bring you many methods of finishing.

I can only tell you what I have been using.

Have fun doing your work . . . . .

Zor

Last edited by Zor; 08-20-2014 at 07:51 AM. Reason: Corrected make sue my to make sure my
Old 08-19-2014, 03:17 AM
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TomCrump
 
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I line the flap and landing gear bays with cloth, and seal them, too.

Painting bare balsa seldom works well, no matter what you try.

A simple layer of 1/2 ox cloth is easy to apply, and will save hours of time, when finishing off these areas.

A product like Minwax Polycrylic does not smell, and dries quickly. It accepts most paints readily.

I think that you may find that doing this is easy and fast. It's definately worth the added effort.
Old 08-19-2014, 07:05 AM
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Radical Departure
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Good info.. many thanks guys!
Old 08-19-2014, 02:44 PM
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I use Deft Sanding Lacquer Sealer to glass with and it fills the weave. The last coat I mix in baby powder, about a 50-50 mix to fill any weave I missed. I tried to just use the straight deft on some landing gear skirts with the 50-50 and it just doesn't fill in the balsa wood grain, even after 5 coats so I gave up the idea and did as Tom does and just use 1/2 ounce glass and the deft. Deft is not fuel proof, just a heads up. Something I learned after a fuel tank rupture and the fuel soaked into the wood from the inside.
Old 08-20-2014, 04:11 AM
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ZOR has it properly spelled out for you. He and I had lengthy discussions awhile back, and it proved out to be excellent. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for surface prep BEFORE trying to cover with any method. Garbage In = Garbage Out as I like to say. Do the fine sanding even before the first coat of Nitrate goes on, sand between coats, you'll have a much better looking model.
Old 02-28-2015, 01:19 PM
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Hey guys! I have a question? Does a dark color paint get darker as it dries? Thanks I have a piece I am testing. Tim
Old 02-28-2015, 01:37 PM
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I gues I do a "radical departure" when it comes to wheel well bays.

This is what I do.

carbon fiber skin, top and bottom. styreen on the walls.





TB
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by rfmillte View Post
Hey guys! I have a question? Does a dark color paint get darker as it dries? Thanks I have a piece I am testing. Tim
Yes, most paint dries darker. It's less noticable in dark colors.
Old 03-02-2015, 05:46 PM
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I have used this to prep balsa for paint and it works great and is a lot faster than glassing
http://www.wowplanes.com/product_inf...roducts_id=130

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