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Auto Paints for Models

Old 03-17-2007, 11:55 PM
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alfie43
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Default Auto Paints for Models

It has been suggested many times here that, if you take a color sample, i.e., a swatch of Ultracote, to an auto paint supplier, they will easily match that color with an automotive paint and even then put it into an aerosol can for you.

My question is: What type of auto paint is glow fuel proof. I wouldn't think that most of these suppliers would know that....not very many cars out there burning alcohol and nitro.

I know polyurethane is fuel proof, but I don't think that’s used as an auto finish. Any Automobile Bump and Paint guys out there in RC Universe? Thank you.
Alfie
Old 03-18-2007, 12:21 AM
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KidVermin
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

I've used both auto lacquer and enamel without any softening from nitro IF you clean throughly after flying. I did price the custom mix placed in an aerosol can a couple years ago. The $32.00 a can was a bit too pricey for me. Try using a gravity touch up gun out of a pint custom mixed.
Old 03-18-2007, 01:07 AM
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Ed Smith
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

I would not recommend spray can application. The fuel proof paint has to be mixed with a hardener. Once mixed it starts to cure.

I use two types of automotive paint. One is called "Single stage" paint. I use the gloss paint. the base color has to be mixed with a catalyst. It cures to a high gloss and is fuel proof. If not too many trim colors are to be applied this is probably the best to use. It requires no clear coat.

The other system is refered to as "Base coat/Clear coat" The base color is just paint, no hardener is used and it has no integrity. Practility any solvent will attack it. This paint dries in about 20 minutes and can be masked right away. It dries with a flat finish. It is ideal for adding trim colors. This paint will require a clear coat. Hence the description. The clear coat is a catalysed material.

Both paints can be custom mixed to samples. The rang of colors is endless. Be warned though, automotive paints can be very expensive.

Ed S
Old 03-18-2007, 08:49 AM
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Newc
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Are you trying to match a color that's already on the plane or trying to get 'close enough' to a color you like? If the latter, I suggest you take a look at Klass Kote paints that are specifically designed for our applications. The folks at Klass Kote are very helpful and may even be able to give you guidance on matching.
Old 03-18-2007, 09:02 AM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Alfie, there are some on here giving you some dangerous advise. Most automotive paints are NOT glow fuel proof (they are great for gasoline powered models) unless there is a glow fuel proof clear coat applied after the color coats. I agree with Newc that if you can use Klass Kote or one of the other paints specifically formulated to withstand glow fuel you will be time and money ahead. One option if you have to go with auto paint is to clear coat with a glow fuel proof clear. Lustrekote is another option for paint and for clear. Do yourself a favor, regardless what you end up with, do a test prior to painting your model. http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXCZW5&P=ML
http://www.klasskote.com/
Old 03-18-2007, 09:22 AM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

I use basecoat /clearcoat paints. They do a great job, but the down side, it's expensive.depending on the color, it may cost over $40 a pint for each color used. then you have to buy the primer/sealers, clear coat paint and the hardeners. They don't give those away either.

My basecoat is R-M Diamont Polyester, and the clearcoat is Limco LC4000. It does a terriffic job and is very durable. Adding plastisizer will help flexibility. The first pic shows my heli painted with the bascoat/clearcoat process.

I have found a quite suitable alternative to the expensive basecoat cost where you need multiple colors. My Bell 222, just recently painted used Createx air brush and Faskolor paints (both water based) as the basecoat colors. It is clearcoated with Limco LC4000.They are available in a wide selection of colors and are inexpensive. I think the Createx paint is about $2.99 for a 2 oz bottle. I airbrushed them on. As a matter of fact, overspray and fumes are so minimal that I sprayed them in my work room in the house. The clearcoat does require the proper equipment to apply and a respirator and ventilation is also required. I even mixed the secondary trim color for the heli to get the right color. These paints are very easy to work with. They are also sprayed as mixed right out of the bottle.

The pictures speak for themselves.

Rod
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:23 AM
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Ed Smith
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Alfie, there are some on here giving you some dangerous advise. Most automotive paints are NOT glow fuel proof (they are great for gasoline powered models) unless there is a glow fuel proof clear coat applied after the color coats.
I do not know who the above quote is refering to. I offered advice based on many years of usage. I do not use high nitro fuels any more. When Formula 1 Pylon Racing was popular we used 60% nitro. The Automotive paint I desribed and use is fuel proof. Rather than making a general comment that some advice is bad, be specific and say which is bad and which is good.

I have not used all of the available brands of paint. From enquiries I made it seems that if the paint is catalysed it is fuel proof. Now this may be a general statement but so far in my real experience it is the case.

Ed S
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:01 AM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Ed is for the most part correct. Just about any 2 part urethane SINGLE STAGE paint is fuel proof. I work in the automotive refinish field and very often have to deal with possible scenarios involving chemicals that are much more corrosive than glow fuel. The only exception I take with Ed is that acrylic enamel, without a hardener, is extremely durable. Enamels cure by oxidation; the more time that passes, the stronger they become. They belong to the chemical family of thermoset - cannot readily be softened with either heat or solvent. The addition of a catalyst to an enamel paint is not so much for strength ( in regular automotive use ) but to get the paint film out of it's sensitve recoat window faster and the car back into the customers hands faster. Automotive enamels are slow to cure, the addition of a hardener kick starts the reaction. There are different types of catalysts that can be added to enamels depending on what you need the final product to be capable of doing. In the end though, after about a month of cure time enamels with or without the addition of a catalyst will react about the same. Both give excellent durability. Enamel that is custom matched and put into a spray can generally works fine. But as stated previous, test -test -test, all enamels are not created equal. It is expensive though as also already said to have that convienience.

Dan
Old 03-18-2007, 01:48 PM
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Ed Smith
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Dan,

Thank you. I store all these bits of information.

As you are in the business can you recommend a paint stripper that will remove the paints previously mentioned without attacking the epoxy resin and melting the fuselage?

Ed S
Old 03-18-2007, 01:53 PM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Saying which is bad and which is good is too general. All I am saying is that a lots of modelers have used automotive paints over the years with mixed success with regards to being glow fuel proof. My point is to TEST any thing that you have not personally tried for yourself to prove your process is or is not going to cause problems.
So are you back flying again Ed, after all the years of RR?
Regards to you!
Steve
Old 03-18-2007, 02:26 PM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Allfie,

I have been using Automotive finishes for the last 15 or so years. I have had no problems when using glow fuel, or gasoline. I use both single stage, and two and three stage finishes. I have never had a problem with glow fuel attacking the finish (up to and including 15%). I do, clean the model completely when I am finished with the day's flying. I have enjoyed great results with the following brands: DuPont, PPG, Sherwin-Williams, and of course Sikkens. The Sikkens products give a great finish, but the priice of most of their products are prohibitive. I am sure that most of you are tired of seeing the picture that I am going to post, but this is the WACO YMF that I just finished this winter. It is finished in Dupont 2 stage. The material under the finish is SIG Koverall. I have planes that have been completed for over 10 years, and the covering and finish is original, and still looks as when first finished. Try it, you'll like it.

Bill, AMA 4720
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:34 PM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Very nice Bill. I have a gasoline powered Smith Miniplane that will be in the paint stages over the next few months. Did you prime the entire plane with a Dupont primer?
Old 03-18-2007, 02:55 PM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Unfortunaetly I don't know of any strippers that won't attack to one degree or another epoxy laid up glass. I get nervous using any stripper on any glass work myself. I have heard of people using "Peeler" in an aerosol can to strip with varying degrees of success. That particular product was brought out to strip delaminating car finishes without attacking the factory e-coat primer. Most of the aerosol strippers out there for bumpers on cars are meant for urethane materials ( I'm talking about the bumper material itself ) not plastics. The potential of a gooey airplane makes me sand instead of strip.

Dan

Stickbuilder - Great looking WACO!!!!!
Old 03-18-2007, 03:23 PM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

I suggest that you go to and automotive paint store and ask what is available to strip paint with. I know there are specific strippers for glass resin and there may well be for epoxy resins. I would ask the people who deal with these products on a daily basis. They are going to be your most reliable source of information.....And I would still do a test spot before committing the project to a new product. It never hurts to be careful.

Rod

I also just thought of something.....also check with marine paint shops. They would know if anyone would, since most of their painting (and stripping) is done on glass boats.
Old 03-18-2007, 04:17 PM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

I have 20+ years in the automotive jobber and painting side of the business. Glass Strip is made by Kleenstrip and is used on older model Vette's just for that purpose. I don't know how it would react on epoxy laid up glass though. There are big differences in how automotive glass and how rc plane glass is laid up. A car ( or boat ) has a gelcoat as the outer layer followed by several layers of a heavyweight fabric backed by chopped matt either laid in or blown in for structural strength. A fender doesn't rely on bulkheads to maintain it's shape and rigidity. A cross section of a fiberglass rc plane fuselage is extremely thin, an outer gelcoat layer is almost non-existent followed by a couple of layers of lightweight cloth. That isn't much of a barrier to withstand a chemical attack. Rod is correct -TEST!!!!! before using anything. Two possible products I can think of to test might be Capt. Lee's Spra-Strip and a product called Dry Strip.

Dan
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:26 PM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

OSG,

I use the primer from the same manufacturer who's product I will be using on the final stages. This is probably not necessary, but why take the chance? I normally use a primer surfacer product, and only enough to give the substrate some, "Tooth" for the color coat to bond to. The main thing that I have found when using automotive finishes, and others as well is to have everything as clean as humanly possible, and then clean it some more. The other thing is to have the surface prepared correctly. Paint will not hide a screw-up in construction, or in covering. If you have a bad surface under the paint, you will have a bad finished product. Flawless is almost good enough. This is not stretching it, it is a universal fact. Ask any professional body man (I'm not one), and he will tell you the same thing. I do, however, have a very good downdraft booth at the Dealership, and I am using that to do the work in. This booth has mulitple stage filteration, and I can put a positive pressure in the booth, so no foreign particulates can get to the wet paint. I can also bake the finish if needed. This serves to accelerate the catalyzing process and shortens the time until the finish will not be harmed by any dust that might reach the surface.

You can achieve an acceptable finish at home as well. I used to make use of a wooden frame with visqueen stretched over the framework. Make sure to use a respirator that has both dust and chemical filters, or a fresh air system. A dust mask is useless against some of the calalyzed paint that is available today. Some of this stuff is very lethal.

I use a High volume-low pressure system to apply the paint as well.

Bill, AMA 4720
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:08 PM
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alfie43
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Hmm! This is not as clear (no pun intended) as I had hoped it would be. Thanks to all for the wealth of information. Unfortunately, too many factors, too many types of auto paints and therefore, much too complicated for me to further consider these products. While I have no problem with the high cost of these paints, I can't see paying $30-$40 for a paint and still have to test it for fuel proof.

Some of you may have figured out that I was trying to find paints that match Ultracote. With all due respect to Newc, "close enough" will never work for me. I'm a "dead nuts" kinda guy.

I think I'll go the Radio South route or possibly Oracolor; the Ultracote matching paint from Germany. Either way, I'll have to get out the compressor and gun/air brush. No problem...at least I know what I'm getting; a fuel proof paint designed for models with a perfect color match. Thanks again to all.
Alfie
Old 03-19-2007, 07:46 AM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

I'm sorry if it sounds like we made it complicated to apply automotive finishes to you aircraft. It's not really as hard as it sounds and with the new paints that are on the market, even a beginner can produce good results. You do have to be careful that you don't over do the coats of paint. Weight can add up in a hurry.

No doubt it, automotive paints ARE EXPENSIVE, but few coatings will give the same results. One bad thing about auto paint, the hardener will not last forever. once air gets to it and the more it's opened it will start to thicken and become unusable. (I just lost about half of a quart that way).

Safety precautions are also a must. You must use the proper equipment.

I also use "rattle cans" from time to time on cowlings and other misc pieces. I've had good results with Top Flite's LusterCoat paints and they match MonoKote quite well.

Good luck with whatever finish you decide to use.

Rod
Old 03-19-2007, 11:40 AM
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Default RE: Auto Paints for Models

Paintscratch.com can do color matching, and can load a spray can with your paint of choice.

I will be painting a Hog Bipe soon, and plan to use auto paints.

Right now it looks like the plane will be 4-6 colors as my nephew is picking the colors and each wing/control surface/fuse is a different color. Should look interesting.

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