Repainting models

Repainting models

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:12 pm

Being that I'm originally from Bulgaria I'd like to have a train set on my layout representing the BDZ (Bulgarian State Railways). For locomotives I can easily use two existing models - either a Ludmila (see the new banner) or a Taurus. Wagon wise, there are several German prototypes of passenger wagons that would be appropriate and likely some freight wagons (I haven't done my homework on freight yet. My question is how have you guys/gals repainted models before? Are you in some way stripping the old paint before applying the new? Also, what techniques are you using? Are you priming before painting at all? Etc, etc. Thx in advance.
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Re: Repainting models

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:20 pm

Another question I just thought of - if you only need to change / repaint a small part of a model, what are you doing to match the existing color exactly? Or are you just redoing the whole thing from the ground up?
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Re: Repainting models

Postby AstroGoat760 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:34 pm

I have repainted quite a few models, all of which have had paint damage and/or body damage to some extent. There are some plastic-safe solvents, but they take a long time to work.

If you have a metal model, there are a few other methods that can be used:

1.) Wire brush - not suitable for softer metals, and only really works well in cases of moderate to severe rusting and extensive sanding and filling may be needed.
2.) Boiling Cauldron - placing the object to be stripped in a basket suspended from the top of a kettle filled with laundry soap and water. Does not work well with white metal castings, as I found out last week.
3.) Chemical bath. The object is soaked in chemical paint stripper, the downside of which is many plastics cannot handle paint stripper and the fumes can be very hazardous. This should only be done with a high degree of ventilation, preferably in a covered outside porch.

One thing that works with a number of plastics is brake fluid, automotive type. Some plastics are impervious to it, such as the type of plastic used by Louis Marx & Co for their plastic trains, said models can be left soaking for a few hours in a brake fluid bath and come out clean.

Brake fluid can also be applied and agitated with a brush just be sure to test it out on a small portion of the model, for example, inside the shell, to see if there is a reaction. Most paints do not last long against brake fluid, but most plastics and rubbers are unaffected. If you are going to use/try brake fluid, test it out first before using it on an entire model!

As far as the repainting is concerned, it depends on. Some paints & colors are easier to match than others, it all depends on the color, the extent of the repainting, and the condition of the model.
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Re: Repainting models

Postby CSD » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:03 pm

If painting out of the box models without a bunch of old paint on them you can apply a base coat and finish coats right over the original finish. To improve adhesion you can wash it with a little isopropyl alcohol or vinegar first. This will give the surface a little tooth and clean off any oils from fingerprints.

Forget exact paint matching. One can make the excuse that the reporting marks have been repainted over the years. In the end this can create a more interesting model. Weathering the rolling stock does a good job of hiding slight paint colour differences as well as any touchups that have been done.
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Re: Repainting models

Postby areibel » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:40 pm

For plastic bodies I try 90% isopropyl alcohol first. It's available at drug stores or Wallyworld, look for an orange or red label instead of the blue label 70% stuff. With most of the newer paints the alcohol will take most of it off with ease. I let it soak for a couple hours and scrub a little with an old toothbrush. You can usually see results pretty fast. I have heard of some models that the alcohol can make the plastic brittle (Kato, I think) after long soaks (24 hours or more)so it would proably be a good thing to do a test first.

If you go on the MR or Atlas forums there have been several long discussions about stripping plastic, I think soda blasting was ruled the safest and most effective but is the most expensive due to the cost of the equipment needed. I've had about 50/50 luck with brake fluid, one shell stripped for every one destroyed. Not good! It's a last resort now, and I don't leave it soak very long.

One of the model paint companies (and I can't remember which one) makes a gel that works great- brush it on, let it sit and rinse. I think that might be the best way to partially strip a shell.

I'm now fully armed with a decent airbrush, a compressor and plans for a cheap home made spray booth. I haven't tried it yet, it's about 40 degrees down in the dungeon right now so it will have to wait for a warmer weather. I've never been happy with my results with spray bombs, and I've drooled over some of the work a couple friends can do with an airbrush. They've given me a ton of advice so it's time to learn!
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Re: Repainting models

Postby ConducTTor » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:17 pm

Thanks guys :thumbup:
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Re: Repainting models

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:03 pm

At the train show today, I picked up an airbrush set. The show special was for a Badger Patriot Model 105, Badger paint set (seven colors, engine black; Reefer White; Reefer Gray; Reefer Yellow; Reefer Orange; Dark Tuscan Oxide Red; Light Tuscan Oxide Red), instruction DVD, and a blank HO scale 60' Double Door Hi-Cube boxcar for $65.

They even had a test booth there to test the brush out, and I opted to get the set based on the test paint they let me do. I talked with the head of Badger Air-Brush Co., and he was impressed that TT scale is still around, and that someone my age is into it.

All I need now is an adapter to hook up my air compressor up to the air hose that connects to the brush, although a 30 gallon compressor may be overkill for this application...
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Re: Repainting models

Postby ctxmf74 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:06 am

AngrySailor302 wrote:All I need now is an adapter to hook up my air compressor up to the air hose that connects to the brush, although a 30 gallon compressor may be overkill for this application...


A 30 gallon tank will let you paint longer without needing to run the compressor which is good for the ears. Along with the adapter try to find a filter/moisture trap to keep the crap that builds up inside the tank from getting in your gun or on your paint jobs. I screwed a moisture trap onto a short piece of pipe mounted under my workbench with a snap adapter to connect it to my air hose when I want to paint, the outlet end of the pipe has the adapter for the small airbrush hose....dave
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Re: Repainting models

Postby AstroGoat760 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:58 pm

The compressor they used at the show was not all that loud. When the motor on my 30 gallon compressor fires up, it can be very LOUD, even in the low speed setting, especially when it first spools up. I just can't use it at odd hours of the day, limiting it's usefulness.
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Re: Repainting models

Postby AstroGoat760 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:32 pm

For those that are not familiar with what the Badger Model 105 looks like, I figured I should post what it looks like. It is not bad for a basic little airbrush. It is a gravity fed, double action airbrush, meaning that the control button is first pressed down to supply air, and then throttled to apply paint.

Also, from talking to the president of Badger, they send people to a lot of train shows, so I would expect to see somebody there from Badger at the next NMRA national convention.
Image

This is what I got for $65.
Image
Image

Also, since I mentioned "him", here is a photo of the compressor I presently have. From the base of the wheels to the top of the compressor, "Redjac" is 41/2feet tall.
Image
("Redjac" gets "his" name from the monster from the original Star Trek episode #43 "Wolf in the Fold")

I would highly recommend getting a Badger airbrush for those that do not have one yet, the model 105 seems to be an ideal one to learn with.
The DVD is very helpful for people like me who have not used an airbrush in a while, and even more so for people like Nicholle, who has never used one before.

No more foreign made junk airbrushes for me.
Now I need to find the old Testor's hunk of junk airbrush and utterly destroy it.
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