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General Aircraft: Tips & Techniques
Discussions on specific A/C building techniques.
Painting cockpit rims
GawainBS
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Flemish Brabant, Belgium
Joined: September 05, 2015
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Posted: Friday, May 06, 2016 - 03:14 PM UTC
How do you paint the metal parts on the cockpit canopy without messing it up? My painting hand isn't that firm that I reliably paint a straight line and masking tape a lot of fidgeting.

Any tips would be very appreciated!
JClapp
#259
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Massachusetts, United States
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Posted: Friday, May 06, 2016 - 04:30 PM UTC
you must use masking tape! lay the tape as close as you can each side of the bars, rub the edges of the tape down carefully. Then you can just slap the paint on. Next day or so, when it is dry, you pull off the masking tape - Voilą - perfect!


GawainBS
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Flemish Brabant, Belgium
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Posted: Friday, May 06, 2016 - 09:25 PM UTC
My chief concern is getting the masking tape around the rounded edges, i.e. where it isn't in a sharp corner. Or for the bowed rims, like on the front part of an F-14 or F-4...
Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Saturday, May 07, 2016 - 12:34 AM UTC
Some kits have aftermarket pre-cut masking tapes available from companies such as Eduard. There's also a generic set of pre-cut shapes to let you make your own masks.

You can also place on the masking tape, burnish it down with a pencil over the frames, remove it, cut to shape around the pencil lines and place it back over the canopy. This method works best when the canopy lines are nice and prominent.
GawainBS
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Flemish Brabant, Belgium
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Posted: Saturday, May 07, 2016 - 12:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Some kits have aftermarket pre-cut masking tapes available from companies such as Eduard. There's also a generic set of pre-cut shapes to let you make your own masks.

You can also place on the masking tape, burnish it down with a pencil over the frames, remove it, cut to shape around the pencil lines and place it back over the canopy. This method works best when the canopy lines are nice and prominent.



Thanks, I'm going to try the burnishing tip.
EmperoR
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Sofiya, Bulgaria
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Posted: Sunday, May 08, 2016 - 03:11 PM UTC
Here is what I can offer you as a tutorial on this subject. Hope it helps
Painting scale model canopy frames using decals. Video tutorial

Best regards
Metodi
GawainBS
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Flemish Brabant, Belgium
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Posted: Sunday, May 08, 2016 - 10:43 PM UTC
Nice. Where do you get clear decal paper?
Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Monday, May 09, 2016 - 12:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Nice. Where do you get clear decal paper?



Many hobby shops stock it. These days you can get it to go in either inkjet or laser printers. Here's an example.
Namabiiru
#399
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Rhode Island, United States
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Posted: Monday, May 09, 2016 - 12:18 AM UTC
Back when I was younger and doing more airplanes than I do now I used to use the following technique for my canopies:

Paint the canopy frame thoroughly, but don't worry too much if you go over. Once the paint is set but not completely cured, use a toothpick to go around the edges of your frame and scrub away anything that got onto the canopy. With a bit of care you should be able to follow the edge of the molded frame detail to get a perfect line, and the toothpick is just hard enough to rub away the paint without scratching the canopy.

Emeritus
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Uusimaa, Finland
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Posted: Monday, May 09, 2016 - 01:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text

My chief concern is getting the masking tape around the rounded edges, i.e. where it isn't in a sharp corner. Or for the bowed rims, like on the front part of an F-14 or F-4...


When cut into narrower strips, masking tape like Tamiya's yellow tape (I highly recommend getting some if you haven't got some already!) can bend into surprisingly tight curves.

Another method I've used for masking rounded corners is by using a paper punch. Lay some masking tape on some paper, then punch some holes through the tape. Depending on the part to be masked, you can put to use the tape circles, the tape around the edges of the holes, or both. Though the holes made by a paper punch tend to be of a single size, you can cut narrow strips from the punched circles and around the holes to get tape with a curve already in it, allowing for tighter curves than with straight tape.
Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Monday, May 09, 2016 - 11:00 PM UTC
Here's another quick thought for you. When you're painting the canopy frames, do the interior colour first, let it dry and then do the outside colour. That way when you're looking through the canopy, you don't see the outside colour showing through the back of the frames.
Namabiiru
#399
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Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 05:30 PM UTC
Excellent suggestion, Jessie! And just to clarify; I believe you mean painting both colors on the OUTSIDE of the canopy, rather than the interior color on the inside of the canopy, right?

Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 08:11 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Excellent suggestion, Jessie! And just to clarify; I believe you mean painting both colors on the OUTSIDE of the canopy, rather than the interior color on the inside of the canopy, right?




That's correct. Unless you're going to leave the cockpit open and especially if you're working in small scales it's much easier to paint the outside of the canopy
GawainBS
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Flemish Brabant, Belgium
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 01:31 AM UTC
I know this is very late, but I finally got around to finishing this model. Your suggestion worked beautifully in theory, but my poor execution botched it. I learned from it, though.
Willard79
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Wellington, New Zealand
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 04:16 AM UTC
Another little trick with masking in general is to shoot a clear coat first which helps seal the masked edges and prevent paint from creeping under if you lay it to wet.
I only really do it If I'm after a particularly crisp edge or the tape edge is getting dodgy.
Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 05:47 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I know this is very late, but I finally got around to finishing this model. Your suggestion worked beautifully in theory, but my poor execution botched it. I learned from it, though.



The only way to get good at something is to start out being bad at it, and keep practising until you get better. Learning from the experience is also a good thing
GawainBS
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Flemish Brabant, Belgium
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 10:31 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Another little trick with masking in general is to shoot a clear coat first which helps seal the masked edges and prevent paint from creeping under if you lay it to wet.
I only really do it If I'm after a particularly crisp edge or the tape edge is getting dodgy.



That makes a lot of sense, actually.

Up to the next, a 1/72 Spitfire!