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  1. #1
    Join Date
    24th June 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    18

    Q: Painting large FG rockets

    I have confined myself to rattle-can painting so far - with adequate results after the usual frustrations - but I have 12' of 7.5" FG to cover for my L3 project, so I am considering stepping up to a better system.

    My concerns are cost and paint color availability:

    I have a cheap compressor similar to this: https://www.harborfreight.com/air-to...sor-69667.html . I understand that it is not the best choice, but is there a sprayer/paint combination that it would work with? I -might- consider stepping up to a better compressor, but a 5HP 80 gallon two-stage system is out of my price range.

    Also, I am planning on a sport-scale paint job, with 6 or 7 colors including metallic copper and olive drab. Not a problem with rattle-cans, but it seems to rule out Dupli-Color Paint Shop and the like.

    So, to you paint gurus, is there a way to make this work short of buying a body shop, or should I stick to the cans?

    Thanks!

    L1: ARR Blue Phenix, I357, 9/23/2017 [USR Stiletto, H128, 1997]
    L2: Giant Leap Liberty 4, K550, Raven 3, 1/21/2018 [PML Sudden Rush, J350, ALTS2, 1999]
    L3: 1/2 scale Aerobee 150A, under construction

  2. #2
    Join Date
    22nd August 2015
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,282
    I don’t have any advice, but I have the same crappy compressor, and I’m planning a 13’ x 6” L3 rocket so I’m interested to see the replies. Thanks for asking.

    Last edited by BDB; 12th April 2018 at 08:36 PM. Reason: paranoia
    NAR #100940, RIMRA & CMASS
    L1 - 4/17/16, Tyrannosaur (by Binder Design), Loki H144
    L2 - 8/19/17, Terrordactyl (by Binder Design), CTI J250

  3. #3
    Join Date
    19th January 2009
    Posts
    984
    Another option that won't save you any money, Stickershock vinyl wraps. They look amazing.

    I would like more paint options, though I do have a nice big compressor. Maybe I'll try picking up some air painting tools.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    18th January 2009
    Posts
    2,122
    I've used a similar compressor with a HVLP gun and DupliColor PaintShop. It works, but not well. The compressor really can't keep up unless you spray for 2 min and let it sit for 5 min to build back up. Used it to spray a 7.5in diameter, 10ft tall rocket. I switched to a 125gal 5hp upright and it works MUCH better. I can spray non-stop now. As for colors, find your local PPG store and ask them. They can mix whatever color you want.
    Aaron Head
    NAR 83209 L2

  5. #5
    Join Date
    22nd August 2015
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,282
    I was at a very shady mechanic shop last week. It was the kind of place that had piles of junk everywhere, and they only accepted cash. I noticed they had a paint room in the back. I may give them a call next year when I'm approaching the end of my L3 build.
    NAR #100940, RIMRA & CMASS
    L1 - 4/17/16, Tyrannosaur (by Binder Design), Loki H144
    L2 - 8/19/17, Terrordactyl (by Binder Design), CTI J250

  6. #6
    Join Date
    20th July 2016
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    107
    Quote Originally Posted by BDB View Post
    I was at a very shady mechanic shop last week. It was the kind of place that had piles of junk everywhere, and they only accepted cash. I noticed they had a paint room in the back. I may give them a call next year when I'm approaching the end of my L3 build.
    When I built my gyrocopter years ago, I wanted a nice paint job. I found a local body shop and painter that sprayed the paint I furnished for almost nothing just so they could say they painted one. You may ask around, someone may be looking for bragging rights saying they painted a rocket. A few bucks and a case of beer might get you a beautiful finish...
    L1 Madcow Torrent I500T 3,312'
    L2 Madcow Prion J295 5,591'

    NAR 103061
    Tripoli 17290

  7. #7
    Join Date
    18th January 2009
    Posts
    2,122
    Check your local maker-space as well. Here in Indianapolis, I know of 3 that offer a paint booth.
    Aaron Head
    NAR 83209 L2

  8. #8
    Join Date
    6th December 2017
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by DinoAP View Post
    When I built my gyrocopter years ago, I wanted a nice paint job. I found a local body shop and painter that sprayed the paint I furnished for almost nothing just so they could say they painted one. You may ask around, someone may be looking for bragging rights saying they painted a rocket. A few bucks and a case of beer might get you a beautiful finish...
    Or get it done free/discounted in exchange for them "sponsoring" and putting their decals on the rocket. Or a 12 pack would probably do it. I'm not above selling out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    6th December 2017
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by BDB View Post
    I was at a very shady mechanic shop last week. It was the kind of place that had piles of junk everywhere, and they only accepted cash. I noticed they had a paint room in the back. I may give them a call next year when I'm approaching the end of my L3 build.
    I plan on taking my L2 or L3 to a paint shop if the rocket is big enough. We work with many (non-automotive) paint shops through my company and I'm sure a few of them would be willing to help me out with a nice paint job in exchange for some cash and beer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    30th July 2014
    Location
    Lapeer, MI
    Posts
    437
    I Bought a cheap hvlp spray gun And a quart of rustoleum appliance epoxy and sprayed my stretched 8 Bruno xl . Its all white now just need to add a little color .

    https://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...4423542713.htm



    https://www.rustoleum.com/en/product...ppliance-epoxy






    Sent from my iPhone using Rocketry Forum

  11. #11
    Join Date
    30th July 2014
    Location
    Lapeer, MI
    Posts
    437
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    22nd January 2009
    Location
    Hurdle Mills NC 27541
    Posts
    3,514
    I bought a Tractor Supply 26 gallon compressor a few years ago. I get the cheap 3 for 40$ guns from TS also. I use 3 stage paint from Nason mixed by NAPA. Paint,
    catalyst, and thinner (reducer) with AMAZING results. I spray outside.
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    Jim Scarpine
    Underboss of The Carolina Rocket Mafia
    Tripoli NC
    TRA 1377 NAR 51510
    L3 TAP L3CC


    ICBM
    VAST
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    Indiana Rocketry
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    www.starleopardrocketry.us

  13. #13
    Join Date
    22nd January 2009
    Location
    Hurdle Mills NC 27541
    Posts
    3,514
    Can ANYONE fix the first attachment? Why did it rotate? I didnt do it and cant figure out how to fix it.
    Jim Scarpine
    Underboss of The Carolina Rocket Mafia
    Tripoli NC
    TRA 1377 NAR 51510
    L3 TAP L3CC


    ICBM
    VAST
    QCRS
    Indiana Rocketry
    ROSCO
    Chicago Rocket Mafia


    www.starleopardrocketry.us

  14. #14
    Join Date
    30th May 2017
    Location
    vermont
    Posts
    76
    Last time i asked local auto body shops, told them what i had and wanted done, each place wanted to see it. Each place i took it to pretty much said the same thing, thats cool, then wanted to charge the standard hourly rate plus the cost of paint. After couple weeks of show and tell (and repairing some dings in the primer) I was in my garage with my usual rattle cans. That's my sob story, no deals for me lol, they could have bought a lot of beer for what they wanted to charge for a 4" 8' rocket. Hope your local shops are more accepting, that's my experience good luck.
    Eric M
    NAR#85115 L2

  15. #15
    Join Date
    25th August 2009
    Location
    Carol Stream
    Posts
    3,035
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Duplicolor rattle can.


    Sent from my iPhone using Rocketry Forum
    L3-TRA 12636
    QCRS BOD/Prefect. Princeton, IL
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    Chicago Rocket Mafia "The Hot Tub"
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    22nd January 2009
    Location
    Hurdle Mills NC 27541
    Posts
    3,514
    Quote Originally Posted by ericm541 View Post
    Last time i asked local auto body shops, told them what i had and wanted done, each place wanted to see it. Each place i took it to pretty much said the same thing, thats cool, then wanted to charge the standard hourly rate plus the cost of paint. After couple weeks of show and tell (and repairing some dings in the primer) I was in my garage with my usual rattle cans. That's my sob story, no deals for me lol, they could have bought a lot of beer for what they wanted to charge for a 4" 8' rocket. Hope your local shops are more accepting, that's my experience good luck.

    Stay away from body shops, unless you personally know them. Way too spendy. Get yaself a compressor and doit yourself. I use Nason automotive metallic enamels. But you can get regular enamel paint really cheap at Tractor Supply or other big box stores.
    Jim Scarpine
    Underboss of The Carolina Rocket Mafia
    Tripoli NC
    TRA 1377 NAR 51510
    L3 TAP L3CC


    ICBM
    VAST
    QCRS
    Indiana Rocketry
    ROSCO
    Chicago Rocket Mafia


    www.starleopardrocketry.us

  17. #17
    Join Date
    1st September 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,099
    Quote Originally Posted by jimzcatz View Post
    I bought a Tractor Supply 26 gallon compressor a few years ago. I get the cheap 3 for 40$ guns from TS also. I use 3 stage paint from Nason mixed by NAPA. Paint,
    catalyst, and thinner (reducer) with AMAZING results. I spray outside.
    Those. Are. AWESOME!!
    NAR 96681
    L1 - May 29, 2014 LOC Norad ProMax, H120
    L2 - Feb 21, 2015 Fiberglassed Madcow Frenzy, J280

  18. #18
    Join Date
    1st September 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,099
    Quote Originally Posted by jimzcatz View Post
    I bought a Tractor Supply 26 gallon compressor a few years ago. I get the cheap 3 for 40$ guns from TS also. I use 3 stage paint from Nason mixed by NAPA. Paint,
    catalyst, and thinner (reducer) with AMAZING results. I spray outside.
    I've not shopped at TS...is the quality substantially different from Harbor Freight?
    NAR 96681
    L1 - May 29, 2014 LOC Norad ProMax, H120
    L2 - Feb 21, 2015 Fiberglassed Madcow Frenzy, J280

  19. #19
    Join Date
    24th June 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by soopirV View Post
    I've not shopped at TS...is the quality substantially different from Harbor Freight?
    They have some higher end items. This is currently on sale: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...30-gal-1093641

    So now I'm debating better paint jobs vs. an M reload.

    L1: ARR Blue Phenix, I357, 9/23/2017 [USR Stiletto, H128, 1997]
    L2: Giant Leap Liberty 4, K550, Raven 3, 1/21/2018 [PML Sudden Rush, J350, ALTS2, 1999]
    L3: 1/2 scale Aerobee 150A, under construction

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