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jqavins

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They'll be least noticeable if you make small holes in the darkest parts of the stripes, just below the nose cone, and paint the inside of the area black.
 

neil_w

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BLACK RESULTS

I brought the rocket in and unmasked.

OY.

Here are the crinkles, which I will need to sand out. I'm happy they didn't show up anywhere else. It seems to be fingerprint-shaped, but I'm pretty sure I gave the whole rocket a good once-over with alcohol and tack-cloth before painting. Plus I didn't think a fingerprint (if in fact that is what it is) could do that.
Black results-3.jpg

Here's the tail, which is a masking disaster. Lots of touch-ups to come there. Fortunately it doesn't really matter very much in that location. And I'm not surprised by it; working the tape in there was really hard.
Black results-4.jpg

I have some interesting tape leakages. I think that where I use blue tape on top of the Tamiya (to cover large areas) it occasionally lifts up here and there, and I don't notice it until I see the results. This particular bit of leakage is proving difficult to remove so far, being in a crevice like that. What's the right technique here?
Black results-1.jpg

(you can also see in the above pic that the mask line between the fin can and transition is not great either).

And finally, the pièce de résistance:
Black results-2.jpg

A piece of blue tape lifted not the white paint... but the paint plus the glassine layer. Give me a break. It's not very large but it'll be noticeable. Not quite sure what the best fix is yet. I think I'll probably apply some thin CA to seal it up, and then evaluate. The circled smudge was another spot where black leaked through one of the tape seams; I was able to scrape of most of it with a knife, but will probably have to finish it with sanding. I'll start with 5000 and work my way down until it's gone.

So, I have lots of work to do before the final round of decals.
 

neil_w

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They'll be least noticeable if you make small holes in the darkest parts of the stripes, just below the nose cone, and paint the inside of the area black.
BTW that is where the nose cone shoulder is. I need to move not only below the shoulder but below the twist lock as well, so I'll be close to the middle of the decal, where it's much lighter and the holes will be more visible. I need to decide whether to go through the design on the decal, or in the areas between the design. Probably doesn't make much difference.
 

mbeels

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No kidding, that's an unfortunate case of paint crinkle. At least it is in a spot where it doesn't matter and you can sand it out.

This particular bit of leakage is proving difficult to remove so far, being in a crevice like that. What's the right technique here?
I don't know, I was going to suggest scraping it with the back of a blade, but I see you tried that elsewhere. After that, I just "let it go, let it goooooo!!"

A piece of blue tape lifted not the white paint... but the paint plus the glassine layer.
Wow. I've never experienced that, especially not with blue tape that is barely sticky enough to hold itself down.
 

jqavins

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It seems to be fingerprint-shaped...
Ah, but is it your finger print, or is someone sabotaging your paint job? ;)

What's the right technique here?
I was able to scrape of most of it with a knife...
Well, there's your answer, at least for most of it. I must respectfully disagree with Marten. I'd us the sharp edge of a blade to scrape, carefully, and then only have a little finishing up with sandpaper. For that, make a sanding stick on the pointed and of a pencil or a dowel pointed in a pencil sharpener.
BTW that is where the nose cone shoulder is.
Yeah, I knew that. Drill through the shoulder too. It means having to assure the holes are aligned, but you've got decals for alignment marks that you want lined up anyway. What I hadn't considered is the twist lock; I don't know how that might complicate matters.
 

neil_w

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Well, there's your answer, at least for most of it. I must respectfully disagree with Marten. I'd us the sharp edge of a blade to scrape, carefully, and then only have a little finishing up with sandpaper.
I am having remarkably little luck with that so far. I'll probably just brush-paint over it at this point.
Yeah, I knew that. Drill through the shoulder too. It means having to assure the holes are aligned, but you've got decals for alignment marks that you want lined up anyway. What I hadn't considered is the twist lock; I don't know how that might complicate matters.
Well, given that I want these to be vents into the payload area, drilling into the shoulder doesn't do me much good unless I then create another hole or channel from there to the payload compartment. That is not worth the effort. I will live with the three visible holes, once I decide where they go.
 

neil_w

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I think the great bard of our time, Phil Collins, best captures my feelings on this paint job right now.
 

neil_w

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Black paint repairs, part 1

Here's some of the garbage I'm dealing with.

I sanded down the crinkles... most of the way:
1603658448068.png
At this point if I keep going I'll be sanding through the primer, so I decided to stop here. It it still not smooth but it's not sticking out like before.

And here it is after a couple of coats of Vallejo gloss black:
Black repair-2.jpg
Fair. This actually my second go-round. The first time, I went to try to wet-sand it down a bit (using 2000) and it sanded the Vallejo right off, leaving me with white spots again. So this time, I'm just going to try... well, maybe the 5000 and the polish, or maybe I'll chicken out and just do the polish. If it takes the paint off again, I'll just have to go for round three.

The Vallejo doesn't go on particularly glossy (more like satin or semi-gloss), so I'll be relying on Future to get it glossy and black.

Elsewhere, I did 2000/3000/polish, and learned that black is a different kettle of fish vs. white. Here's a portion of the plasma core area, you can see how even after polish, the whole thing is still quite cloudy, although not nearly as bad as after the initial rubdown with 3000.
Black repair-3.jpg
If you click to zoom in, you can also see (outlined in red) that the sanding and polishing removed the paint from the sharp corners on the strakes, leaving bits of white. I'll have to go back and hit those spots with the Vallejo. This is a mistake that I can correct in the future: even edges that I intend to leave basically square, I will very slightly knock down the sharp corner to improve paint adhesion there, and/or reduce sand-through.

Anyway, I started with one side of one fin, and when I saw that cloudiness I got very alarmed. So, before I did any other part, I applied Future to that one fin, and to my great relief it fully restored the deep gloss black.

But then I realized that I would need to apply Future to the whole rocket before doing decals, because I can't have cloudy black locked away underneath any clear decals (and there will be a bit of that.)

So, as far as I can tell, my sequence for the remaining finishing will have to be:
1) Do white touch-ups.
2) Polish or whatever the crinkle zone.
3) Additional Vallejo touch-ups wherever white is showing through.
4) Apply Future
5) Apply decals
6) Apply Future

Fun fun fun.
 

mbeels

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So, as far as I can tell, my sequence for the remaining finishing will have to be:
1) Do white touch-ups.
2) Polish or whatever the crinkle zone.
3) Additional Vallejo touch-ups wherever white is showing through.
4) Apply Future
5) Apply decals
6) Apply Future
Oh boy, that's some dedication to the process. At this point in the build (right near the end) my motivation for dealing with issues like that drops down to basically zero. But you'll have a better result for it.
 

neil_w

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I don’t feel like I have a choice, unfortunately. What could I eliminate?
 

neil_w

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I jumped ahead and did step 3. The white bits touched up very nicely with one of these:
Black fix 2-2.jpg

I don't use them often but I'm glad I remembered to use them for this, very very good for running along the sharp edges of the strakes without long flexible bristles going every which way.
Black fix 2-1.jpg

Even with my nose two inches away it was hard to distinguish between white show-through and reflections. As far as I can tell, everything is properly black now; whatever you see there is reflection.
 

mbeels

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I don’t feel like I have a choice, unfortunately. What could I eliminate?
I don't think anything! (Not without giving up final finish quality, which isn't a good option.)

I've definitely left blemishes on my finishes when I'm starting to get more excited about the next build, I just lack enough discipline and patience to always see it through to the nitty-gritty end.
 

les

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I alternate between trying to "fix and re-fix" to the"it's good enough at 5 foot distance" stage

There is a saying that in every project there is a time to shoot the engineer and start production.
For rockets it's time to shoot the painter and launch the bird!
 

neil_w

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I try to distinguish between things that need to be "fixed" vs. "improved". There are *many* things in this paint job that could be improved (e.g. my mask lines are terrible, and there are a lot of them) which I'm not going to worry about. But the fixes must be done.

And as always, once the rocket is finished I will completely forget about all the imperfections and move on. :) Thank heavens my brain allows me to do that.

There is a saying that in every project there is a time to shoot the engineer and start production.
For rockets it's time to shoot the painter and launch the bird!
I am the engineer. :)

Sadly there are no launches in my near future (probably not until next year), so I have little motivation to hurry this up, other than that I really want to do the rest of the decals, and see the finished product.
 

mbeels

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And as always, once the rocket is finished I will completely forget about all the imperfections and move on.
...other than that I really want to do the rest of the decals, and see the finished product.
Yeah, coming this far, it's definitely worth the additional effort. One thing I really appreciate about your build threads is that you show what worked, what didn't work, and then how you went about fixing what didn't. That adds a ton of helpful info to a good build thread.
 

BABAR

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I am thinking some creative decals might work wonders.

Sort of the "Nixon" approach
 

neil_w

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Somewhat by accident, I noticed that another round of polishing removed most of the cloudiness and put enough of a shine onto the paint to be good enough for decaling.

Then I applied Future with a Q-tip to the crinkly bit, because I really wanted that to be maximally fortified before decaling.

Then I realized that applying Future with a Q-tip is so surgical, there's no need to drip-catching and what not. It is possible to apply a *very* thin layer, just enough to gloss it up without massive drippage. And so, I went ahead and applied Future to all the black surfaces. I may do whole rockets like this in the future.

I am feeling better about things. The Future-d black parts look very black and shiny now, ready for decals. Steps 2,3, and 4 are now done.
Black future.jpg
 
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mbeels

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The Future-d black parts look pretty very black and shiny now, ready for decals.
Oh wow, that totally worked. What a big difference from post #251. Maybe I missed it, but what polish did you use? Did you do any more 2000/3000/ or 5000 wet sanding?
 

neil_w

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Oh wow, that totally worked. What a big difference from post #251. Maybe I missed it, but what polish did you use? Did you do any more 2000/3000/ or 5000 wet sanding?
From post 251 I just did more polishing, using Turtle Wax liquid polishing compound (interestingly, I can't find the product on the web right now, maybe discontinued, but it's nothing special).

When I was polishing the crinkle zone, I noticed that the area on the body tube where I strayed a bit got noticeably blacker. After a full re-polish, things got quite a bit blacker but still not all the way black. The Future finished the job.
 

neil_w

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PLASMA DECALS, PART 1

I decided that there was nothing stopping me from starting on the plasma decals. I knew these would be difficult, so I only planned to do one per session.

First, I printed out a version on plain paper to test size. I nailed it almost exactly.
Plasma decal 1-1.jpg

Next, my mise en place:
Plasma decal 1-2.jpg

As previously discussed, I'm now soaking my decals with some border around the decal, to protect as much as possible against ink running at the edges. Unfortunately, I made this decision after I had printed out these decals, so these were printed with very little space between them, leaving very little border. We'll see how that works out. I also realized I didn't print any extras like I usually do. Hope it doesn't come back to bite me.

I don't have a large enough soaking vessel for the full 10+ inches of decal, so I dipped half at a time, alternating halves every few seconds. During this process I made my first mistake: testing decal readiness as I usually do, by holding the decal between my fingers and pushing with my thumb to see if it would slide. The decal took quite a long time to loosen up, and the process of pushing with my thumb seems to have damaged the clear coat, and I could see ink damage where my thumbs had been. This made me quite unhappy, but it wasn't bad enough for me to abandon the decal. I did decide, though, that I would not be able to slide the giant decal off the backing. Instead, I peeled the whole decal off, and then attempted to place it.

You may well imagine that this is not an easy thing to do, and you would be correct. It took several tries to get it close enough to the correct position to where I could move it slightly into final position.

While doing this, it seemed that the whole thing was too long, despite my previous size test. So I trimmed one end... poorly.

Here's the result:
Plasma decal 1-3.jpg

Looks OK from a distance, but definitely not from close up:
Plasma decal 1-4.jpg

From left to right:
1) clear coat damage from my thumb.
2) Ink did run on the edges. Fortunately it's small enough that it's not too noticable.
3) Apparently, the reason it looked to long is that I was putting it in the wrong spot. You can see I missed the seam with the transition by a few millimeters. This really annoys me, but by the time I noticed I couldn't do anything about it without chucking the whole thing.

I applied my ritual coat of Micro-sol and put it aside to dry.

<cue Phil Collins>
 

jqavins

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Well, given that I want these to be vents into the payload area, drilling into the shoulder doesn't do me much good unless I then create another hole or channel from there to the payload compartment.
Ah. You do so much with rings, central tubes, and card stock that somehow I imagined the base of the nose cone was open. I don't know why I thought that, and I obviously wrong.
Fair. This actually my second go-round. The first time, I went to try to wet-sand it down a bit (using 2000) and it sanded the Vallejo right off, leaving me with white spots again.
Did it least get a little better each time? Less white that the time before, less visible crinkling after the next black?
I don’t feel like I have a choice, unfortunately. What could I eliminate?
Some of the feces to be given. But That does not appear to be your way. (See next comment.)
I try to distinguish between things that need to be "fixed" vs. "improved".
Trouble is, that's a very fuzzy line. One person's improvement is another person's fix.
I may do whole rockets like this in the future.
Ah, the future of Future. Very meta.
 

neil_w

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Did it least get a little better each time? Less white that the time before, less visible crinkling after the next black?
Unclear. I quickly got to the point of good enough, because I was afraid to keep hacking at it. I have two coats of Future on it now, and it seems to be OK, although still clearly bumpy. Most of the bumpy area will be covered by decal, so I expect it to be less visible when all is said and done.
Trouble is, that's a very fuzzy line. One person's improvement is another person's fix.
Fortunately, for my builds, my determination is the only one that matters. :)
 

neil_w

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White Touch-Ups

The other day I watched an assortment of Youtube videos featuring an even wider assortment of ways to decant paint from a spray can. Ultimately, I decided that for the small quantity I'd be using, I didn't need to do anything exotic, so I just shot it through a straw into a cup, and then poured from the cup into a little paint container. Given that I previously thought the can was virtually empty (glad I didn't toss it), I got more out than I expected, way more than I would need for this job. *Then* I tossed the paint can.
white touch-up paint.jpg

One important piece of advice common to all the videos was: after decanting, leave the paint uncovered for a while to let the propellant flash off. Indeed, I mistakenly tried to close that little thing just for a moment, and a few seconds later I looked back at it and it had popped open. After that, I left it open for a while and eventually it calmed down and behaved like normal paint.

Do not try to seal a container of freshly decanted spray paint until after it has sat for a while. You will be sorry.

Anyway: time to fix all various white problems. I once again employed my little Testor's touch-up sponges, which are so good for this type of work. Fixed the black leakage at the base of the white fin:
white touch-up fin.jpg

Looks messy but will be nearly invisible when all is said and done. I covered up the bit of BT damage, which I had previously sealed with thin CA:
white touch-up bt.jpg

This looks *really* messy up super-close, and doesn't look great from normal viewing distance either. However, I plan to sand and polish it, which should smooth it out somewhat and also equalize the finish with the surrounding areas, and I expect it will look a lot better. Can't do any of that for at least a couple of days, though, until the paint is cured.

Finally, I did massive touch-ups all around the tail nozzle pieces:
white touch-up tail.jpg

Although I got a bit over-eager in a few places, and strayed on the black bits, it nonetheless looks waaaaaay better than before. I also made a huge improvement by painting the trailing edge of the fin can white; previously it was black since it was virtually impossible to mask the edge without blocking the stuff behind it. This is so much better. Here's how it looked before, you can see how the black edge is a bit raggedy; I initially tried to touch it up with the black, but I was unhappy that it was visible from the size (perfect edge not practical there). Much better now.
Black results-4.jpg

Now I can't touch any of that stuff for a couple of days. I will try to resume work on the plasma core decals tomorrow, if I can do it without handling the new paint.

Getting there!
 

jqavins

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That white edge of the body tube looks so much improved that I think you'd do well to give the edge of the motor mount tube the same treatment. I also think that I'm getting a bit carried away with suggesting excess work to be done by someone else; I probably wouldn't bother if it were my own build.
 

neil_w

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That white edge of the body tube looks so much improved that I think you'd do well to give the edge of the motor mount tube the same treatment.
Although it would in theory look nice, there are two practical reasons not to do it:
1) The tube is black. It seems to work best if the edge of the tube is the same color. Otherwise, you end up with bits of overslop from the edge being visible from the side. That was a noticeable problem on the fin can that I was able to cure. There's just no way to confine the edge paint perfectly to the edge.
2) With a motor in there you won't really see it, whereas the end of the fin can is really quite visible.

In fact, I probably made a minor mistake when I was doing the white touch-ups: I painted the edge of the motor mount tube white in the bits extending from the nozzle pieces (you can see it in the pic above). In fact, I should have done a black touch-up there, and made the entire edge of the motor mount uniformly black. At this point I'm not gonna mess with it, though.

I do *not* like the stray bits of paint visible on the inside of the MMT, but again not going to touch it for fear of messing up something else.

Oh, not mentioned in my "white touch-up post" above: I painted the interior of launch lug, just at the edge where it's visible. That had also been bugging me. Generally I am meticulous about keeping paint out of my lugs, but I don't think there's any harm in having just a bit at the edges. I'll post a pic next opportunity.
 

BABAR

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PLASMA DECALS, PART 1

I decided that there was nothing stopping me from starting on the plasma decals. I knew these would be difficult, so I only planned to do one per session.

First, I printed out a version on plain paper to test size. I nailed it almost exactly.
View attachment 436214
Next, my mise en place:
View attachment 436216
As previously discussed, I'm now soaking my decals with some border around the decal, to protect as much as possible against ink running at the edges. Unfortunately, I made this decision after I had printed out these decals, so these were printed with very little space between them, leaving very little border. We'll see how that works out. I also realized I didn't print any extras like I usually do. Hope it doesn't come back to bite me.

I don't have a large enough soaking vessel for the full 10+ inches of decal, so I dipped half at a time, alternating halves every few seconds. During this process I made my first mistake: testing decal readiness as I usually do, by holding the decal between my fingers and pushing with my thumb to see if it would slide. The decal took quite a long time to loosen up, and the process of pushing with my thumb seems to have damaged the clear coat, and I could see ink damage where my thumbs had been. This made me quite unhappy, but it wasn't bad enough for me to abandon the decal. I did decide, though, that I would not be able to slide the giant decal off the backing. Instead, I peeled the whole decal off, and then attempted to place it.

You may well imagine that this is not an easy thing to do, and you would be correct. It took several tries to get it close enough to the correct position to where I could move it slightly into final position.

While doing this, it seemed that the whole thing was too long, despite my previous size test. So I trimmed one end... poorly.

Here's the result:
View attachment 436217
Looks OK from a distance, but definitely not from close up:
View attachment 436218
From left to right:
1) clear coat damage from my thumb.
2) Ink did run on the edges. Fortunately it's small enough that it's not too noticable.
3) Apparently, the reason it looked to long is that I was putting it in the wrong spot. You can see I missed the seam with the transition by a few millimeters. This really annoys me, but by the time I noticed I couldn't do anything about it without chucking the whole thing.

I applied my ritual coat of Micro-sol and put it aside to dry.

<cue Phil Collins>
Those aren’t defects, those are plasma burns. They turn up after about every 250 kiloparsecs with regular use. Usually means you need to clean the injectors with Kuflonium.

By the way, nice to see that in the midst of Covid your Future is looking bright!
 

boatgeek

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Those aren’t defects, those are plasma burns. They turn up after about every 250 kiloparsecs with regular use. Usually means you need to clean the injectors with Kuflonium.

By the way, nice to see that in the midst of Covid your Future is looking bright!
I believe that you have won the Internet for today. Thank you.
 

lakeroadster

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Those aren’t defects, those are plasma burns. They turn up after about every 250 kiloparsecs with regular use. Usually means you need to clean the injectors with Kuflonium.

By the way, nice to see that in the midst of Covid your Future is looking bright!
Neil's gotta wear shades...

 
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