Estes #1951 Executioner tricky painting ?

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Tramper Al

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2013
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So, the Executioner is another rocket where I collected a couple of old OOP never-to-be-seen-again kits via ebay at somewhat reasonable collectible prices, only to have Estes re-release it a couple of years later! Oh well.

It has seemed like a pretty basic build until I looked closely at the paint scheme. I've got to mask out sort of a long arrow shape on each of 3 sides that reaches a point about half way up the model, black on the outside, silver metallic on the inside, with a 1/32" yellow border stripe throughout. And a similar pattern on each of the 6 fin surfaces. I think I am a novice level rocket painter and am finally understanding what makes this a Skill Level 3!

I am thinking I have to mask everything, 3 times. I don't think I want to lay down silver everywhere and then try to cover it with yellow and black. So I'll be taping onto my final paint job, which I've had trouble with before. I also tend to get a little bit of bleeding at the masking margin, certainly in the range of 1/32". In the past I have used Tamiya masking tape (at the edge) for the trickiest jobs. I guess I should paint the yellow strip last.

Any advice on this will be much appreciated!
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Spray your silver areas first, it doesn't have to be neat. Then mask off the area that should remain silver, using the Tamiya tape for the edge, then blue painters tape is fine to fill in with. Before you shoot with black, spray silver again along your masked edges. This ensures that if there is any bleed under, it's the same color as what you're trying to protect. Once that's dry, then you can shoot your black. For your yellow trim stripes it would be harder to mask and then pre-coat with the underlying colors since each edge would be a different color (black/silver), so you'll need to be very careful and just spray very light, mist coats until you build up enough to make it opaque.
Thanks Juliet! Just to clarify, when I mask before painting black, am I trying to also cover 1/32" from the silver edge under the tape - won't that be hard to judge? Or am I painting yellow onto black?

Actually, now that I think about that question, if I am able to draw a straight line sort of diagonally around the tube (isn't that going to be tough?), I should be able to draw another one 1/32" away?
When you mask before painting black, you're only covering up the parts that you want to remain silver, that's why when you first spray the silver it doesn't have to be neat. Once it's masked off, spray silver along the masked edges and let it dry. If any of the silver bleeds under the tape, it'll bleed onto silver and won't even be noticed. and that silver will keep the black from getting under the tape.

When you get ready to do the yellow stripe, just follow your silver/black edge with the Tamiya tape, then on the silver side run a parallel piece of Tamiya tape leaving an approximate 1/32" gap showing silver in the gap (easier to cover with yellow than black). You can just eyeball the 1/32" gap, which is actually way too narrow anyway. You probably want 3/32" or 1/8".
Or forget trying to mask the yellow stripes and get some yellow trim tape. If you can't find any, some yellow adhesive trim monocote and your hobby knife and straightedge can make lots of stripes. I've also made my own colored tape by spraying color on masking tape and using that.

You could do that, but I think you'd be happier with the final product if you painted the trim on. The tape/Monokote will leave a raised edge, and if you don't clear coat it, it will surely peel off at some point. I've never been a fan of Monokote Trim Sheets.