Fins, Fillets, and Paint.

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Well-Known Member
Dec 24, 2003
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here is a quickk survey

I just followed Jetra's fillet instructions

And they work like a champ!

Now for painting

If the fins are not the same color as the BT. Where does one color start and the next begin?
Depends on the look i'm after. If the fillet has a large radius, I'll go mid or maybe the chord. If it's non-existent, root chord.
Huh? Maybe you mean my fillet instructions? :D :):)

I'll usually either put the tape at the top of the fillet or at the bottom, at the body joint. I don't think it looks right in the middle...looks phunny.

Thanks for the compliments on the instructions! :D :cool:

Painting fins a different color is something I've always struggled with to make look good. I'd like to see a few more people weigh-in on this and I'd really like to see some close-up photos of examples.

C'mon folks, educate me.

Here is a link to some photos of my latest project masked and awaiting painting of the fins. It's raining today and humidity is >90% so I'll have to wait. Hopefully, this one will turn out well.

My father is a retired painter. He worked for 35+ years painting everything from water towers to special high end work interior paint jobs.
the one thing that i did learn from him was to always apply the lighter colored paint first. if you paint on the darker color it will take multiple coats of the lighter to cover it.

I did my mini-bertha all black with one whole fin white. i first painted the white fin - waited 2 whole days (darn hard to do)
then i wrapped the fin with a piece of a grocery bag and applied painters tape along body tube/fillet edge to hold the paper in place.
i applied a thin coat of black paint, waited about 10 minutes and then applied another thin coat and waited only a couple of minutes and removed the tape and paper. by removing the tape and paper when the paint is wet the edge of the paint will just flow over the edge of the paint line - not run- and seal the edge so that it is really smooth. it also helps to keep the paint from peeling away with the tape.
i follow a similar technique when i paint a band around a body tube.

removing the tape when the paint is still wet is something that a some of the old airplane painters will do. they do it because if there was a rough edge to the paint then the wind going over the wing would slowly pull the paint right off.
I tried to paint a color change at the edge of fins... and it didn't ever look good. So..... I paint fins and a piece of the body tube the same color. I like long-ways stripes, and diagonals- ie a color change from the leading edge of one fin to the trailing edge of the next.