Fluorescent colors

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Bunsen Honeydew

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I have seen in other forums the discussion about what were the best paints on the market to accurately reproduce the florescent colors on sounding rockets. Some had mentioned that the hews of the reds and oranges that are out there are off and not accurate matches. Are there any suggestions to paints that do match?
 

MaxQ

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I have used Krylon (old formula) flourescent red, red orange, orange, pink and yellow.

I'm very pleased with the red orange.

I can't say it is an exact match to a US Military FS color standard...but then I'm not even sure Testors Model Master paints are that accurate and their miltary line has FS number selections.

Aside from being rather expensive to paint a large rocket.......paints hues and matching grades of dark to light paint color are affected by weatherig and fading, not to mention scale effect....so I personally don't get too hung up on it.

That said........if anyone knows of a BRAND OF spray paint in International Orange to paint something like a USAF/NAVY Firebee drone...let me know!
 
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Solomoriah

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I've had problems with fluorescent paints leaving rough surfaces. Dunno why.
 

El Cheapo

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you can color sand just as you would any other paint. Make sure to clear coat afterwards.
 

Solomoriah

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I've used Rustoleum and Krylon and both have left rough finishes. I polished one with fine steel wool and then clearcoated it, and it's acceptable, but I prefer paints that don't need sanding.
 

El Cheapo

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I don't think there is any way around sanding and clearcoating the flourescents. You can change the color or hue of the flourescents by using different primer colors. You can get almost a pea green by using gray primer and yellow (ask me how I know) or more of a purple color with pink. For brights, make sure to use white primer and spray several very very light coats. You can also change the hue by the amount of paint you apply as well as the amount of wet sanding you do.

The TP tube rocket is grey primer and lots of pink Krylon. The Stormcaster is grey primer and heavy yellow Rustoleum. The Initiator is white primer and about half the amount of yellow Rustoleum per sq/in.

stormcaster2.jpg


Initiator2.jpg
 

powderburner

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Unless you were there, and saw EXACTLY what shade or hue of paint was used, and have some means of recording and re-displaying that info, I doubt that it really matters all that much. Toss in the problems of photographically recording fluorescent colors under various weather and lighting conditions and then describing or re-displaying them, and it becomes almost impossible. If you are worried about NAR scale competition, it is a recognized problem that NOBODY has a perfect way to deal with, and you should only run into points problems if your judge is a totally cosmic jerk.

Something to keep in mind: the 'scientists' who launch those sounding rockets usually are not worried about colors and paints to the extent that they have their own custom paint lab (somewhere behind the admin building?) or anything like that. It is common practice for them to go to the same type of hardware store that you do and puchase 20 cans of the same type/brand/color of spray paint that you do. Really.

I would try to get close to a color match and if it 'looks' authentic (compared to what the data sources say) that's about as good as you're going to get.


PS--- Hey, I messed up: WELCOME to TRF!
 
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Johnly

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I've used Rustoleum and Krylon and both have left rough finishes. I polished one with fine steel wool and then clearcoated it, and it's acceptable, but I prefer paints that don't need sanding.
Might want to try try the "Design Master" paint that Michaels sells. The Glow Pink is one of my favorites.

John
 

Solomoriah

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Pink, eh?

:D

One of my proteges has a rocket he calls "Pinky" (a Quest Flash with a few battle scars) which we are refinishing; I'll put him on to that.
 

Rubr_Duky

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Don't forget the camera settings for your reference materials....

Same camera, same lighting, different white-balance. (and the photos STILL doesn't do the color ANY justice whatsoever)

If you have a FS Color number, find your local paint source, and ask them to look at their color books, see if they have a FS color book, and you can either have them match something up for you, or you can see first-hand what the color looks like.

color.jpg
 

Pippen

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Might want to try try the "Design Master" paint that Michaels sells. The Glow Pink is one of my favorites.

John
Thanks, we might give that a try. We've been looking for a bright pink that doesn't have a fluorescenty orange tone to it.
 

rsynoski

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If you have the money and the correct equipment for automotive paint, I highly recommend the House of Kolor fluorescent colors. I have one rocket done in their fluorescent Red, and it still amazes me every-time I pull it out.
 

MarkII

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Thanks, we might give that a try. We've been looking for a bright pink that doesn't have a fluorescenty orange tone to it.
You might want to give Krylon Glowing Cerise Fluorescent paint a try. This is a real "pink" red, almost like day-glow hot pink, and it has no detectable orange in it.

(Note: the attached photos make the paint look like at has some orange in it, but trust me, it's a real red, not an orange-red.)

(BTW, I have never seen any "new formula" Krylon in fluorescent colors; I'm not sure that it even exists. All of the fluorescent Krylon paints that I have seen in stores have been the "old formula" variety.)

MarkII

DSCF0880-cropped.jpg


DSCF0877-cropped.jpg
 
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MarkII

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I happen to like the flat tone of fluorescent spray paint - I think that it enhances the brightness. I always apply fluorescent paints over a base coat of Gloss White. This makes them really glow. But if you want to really make the section painted with fluorescent paint "pop," paint the sections adjacent to it flat black. (Oh, yeah, and also illuminate it with a black light... ;) - college flash-back!)

Back in antediluvian times, when I was in high school, I used to paint my own posters with brush-on Day-Glow paints. These paints always had a flat surface finish. I also have some craft brush paints in fluorescent colors that I bought a few years ago for use on Micromaxx models. These are also flat. I have never seen glossy fluorescent paint; I don't think that it exists, and I'm not so sure that the fluorescent effect is even achievable in a paint with a glossy finish.

MarkII
 

Micromeister

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I happen to like the flat tone of fluorescent spray paint - I think that it enhances the brightness. I always apply fluorescent paints over a base coat of Gloss White. This makes them really glow. But if you want to really make the section painted with fluorescent paint "pop," paint the sections adjacent to it flat black. (Oh, yeah, and also illuminate it with a black light... ;) - college flash-back!)

Back in antediluvian times, when I was in high school, I used to paint my own posters with brush-on Day-Glow paints. These paints always had a flat surface finish. I also have some craft brush paints in fluorescent colors that I bought a few years ago for use on Micromaxx models. These are also flat. I have never seen glossy fluorescent paint; I don't think that it exists, and I'm not so sure that the fluorescent effect is even achievable in a paint with a glossy finish.

MarkII
Your Right on Mark:
Fluorescent colors are "intended" to be flat. to get the most radiants from the UV rays of the sun. Applying clears or future only dulls the impact of the color.
There are a few sparycan "DayGlo's" that do give a little better "smoothness" of finish but none come out as uniform as any gloss paint. Some of the Automotive finishing coatings have a bit different formula that seem to "flow" better but still aren't as uniform as glosscoats until the Clears are applied, which take a lot of the Punch from the application.
I've been pretty happy with most of the Rustoleum Rattlecan Fluorescents and some of the Old formula Krylon "California Colur" series Fluroescents as well. Sometimes they will give a slightly uneven or chalky looking finish that can be handled by doing nothing or by appling lots of some sort of clear overcoat. Personally I generally leave them uncoated for maximum impact.
 
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hcmbanjo

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Years back I was building models for a NARAM and used Fluorescent colors for the first time. I wasn't happy with the flat finish.
After it was really dry, I simply took a polishing cloth and hand rubbed a satin finish into it. No rubbing or polishing compounds, just hand rubbing.
I agree, the flat finish is all part of it's brightness. But polishing it up just a little got rid of the rough outer layer and made the surface smoother.
 

Solomoriah

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I happen to like the flat tone of fluorescent spray paint - I think that it enhances the brightness.
Let me clarify... when I said that I had not used a fluorescent that didn't leave a rough finish, I didn't mean a FLAT finish, I meant ROUGH. Like, you can feel little tiny bumps with your fingertips (if you don't have calluses there) and see them by the faint shadows they cast in low-UV light.

I haven't tried rubbing. Frankly, after I've worn myself out sanding the primer smooth, and worked hard to get a smooth shiny white undercoat, rubbing the topcoat seems ridiculous.
 

MarkII

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Sorry about that, Solo. I obviously thought that your post was talking about something else.

I have gotten pebbly or gravelly coats on occasion with regular spray paints, so I understand what you are talking about. I'm sure that there can be many causes for this (and probably some that can't be helped), but some precautions I take now are to make sure that the model is thoroughly tack-ragged (to the point of being shiny and slick). I also make sure that the spray can is well-shaken (I do it for a full 2 minutes before spraying) and that the nozzle is reasonably clean. Additionally, I insure that I spray when there is no mist in the air. (IOW, I no longer try to beat the raindrops and get in a quick coat before the skies open up.) Finally, I take care to keep the can at the recommended distance from the model when I am spraying. I certainly can't claim that this covers every possible cause of a gravelly paint coat, but I haven't gotten any more coats like that since I started to observe these precautions. BTW, I have gotten gravelly coats in the past with regular types of spray paint (especially with primers and old formula Krylon - go figure! :rolleyes: ), but I have never gotten them with fluorescents. That is most likely due to just plain luck, as well as because I don't use fluorescent spray paints very often.

MarkII
 

Solomoriah

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Huh. Using the typical cheap paints I always use, I've never gotten a rough coat. The fluorescents tend to be "better" brands though, as the cheapo brands never have that sort of thing.

Maybe I'm just not competent with good paints, and must stick to cheap ones.

:D
 

BobCox

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I am getting ready to paint a rocket fluorescent green and black. I already have two coats of white primer down and drying.

1) The nose cone can be either fluoerscent green or black. I would prefer the green, but am concerned that it may not be very durable. Has anybody had experience with flourescent colors on a plastic nose cone?

2) I want to paint some black jaggy lines over the green.
a) I am concerned about adhesion. Is the masking tape likely to pull off the fluorescent paint?
b) Fluroscent paint tends to have a flat or rough surface that makes it hard to get a clean seal on the masking tape. That is usually solved by spraying one more base coat after masking but before the contrasting color. Should I use an extra coat of the green to seal the tape? Would clear be better? If so, should I use flat or gloss?

3) Can I clear coat over the fluorescent? I have heard that the fluorescents lose their pop when gloss coated. Would a matte finish retain the brightness?
 

blackjack2564

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Bob......

I've had a LOT of experience with flours. colors. I experimented over a number of years with a dozen rockets painted with....yellow ....red.....orange....red-orange.....and green.

I was trying to figure out the best combo for visibility purposes. Mainly in the sky and finding on the ground. It became apparent early on that flours. in the sky was pretty much useless, but on the ground a WHOLE 'nother story.

The red-orange turned out to be the best all around for seeing at extreme long distances...enough of that.

My 2nd favorite combo was Rustoleum flours. green with Rust metallic green for the dark half of the combo. [sky visibility].In your case black. And Rust UV clear. The green is kinda hard to find. some but not all Home Depots have it.

The green is very durable, but clear coat is a must, and make SURE it's one with UV inhibitor. Prolonged exposure to bright sun without it will cause darkened splotches and streaking of the flours. area exposed. My nosecone and entire payload section was flours. green and held up quite well to high power abuse.

The best method for painting seems contrary to normal painting methods, but works best.

After priming and sanding....spray a light coat of white primer. Then do NOT sand it. This will provide more tooth or bite for the flours paint. It definitely is a different consistency than normal stuff.

I find that many many light multiple coats work much better to give even coverage.
Wait no longer than 10-15 minutes between coats and follow up the last one with clear several light ones, then the final couple of heavy glossy ones.

I have done the whole process in less than an hour.

As far as tape and adhesion......I use the blue painters tape and get perfect clean lines. Just make sure the edges are lightly burnished, not crushed down, and once again light coats will keep the tape from pulling up. Pull off after the color coats, then re-tape for the clears. Pull off at a 45 degree angle from line slowly, to help alleviate pulling the finish.

I have found by doing the many light multiple coats, I get a fairly smooth finish, not rough at all, and after the clear coat rivals any paint job.

Yes it will pull when trying to tape over it for other colors. Your best bet is to try and figure out how to do the jagged lines first or use a paint pen if it's just lines. You can get those at any craft store in just about any color. [Micheal's etc}

Tape off the primer area that will get the flours color and paint the contrast color FIRST. Then uncover the primed area and do the flours.

Do not try and seal the flours. color with a heavy coat to the tape....it will not work.

The only reason they might lose the 'POP" is from an improperly done clear, such as dry dusting where there is not enough coverage or material applied. I always find the clear really intensifies the brightness.

Here is my custom "THORAZINE" rocket which was one of my favorites till it had a bad flight on a K-550 and I only got the fincan back after 6 months in the woods. Even after all that the finish held up pretty well.

Keep in mind that the photo was taken with a flash at night, but still notice the shine! If it was outside in the sun, the flours, green would blind you.

The orange and blue close up is a 2in diam rocket. The gloss and shine are readily apparent here. It just takes patience and practice. The smallest rocket I've done is a FAT BOY. The largest 4in Comp. From the smallest to the largest, they all are very glossy and the colors will blind you in the outdoors.

100_2807.jpg


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100_2371.jpg
 
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BobCox

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Blackjack,
Thanks for the advice. That Thorazine looks great! I have a can of Rustoleum Racing Green Metallic, so I may switch to use it instead of the black.

Which Rustoleum clear did you use? I have Rustoleum Stops Rust Crystal Clear, Rustoleum Painters Touch Gloss Clear, and Matte Clear.

Yes it will pull when trying to tape over it for other colors. Your best bet is to try and figure out how to do the jagged lines first or use a paint pen if it's just lines. You can get those at any craft store in just about any color. [Micheal's etc}
The areas that I want black are a bit too large to do with a paint pen. The black will cover roughly half the body tube, plus one side of each fin. The attached RockSim render shows what I have in mind.

The nose cone seems to get a lot of abuse at ejection and during transport to the field. If the fluorescent green was not very durable, I would reverse the colors, with black on the nose and green on the rear half of the body.

Do you think the fluorescent green will stick well to a plastic nose cone, or will it scratch and chip easily? The primer that I already have on the nose seems pretty well bonded, so I wouldn't think that the fl-green would care what's underneath the primer.

After priming and sanding....spray a light coat of white primer. Then do NOT sand it. This will provide more tooth or bite for the flours paint. It definitely is a different consistency than normal stuff.
Yeah, I have had fluorescents bead up and run easily when applied over gloss white. Before applying fluorescents, I usually just rub the white primer down with a paper towel to knock off any dust that may have gotten trapped in the primer.

Tape off the primer area that will get the flours color and paint the contrast color FIRST. Then uncover the primed area and do the flours.

Do not try and seal the flours. color with a heavy coat to the tape....it will not work.
Here was my original plan:
1) Fill all wood grain and spirals. Sand. Repeat. (DONE)
2) Glue flat fins to body and apply fillets. (DONE)
3) Spray entire rocket with white primer. (DONE).
4) Spray outside of ring fins fluorescent yellow (DONE).
5) Spray fluorescent green over nose, body, and one surface of each fin. If I got a little on the other fin surface, don't worry.
6) Use masking tape and paper to cover the areas that I wanted to remain green.
6b) Optional: Spray some fl green or some clear to seal the edges of the tape.
7) Spray black over half of body, the other surface of each fin, and the inside of the ring fins.
8) Remove tape.
9) Attach ring fins to flat fins.
10) Apply clear coat over everything.

Based on your feedback, it sounds like I should change the order a bit.
1) Fill all wood grain and spirals. Sand. Repeat. (DONE)
2) Glue flat fins to body and apply fillets. (DONE)
3) Spray entire rocket with white primer. (DONE).
4) Spray outside of ring fins fluorescent yellow (DONE).
5) Use masking tape and paper to cover the areas that I wanted to be green. Only expose half of the body, one surface of each fin, and inside of the ring fins.
6) Spray the exposed area with gloss black.
7) Remove tape.
8) Use new tape to cover the black areas and expose the still-white primer areas. Align tape very carefully on the edges of the black area.
8b) Optional: Spray some matte clear to seal the edges of the tape. May not be needed because tape should seal well against gloss black. Besides, fluorescent green won't show up well on black if it does leak under the tape a little.
9) Spray fluorescent green over the nose and exposed areas of the body and one surface of each fin.
10) Remove tape.
11) Attach ring fins to flat fins.
12) Apply gloss clear coat over everything.

Does this sound like the right order to you?

pemberton_screamin_green_meenie_BC.jpg
 

blackjack2564

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You got it! That's exactly how I did it.

That's the same metallic green I used!!! And your right, it you get a little leak under the tape it will not show on the black.

If the primer sticks to the NC so will the flours. Mine take as much abuse as regular paint and the clear protects it just fine. Heck that one was in the woods, rain and shine for 6 months and still looks good!

Just let the whole thing cure out about a week for maximum hardness. That's about the only difference between flours. and regular paint. It stays softer longer before reaching cure. And as soon as the color is dry to the touch, hit it with the clear.

I like to paint indoors or in the shade, and place it in the sun to dry.

I have used both Painters Touch and the Rustoleum brand . They are both Rustoleum products so it doesn't matter. However the gloss is what I use because it is a harder, more protective finish than the matt.

Make SURE to mist coat the first couple of clears, then give it a good one. The mist coats will give the final something to bite to so you won't get any runs. It sometimes looks a little milky ,but will dry clear.

The main thing that makes paint chip on NC's is they flex on hard hits. When they flex, the paint can crack and chip. That's why I usually foam my NC's to make them rigid. You don't have to fill it, just around 1/2 to make it rigid and flex resistant. I don't know the size of your rocket. If it's small or light enough it shouldn't be an issue.



Good luck and please post some of the finished pictures. Once you get it down you will see what I mean about the smoothness and shine!
 
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MarkII

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I have only used fluorescent paints on small LPR's. It has adhered to them quite well, and it shows no sign of wear or chipping. One of the rockets employs tumble recovery, and after having it land on a variety of different surfaces, there is still not a mark on the paint. But of course this is a very low mass rocket. I have no experience with painting the larger airframes used in MPR and HPR, and a different approach to applying fluorescent paint to larger rockets might be required. I don't use fluorescents very often, and what I have used are the Krylon lacquer-based acrylic fluorescent spray paints. I have never seen any fluorescent paints made by Rustoleum, except for the "marking paint" sold at Walmart and at my local hardware stores. I definitely wouldn't recommend that anyone use this type of paint on their models, because I cannot see it being very durable or adhering very well. (I have also seen a Krylon version of marking paint, too.)

Applying fluorescent paint to a larger rocket might be different from spraying a small model because the paint layer is, relatively speaking, thinner on the larger tube (thickness of the paint layer compared to the tube's OD) and because on a larger tube, flaws in the paint job show up much more readily. I can easily envision that different application techniques and a different approach to the job would be required. I can also imagine that the paint job on a larger airframe is, all other things being equal, more fragile and more easily damaged than one on a small model, and so extra steps could be required to insure good paint adhesion and to impart an acceptable degree of durability to the finished job. This last point would be true for any paint, not just fluorescent paint.

MarkII
 

BobCox

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Good luck and please post some of the finished pictures.
I expected to be finished long before now, but real life intervened. Still not finished, but here's pictures of what it looks like so far.

1st picture: The nose cone is painted with
3 coats of white primer, mostly sanded off
2 coats of gray primer (when I thought I was going to use dark metallic green)
2 coats of white primer (after deciding to use fluorescent colors instead)
5 coats of Rustoleum Fluorescent Green
3 coats of Rustoleum Crystal Clear

The nose is supposed to have 1 oz of clay nose weight. I already have almost half of that just from all the paint

2nd picture: Body half-done
Ring fins have two coats of Kilz primer, mostly sanded off, followed by 2 coats of white primer and 3 coats of Rustoleum Fluorescent Yellow.
Body tube primed with 2 coats of Kilz, mostly sanded off.
Fins laminated with copier paper, soaked with thin CA, sanded.
Fins attached to body and filleted with epoxy.
Body plus fins spray with 2 coats of white primer.
Used a paper stencil to draw the jagged lines on the body.
Painted lower half of body and fins with Rustoleum Painters Touch Gloss Black.
Ring fins dry-fit to body just for the photo.

3rd picture: Body painted green and black
Applied masking tape over the gloss black (about 10 days of drying time on the black-- longer than I expected.
5 coats of Rustoleum Fluorescent Green.

When I was applying the second round of masking tape, I tried to place it so that there would be no white showing after the green was applied. I was not quite successful in this goal. I plan to use some pin-striping tape to cover the gaps on the jaggy section, and a black paint pen to fill in the gaps on the fin roots. After that, I will hit the lower body with Crystal Clear.

I was originally planning on painting the insides of the ring fins black. After seeing them in place, however, the black would disappear against the black fins. I think I am going to paint the insides yellow, or else make them half black and half green to continue the theme from the fins and body.

IMGP3446cr Screamin Green Meenie Nose Painted.jpg


IMGP3489cr SGM Black and White and Yellow.jpg


IMGP3522cr SGM Black and Green Body.jpg
 

gregzo

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I have used Auto Air Colors paints.
https://www.tcpglobal.com/autoaircolor/
Not sure if these will "match" the colors you are looking for, but I find them good paints.

As others have said, getting these colors where you want them can be...well fun. I use the Auto Air Colors suggestion. You start by priming with white as normal and suggested here, but then you continue to prime with white primer doped with the flour. paint...so you are starting over a color near what you are after. This also helps the UV stability of flour. paints which can take a hit in UV faster than most other paints.
Clear coating is a must with any of these as recommended.

I have had good results mixing their colors as well.
Good Luck
 

BobCox

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Here is what it looked like when I finished.

Since the last pictures, I added reflector tape as pin-striping, touched up the fin roots with black paint pen, and then coated everything with 3 coats of Crystal Clear gloss.

The green is bright, but its not quite as vivid as I had hoped. Still, I like how it turned out.

Thank you to everyone who offered advice.

P1050558crg SGM Ready for Maiden Flight.jpg


IMGP3556cr SGM Painted.jpg


IMGP3565rp Painted Fin Edge.jpg


P1050559cg SGM Maiden Flight D12-3.jpg


P1050563cr SGM lying in potato patch.jpg
 
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