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GreatWhite

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Hi Everyone,

I just thought I would post to see if anyone has tips or pointers for finishing and completing rockets.

1.) Best way to use wood filler on fins, body tube, etc.
2.) Best painting techniques.
3.) Proper supplies.

I have learned a lot from everyone so far just had a few more questions.

Thanks for the replys ahead of time.

-Patrick
 

luke strawwalker

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Welcome to the forum! Lots of good information here and plenty of good advice. A broad, general question like this will get a different opinion from just about everyone who comments.

I'd recommend that you do a search using the "search" feature above; there have been quite a few informational posts on this very subject in the recent past with TONS of information on there...

I could retype a step by step list of suggestions but it gets a bit repetitive after awhile... Maybe the moderators will merge some of the more informative posts into a "sticky" at the top of the page or something... also check out the beginner's section as I think they DO have several stickies over there with much the same information as most folks would simple repeat here... again... :)

Any specific information you need, just ask!

Happy New Year and good luck! OL JR :)
 

dave carver

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1) I use Red Devil Fast'N Final Lightweight Spackeling in an 8 oz tub. It's the same as the filler sold in hobby stores at about a third the price. Use a fairly large paint brush and thin the spackel with water to to make it brushable. Sand with 220 or 320 sandpaper and apply again if needed. Sand again.

2) Wipe the dust off and prime with the same brand of primer as paint so as to not cause orange peel(you'll know what that is if you see it) spray it lightly once over, give it a few minuite and do it again. Let it dry a day and sand with 320 sand paper. This first coat you'll want to almost sand off, almost. Wipe it clean again. Repeat but don't sand it off, just smooth.

3) Do basically the same with the color coat but this time wet sand the paint. The water cuts the friction and helps to carry off the sanding debris. Just wet the paper, it doesn't need to be sopping wet. Let dry at least over night in a warm room or outside in the garage if the weather is warmer.

I use a 3M sandpaper assortment that comes with 220, 320 and 400 papers. Wet or dry kind.

4) Not many do this but if I'm going to clear coat I use 0000 steel wool to knock down the shine and to provide a good surface for the clear to hang on to. I haven't tried to do this before water slide decals but I think that it would be smooth enough for them to stick before the clear coat.

After a while you'll get the hang of doing this. It's not that hard to have a really good looking paint job with just a little effort;)
 

Micromeister

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If you'll visit the narhams.org website. going to the library section under Tech-Tips. downloading Tech-Tip-002-005 will take you from bare Wood or cardboard to finished model including brushing and fine detailing.
Hope this helps.
 

GreatWhite

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Thanks guys for all of the help! It seems like I have been out of the loop for a while. It is amazing how particular I want to take things now. I remember when I was a kid just slapping together a rocket as fast as I could and just putting a rocket engine into it and launching it.

-Patrick
 

Handeman

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Thanks guys for all of the help! It seems like I have been out of the loop for a while. It is amazing how particular I want to take things now. I remember when I was a kid just slapping together a rocket as fast as I could and just putting a rocket engine into it and launching it.

-Patrick
I remember doing the same thing. When I first became a BAR, I also wanted everything perfect. Now that I've been into it for a few years and lost/crashed/trashed a few of those rockets that I spent all that time and effort to finish perfectly, I'm inclined to just use a 15 foot paint job. That's one that looks good at 15 feet, where most people will see it anyway. There's also the school that says "Just fly naked!"

Have fun and enjoy!
 

Solomoriah

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I get good results with cheap paint. Honestly.

Wal-Mart ColorPlace or Dollar General Miracal, about a buck a can. DG used to have more colors, and cheap primer, but they don't carry that much anymore. Wal-Mart still has a full range. I use filler on the fins and spirals first so I don't need as many primer passes to get it smooth.
 

GlennW

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I get good results with cheap paint. Honestly.

Wal-Mart ColorPlace or Dollar General Miracal, about a buck a can. DG used to have more colors, and cheap primer, but they don't carry that much anymore. Wal-Mart still has a full range. I use filler on the fins and spirals first so I don't need as many primer passes to get it smooth.
Agreed! For me, Testor's rattle cans have been just fine, as long as you take your time and do smooth, even passes, making light coats as you go. Sanding sealer on balsa fins and nose cones, primer, paint, decal, and clearcoat, just as in the Estes instruction sheets, will give you a great finish. Unless your rockets are going into a museum, I don't see a need to do much more. The one thing I don't do is fill spirals. With enough coats of primer and paint they are not too noticeable, certainly not from more than a few feet!

Glenn
 

Solomoriah

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I like the spirals filled, myself.

I've gotten the best results with a technique that you have to really practice to learn. Once you have the rocket as smooth as you want (priming, filling, sanding, cursing, repeating), you apply several light coats of paint as an undercoat. Generally, I use white for this; let the paint dry about half an hour between coats. When full coverage is achieved, then comes the wet coat. I apply the paint lightly, but I keep turning the rocket and wetting it until it's really wet. It's tricky... too much at a time and it'll run. I stand where I can see a glare or shine from the paint, so I can see when it's wet, and I basically keep wetting it with light passes for as much as ten or fifteen minutes. This coat can be a color coat, or it can be white if you plan to mask it and add another color.

The resulting paint job, done right, has an amazing shine. Best thing is, using compatible paint, you can put a color over the white and still get that deep shine. Of course, the paint must dry a full week before masking it... modern cheap paint is just that way.
 

Marlin523

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I would suggest going to Apogeerockets.com and checking out all their videos on how to build rockets. They are very helpful and most are free. He also publishes a monthly newsletter that shows tips etc. All the past issues are on the website as well.
 
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