Nose cone details...

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Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2002
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One of my A-SLAMS is just about finished withit's paint process! I need to paint a small black tip on the nose and I was thinking of using a latex glove. Cut a small hole then pull it over the cone until the right amount of the tip is exposed. Then simply mask off the rest.

1.) Will latex melt or react when painted with enamel (KRYLON)?
2.) Anyone else tried this?
Never tried it, but that's a good idea!

I don't think the paint will attack the latex. Lacquer might do more damage than enamel. If you're really in doubt, sacrifice a glove for testing...they're pretty cheap and meant to be tossed anyway.
I think I know a more precise method. Explaining it migh be tricky though...

1) Take an Estes tube/fin marking guide (the yellow plastic one) & determine how long you want the colored tip to be.
2) Tape the plastic slider piece so that it cannot move.
3) Put the tip of the nose cone on the guide & rotate until you have a nice soft pencilled line around the NC. [NOTE: with balsa NCs, be careful to not press too hard on the pencil or against the taped slider, as it will dent the balsa :( ]
4) Tape off the line with pinstriping tape (great flexibility over curved surfaces!) & follow your normal painting procedure from there.

Ultimately, I guess it's just like marking a tube except that it has an extra level of trickiness with a nose cone.

I usually use one of a number of different liquid masks or parafilm-M for this type of operation. then use a circle cutter compass to "knife the masking" to remove the tip for sparying. or brushing. I uaually hit the seam with a coat or two of matte clear to seal the edges against wicking.
Another trick is to Hang the cone up side down after applying the paint.
You could simply invert the cone and "dip" it in some paint. I've done that a few times. Then just let it hang inverted to dry.

For precision, if you have a drill press, you could figure out a way to attach the cone to the chuck of the drill on the press, and use the lever/wheel to precisely lower the cone to the depth you're looking for. The press will also help to make sure your perfectly vertical (I've only dipped cones for BT50 and smaller rockets.)
Here's a quick and easy method, not really the best, but it does work. Find the approximate diameter of the NC at the point you want the paint line. Cut a circle of that diameter out of a piece of scrap card stock. Put the card stock on the NC. Fog on several light coats of spray paint.
The edges turn out as good as the circle you cut.
It has worked for me.
Your milage may vary.;)
I have cut a peice of body tube off of a longer peice, and then stuck it over the nose and sprayed down there, worked okay. The next time I took electrical tape and used that, worked great. Electrical tape can be stretched so it cconformed to the shape well