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Painting Question for Rocket #1

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TwoWalks

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Have three single stage rockets that are now ready for primer. These are Rockets #1 - #2 - #3, so you know I have a huge amount of experience. :)

Question: When painting, primer and color - do you paint the rocket in tact or do you seperate it into its components ie: nc/bt?

Seen a video from Apogee and he was painting the rocket all at one time, but I thought this could be for ease of showing and I thought the two parts could become one, so figured I would ask.

Thanks for any replies or insights
TwoWalks
 

BlueNinja

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It really depends on your preference. If you want to have a totally different paint scheme on the model and NC, you can seperate them. I ususlly just leave them together though.
 

sandman

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The Apogee video (if it's the one I think you're talking about) shows him painting the individual tank tubes on the Saturn 1B kit.

The tanks tubes on that particular model are very difficult to mask and paint after the model is built. I think this is a pecular case and not the normal painting pattern.

I and most everyone else paints their models after it is completed, fillets done and all the wood is sealed.

Start with a primer coat. I use a good automotive primer. It's fast drying and has a lot of solids to fill imperfections.

Sand with varying grits of sandpaper until the surface belemishes are smooth to your satisfaction. Work your way up to a 400 or 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper (the black stuff!)

Then start your base color, most people use a flat white but you can go directly to your finish colors.

Start painting the lightest color first.

Let it dry completely (usually several days) If you can still smell the paint solvent let it dry another 24 hours.

Then when it's completely dry (no smell) then mask off for the darker colors using a low tack GOOD quality masking tape.

Cheap tape will come back to haunt you!

Getting a good mask line takes practice...or cheat. You can use pinstriping or trim tape to cover and outline the mask line.

Easy huh?

If you want more info, do a search of "sanding", "wood sealer" "primer", "paint" "spray paint". There is lots of information here but you will have to use the search function above and read a whole bunch.

sandman
 

KenParker

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I think this is another one of those things where there are a lot of "right" answers.

I prefer to paint the separate components of my rockets. The few times I painted a rocket assembled, I had trouble separating the parts after the paint was dry. After all, paint has some properties similar to glue, or it wouldn't stick to the rocket.

Again, though, there are probably just as many people who assemble the rocket and then paint it.
 

rbeckey

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For a good clean line, I have used scotch tape. I tape it to my arm, pull it off (to reduce the tack) and it makes a perfectly clean line. I can't seem to ever get masking tape to make a clean line.
 

Stymye

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like Rbecky , I also use cellophane tape


I also put 1 wrap of masking tape around the nosecone shoulder
leaving a small gap just below the cone/shoulder transition
than I slide the cone into the body part way .I hang the rocket upside down(string tied to motor hook) in the garage and paint
 

TwoWalks

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Thanks Guys, again some more helpfull information. I figured that since the nose cone had to seperate from the body tube, painting them as one piece could cause a problem, so I think I will paint them seperate.

Have fillets and sanding done, waiting for the first coat of primer. Been raining for 2 days so figured it might not be the best time to paint. When it stops raining the temp will drop down to the 30's, so this might become a balancing act at best. On the other hand, at the current rate and if I have to wait for warmer weather without rain it might be April, I should have a lot of Rockets to paint all at once. :)
 

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