Q: Painting large FG rockets

Discussion in 'Techniques' started by Vombatidae, Apr 11, 2018.

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  1. Apr 11, 2018 #1

    Vombatidae

    Vombatidae

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    I have confined myself to rattle-can painting so far - with adequate results after the usual frustrations - but I have 12' of 7.5" FG to cover for my L3 project, so I am considering stepping up to a better system.

    My concerns are cost and paint color availability:

    I have a cheap compressor similar to this: https://www.harborfreight.com/air-t...hp-125-psi-oil-lube-air-compressor-69667.html . I understand that it is not the best choice, but is there a sprayer/paint combination that it would work with? I -might- consider stepping up to a better compressor, but a 5HP 80 gallon two-stage system is out of my price range.

    Also, I am planning on a sport-scale paint job, with 6 or 7 colors including metallic copper and olive drab. Not a problem with rattle-cans, but it seems to rule out Dupli-Color Paint Shop and the like.

    So, to you paint gurus, is there a way to make this work short of buying a body shop, or should I stick to the cans?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Apr 12, 2018 #2

    BDB

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    I don’t have any advice, but I have the same crappy compressor, and I’m planning a 13’ x 6” L3 rocket so I’m interested to see the replies. Thanks for asking.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  3. Apr 12, 2018 #3

    ttabbal

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    Another option that won't save you any money, Stickershock vinyl wraps. They look amazing.

    I would like more paint options, though I do have a nice big compressor. Maybe I'll try picking up some air painting tools.
     
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  4. Apr 12, 2018 #4

    heada

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    I've used a similar compressor with a HVLP gun and DupliColor PaintShop. It works, but not well. The compressor really can't keep up unless you spray for 2 min and let it sit for 5 min to build back up. Used it to spray a 7.5in diameter, 10ft tall rocket. I switched to a 125gal 5hp upright and it works MUCH better. I can spray non-stop now. As for colors, find your local PPG store and ask them. They can mix whatever color you want.
     
  5. Apr 12, 2018 #5

    BDB

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    I was at a very shady mechanic shop last week. It was the kind of place that had piles of junk everywhere, and they only accepted cash. I noticed they had a paint room in the back. I may give them a call next year when I'm approaching the end of my L3 build.
     
  6. Apr 12, 2018 #6

    DinoAP

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    When I built my gyrocopter years ago, I wanted a nice paint job. I found a local body shop and painter that sprayed the paint I furnished for almost nothing just so they could say they painted one. You may ask around, someone may be looking for bragging rights saying they painted a rocket. A few bucks and a case of beer might get you a beautiful finish...
     
  7. Apr 12, 2018 #7

    heada

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    Check your local maker-space as well. Here in Indianapolis, I know of 3 that offer a paint booth.
     
  8. Apr 12, 2018 #8

    Big_Red_Daddy

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    Or get it done free/discounted in exchange for them "sponsoring" and putting their decals on the rocket. Or a 12 pack would probably do it. I'm not above selling out.
     
  9. Apr 12, 2018 #9

    Big_Red_Daddy

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    I plan on taking my L2 or L3 to a paint shop if the rocket is big enough. We work with many (non-automotive) paint shops through my company and I'm sure a few of them would be willing to help me out with a nice paint job in exchange for some cash and beer.
     
  10. Apr 12, 2018 #10

    Danh

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  11. Apr 12, 2018 #11

    Danh

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  12. Apr 12, 2018 #12

    jimzcatz

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    I bought a Tractor Supply 26 gallon compressor a few years ago. I get the cheap 3 for 40$ guns from TS also. I use 3 stage paint from Nason mixed by NAPA. Paint,
    catalyst, and thinner (reducer) with AMAZING results. I spray outside.

    20171028_133658[1].jpg

    9535_1044004997430_1744796346_82956_7003450_n.jpg

    SWAT_days.jpg
     
  13. Apr 12, 2018 #13

    jimzcatz

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    Can ANYONE fix the first attachment? Why did it rotate? I didnt do it and cant figure out how to fix it.
     
  14. Apr 13, 2018 #14

    ericm541

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    Last time i asked local auto body shops, told them what i had and wanted done, each place wanted to see it. Each place i took it to pretty much said the same thing, thats cool, then wanted to charge the standard hourly rate plus the cost of paint. After couple weeks of show and tell (and repairing some dings in the primer) I was in my garage with my usual rattle cans. That's my sob story, no deals for me lol, they could have bought a lot of beer for what they wanted to charge for a 4" 8' rocket. Hope your local shops are more accepting, that's my experience good luck.
     
  15. Apr 13, 2018 #15

    GRIFFIN

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  16. Apr 13, 2018 #16

    jimzcatz

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    Stay away from body shops, unless you personally know them. Way too spendy. Get yaself a compressor and doit yourself. I use Nason automotive metallic enamels. But you can get regular enamel paint really cheap at Tractor Supply or other big box stores.
     
  17. Apr 13, 2018 #17

    soopirV

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    Those. Are. AWESOME!!
     
  18. Apr 13, 2018 #18

    soopirV

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    I've not shopped at TS...is the quality substantially different from Harbor Freight?
     
  19. Apr 16, 2018 #19

    Vombatidae

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  20. Aug 14, 2018 #20

    soopirV

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  21. Aug 14, 2018 #21

    ericm541

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    Harbor freight has a good assortment of hlvp products at entry level prices. They even have in line water seaparator, not sure how good they are that’s the mistake I made, moisture from the compressor tank screwed up the paint mix.
     
  22. Aug 14, 2018 #22

    Bat-mite

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    after downloading the pic and before posting, open it in MS Paint. Rotate left, rotate right. Save. Now the orientation is embedded in the image as opposed to being interpreted by the view. Looks like the TRF viewer wanted the writing to be left-to-right.
     
  23. Aug 15, 2018 #23

    solid_fuel

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    I got you, no worries :p
    20171028_133658[1].jpg
     
  24. Aug 15, 2018 #24

    tomsteve

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    one thing you can try when spraying that can help with moisture is crack the drain just a bit when spraying. something possible to do is coil an airhose in a 5 gallon bucket of ice water, then have moisture trap after.that cools the air and makes the moisture easier to remove. also put a disposable inline filter at the gun. ive been using these
    https://www.harborfreight.com/disposable-inline-moisture-filter-68224.html

    one thing anyone can do to find low cost automotive paint like dupont,ppg,matrix, SW is to find a local jobber and see if they have mismatched paint. the jobbers typically sell em cheap and they can also be good for practice.
    also, TCP global has some decent colors at a good price in their restoration line.
    http://www.tcpglobal.com/Automotive-Paint/Restoration-Shop/
     
  25. Aug 19, 2018 #25

    jd2cylman

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    Still not Carl... ;-)

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    Crikey Jim,
    I didn't know you were from Australia... :D:D:p
     
  26. Aug 20, 2018 #26

    Wayco

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  27. Aug 20, 2018 #27

    OverTheTop

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    I had a mate who had a body shop (panelbeaters as we call them here) and he put my half-scale Nike Smoke in the oven for free. Gave it to the apprentice to paint. They had to run the oven cooler than usual to avoid outgassing of the fins and NC molded parts putting pinholes in the paint. There were a few pinholes afterwards but they were not difficult to fix. Can't complain about the price ;). Created a bit of conversation in the workshop too!
    InTheOven.jpg

    I did the fin details myself with rattle tins. Nice final result.
     
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