Friday, April 26, 2013

My Finishing Schedule Tips Part 1

On a forum thread there was talk about what goes into a good finish.
Some will use three or four coats of sanding sealer, sanding between coats. Followed by three coats of grey primer sanding between coats.
Then thin coats of paint, sanding between coats.
Then, polishing compound and wax. Decals are applied followed by a Future clear coat.

In posted pictures I've seen great results. This obviously works well for many.
If I had to go through this many steps, I'd probably never get a model done!

Here's my abbreviated steps to fill and finish:
1. I usually fill the wood grain and tube seams before the fins and launch lug are glued onto the model. You'll never be able to effectively fill and sand balsa grain near the root edge over a glue fillet.
CWF is water based and doesn't seal the wood. White glues will soak in and hold just as well on fins filled with CWF.
Brush the thinned CWF with the wood grain, then against the grain. This forces the filler into the grain pores.
Sand smooth with 400 grit. If you use sanding sealer it will quickly load up sandpaper. CWF doesn't clog up sandpaper.
If done properly you should only need one coat of CWF to fill the wood grain.
Any grain that remains will be filled with the grey filler primer.

2. I only use one thick coat of grey primer. Note I wrote one thick coat. First, lightly sand with 220 grit to remove most of the primer coat. Follow with 400 grit to smooth it out. I sand the grey primer until the tube color starts to show through.
Grey primer will also fill any body tube seams that remain after the sanded CWF. Note that CWF can be used on body tube seams. To fill body tube seams, mix the CWF thicker than what is used in balsa filling. Thicker CWF will adhere better and not be knocked out as easily when sanding the tubes.

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