Paint thread

OK, a technical based paint thread. Who would have thought such a thing would come up.

Has anyone tried these or similar water based auto paints?

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Sure would make cleanup easier, but is the quality as good?


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Bob, I've used water based finishes with very poor results. They don't seem to adhere to the surface very well and don't cover as smooth as I liked. I was using finishes for the furniture industry and am not sure what the paints are like. The stuff I used just didn't seem to bond with the surface like the products I used with a solvent type base.


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I have not tried those, But I have used ones that look very similar and same packaging in the hobby stores for use with R/C Cars.

I used them in an airbrush and applied them to my helicopter canopy made from the same material as LOC nose cones. As with plastics like that, I used a product called "Flexible bonding clear" to bond the paint to the plastic. It worked great and the "very light coating" produced a "vivid green" on the bright white plastic.

The canopy is now two years old and only a small spot where I hit the canopy with my electric starter has a small ship in it. The helicopter (like many) can vibrate very strongly at a certain motor rpm as it powers up, so I feel the paint held well.

If I aplied it to a body tube, white primer would be needed first, as the paint does not seem very opaque.

I can or can't recomend it for rocket use yet, as I have not tired it yet for that.


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Art Upton

I have used the old type AutoAir paints with good results. Just recently received a few of the new formulation - no tests of them yet. The discontinued Dr. Ph Martins Metalcraft also did well. All of these are intended for use on motorcycles, helmets, etc. and appear to be a hybrid system - water cleanup, but also contain some organic solvents, although little odor. The Golden airbrush colors, on the other hand must be used on porous surfaces only - a great way to give gliders and heliroc blades a bright color without adding significant weight.

George W. Scheil

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George Scheil

I used autoair, poor results. The paint goes on like latex glove, would take off like one too. Used it under future but needs like a month to cure so that it can be real hard and all... I'd recommend a clear lacquer of some kind dyed or pigmented with whatever color you desire. Aniline dye can be used if a white basecoat (or silver for a metallic effect) is used, and will give a nice transparent look. Try it, you'll love it. Even try to seal a balsa nosecone, then spray lacquer tinted with the dye over it, gives a nice woodgrain effect. Steward Macdonald sells this water based lacquer that said to have 100% burn in so that you can also polish the stuff like traditional lacquer. I havent used it but some said they had good results. I'd avoid those airbrush colors because they are expensive, and its not hard to make your own and for less money too. Stewmac also sells dyes and pigments to use...

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tai fu

The manufacturer recommends the Autoair base coats to get good adhesion. Each coat needs hot air to cure, and they say to avoid acrylic clear coats. Future is acrylic and pretty aggressive. Probably why instructions frequently say to apply clear coats in thin layers. The standard Createx paints are listed as suitable for plastics with a roughened surface. They can be used with either Createx clear coat (matte) or gloss coat. I just wish the Metalcraft paints would return - they stick to Estes plastic nose cones with a vengeance - any color, no base coat, no heat.

George W. Scheil

tai fu wrote:

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George Scheil

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