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Spray Can Finishes

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  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Shrewsbury, UK
Spray Can Finishes
Posted by Martsmodels on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 5:00 PM
Hi Guys - I've always been reasonably pleased with the finishes I have with Cans even if I have to, now and again, do a bit of work cutting back the paint and polishing the result. For cars I prefer to use auto sprays in manufactures' colours in preference to airbrush because I believe it gives a better depth and shine. This is a matter of opinion of course.
I recently went to the IPMS show here in Telford and the finish on car models should only be seen to believed! On talking to the builders of these fabulous models 95% use automotive paints but the finishes were way better than I have ever managed. I use the tried and tested technique of rubbing down the plastic primer and then applying finishing coats with warmed paint played over with a hairdryer on medium heat. It's always worked reasonably well - but then I overheard two Guys talking - and they were talking 'HOT'!!
This was their secret - and it's taken me a lot of years to find!!!
I used it today on a resin Maserati 151 body and now I know what they mean! The can was shaken for 3 mins and dumped in hot water for a further 5. This process repeated 3 times. Just before the colour coat is put on the can is put in water that is nearly too hot to bear.
You have to work quickly with only two or three passes each time at most , heating the can each time. Result is a really fine spray which shines immediately. As soon as the spraying is completed play the hairdryer on HOT over the paint to keep it even - not too much to spoil the plastic! Results you wouldn't believe!!

Hope this has interested some of you - sorry to bore those already in the know!!!

[:Smile [:)])] ' BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEERHOLDER'
Martin http://www.freewebs.com/martsmodels/
  • Member since
    December 2003
Posted by Enzo_Man on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 5:13 PM
Hmmm. Pretty cool. I'll have to try that. Meanwhile, look at this technique. It works for me.
http://italianhorses.net/Tutorials/paint.htm
Really awsome Ferrari models too. Check'm out.
Aerodynamics is for people who can't build engines.
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: New Zealand
Posted by nicholma on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 1:18 AM
Yes I discovered something similar years ago. I boil the kettle, pour the water into a bowl, place the well shaken can in it and leave for about 5-10 minutes, then shake again and dry off any remaining water. This seems to work really well with a can that has been used previously or has been sitting on my shelf for years. I've never tried using a dryer but I always leave the models full sun, or if its white metal bake it in a low oven for an hour or so. I've always found that the automotive sprays produce a much harder surface than say Tamiya spray cans and take a polish very well. I'll do what you've suggested and see what the outcome is.

Thanks for the tip.
Kia ora, Mark "Time flies like the wind, fruit flies like bananas"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 11, 2003 3:43 PM
Some very interesting ideas/techniques in here. Ive always put the can in hot water but never to the extent of repeating the process several times like mentioned in the first post.
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Dahlonega, Georgia
Posted by lizardqing on Thursday, December 11, 2003 7:53 PM
Same principle as using a propellent can for an airbrush. If you leave it in heated water it has a more consistent pressure.
  • Member since
    December 2003
Posted by Enzo_Man on Friday, December 12, 2003 12:09 PM
Hey Crasher! I just tried that technique on Ford Model T, looks pretty awesome! I used Dupli-Color "Ford Electric Current Red" on it. It has a shine that I've never gotten with auto laquers before. I buffed it up with Armor-All, even better shine. Thanks for the help, man!
Aerodynamics is for people who can't build engines.
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Dahlonega, Georgia
Posted by lizardqing on Friday, December 12, 2003 7:13 PM
I'm suprised no one has mentioned the article FSM just did for the Oct. issue was'nt it?
Moderator
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by Matthew Usher on Monday, December 15, 2003 8:58 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by lizardqing2

I'm suprised no one has mentioned the article FSM just did for the Oct. issue was'nt it?


It was a six-page feature in the December 2003 issue -- the subject model was Tamiya's Jaguar Mk. II.

Matt Usher @ FSM

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Washington State
Posted by leemitcheltree on Monday, December 15, 2003 9:28 AM
Crasher,
Thanks for the tip, man. I might try it. Good to hear you're getting great results.
I've heated my spray cans for years, but never in HOT water (well, not anymore) as I've had a couple of cans deform badly due to the expanding gas inside the can..........so BE CAREFUL!!! One can actually leaked in the process causing quite a mess - my wife was NOT impressed.
When you heat the can, you thin the paint, but you also excite the gas particles of the propellant in the can (by adding heat energy to the molecules), effectively increasing the volume of gas in the can without increasing the cubic capacity of the container, therefore increasing the pressure inside the can. But things can get outta hand, so watch yerself. I'd avoid using this technique indoors. The cans can, and have, either deformed, or exploded when subjected to excessive heat energy.
Use safety glasses and a respirator just in case your whole world turns Ferrari Red or British Racing Green all of a sudden.
Cheers
LeeTree

Cheers, LeeTree
Remember, Safety Fast!!!

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Shrewsbury, UK
Posted by Martsmodels on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 4:06 PM
Sorry Guys - I didn't mean to open a can of worms here - just to share something that I heard and seems to work. Lee is right in his post when he says about pressures etc. I use Halfords cans here in UK and they have a pretty rigid quality control. I should have mentioned in my post that the reason for putting the can in water three times is to increase the temperature whilst shaking the can each time. If it is going to blow at all it surely will during this process and that should give a safeguard. Sorry - but I assumed that everyone would understand that.
Hope no-one has a BRG or Rosso Corso kitchen!! Come to think of it that maybe an improvement on the sky blue that MY wife likes!!!

Thanks Lee - in these days of litigation we can't be too careful:

P.S. I don't have a website and understand that to post pics on thissite it is required. Can anyone suggest a host?

P.P.S. Nice MKII Jag moderator. Reminds me of the one I ran for two years that used more oil than petrol. I told the guy who bought it that it 'used a bit of oil' but I didn't want to let it tick over for more than three minutes. He phoned me back the next day complaining that it had filled the garage forecourt with blue smoke while he waited for a pump.
Those were the days!!!!

Smile [:)]Beauty is in the eyes of the BEERholder
Martin http://www.freewebs.com/martsmodels/
Moderator
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by Matthew Usher on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 4:14 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by CRASHER


P.P.S. Nice MKII Jag moderator. Reminds me of the one I ran for two years that used more oil than petrol. I told the guy who bought it that it 'used a bit of oil' but I didn't want to let it tick over for more than three minutes. He phoned me back the next day complaining that it had filled the garage forecourt with blue smoke while he waited for a pump.
Those were the days!!!!



Glad you like the Jag, and thanks for sharing the story!

FSM's Fearless Leader, Mark Thompson, has a very nice (full-scale) 1967 series 1 1/2 E-type roadster and Lawrence Hansen has a Triumph TR-8, so British cars are a regular topic of conversation here at FSM HQ.

Matt Usher @ FSM

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 9:19 AM
I would just like to echo the cautions about safety when using this technique. There is double danger if you are painting near an ignition source, such as a pilot light or the gas stove where you heated the paint bath. Some paints use propane as the propellant, and if the can blows near a source of ignition, the results could ruin your day, if not your life.

Nonetheless, the theory is sound - the heat will increase the pressure of the propellant and decrease the viscosity of the paint; both will produce finer paint droplets, which in turn will lead to more even coverage with a thinner coat. There is a natural cooling effect as the propellant is vaporized during spraying, so the warmer the mix before spraying the better. In this sense spray cans could work better than an air brush with heated paint - with the spray can both the paint and the propellant are hot. In an air brush warm paint is atomized with cold air. I wonder if heating the model (not too much!) with a hair dryer before painting might also help coverage when the paint droplets hit and begin to coalesce to cover the surface. Too bad nobody puts Future in a spray can!

Heating the paint can makes a lot of scientific sense. I always wondered how people produced as good or better finishes out of cans compared to an air brush. Now I know. As a professional science geek, I am embarrassed that I never thought it through myself. Duhhh. I may go full circle - I used spray cans when I started modeling fifteen years ago, then graduated to an airbrush to mix my own paint, etc. Now I may go back to the spray can.

As an aside to Matthew Usher, I would like to say that I found the finish on the Jag in the December issue awesome! I even ordered the model for myself - though it's a bit outside my normal range of interests. Whatever Jaguar lacked in quality, it made up in style.
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