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Painting wood passenger cars

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  • Painting wood passenger cars

    There have been plenty of threads on painting and weathering wood of distressed or near-derelict buildings.

    But passenger equipment was generally kept in fairly good shape, so one doesn't want to see a lot of grain, peeling paint, nail holes, etc., and certainly no "hair".

    I've had plenty of experience painting wood in 1:1 scale while restoring my 18th C house. For that, I first coat with a primer to get good adhesion and "set" the hair; then a coat of undercoat to build up thickness, and then a good sand to remove the hair and flatten the irregularities.

    When I tried this in HO scale, however, I found the undercoat a bit too thick. I considered a second coat of primer, but the primer doesn't sand terribly easily, and with all the really fiddly inset window frames and the like, you really want sanding to go as smoothly as possible.

    So, based on my experience with balsafoam, I tried gesso as an undercoat. It's really thick in the tub, but brushes on so silkily that it goes on thin. I'll let you know what it's like to sand tomorrow....

    What do other folks do?

    Cheers,

    Jeff.

  • #2
    I used Scalecoat "Sanding Sealer" on this old Ambroid/Northeastern B&M open platform coach kit.



    This picture was taken to show how I made the roof removable, but the finish I got is visible. IIRC, I brushed the sealer on, then sanded, maybe a 2nd coat before airbrushing a single finish coat of Accu-Paint.
    James

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    • #3
      Jeff.... I'll be really interested to see how your experiment turns out. I suspect that the gesso on wood will not work as you desire however. I think a thinned matte medium or even Mod Podge would work better on wood. Both of those options are still pretty far down the list however. What you are after is a sanding filler of some sort, like what was used on those balsa airplanes we built as kids. I suspect that even an an acrylic paint primer would work better then the gesso.... BUT.... again, an experiment like this could open up new avenues. So please keep us advised.
      -- KP --

      Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

      Comment


      • #4
        Jeff,

        There is a discussion in this thread by George regarding the use of spray shellac and thinned 'regular' shellac. Look at pages 3 and 4.

        http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...76&whichpage=3
        Bruce

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        • #5
          Shellac is a great idea. One of the reasons I need a filler is because I can't buy oil-based primers here any more, and the water-based ones raise the grain a bit. A base-coat of shellac would fix that. And... I've probably got some downstairs.

          Anyway, I'll let everyone know how the gesso goes.

          Cheers,

          Jeff.

          Comment


          • #6
            One step that I use (ok, disclaimer -> O Scale), is prior to any painting is to wire brush the wood with the grain with a soft brass wire brush to clean the surface and also clear all of the scribed siding valleys or debris, dust, and dirt.

            After that I'm on to Floquil but that's not an option here.

            Have to be a bit careful with shellac - that's alcohol based and you might confirm its stability and interaction level with whatever paint you do use prior to starting.
            In a time like ours seemings and portents signify. Ours is a generation when dogs howl and the skin crawls on the skull with its beast's foreboding.

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            • #7
              I use a regular spray primer on my cars followed by a scrub over with the fiber glass brush to remove all fuzz.

              Then I can paint with water based paints....

              I have tried cellulose dope, and it works wonderfully, but smells horribly.

              This one is a LaBelle HOn3 parlor car that I used spray primer and Tamiya paints on:


              Michael Graff

              "Deo Adjuvante Labor Proficit"

              Swedish custom model builder.

              http://sites.google.com/site/graffairbrushart

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              • #8
                As Kris predicted, the gesso's not great. Not a disaster, as it does fill well, and its hair control is excellent. But I'd be hard-pressed to describe it as "free sanding". (It's a bit better than the primer, which gums up anything above 280 grit. The gesso produced moderate clogging with 400 grit, but I was able to struggle through.)

                Nice models, James and Michael.

                I might try cellulose lacquer next time (which I imagine is the same as dope?). I actually like the smell; reminds me of being a kid.

                Cheers,

                Jeff.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks, Jeff. Martin, I'll be using your brass brush technique in the future; I did OK on fuzz on the main surface but sanding did nothing for the grooves between boards.
                  James

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                  • #10
                    quote:


                    Originally posted by jbvb


                    ... but sanding did nothing for the grooves between boards.


                    FWIW, I did my grooves with folded sandpaper. I found that if I used very fine sandpaper (400 grit) and scored it on the back with a knife before folding, I got a tight enough fold to get decent results.
                    Of course I then made a mess of it with the airbrush (which I haven't used in 30 years, and turns out is not "just like riding a bike"). :erm: . Most of the damage is on the letter board, though, which should be easy enough to sand back and re-paint.

                    Cheers,

                    Jeff.

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                    • #11
                      Hey Jeff.... any pictures??
                      -- KP --

                      Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:


                        Originally posted by hon3_rr


                        Hey Jeff.... any pictures??


                        Not 'till I fix it.

                        I did sand the letter board back, and I think it will be fine. There's still a bit of beading in the grooves, but perhaps that's unavoidable.

                        I'm currently gluing handles to the car body and the roof. Trying to just use a lazy susan didn't give me enough axes of freedom....

                        Cheers,

                        Jeff.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hmmm... I posted pictures on the KiSS challenge thread. I was going to just post a link here, but I can't find a way to link to a specific post in a thread, and the KiSS challenge thread is long (and getting longer).

                          I also couldn't find any guidance on cross-posting in the admin forum.

                          So should I post the pictures here too, or just point to the generic KiSS thread and let people go looking?

                          Cheers,

                          Jeff.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jeff.... I'm confused by your question... but I could be just looking for something in the question which is simply not there.

                            Are you trying to post pictures of the body you have painted or something associated to your KISS project? If the pictures are of this project, I'd guess that you would want to post them here. If it's the KISS challenge project, I'd expect to find those pictures in the KISS thread. Of course, if the two are somehow related and tied together, posting in both places for sure would be my approach.

                            When you say cross-posting, are you referring to linking to another thread? If so, I just open the page in the other thread and copy the URL and then post the copied URL in this thread. NOT sure however if this is your question, so I could be barking up the wrong tree totally.... If so, sorry.
                            -- KP --

                            Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yeah, it was a bit confusing, but I started this thread to get some help with my KiSS project (as the help was more Car Shops-related than Craftsman Kit-related).

                              So I shall post the "result" pictures here too.

                              First, the car-body with 1 coat of paint, and the sags removed from the letter-board. Sadly I took the picture of the wrong side; the other side's letter board required significantly more sanding and is about 50% white at this point. This picture also shows the "popsicle sticks", and why I needed them (note that I wasn't getting paint in under the tops of the windows or doors).



                              In the paint booth, with another coat. It looked pretty good naked-eye, but the camera appears to be telling me they need a third coat.



                              Cheers,

                              Jeff.

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