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HelicopterMain Discussion › Painting Fibre glass canopy.
03-31-2005 04:53 PM  13 years agoPost 1
yan816

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Stafford, UK

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I have a Raptor 50 fibreglass canopy, with a white gelcoat, and want to do my own paint job on it with an airbrush. Although I used to spray paint model kits a few years ago, I need some advice. Do I need to sand down the gelcoat first? What paints can I use? After its all done can I use an automotive clear coat on top to act as fool proofer? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

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03-31-2005 04:58 PM  13 years agoPost 2
ddnappyca

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lost in the redwoods

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lol...fool proof i think not!
Yes you are gonna need to sand the body down start with some 600 grit.I have only painted 2 bodies of my own so you will probably and hopefully get a pro in herer to help you out on specifics.I used the spray cans from testers and they worked out great.As far as clear goes when i was all done i took it to the local autobody shop and left it there for 2 days.when thay shot a clearcaot on a car they just hit my canopy real quick for me and charged me nothin.nice guys.
Good luck to ya and when your done send us some pics.Always like to see teh finished product.Owe ya and dont shoot when its really cold other wise the paint will wrinkle!!!!!!!!!!trust me i know on that.

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03-31-2005 05:04 PM  13 years agoPost 3
Rappy da Raptor

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Dorset

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I have just finished painting my Fibre Glass canopy which had a gel coat. I:

- Sanded canopy with wet and dry 600 grit (until there was no shine)
- Washed canopy with washing up liquid and left to dry
- Applied Primer (from Halfords)
-Sanded with 800 grit
- Applied another primer coat
-Sanded with 800 grit
-Applied one last coat of primer
-Sanded with 800 grit

-Sprayed canopy with colour in my case flourescent yellow
- I applied about 9 coats and sanded with 1200 grit in between

-Then cahnged colour and repeated same as other colour. (darker colours are easier!)

-Then bought Halfords Petorl Resistant Laquear and applied 3 coats

One sprayed canopy

I used Halfords car paints and habe had no flakeing (spelling??)


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03-31-2005 05:34 PM  13 years agoPost 4
tchavei

rrProfessor

Portugal

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now we just want a picture of your work to see if it is worth the trouble... :P

Thinking in painting mine too... once I have learned how to fly...

Cheers

Tony


--------------------
"Perfection and patience usually walk side by side..."

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04-01-2005 04:00 AM  13 years agoPost 5
Defiant

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usa

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Yan816
When painting a white gel-coated canopy, you dont' need to do that much prep!!!......
Look at the canopy.........is the white finish shinny??.....ok, then sand it with a 800 or 1000 grit sanding sponge(home depot/ lowes/etc)........sand it till its NOT shinny anymore.....just make it dull.....Donot take it down to the friber glass!!!!....leave it white. No need to primer the surface.......its ready to paint. If you choose not to fade with the airbrush, but want to use masking........let each coat dry completely before masking, or the tape will pull up the paint!!!

I use Parma Faskolor........its pre-mixed and ready to shoot through a airbrush. The paint will be flat, almost a matte finish, but once you clear-coat it , it will be glossy!! Try to get the best clear-coat you can.....The can stuff kinda sucks, but if thats all you can get, then it will have to do.
The ideal would be to get it shot buy automotive clear-coat. The same quality you would see on a painted bumper, flexible and fuel-proof!!

Here are some examples of canopys done like this:

try it..........you'll find that its gets easier!!

cheese

*

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04-01-2005 04:39 AM  13 years agoPost 6
orlee008

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Miami, FL USA

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Rappy da Raptor,
my god that must be one heavy @ss canopy with all those layers of paint.

i agree with big cheese... just sand till theres no shine, apply paint then a couple layers of clear. then wet sand the clear till its smooth like glass and buff. thats it.

Flying in Miami, FL (Kendall Area)

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04-01-2005 09:02 AM  13 years agoPost 7
yan816

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Stafford, UK

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Thanks for all the replys. I want to put decals on as well, can I put these on and then clear coat on top so that they look like part of the spray job?

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04-01-2005 12:30 PM  13 years agoPost 8
Rappy da Raptor

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Dorset

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The reason why i had to put so many flourscent coats on was because the primer was very dark so it still looked like a dark green

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04-01-2005 02:06 PM  13 years agoPost 9
Spitz

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UK

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You can clear over decals for sure.
Regarding the fluorescent colours, you really have to spray them onto a white base.
I always prime, put on a white base, then colour with fluorescent.
Can normally get a good yellow in maybe 4 coats, orange and the darker fluorescent colours a few more.

Always works good.

Spitz.

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04-01-2005 02:08 PM  13 years agoPost 10
Defiant

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usa

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rappy da raptor:
thats why you don't primer with gray or dark colors...........leave it white, and the colors will be accurate.

yan816:

yes you can clear over the decals!!.....thats what I do, they will never peel off from the fuel!!


cheese

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04-01-2005 02:25 PM  13 years agoPost 11
orlee008

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Miami, FL USA

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i would clear and then apply decals. this way you have the option of removing the stickers and aplying new ones when you get bored and not have to repaint the whole canopy.

just a thought....

orlee

Flying in Miami, FL (Kendall Area)

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04-01-2005 02:43 PM  13 years agoPost 12
Rappy da Raptor

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Dorset

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I thought about that after i primed the canopy

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04-01-2005 03:23 PM  13 years agoPost 13
Defiant

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usa

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Even if you have already shot it with gray primer.....you can still base coat it white.....its just one more step, and it will help alot on the colors.
Its hard to find, but I've bought some white primer before....I wanna say it was automotive bumper stuff!!..(flexible)


cheese

*

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04-01-2005 04:28 PM  13 years agoPost 14
ddnappyca

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lost in the redwoods

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When shooting flourscents you should always use silver as a base color.....really makes em pop!

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04-01-2005 04:59 PM  13 years agoPost 15
Defiant

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usa

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When shooting flourscents you should always use silver as a base
Yeah..........but I found that silver tends to still darken the lighter fluorescents, like yellow or orange, but for the darker pigments, silver is cool.


cheese

*

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04-01-2005 05:46 PM  13 years agoPost 16
C-DOG

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SunShineState

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Another very effective method
use a red scotch bright with comet and warm water, it will sand and clean the substrate prior to paint application,using a little de-natured alcohol as a final cleaning step before applying sealer,primer or base, will also help signifcantly in the removal of any impurities and mold release agents.!5 years in the paint and body industry goes along way when shooting heli canopies.PM me for further tips and suggestions if needed.

Good Luck Corey I PAY-PAL

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