Do You Spay Paint your Hoppers?

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CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Last night I sprayed a quad hopper. Observing the results today can only be described as sad. Too many itti bitti things didn't get covered. parts of ladder rungs back side areas ect. Tonight I painted two more by the brush method, looks much better and everything is painted Never had any problems with boxcars though.
Cheers Willis
 

ak-milw

Member
Willis, I have painted a few before and they came out alright. Just have to do a bit more turning and twisting to get all painted. :cool:
 

modelbob

Administrator
It's been a long time ago, but I tried spray painting a car and used the wrong paint. Everything was going well, it was looking good, and then suddenly it started melting. The paint attacked the plastic, the ribs on the side got soft rounded edges, and it ended up warping and ruining the car. I think it was back when solvent based paints were common. I'm guessing that today the paints are more typically water based? Back then "Polly S" was the only non-solvent based paint. (This was about 30 years ago when I was a young model railroader, most of my more recent car painting projects have involved 12 inch to the foot scale stuff... :))

Hopefully somebody who knows more about paints than I do can tell us what kind of paints will attack plastics and how to avoid that problem.
 
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kenw

5th Generation Texian
Depending on the definition of "spray", it's the only way to go for me. By spray, I mean airbrush, and yes, I used lacquer thinned enamels exclusively for years. And as for cans of spray paint, the trick is just like an airbrush: many many very light coats. But canned spray paint is a LOT tougher to control and I quickly retreated and went to an airbrush exclusively.

The trick with lacquer thinned paints is to make many light coats so that the % of sovent is always kept low and evaporates quickly, whether airbrush or canned.

Bob, I never had much luck with Polly S, it was like painting with old tub caulk....others claim that a "barrier coat" will prevent plastics damage, I never tried it myself. I really liked using the Floquil lacquers, they just work sooooo well.... Didn't use too many acrylics but the Tamiya acrylic was oh-so easy to work with, and it thinned with isopropyl alcohol. (as will any water based paint; Iso "wets" better, mixers faster, dries quicker, too)

For getting around details like grabs, I learned to do these areas first, holding the model at such angles to get paint behind the grabs and such in the first few passes, again with many many light coats. Put these odd-angle coats down first, and many times the normal full frontal spray angle won't even be needed. If you do the full front spray first, you may wind up with too much paint there and none on the hidden areas.

Do the tough areas 1st is a good rule of thumb....
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
I've actually shot stuff with Krylon, but not before coating the item with sandable auto primer. Stuff hasn't melted yet.

Most spray paints (out of a can) are enamel, you clean with thinner. Same stuff you paint plastic models with, so it's not going to attack the plastic of the rolling stock.

The last thing I sprayed was some undec Atlas loco shells. Shot it in a satin black color (got the cans from Meijers; a regional Wal-Mart type store). If you shoot it from far enough away, you don't get a thick coat, and the details are still there. Multiple thin coats cover better anyway. These locos are going into the lease fleet....

Kennedy
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi All, yep the spray was with an airbrush. However I'm begining to wonder if it wasn't manufactured for use with the old solvent based paints and not the acrylic type. I got a bunch (4) of them at a wharehouse outlet, maybe it wasn't such a good buy after all. I didn't have the heat on so the paint may have been a tiny bit thicker than it should have. I tried it with my old Miller basic airbrush and after a bit the nozzle plugged on that one too. I don't have the time to set it up till the weekend but I'll try the Miller again with a coarse nozzle and if it works I guess that will prove out my theory. Sheesh could have had an Aztek 2 stage for $24 or a Badger 350-3 for 35
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but then again they may have been for the older type of paints too :D
Cheers Willis
 
C

catt

Guest
Willis,I know from nothing about an airbrush being for the older paints,but what I do know is that acrilics need a large spray nozzle to help prevent clogging.

For the new paint scheme on my Grande Valley locos I don't worry about the nozzle clogging or keep the proper air pressure because I am using a Krylon rattlecan.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
I know from nothing about an airbrush being for the older paints,but what I do know is that acrilics need a large spray nozzle to help prevent clogging.
Hi catt, yep I'm finding that out now. My old Miller airbrush bought back i the 70's has a coarse nozzle I've never used. If and when I get it all figured out I'll do a post on it as it may save someone else some tears
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. I have a friend who does his locos with a Krylon rattle can, my problem here is my wife would be sensitive to the vapours so I would have to do that in the garage, ok in the summer but no way in the winter.
Cheers Willis
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
My old Miller airbrush bought back i the 70's has a coarse nozzle I've never used. If and when I get it all figured out I'll do a post on it as it may save someone else some tears
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.
Well I had a chance this evening to charge the air tank and do a little spraying. Put the coarse nozzle in the old Miller, hooked it all up, grabbed a bottle of paint (Thought it was Modelflex but in fact it was Polly Scale) dumped it in the airbrush bottle. Took a few seconds to adjust the nozzle and a wonderfull spray came out of it. Sprayed a hopper was great, then it started plugging. Turned up the heat a bit, sprayed 4 more hoppers without plugging and real nice paint jobs. That's when I noticed the eagle on the label. Previous, it was my opinion that this brand of paint was the worst I'd ever come across. Anyway since it works I'll stick with the coarse nozzle from now on.
So as my signature says

Cheers Willis
 

B_Kosanda

Member
I'm moving away from using an airbrush bt itself. You can see that the airbrush will not cover inside corners very well. What seems to work better for me is to use diluted washes of chalk, which gathers at all the little irregularities, like ribs and stirrups. This adds a nice rusted look.

Bill
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
What seems to work better for me is to use diluted washes of chalk, which gathers at all the little irregularities, like ribs and stirrups. This adds a nice rusted look.
Hi Bill, this really sounds interesting. Would you elaborate a bit more on the diluted "Chalk wash". Like what do you use for the medium Water, Alcohol ect.? I'm looking at 6 engine black hoppers that are not very realistic looking. Sounds to me like you have the answer.
Cheers Willis
 

B_Kosanda

Member
Willis,
See my other two posts in this topic called Southern Pacific Box Car Weathering and Cotton Belt Box Car Weathering. I just used plain water and mixed it with the chalk on a pallet and dragged it down the sides of the car. The brush is really wet. It congregtes near the raised areas, like ribs.

I also weathered some tank cars. I thought they were too black, so I airbrushed them with several very diluted coats of SP Lark Dark Grey to get them more faded looking. Then I used some chalk wash for rust on a few areas like the ladders and air tank.

Bill
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi Bill, thanks, yes I remembered the boxcars, what I was unsure of was the water chalk method. Yep mixing on a pallet with a very wet brush sounds easy enough, I'll give it a try on the hoppers and cabooses.
Cheers Willis
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
You know, Willis, when you ballast your track you use "wet" water, which has something like detergent added to break the surface tension of the water. You can do the same when making chalk washes or you can use other already "wet" liquids like windshield washer fluid, alcohol or mineral spirits. Of course, this is for weathering.

When it comes to painting, like others have suggested, I also hit every delicate surface first from many angles using several light coats building up the paint. This includes painting ladders from the inside out. If possible, you might consider painting the ladders prior to assembly. But, if they're molded into the carbody, well, you'll just have to get creative with finding those angles. Next, I go over the carbody with light coats from the left, the right, the bottom and the top until the painting is done. Whatever paint hits the ladders I've already painted is no big deal because they're already coated. But I do try to avoid them so they don't get a thick coat of paint.

The best thing I can recommend to anyone who wants to weather railroad models is to visit George Elwood's Fallen Flags site. You can find either the exact car or locomotive you want or at least something similar and begin trying to mimic nature's patterns. The site is http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/

Although there is a listing for CB&CNS, the only photos there are the ex-BN GP50s.
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
To echo RC's comments, for just about anything that thins with water, isopropyl alcohol is a better choice. It wets better, is clearer and dries a whole lot faster. I use it to thin paints, especially those used in weathering, and to dilute white glue (Elmer's) for balast work.

Fumes can get a bit heady, and is flammable until it has disipated, but otherwise it is the only way to go.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi RCH, yep that's what I did with this try. It worked great, (didn't know my wrist was double jointed) :D. The paint I used wasn't the scalecoat I'd ordered. The delivery of my order was at a train show, he said the scalecoat didn't come in yet and he brought the Pollyscale so I'd have something.to paint with and assuring me it was good paint. These fellows are great, for me it's better than having a local hobby shop, so I thanked him and bought the paint (although I was sure I was making a mistake). I didn't thin the paint at all, maybe I'll try that and use the fine nozzle to see how that works out. It will have to be out in the garage.
I remember when the GP50's arrived, they were supposed to replace the C630's, they were just about a total failure on the grades. Some are still in the Sydney area being stored or used as switchers I think. I have lots of photo's of the old alcos and GP's in CB&CNS livery, that are now sold or scrapped, thanks for the link it is quite an interesting site.
Fumes can get a bit heady, and is flammable until it has disipated, but otherwise it is the only way to go.
Hi Ken, the fumes would be very bad for my wife, so that experiment will have to wait for the spring when I'll be able to spray paint in the garage.
Thanks gentelmen the advice is appreciated and will be put to use when it's possible. Windshield Washer fluid in the glue is ok, I can do that :D
Cheers Willis
 




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