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Painting and Airbrushing Tips / Techniques Painting and Airbrushing Tips / Techniques


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Old 08-09-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
Richard F.
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Default letter stickers and clear coat

I have a fuselage that is painted and cleared and I need to add some vinyl letters. Do they last a long time if I just press the letters on and clear over them? I'm going to do a trial run and see how they look but, I just need to know the ins and outs of clearing over vinyl if anyone has had exp. with that. Thanks
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:40 PM   #2
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Ok did some reading on it, I'm going to use the negative of the letter and paint the actual letter. That way it won't be lumped out. I'm just worried about the clear over the letter. It will probably be noticeable only to me or someone who looks really close.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:47 PM   #3
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You may want to re-clear the whole thing, blending is not easy to do and that way there will be a little more if you need to buff it. Remember to scuff everything so the clear will adhere properly.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:22 PM   #4
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hmm, I'll definatlely take that into consideration. I've changed my mind to actually using the negative of the sticker and painting the letters on, and not even messing with the clear. It's really my first fuse, a 450, and I'm really the only person that's ever gonna be scrutinizing it that close anyway. Heck this thing could wind up taking a dirt nap for all I know.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:42 AM   #5
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Default Vinyl cutter

I am wondering if anyone on HeliFreak has a vinyl cutter? My wife does scrap booking and just ordered a "Cricut" which is an electronic plotter that she will be able to cut all sorts of designs, letters etc on all types of material, including adhesive backed vinyl... the same material used in the automotive industry for graphics etc.
There are much better cutters (IMHO) than the Cricut that allow capturing ANY graphic from the internet, convert it to a jpg I believe, and cut it! I had a local graphics company do several POW graphics I needed for a Jeep project... cleared over them after application and they are amazing! very fine detail is no problem. I plan to experiment with the wifes Cricut and will let everyone know!
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:47 AM   #6
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I have a vinyl graphics cutter. It pretty decent quality, but I have very little time to use it anymore. The software I use is based on vector graphics not jpg. Most common forms of graphics software for everyday use (like jpg) are pixel based. Meaning it's a dot based imagery. In other words a line is really a series of dots.
Vector graphics are slightly more complex. This allows the plotter (vinyl cutter) to cut smoother lines. Which gives you finer detail for a higher resolution product. This is really a simple explanation of the differences. Converting jpg images usually gives me really low res image and requires a lot of work to make it look perfect.
There are low tack vinyls intended for masking. Which is what I like to use for making complex masks versus hand laying masking tape. You may be able to use your wife's cutter to make your own masks. My wife has one also but I have not played with it.
You can find vinyls on EBay or at online retailers like signwarehouse.com.
I find that its easier to prevent bleeding of colors with vinyl masks than some masking tapes. I like to use masking tapes from 3M. I have the best luck with their products.
Most of the rc stuff I have painted I have used a combination of tape and vinyl.
I'm no expert. I just like to paint my own stuff. I hope the Cricut works well for you and I look forward to seeing your results.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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i'm cutting daily


OP was better off using vinyl and not clearing than painting the letters on. Any sign quality vinyl won't come off anytime soon
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Old 09-17-2011, 12:58 PM   #8
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Sometimes i use electrical tape when doing my RC car shells or my custom 1/6th scale figures and models!!! Its better than the paper stuff as theres no chance of bleeding through and its better to bend, cut and shape!!!
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:34 PM   #9
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Does any body have any ideas about if I don't have the right color vinyl stickers? I was thinking about a light coat of the paint I have right on the stickers,( their white) and just stick em on? no clear over them. If they peel off eventually I'll just redo em. And it's just a 450, and this is my first scale project ever, just to learn a little and get my hands dirty with making some small accessories myself.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:32 AM   #10
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paint won't stick to vinyl without scuffing it first. really hard to do once there manufactured, usually.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:37 PM   #11
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hmm. So now i'm back to the idea of painting my letters on top of the factory clear.I say block off the area I need the stickers, lightly scuff, paint the letters, then clear. I only clear the blocked area. Its my only shot.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:09 PM   #12
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you can, it's just not gonna be as crisp and sharp. try it, worse case you can wash it off with lacquer thinner
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:37 PM   #13
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I'm gonna just mess around with what I've got, I painted some plastic thing to expirement on. Do you think the paint will peel off the white vinyl sticky letters I have if I clear coat them after I apply them? Or should I just scrap that idea? Thing is I've got green paint to match the fuse I had smart model paint for me, but I can't afford to have green letters made for me.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:50 PM   #14
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how many and how big are these decals? what color green?
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:47 PM   #15
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That's the funny part. I've contacted Kin at Smartmodel like twice asking for the color, I also asked for him to put a small jar of the paint in with the fuse so I could match it up. He said he lost the jar lid. I havn't took the fin anywhere to have the paint matched, I just got some rattle can stuff that's close. Tomorrow night I'll post some pics of it, and I'll show you some close ups of the paint, then you'll know why this is going to be a beater MD. Plus it's my first attempt at a scale bird, so I'm trying to customize the legs to look like a tall ski. the legs that came with are for a little bird. I'm gonna fabricate the rear step, and the exhaust. Total newb project just to get my hands wet and use the dremmel tool. it's a 450 size fuse. Italian forestry colors.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:42 PM   #16
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Dont they still make that old model sticker in water application.This would work well then clear coat.Special paint for plastic stickers.Plasti coat cheap?gel coat.
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:08 PM   #17
Richard F.
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do you mean water slide decals?
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turttle View Post
Dont they still make that old model sticker in water application.This would work well then clear coat.Special paint for plastic stickers.Plasti coat cheap?gel coat.
I know I'm late to the party but even mild clear coats eat waterslide decals. Unless you could airbrush your clear uber light and get the coats to set pretty quick, I wouldn't risk it.

Also, somebody mentioned just paint and clear. Reactivating cured clears have a whole different set of issues. Check the data sheets first.

That said, I'd still cut vinyl masks and paint (<--omitting specific prep details here on purpose). Lettering never looks better than when painted in the matched colors you want IMO. [of course this pic doesn't apply either as it is waterbase in lexan but just a nice lettering exercise ]

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Old 07-20-2012, 11:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helipainter View Post
paint won't stick to vinyl without scuffing it first. really hard to do once there manufactured, usually.
Not true!!! Don't know the process or paint you are using, but paint and/or clear has no problem sticking to vinyl.

If it's a glossy vinyl, use a coat 2 of intercoat clear, or lay down a light tack coat of clear then 3 wet coats.

I've been working in the window tint/vinyl graphics industry for 13yrs, and my family has been in the automotive refinishing business for over 20yrs. If you need any questions, need help, or need me to perform experiments w/ materials just let me know.

Thanks,

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Old 07-21-2012, 05:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fraz View Post
I know I'm late to the party but even mild clear coats eat waterslide decals. Unless you could airbrush your clear uber light and get the coats to set pretty quick, I wouldn't risk it.
Have to disagree with you on that one. I've never had any problems applying clear coat over waterslide decals. I apply the clear coats as normal !
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