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Rob Bailey
Page 2: Questions 25-48, click on links or browse question page.
Q25 Solortex application and painting ? Q37 Latex painting tips ?
Q26 P-51 panel lines ? Q38 Metal finishes ?
Q27 P-47D scale details and documentation ? Q39 Corsair engine colors ?
Q28 Scale static display props ? Q40 Mat finish on ARF ?
Q29 Poly Fibre paints ? Q41 Latex drying problems ?
Q30 Chartpack tape for panel lines ? Q42 Wing walks ?
Q31 Detail spray guns decision ? Q43 FW 190 cockpit color ?
Q32 Brown paper covering ? Q44 Nelson's Hobby clear coat over latex ?
Q33 Making good panel lines ? Q45 Making patterns on metal ?
Q34 Weathering rcwarbirds ? Q46 Best way to apply latex paint ?
Q35 Best Paint for rcwarbirds ? Q47 Sea Fury colors ?
Q36 Testers paints ? Q48 Were invasion stripes and graphics crisp ?

Question 25: "Rob, I am building the BUSA Stearman and plan to cover it with solartex. What are the characteristics of this material? Heat temp, etc. Also what is the best way to paint it. I hear some say spray, either with auto type equipment or use aerosole cans. I have also heard of some brushing the finish on. What kind of paint? Thank you. Laurence"

Rob: "Hi Laurence, Well I have never used Solartex before, so I went to my good friend and master builder, Fred Menna. Fred used Solartex a while back and this is what he has to say;

"I have used Solartex, but it was a long time ago. I didn't know they still made it. It worked very well from what I remember. As far as heat is concerned, I used a regular household iron, set at it's highest point, Cut up some test strips and drop them on the iron. When they discolor and curl up without melting that's usually the right heat setting. When using any of the fabrics, I keep a wet, cold washcloth, and as soon as I iron down the fabric I go over it with the cold cloth. This cools it quickly and welds the fabric to the wood. With this technique you will not get any wrinking in the sun on sheeted surfaces. There is no problem on an open bay. I usally give
the wood structure a generous coat of Balsarite, this is made by the Coverite company. this is basically the same glue that is laminated to the fabric. As far as painting is concerned, I have used a foam brush and spray equipment. The fabric has a grain to it , and paint sticks to it very well, even without primer."

As for painting, I would still use latex. As I say over and over again, it is economical, easy to use, easy to clean-up, and you can match any color. It gives a very authentic look just by it's very nature. One thing that drives me crazy is a "show room shiney" warbird! I hope that this is at least a bit of help. Happy flying, Rob Bailey"

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Question 26: " am going to use flite-metal on my nosen p-51. What I need is a drawing showing the panels so I can get the rivet lines correct. Any ideas on where to look Thanks P-51crazy"

Rob: "Hi P-51 Crazy, Man that is going to be a lot of Flite-Metal! The Nosen P-51 is a big bird and a nice flying airplane, I've had a couple of them! It should look totally awesome when it's finished though. To get the location of panel line and rivets and the like, you have a couple of options. First find a good 3-view, this will generally give the panel lines, but not necessarily the rivet detail. You can lot's of 3 views on the web, a couple of places to start might be at the menu on the left click on Blueprints, then under Aircraft click on Fighters - Propeller and there will a B and D model to choose from. Another site is Fighters of WWII at . Another alternative would be to buy a plastic model kit, these are generally full of more details than most RC modelers would ever attempt, but they are a great source for panel lines and rivet detail, hatches and the like. Some kit's even have 3-views included. Happy flying, Rob Bailey"

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Question 27: "Dear Rob I am based in the UK(leicester)and I am currently building Top Flite's p47d Thunderbolt razorback 1/8 scale. I would like to plan my finish but do not have any way of seeing the aircraft in the flesh to look at rivet and panel lay out as well as any colour scheme. Could you point me to a relevant book or website that will give me the information I need to get scale! Thanks, David "

Rob: "Hi David, Cool, the P-47 is one of my favorite Allied birds, particularly the razorback! As for documentation for either version, there are several ways you can go. I'll start by listing the various ways, and then give some web addresses and the like.
The first is of course search the internet, it's free and there is heaps of great info if you have the patience to plod along until you find it. Next is a plastic model kit. In general they are pretty accurate and some even come with 3 views! Lastly, there is literally tons of books available on the P-47, of course some are better than others. I would start by checking out local hobby shops that specialize in plastic models. Those IPMS guy's sure do know how to detail a model, I get lot's of ideas by checking out the IPMS website regularly. IPMS website contains an unbelievable amount of information! The Republic Domain heaps of P-47 info. Again, heaps of info, lot's on the Jug...such as This one lets you see WWII training films on How to Fly the P-47 ... cool stuff. This is a Russian site but lots of info on lot's of warbirds. Definitely worth a look. This one gives lot's of 3 views...why pay for them when you can get 'em for free!

Also, the Squadron Signal Publications put's out some inexpensive books with lots of great photo and line drawing documentation, they also do a Walk Around series which will give more detail than just about any modeler could hope for. Just do a search on Squadron/Signal, also they can regularly be found on ebay.
I hope that this will at least get you started. Seriously though, there is little need to spend any $$ as the internet is just a wealth of information...ya just have to dig a little bit sometimes. Also the plastic models are great, one of my favorite sources when I'm doing a new bird. Happy flying,"

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Question 28: "I enjoy your web sight and advice. I am constructing two 35% Extra 330-L’s for static display. While they are not war birds, I thought you might have a good source for scale display props. The full scale uses 3 blade MT props. Any idea where I might find something usable for this project? Any ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time. Regards, Matt "

Rob: "Hi Matt, Hmm, good question. I personally don't know of any supplier that would have what you are looking for. But, as these are for display only, they could be carved from hard balsa or soft pine. I know of one gentleman who has done some beautiful static display props, Fred from Rhode Island. To get in touch with him, go on RCUniverse, warbirds, and do a search for his user name..."check6" and shoot him a private message. If anyone can help you out or at least point you in the right direction, it would be RC Guru! Best of luck and Happy Holidays, Rob Bailey"

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Question 29: "Hi Rob, sent you an email regarding the different types of paint. I asked if you had ever used "Stits" paint? Well, that was incorrect, what I meant to say was have you ever used any Poly-fiber type of paints. Thanks again. Robert."

Rob: "Hi Robert, No I have never used Poly Fiber paints myself, but what I understand is they are a polyester vinyl and remain flexible but do not shrink. I also found a great website with lot's of FAQ's regarding Poly Fiber paints, it is located at: I hope this will be a little help to you. Happy Holidays and happy Flying, Rob Bailey"

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Question 30: "Hey Rob! on panel lines you use chartpac tape, what is it and where can I get it, and say on a 1\6 size warbird how wide should the tape be? Thanks for your help, great web site keep up the great work!!!! Richard [aka Ditch]"

Rob: "Hi Ditch, Happy Holidays! Chartpac tape is a thin adhesive backed used by artists, illustrators, warbird modellers, etc. It is available in various sizes from 1/32" to 1/4" widths. On a 1/6 scale warbird I would use the 1/32" width tape. It is getting harder to find with due to the use of computers in everything these seems doing things by hand, the old fashioned way is becoming obsolete. It is still available from Dick Blick Art Materials and you can check out their website at: . If you want to find out how it is used, just check back through some of my previous replies, I'm certain that I've covered this topic not too long ago.
Take care and Happy Holidays, Rob Bailey"

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Question 31: "Hi Rob I was wondering, since I'm on the verge of buying one, if there is much difference in detail paint guns. I've looked at the Porter Cable, the Badger, Campbell Hausfield, "Husky" (Home Depot brand) and Sears. Prices vary from $25 to over $100. I'm sure to some extent you get what you pay for, but I intend to shoot latex, and I have an airbrush for the smaller details.
Thanks for any advice. Sam"

Rob: "Hi Sam, Happy Holidays! Well, I'm not an expert on paint guns or airbrushes, but I can tell you what I use and what works well for me. I think once you get past the bottom of the line stuff and consider putting down some bigger $$, it becomes a matter of personal preference. Personally I use either a Badger or an Aztec airbrush for all of my detail work. I kinda of prefer the Aztec simply for ease of use and clean up. For slightly bigger jobs, cammo and the like I use my HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) spray gun. I used to use a Home Depot gun (non HVLP) cheap model, I think it was about $35.00. It worked okay for big stuff, but when I started to get to more detailed stages, it required a lot more playing around with to get what I wanted and it didn't stay set for very long, I was always adjusting the air or the paint...something. This gun worked okay, don't get me wrong, but I just got tired of tinkering with it all of the time. Last year I dropped the big bucks and bought a SATA Minijet HVLP 3 gun, if I recall they are made in Germany, and this spray gun is beautiful. I can get a nice fine line, and best of all, it stays where I set it until I change it. I think this one cost me about $225.00, but it is worth every penny in my opinion. I guess that if you've read any of my previous replies, you know then that I use latex paints almost exclusively too. I believe that with any spray gun or airbrush, the most important thing in keeping them working well is to keep them clean. It doesn't take much to clog a nozzle which will cause all kinds of havoc when you try to use it...blobs, splats, name it. So, to make a long story short, once you get past the $150.00 or so range you should be getting a decent tool. I definitely recommend getting an HVLP gun (High Volume Low Pressure). So in closing, I would say to list the features that are most important to you, such as how fine a line you will need, siphon or cup feed, ease of clean up and maintainance, and of course cost...then look for one that meets all of your needs within your price range. I'm sorry that I couldn't be more specific, but there are so many manufactures and so many different price ranges etc. that in my opinion, it comes down to what is comfortable for the individual user. After you use any product for a time, you become used to it's functions and features...some folks think that a spray gun is a spray gun, is a spray gun. For the most part that is true...but what makes the difference is what is comfortable for you and what you feel comfident with. Happy Holidays, Rob Bailey"

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Question 32: "Somewhere I saw a article about covering in brown paper with wallpaper paste or tinned pva glue. Does any of you guys have experience in thatkind of covering? What I mean is a way to cover the fuse of my p-51 in brown paper, because i´ve seen some great pictures where the paper pieces cut in panel size shows a great effect (bulging and so on..) It should also give a good fundation for the larger rivets? mugge"

Rob: "Hi Mugge, You know, I've never tried this technique. I have heard of it being used years ago on smaller models, and basically have forgotten all about it until your email. I've tried to do a little research into this technique but I came up empty. However, after thinking about it for some time, it does sound very intriguing. It could eliminate the need for simulating panel lines with chartpac tape or the like. My only reservation would be regarding shrinkage ... or more the lack of it. I imagine it would be not so easy to apply individually cut pieces and have them applied taught enough to provide any stability or stiffness to the airframe. The bit that you mention about the bulging effect and so on sounds really good. That is one of my biggest complaints about most scale warbirds, the covering is often too perfect! When I look at pictures or go to museums and see the actually airplanes, they look far from our perfect, smooth models...there are bulges, dimples, dents and dings all over the place.
I think that I would probably try this technique on a smaller size airplane first, say a 60 size. Simply for the fact that it would probably be easier to work with and less of a risk just in case it doesn't work as we would hope. In fact, I would probably get an older model or one that has been retired and practice on that just to see how it goes. I have to admit, that this has piqued my interest, the possibilities are definitely worthy of some future experimenting. If you give it a try, please don't forget to let us know the results and send some pics as well. Sorry I couldn't be of any real help with this one. Happy Holidays, Rob Bailey"

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Question 33: "rob, hows it going? I am trying to improve my finishing and detailing skills . I am in the process of finishing a Wing Hellcat. I want to have the panel lines and weathering as is common for this aircraft. I dont want to draw the panel lines because they are usually to dark and or thick.I have tried the chart tape method on a Jemco Hellcat and they came out with raised panels on both sides of the tape.I have considered actual panels but that would be to difficult ...probably and add more unnecessary weight. Do you have any ideas or methods that I could use to bring this finish to life? "

Rob: "Hi Tony, Happy New Year! If I understand correctly, when you tried the chartpac tape method on the Jemco Hellcat, the panel edges appeared raised? If this is correct, it could be that you didn't knock down the raised edges with fine sandpaper prior to doing your color coats. The first couple of times I used the chartpac tape I wasn't too happy with the results either. It takes a bit of practice to get the method down. If the primer is put on a little heavy, or too many coats are applied before the tape is removed, it does tend to build up along the edges of the panels. When this happens, just take some fine sandpaper and lightly hit the high spots to knock them down before you apply your color coats. It also sounds like you are hesitant to go this route again. Individual panels are another option, but they are a lot of work, and if you use a product like flight metal it will add expense and a little bit of extra weight as well...but I have seen some outstanding models done with this product. Another method that some folks use is to scribe the panel lines onto the model. This is done by giving a couple light coats of primer, and then pencil in your lines. Once you have all of your lines drawn onto the aircraft, take a sharp pointed object, this is more a personal preference thing here, whatever you are comfortable working with. The key is to find something that will give you the proper size line in respect to the scale of the model. The hardest part now is to scribe the lines, steady even pressure is needed, you don't want to go to deep. I haven't used this method personally, but if you can find a flexible ruler, such as a Helix, it holds the straight edge but will curve around objects, it would make this job much easier. If you make a mistake and go off line, you can go back with some filler, let it dry and sand it down and then scribe the line again. I have a friend who has used this method and his subjects came out looking great. Since you didn't like the results using the chartpac tape method, I would give the scribing method a shot. If you do, let me know how it turns out and send us some photos. Happy flying, Rob Bailey"

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Question 34: "hi, I recently looked at the website where you have posted your e-mail address for questions. I was wondering if you could tell me a few techniques or ways in which to dirty up planes as my dad and i are nearly finished building the top flite mustang and i think it would look great if it looked like it was there. We intend to finish my mustang with iron on as we find it better than most coverings. I have aslo looked at the website and have got a few ideas from that. I would like to know what the best way would be to do the exhaust fumes at the side. Neil Bottle"

Rob: "Hi Neil, as for painting over iron on coverings, this can be a frustrating process if you don't first rough up the surface of the areas to be painted a bit with fine sandpaper. The problem is that these coverings are very smooth and there is nothing for the paint to hold or grip onto. The result is that the paint will not hold up very well, it will usually flake or peel off after a short period of time. You have to get a fine sandpaper like a 220 grit and just lightly go over the areas that you wish to paint. This shouldn't ruin the appearance of the covering at all...but it will give the paint something to hold onto. As for achieving the exhaust stains, I like to use Polly-S "oily black", this is gives an extremely realistic is not a very dense black. However, if you're using a glow engine, this paint is not fuel proof and you will have to use a dead flat clear coat over it. If you are using a gas engine then a clear coat isn't necessary, although some folks still prefer to use one basically for protections from wear and hanger rash. If you have an air brush, such as a Badger or an Aztek achieving realistic exhaust stains isn't difficult. You can go over areas to give a denser coloring and have it fade as you go towards the rear of the fuse. If you don't have an airbrush this is a tricky effect to achieve, at least for me anyway. Back in my plastic modeling days when I didn't have an airbrush, I used the dry brush technique, sometimes with a paint brush, sometimes with a cotton ball. The key ting to remember is to always practice on a test subject to hone your skills before attempting to do it on your model. It's always better to make mistakes on something that you haven't put months of hard work into. Don't rush things. If you aren't sure about compatibility of paints, with other paints or with fuels...again test what you plan to use before you use it on your model. Another recommendation is to research as many photos of the real aircraft as you can find and observe how the real ones looked. There will be some with light staining and wear and others that look like they've been through 2 wars...and every variation in between. But, you can see the pattern that the exhaust follows on that particular aircraft and that is what you want to copy...the pattern, not so much the color, if that makes sense? I hope this is a help to you. Happy flying, Rob Bailey"

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Question 35: "Dear Rob: What paint is best for warbird models. I am building a 100" Corsair and wish to paint the model in the authentic FS colors. Is polyurethane paint a good choice? If so, where can I obtain this paint in the proper colors? If not, what would you recommend? Thanks, Lou"

Rob: "Hi Lou, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you...had some major pc problems. As for the best paint for warbirds, personally I like latex the best for several reasons...easy clean up, ease of use, and best of all, it's a heck of a lot cheaper to paint with latex...and also, it doesn't produce all those toxic nasty fumes. As for where to get paints in the proper colors...I would say that the first step is to get a good set of color chips. Frank Tiano Enterprises sells a real good set, you can check it out at: with these, you can have any type of paint that you wish mixed to match. One thing about "authentic" colors...they never really are! Even most competition type scale guy's that I know would agree with this. Also, check back through some of the earlier questions posted on RC Warbirds, there were a few that have dealt in detail about types of paints, etc. Again in closing, I would seriously look into using exterior latex...if nothing else it will save you almost enough money to go out and have a real nice dinner! Happy flying, Rob Bailey"

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Question 36: "I'm back into working on a Fw190d (heavily mod'd Pica) I see Testors has acrylics out in the RLM colors now. Would these work with a Poly top coat? I'm obviously going to be running glow, and this would keep the "custom" mixing out of the picture."

Rob: "Hi Cpl., Well to be honest, I haven't used the Testors paints as yet. I do 99.9% of all my warbird painting with exterior latex. I have used the "Polly-S" line of paints with very good results. In fact, they have an "oily black" that is excellent for exhaust stains and the like. Also, I very rarely use a clear coat or top coat...only if I use water slide, dry transfer or vynle decals then I use Nelson Hobbies dead flat clear. One thing I always strongly recommend it to test any combination thoroughly beforeapplying it to your model! I have been planning on trying the Testors paints for some time now, but unfortunately I haven't yet had the opportunity to do so. If you give them a try, please shoot me an email and let me know how they worked out for you and what process you used. Happy modeling,
Rob Bailey"

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Question 37: "I had a question about Latex Painting Rob. I am painting my Spit with Latex and will be doing roundel's and invasion stripes with Testors. I have been spraying the latex with an HVLP detail gun and it has been coming out rather "gloopy", for lack of a better term. I believe it is thinned sufficiently and I think the gun settings are right but something obviously isnt!! Could you give me your recipe, gun settings and all for latex painting? Thanks!!"

Rob: "Hi Ian, Okay, as I don't know what type of equipment you are using, the first thing I would look a is the what you have your PSi set at? For an HVLP it should usually be between 20 - 29 psi. I have a Sata Minijet 3 HVLP gun and a small Sears compressor...I forget what model. I normally set the psi at 26. As I've said, I use primarily exterior latex housepaint for my models and have no problems. I generally thin the paint anywhere from 30 - 50%...I judge the consistancy more or less by eye. I don't like it too watery, more the consistancy of milk rather than water if that makes any sense to you. There are many things that can cause problems such as this and rather than trying to explain to you myself, SATA has a good trouble shooting guide on their website. Try this link:
I would reckon that this would pretty much apply to most, if not all HVLP guns. I hope that this will help you out a bit. Happy modeling,
Rob Bailey"

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Question 38: "Rob i am building a pica p51 mustang 1/5th scale. I am using a product called aluclad from Air Flair of UK it is supposed to be same as flight metal however it is twice the thickness at .0030" of an inch have you any experiance finishing with these products"

Rob: "Hi Arthur, I've heard of Aluclad, but I've never used it myself. In fact, I hope to be doing my first model in Flite-Metal this year. I did a little investigating into Aluclad, and as you say, the Aluclad is twice as thick as Flite-Metal. Aluclad is 0.003" where Flite-Metal is 0.0015 Flite-Metal weighs in at 0.0022222 oz. per sq. in. and Aluclad weighs 133 grms /m2 ... okay I'm terrible at math so you can do the conversion and compare the weights...sorry! From what I've read online, it would appear that they are both very similar with the exception of the thickness. I personally don't know how much difference this would make in workability, or if the weight difference would be enough to have a negative effect on a model...probably not but? Myself, I would go with the Flite-Metal just for the weight factor as minimal as it may be. Aluclad costs 7.31 Pounds Sterling ($13.40 US) for a 1,000 x 640 mm sheet (39.37"x25.2") or 992.12 sq. in. Flite-Metal costs $14.99 US (8.18 Pounds Sterling) for a 12"x60" roll or 720 sq. in. So it looks like the Aluclad would be a better value for your money...but then you have to also figure in shipping from Great Britain which would probably eat up all or most of any savings?
Aluclad is a self adhesive aluminium foil on a protective backing specifically suited to covering model aircraft. It is a one step fuel proof finish. The acrylic adhesive is a long ageing grade giving easy application and a very high final strength. Typical applictions for Aluclad are: scale panels such as those around the engines of older wooden prototypes and on more modern metal skinned aircraft the entire covering applied as individual scale panels. 70 microns,(less than 0.003") thick and weighing only 133 grms /m2 the covering is remarkably light and will conform to quite fine detail.The panels should be cut oversize then applied by burnishing with a smooth hard wooden block. They should then be trimmed to final size.

By the way, I got most of my info on Aluclad from Modeller's Supplies in England. Their website is at: As for working with or finishing this product, it sounds to be just like Flite-Metal. You can get a set of burnishing tools from Ed Clayman at Scale Aero for $14.99. Check them out at: Happy modeling, Rob Bailey"

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Question 39: "Hello again: Rob, I forgot to include in my earlier email an inquiry regarding engine paint colors for an F4U-1A Corsair. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, Lou"

Rob: "Hi Lou, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Well, I've never really researched engine colors on the Corsair. However, I found a good website that should help you out. Check out:
Also there are numerous books dedicated to the Corsair that I'm sure would have more for color chips I'm not too sure? A good place to start searching for books is Aeroplane Books of Williamsburg, Virginia. Their website can be found at: .
I hope that this will at least head you in the right direction.
Happy modeling,
Rob Bailey"

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Question 40: "Hi Rob, I have a question on building an ARF warbird kit which is painted with mat finish (F4U Corsair from CMPro or Giant scale planes as sold in the US). Is there any special preparation before building as I am worried that this finish marks very easily and will show stains. I have built many ARF kits previously but never one in mat finish. Small things like wiping excess epoxy from joints may leave marks on the paint. I can test it first to see but thought you may be able to provide some help before I find out the hard way. Best regards Dean"

Rob: "Hi Dean, Well to be honest, I've never built a plane from CMPro/Giant Scale Planes, so I don't now what is involved in assembling one of their ARF's? Hwever, I did have a GSP Corsair for a short time but it must have been an older one, or repainted at one point as it was a gloss blue. I would first test whatever glue/epoxy you will be using just to get a handle on how it reacts...and perhaps even more importantly, also test whatever you will be using to clean up any excess glue it alcohol or whatever. The little extra time it take to test for compatability often saves lots of time and headaches down the road. Aside from that, all I can say is just to be careful with the glue! Sorry I couldn't really help out much on this one.
Take care, Rob Bailey"

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Question 41: "Rob, I'm trying latex. I've cut it with windshield washer fluid, added a splash of Floetrol and sprayed it at about 20 - 25 psi through a touch-up gun. I'm spraying it over auto primer sanded with 320 grit paper. Sprays great, pretty easy to get a good look with it. The problem is I can take a finger nail and scrape it off. What did I do wrong. I've tried two brands of exterior latex, same results. Does it need to cure longer? Will it be OK after I shoot the Nelson clear over it? Thanks, Joe"

Rob: "Hi Joe, To answer your question better I'll first have to ask you a few.

What brands did you try?
How long did you let it cure?
How much did you thin it/cut it?
Is your gun an HVLP?

Generally speaking, from what you say, you shouldn't have had any problems. Personally, I only thin my paint (I use Behr exterior latex) with water and usually somewhere between 30% and 50%. I generally just mix it by eye and once I figured out what worked best for me with my setup just stuck with it. I've tried washer fluid, but for me it seemed to dry too fast and left a streaky appearance, so I decided to just stay with plain old H2O. I've never tried Floetrol, but frm what I've read and been told that shouldn't be a problem at all. Despite drying to the touch quickly, latex takes a good month or more to cure completely. When I shoot a project, I give it at least a couple of days to cure before I try to do anything else...such as mask to paint insignia and the like. Also, I always use low tack tape, the kind they use in auto body shops. I also use artists Frisket paper as a mask...this is used by airbrush artists and it is also low tack and very thin so as not to leave a noticeable edge or ridge. As for the Nelson clear, I normally don't use it unless I use water slide or rub on decals, nd then just to protect the decals. If you are going to weather your airplane at all, the clear coat in my opinion is sort of working against your intended outcome. By that I mean if you weather the aircraft , you are going to have some really excellent contrasts...variations in paint from effects of weather, chipping, oil streaks, gun blast residue, exhaust streaks, and all that great stuff. When you put a clear coat over all of that what does it do??? It takes away all of those great contrasting colors and textures and gives your airplane an even more texture and contrast. Sure you still see the stains and streaks and stuff...but they all have the same even appearance from the clear. If you talk to guy's that compete in the major events, most of them will tell you that they spend many hours just before static judging begins weathering their airplanes with artist pastels and the like to get that perfect weathered look...and they are very careful carrying it to the judges area as to not smudge the pastels and leave noticeable clear coat there!
I hope this will help a bit...if you give a little more info I can possibly give some more advice. Take care, Rob"

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Question 42: "I am looking for a better way to do wing walks, Do you know any techniques or products One method was the Rustoleum paint called Non Slip, I can not find that type of paint anywhere I usually end up with sand paper on the wing for walks'
Looking for something else? Lawrence"

Rob: "Hi Lawrence, have me stumped. I've never really modelled anything with wing walks, and the only thing that I have personally seen used was sandpaper. Perhaps, with all the new texture type of paints and all the new methods of acheiving looks such as marble and whatever, there may be something there? Go to Home Depot and ask the paint guy's...they may know of something that will do the trick for you. Sorry I couldn't be of any more help. Take care, Rob Bailey"

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Question 43: "Hi Rob, i am building a FW190 A8 and i am in the process of finishing the cockpit. I purchased a Hasegawa plastic kit for reference and it says that the interior of the cockpit is painted dark green (Humbrol 111 and according to the guys in the model shop). But in a book that i have, says that the interior was black grey LRM66. Could you please inform me about the correct color of the cockpit? Thanks in advance, Laurence"

Rob: "Hi Lawrence, Both colors were used, however, the black/grey RLM 66 was far more common, especially after the A4 or A5 variants. Check out the Hyper Scale website at:
from here if you search aound a bit you can find some more good info. One thing for sure about the plastic model guy's ... they do their research! Happy modeling, Rob Bailey"

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Question 44: "Hi Rob, Just wondering about your experience with Nelson's Hobby Clear coat and latex paint. I've just finished a 1/3 scale SIG Spacewalker and painted it with latex. I'm going to be applying some decals and would like to clear coat it with Nelson's Hobby Clear Coat. I'm just wondering what you do to prep the latex surface for the clear coat. Do you lightly sand it? If so, what grit do you use? Also, how long do you let the latex cure before clear coating? How long do you let the Clear coat cure before flying?
Thanks, Jeff "

Rob: "Hi Jeff, I've used Nelson clear coat (dead flat clear) over Behr exterior latex with very good results. Just follow the instructions that are either supplied with the paint or if you don't have them, go to the website at:
I generally give 2 or 3 days for the latex to set up before I shoot the clear, for latex to fully cure it takes a good month. As for prep work before I apply the clear, I don't do anything really...if I am happy with the latex, I just shoot with the clear coat. If the latex is a bit on the rough side I hit it with fine sandpaper. As for letting the clear coat cure before flying, it dries very fast ... 10 - 15 minutes, but I still try to give it time to cure before flying...again a day or two. One other thing that I always do before applying additional coats, colors, clear ... whatever, is to wash down the surface with a damp cotton cloth, then I go over it with a tack rag prior to shooting again. Also, if you have any other questions, email Jerry or phone him, from my experience he is generally quick to reply and he know his products inside out. Happy flying, Rob Bailey"

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Question 45: "Rob, I am building an Eindecker. All of the documentation that I find on real Eindeckers shows the cowling to have some kind of a pattern on them. It is not engine turning. I am planning to use Flight Metal for most of the cal. The round engine part is 2/3 of a pasta pot. What is the pattern and how do I create this pattern. John "

Rob: "Hello John, Good question! I think you are referring to the circular pattern that is often seen on Eindecker cowls. If you are using Flite Metal, you can acheive this using a small piece of light abrasive and just go in small circles to simulate the pattern. I would suggest practicing a bit before trying on your airplane though. I've never tried to replicate this pattern myself, but from what I am told, Flite-Metal is very easy to work with...just have patience and practice first! I hope this is a help. Happy flying, Rob Bailey"

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Question 46: "Hey Rob, Great answers in your column! I'm building a Yellow P-47 and I plan to use Latex paint. What is the best way to apply? Brush or Airbrush? I don't have an airbrush, but, I see these paint sprayers at Home Depot. Would that suffice?
Also, I'm thinking about a painted silver finish for the under side of my Jug, (I don't have the time to Flitemetal it!) What would be compatible with the latex? Please advise at your convenience. Sincerely, David "

Rob: "Hi David, Well, without a doubt, airbrushing is the way to go. You can pick up an decent airbrush such as a Badger or Aztec with several nozzles for under $200, and a good little compressor for about the same. It's still a good chunk of change, but if you do any amount of modeling, it's a very good investment that will serve you well for many years. I've never used the paint sprayers from Home Depot, I assume your referring to the small electric type? I don't know how they would work for our purposes?

As for silver for the underside of the Jug, there is a silver latex that Home Depot carries (some stores anyway) but you usually haveto ask for it. I spent hours searching on my own and couldn't find it, had to break down and ask eventually. I haven't used it, but I just had to see for myself that it does exist! I don't usually advise mixing media, but I do sometimes but never without doing compatability tests first. I had a Nosen P-47 that I did some repairs on and I used spray cans of Rustoleum, Metallic, Brilliant Metal Finish and it worked and looked very good. They have a few different silvers/aluminum and they can be used to acheive a nice effect. However, Rustoleum isn't compatible with gas, so a clear coat should be used. I used Nelsons dead flat clear and it worked well for me. But like I say, always do your own compatability test so you are sure that there won't be any problems. I hope that this is a help to you. Let us know how it turns out! Happy flying, Rob Bailey"

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Question 47: "I'm looking to finish my Sea Fury in a light color? Is there on with Duck egg green? or is it Sea Grey? Any help would be great. Randy "

Rob: "Hi Randy, Man am I having a tough time researching this one for you! I haven't found anything that would give specific colors used and their time periods. I have found a few sites that have some decent color pics: ***RAF colors (digital) ***WWII RAF colors (digitial) ***a great book on post war RAF colors

I hope that these site's will head you in the right direction. I've never personally modeled an RAF aircraft so my references are a bit lacking...sorry. Happy modeling, Rob"

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Question 48: " Any idea how sharp the edges were for WWII camo, nose art, invasion stripes, etc. I assume there was a fair amount of overspray when painting camo patterns, and nose art was fairly crisp but while watching an episode of Band of Brothers, I was amazed by the invasion stripes. They look as if they were put on with a mop. BTW, did you ever get the USAAF stencil software working? Butcher Bird"

Rob: "Hi Butcher Bird, Sorry for the late reply...if it's not one thing, it's another these days. Anyway, as for your question, I just recently asked Lt. Col. Monroe Williams the same thing! Here is his reply;

Question 66: "Col. Williams, First it is a pleasure and an honor to be able to write to you for information. I am finishing a large P-47 D11, 102" wingspan, and I am curious as to how well the paint, primarily the insignia, and codes were painted on. In some photos they look a bit hastily applied, and in others they look absolutely perfect. Of course, in most if not all of the color artwork and color profiles in books, everything is perfect. I guess to be brief, were there ever signs of overspray, runs, anything of that nature visible?
Thank you Sir, Rob Bailey RC Warbirds Finish Advisor"

"Monroe: "Rob, coming from you, I consider it a compliment to be ask such a question. It is like a Doctor asking a Plummer how to do an operation. However, I will try to answer your question the best that I can remember.
I believe the National Insignia( star and bar) was put on the planes at the factory.....they were always perfect...never any overruns. How they did it, I don't know.
The cowlings and Squadron markings,etc, were done by our group paint shop. Most generally they had sharp edges with no overruns. I note that sometimes painters would try to highlight the Squadron Markings by edging the letters with a different color paint.....sometimes these were ragged. See the link below as an example.

Also, the D-Day stripes were a very hurry up job and done by several different people. Many of them turned out pretty ragged.
Rob, I don't know if this helps, but I do appreciate you asking

Also, as for camo, from my reference library, which contains literally hundreds of books on WWII aircraft, I have made the following general observations. RAF - Camo generally crisp, very seldom is over spray visible.Luftwaffe - Up until about 1943, the camo was basically applied at the factory (74/75/76) and was very neat without overspray, generally sharp edges. Unit level camo was done under less than ideal conditions and ranged from near perfect to far from it. After 1943, even factory fresh aircraft were often not painted all that well due to shortages. Same applies for unit level. Whitewash however, regardless of the year, was totally done at unit level and varied greatly depending on availability, time, and from what I can tell the mood of the black birds who did the painting. Russian - Varies greatly even from factory to factory and unit to unit. I have some original photos where the paint is less than perfect. The one really cool thing when doing Russian aircraft are the slogans that were often painted on the fuselage...lot's of aircraft were paid for by the collective workers from various areas and they would paint dedications on the fuse. Italian - I don't have lot's of info on Italian warbirds, but the little I have would suggest that they painted their aircraft well and maintained them well. Japanese - Basically they came out of the factory green and light grey and had a pretty good paint job. However in ref. photos of combat planes, lot's of over spay is visible on the camo, but the insignia and designs was most often very neat and crisp. US - Again, this varies greatly as to camo, but the insignia was just about always factory perfect...until weather, wear and tear got to them. As for D-Day stripes, yup, in most cases, it wasn't as nice and pretty as we are used to seeing...Band of Brothers did their homework! As for the USAAF fonts, yup, got them working just fine and Thank you very much!!!Take care, Rob Bailey"

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