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Old Sep 05, 2011, 06:08 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
526 Posts
Discussion
Changing colors

Well after a month or so of flying my new Supra Pro with a black bottom, decided today I'm a blasphemer. Red sailplanes are not my best color for seeing. Yes, I know they must be red to win, but a sailplane is a tool and if you can't see your tool, well!!!

Flying my red bottomed 87 oz. Supra Classic in a light Texas breeze today it would almost disappear when well within eye sight. Since my Carbon Lite Pro weighs 53 oz. I don't care if my Classic, 69 oz. without ballast, gains an ounce or two.

Anyhow, as I threatened earlier this year, I started masking and prepping the bottom of her for a new color, BLACK. My question is should I mask the hinge line prior to painting? Also, has anyone else done something similar? I plan on using Krylon Fusion since it is readily available and supposedly user friendly, but I'm open to other suggestions.

TIA
Mark
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Old Sep 05, 2011, 06:43 PM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,065 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soarmark View Post
Well after a month or so of flying my new Supra Pro with a black bottom, decided today I'm a blasphemer. Red sailplanes are not my best color for seeing. Yes, I know they must be red to win, but a sailplane is a tool and if you can't see your tool, well!!!

Flying my red bottomed 87 oz. Supra Classic in a light Texas breeze today it would almost disappear when well within eye sight. Since my Carbon Lite Pro weighs 53 oz. I don't care if my Classic, 69 oz. without ballast, gains an ounce or two.

Anyhow, as I threatened earlier this year, I started masking and prepping the bottom of her for a new color, BLACK. My question is should I mask the hinge line prior to painting? Also, has anyone else done something similar? I plan on using Krylon Fusion since it is readily available and supposedly user friendly, but I'm open to other suggestions.

TIA
Mark
I used Krylon Fusion on my Supra wing tips to make them white. Do very light coats. you should have no real problem with the hinge line, at least I did not. I also did this with the bottom of an Xplorer wing with no taping of the hing line. No one can tell I painted either plane. (flat) Black is the best color on the bottom (for me).

Preston
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Old Sep 05, 2011, 07:47 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
526 Posts
Thanks Preston. Just noticed a typo in my original post, never learned how to type well and "spell check?", right. Many times I think words but don't write them, write what is that? To bad we all don't have real proof readers. My Carbon Lite Pro weighs 63 oz. not the unobtainium "53 ozs."!!!! Well, maybe not unobtainium, but not what I need here in Texas.

Mark
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Old Sep 05, 2011, 08:04 PM
LSF IV
jimmm3's Avatar
USA, TX, Corinth
Joined Jan 2009
89 Posts
Mark,

Make sure to get some good before and after weights when you do it. I'm really interested to see how it comes out and what the weight penalty would be. I've been thinking about this for my red/white stripped wing bottom.

Jimmymac
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Old Sep 05, 2011, 09:36 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
526 Posts
Jimmy,

Are all up numbers good enough? My scale only reads in tenths of an ounce. I have only flown gliders with wing spans of two meters or more, so a scale that reads in grams hasn't been worth the money. Maybe some of the guys out there can give us a ballpark on what to expect.

Mark
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Old Sep 07, 2011, 12:53 AM
Fit to CFIT
vespa's Avatar
Thousand Oaks, CA
Joined Mar 2004
2,484 Posts
Wow, I hate the thought of a beautiful new plane tagged by some punk with a rattle can. How about you get some black sign vinyl or Monokote trim sheet and add big stripes. The black/red stripes would look really cool, maybe even improve visibility over solid black, and would add a slight bit of structure for a similar weight gain. Just calculate the width of the stripe that would add up nicely across the wingspan and have the nearest sign shop cut some vinyl strips to that width for you. Spray the wing with very slightly soapy water and squeegee the vinyl into position.
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Old Sep 07, 2011, 08:54 AM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,065 Posts
If you do it right, rattle cans are fine. When it stops raining I'll post pics of my Supra tips. No way you can tell it isn't the way they came. And that's up close. At 500 feet. Well, LOL. For me it's way more important to have the best visibility I can get for my planes (eyes not so good), and aesthetics takes a back seat.
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Old Sep 07, 2011, 07:28 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
526 Posts
The deed has already been done and Preston is right. This is no tag job from some pubescent imbecile. I purchased this airplane second hand and have already tried yellow stripes with chrome reflector strips to add visibility to no avail. For my eyes red IS NOT GOOD against a blue sky! I already have as I stated an "unmolested" Comp Pro Carbon Lite in my prefered colors, assembled new by me BTW. This is my wind and back-up ship now.

I masked the yellow stripes and the chrome reflector strips I have on the leading edges. The finish using gloss black, which if you are a car buff you know shows every imperfection, is about a three footer! Meaning you need to be within three feet to tell it's paint and not gel coat. Very satisfactory.

Since it will only be that close when I throw it or carry it why bother improving the finish? For those who are interested the initial weight gain, paint not fully cured, is approximately .7 oz., less than 1% total airframe weight. I expect after all of the carriers have evaporated those of you who are totaly anal about weight will find it slightly lighter, if you have a scale that will report it accurately. Not bad since an new airplane in my prefered colors is over $2K and I spent less than $15 for supplies I didn't have and about 8 hours of prep and finishing time!
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Old Sep 08, 2011, 01:17 PM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,065 Posts
Rattle can white over solid orange, no tape over hinge line. (my Supra)

Good enough for me.
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Old Sep 08, 2011, 08:21 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
526 Posts
Weighed my "tag" job tonight after two days in the garage lost .2 oz. Even though it still smells like paint. This indicates it will have gained less than .5 oz overall!

I won't bother with pictures, one would need a really good camera to show how it looks, "3 footer" finish.
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Old Sep 10, 2011, 01:06 AM
Bone Breaker
Lammergier's Avatar
Dallas , Texas, United States
Joined Oct 2002
825 Posts
soarmark where do you fly at? I'm in dallas and just wondering.
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Old Sep 10, 2011, 07:49 AM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
526 Posts
I usually fun fly at Eastfield College. Southfork Ranch for the monthly unlimited contests and sometimes make the trek to the 407 site.
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Old Sep 11, 2011, 06:03 PM
LSF - IV
Hostage-46's Avatar
United States, TX, Highland Village
Joined Jan 2003
3,085 Posts
Mark,

I'd have assumed that paint job to be factory... it turned out very nice. Lammergier, hop over to SLNT.org, you'll see contest info, locations and dates. You can also subscribe to the local fun fly email.

Dan in Dallas....
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Old Sep 17, 2011, 07:12 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
526 Posts
Well, I thought I would try and give everybody a look at my "tag" job. As I said it's hard for the camera to capture the finish. After almost two weeks the Fusion paint still smells of the carriers. Today I had a little time on my hands and buffed off what little overspray was on it. Really looks good for a rattle can finish I think!

I've included a shot of how the bottom of the airplane looked when I first bought it and the other shots are how it looks after the color change. The different pod and empenage are a result of the Icarus effect. This caused an "aw-S#*T" I don't have it requiring a new fuselage and tail feathers when the airplane made contact with mother earth. The yellow stripes and chrome reflectors are Monokote trim which I masked off when I shot the black Krylon Fusion.

In one shot I tried to capture the appearance of the finish. However, my Canon SD1000 doesn't really do it justice. You can see me in the reflection and the line of the clear tape I applied to prevent peeling of the paint when removing the tape to hold on the wing tips. Hopefully this color change will eliminate my problems seeing this airplane at very little expense.
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Old Sep 26, 2011, 08:40 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
526 Posts
To close the loop. Flew this airplane this last weekend. Same sky conditions where it would disappear with the red bottom and yellow stripes. NO problems seeing the airplane and no problems with reaquiring the airplane if I looked away. Results: success!!!, no major weight gain as I could not sense a difference in how it flew and now I am more confident flying it!

So to sum it up. If you can't see your tool you might need to change it's color.
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