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Old Jul 20, 2001, 08:52 PM
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John Gallagher's Avatar
Lindenwold, NJ, USA
Joined Dec 2000
3,214 Posts
Hi Chris,
I used an acrylic paint from a craft store. The brand name was Delta Ceramcoat, although different companies make the same thing. It's a ceramics paint but works on balsa. It dries dull so I added a coat of Flecto Varathane Elite Diamond Finish water based polyurathane. Your right to worry about warping. You just have to coat both sides before it dries. Shouldn't be a problem on tail feathers.

Posts some pictures when your MHLG is finished. I've been thinking of building one.

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Old Jul 21, 2001, 12:54 AM
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Joined Mar 2000
406 Posts
Painting balsa wood fuse and tail feathers WITHOUT adding a TON!

I am about ready to fly my new MHLG the BUG, but would really like to paint the fuse and tail feathers, as I fly in a park next to a lake, and their is always fog/due on he grass. I'd like to paint them yellow. I read some place about using a 10:1 mix of poly and color for sealing/painting. I'd really like to know more before I DO IT! Like, which brand of polyurethane is best, and lightest, and applying it. Thanks alot...Chris

Also....Tail feathers are just 1/16" sheet balsa...Aren't they going to warp like CRAZY when I paint/seal them?
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Old Jul 21, 2001, 10:29 AM
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SchiessCo's Avatar
North Hills
Joined Nov 1999
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Chris - Here's a link for the best way to do it:

Yellow works especially well. I use Varathane and Tamiya water based paint,

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Old Jul 21, 2001, 03:35 PM
Andy W's Avatar
Marietta, GA
Joined Jun 1999
43,312 Posts
The Parma colors are very light when airbrushed on.. Yellow would work better if you dust some white on first.
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Old Jul 23, 2001, 02:31 PM
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Jacques Flambeau's Avatar
Backwoods Alabama
Joined May 2000
3,861 Posts
SOP for painting tailfeathers on a light HLG is water-based polylurethane. Clear, with no pigment, is lightest. The thin balsa will indeed tend to warp-- wipe it on, wipe it off real quick, do both sides and the warpage will even out.

If you are nervous about how the paint will apply, make up a simple test piece out of similar-grained balsa and experiment with it before committing to your finished pieces.

The DJ Aerotech site reference is good.


[This message has been edited by Bill Harris (edited 07-23-2001).]
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