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Suggestions for Painting Vacuform Canopies


BobH
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I have masked and painted the vacuform canopy of my 1/48 scale F7F Tigercat twice now and each time the paint has come off of the canopy frames when I remove the masks.  I'm using Mr. Hobby lacquer and have tried it both with and without a prior coat of Future.  Since doing the same thing over and over is the definition of insanity does anyone out there have a suggestion on how to get the paint to stick to the frames?

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I'm guessing that by "coming off" you mean edges are flaking away when you remove the masks, leaving ragged frame lines? Also, since vac canopies are SO thin, they flex easily and the flexing of the plastic can also cause paint to flake off.

My best suggestion is to first support the interior of the canopy for spraying as best (rigidly) as possible so that when you do remove the masking the plastic doesn't flex. Next, and perhaps more importantly, your paint may be thick enough to where it's sort of solidly also on the masks. Try gently cutting with the tip of a brand new #11 blade tip around the edges of the masks before lifting them to see if that gives you good, clean, sharp frame edges. Hope this helps!

 

Gil :cool:

 

Edited by ghodges
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Bob, how long are you waiting to remove the masks?  It's best to do it soon after the paint dries on the surface but is still a bit flexible.  Peel the masking back parallel to the masked surface, and not at anything like perpendicular to it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another tip is, after masking, gently wipe the unmasked areas with a tiny Q-tip (not the regular kind -- they might shed -- moistened with drug store alcohol.  Also, try to always use a primer, under the paint.  I use the Alclad II White, Gray, and Black Primers.  Of course, when you have to use something like interior green or so, you may try the technique of masking the inside of the canopy, and shooting that color, after priming, on the inside, and painting the outside with it's own primer/paint layers.

I do this on 1/72 scale models all the time. On quarter scale and up, it should be duck soup!

Masking Inside The Canopy

Ed

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