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Painting question for model flywheel

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  • Painting question for model flywheel

    Hello. Some of you may remember the pictures I posted earlier of the Pioneer model engine I have been building by Rudy Kouhopt. Anyway, I have been trying to repaint the flywheel and I'm having mixed results. I painted the outer rim silver and the spokes and hubs black. I first painted it with an airbrush with thinned testors enamel. I like the finish of the silver but the problem comes when I try to mask it to paint the black. I having been using some normal masking tape but it seems to want to pull a fine layer of paint off with it and it leaves a slight sticky residue on the part. I decided to repaint it with some cheap spray can paint from walmart. Same thing, nice finish but after masking the silver looks like crap. Would I be better off spraying the silver and brush painting the black because I believe I could paint it without masking? Am I doing something wrong, is the paint not right for the job or is my masking tape the blame? I am open to any suggestions which will help me get a better finish. By the way, the metal is cast iron and I have been cleaning the part before painting with denatured alcohol.
    Jonathan P.

  • #2
    Are you scuffing the metal (sanding)to give the paint something to adhear to,
    are you priming befor you paint?


    • #3
      You may want to try the masking tape made for painters. I bought some a couple of years ago and it seems to strip off clean. I think regular masking tape tends to stick too tight.

      I don't remember where I bought mine but since it came 6 rolls to the pack I am betting enco, grizzly, or maybe wholesale tools.
      Paul in NE Ohio


      • #4
        I bet it's not an adheasion problem. It's the type of silver enamel. The aluminum particles come to the top because of the carrier used. It acts like a surfectant to "float" the particles. These types of paints don't take to taping because the tape removes the alumimum (shinny) layer. It's also the reason you can wipe it and get silver on your finger.

        You might try using an epoxy silver or polish the wheel and spray it clear using a gloss or semi-gloss.


        • #5
          Thanks for the help guys. I don't believe it is an adhesion problem. Just a light layer comes off like Ken says. If it was a steel flywheel I would polish it and clear it but it's cast iron. If there is a way to get cast polished let me know but I've only been able to get a dark grey out of the stuff I've worked on. And PHiers, I agree. I believe this type of tape is actually to strong for this kind of work but I just can't seem to find any I like at the hobby shop. I may have to run down there tomorrow and see if they have anything new. CCWKen, do you think I could paint the silver, then clear it and then be able to mask over it satisfactorily with out messing up the finish? I would just paint the black first but because of the flat sides of the flywheel it is much easier to get tape on the silver part then trying to mask off the spoked area.
          Jonathan P.


          • #6
            Cast iron will polish up nicely. Just chuck the wheel up in the lathe and use progressively finer grades of emery cloth backed up with a file to polish.

            You can get down to about 320 grit with emery, and go on to wet or dry paper after that. I use WD40 to wet the emery or W/D paper.

            It is an engine model, and polished steel or cast iron is more authentic and looks better than aluminum paint will, and it will hold up much longer.

            This is my Eclipse, with polished flywheel rims. I only went to 320 grit on this, you can get a mirror finish if that's what you are looking for.

            Last edited by JCHannum; 04-19-2006, 10:18 PM.
            Jim H.


            • #7
              The clear will will just turn the silver to a grey color. The solvents in the clear break down the adheasion layer between the base and the aluminum layer so the base/carrier comes to the top instead of the aluminum. It won't be an even-looking grey/silver either.

              I've polished cast iron to an almost chrome look but what you have is probably what is called grey iron. I've never tried to polish that but if the surface finish is fine enough, you should be able to polish it too. You'll need a polishing wheel and some compound. Doing it by hand would take forever.


              • #8
                Ops, there you go! JC shows a good example.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JCHannum
                  It is an engine model, and polished steel or cast iron is more authentic
                  JC, did those early engines, hit and miss etc, have polished flywheels? The only only old engines I see are at fair grounds etc, and they never seem to be polished, made sense as i figured it wasn't appropriate as they were work horses.

                  Authenticity is what I want a model to be and I always thought pics of these engines with polished flywheels were not authentic, kind of like a car guy chroming various parts, nothing wrong with that it that's you're thing, but I just never thought of it as authentic. now you're making me wonder if i'm missing something...did the old timers used to polish these like train engineers on the valves & con rods?

                  engine looks good - is that a recent pic ?


                  • #10
                    Mcgyver, Thanks, I got the engine running in the fall. I hope to paint it this summer when I can leave it outside to dry.

                    The original engines were work engines, and for the most part saw farm duty. The flywheels were probably painted with the same thick paint used on the rest of the engine. At the shows, you sometimes see them polished or even chromed, but they were originally more utilitarian in appearance.

                    Models look prettier with a nice paint job and polished brass and steel parts, so we can take a bit of a license with them.

                    I won't go much farther with the polishing than this, and since I am lazy, it will eventually develop a nice patina and look more authentic.
                    Jim H.


                    • #11
                      The painter's masking tape, all the stuff I have seen is blue, is available at any Menards, Home Depot, Lowes, True value around here.


                      • #12
                        Thanks JC, that's just what I was looking for. I have never polished long on cast iron but I would have never thought it could get that bright but I have been to shows and seen them that way. My flywheel came from Martin Model. Guess I'm down to the lathe to get set up to do a little polishing. I know it will be more durable than the paint. Ken, you might be right also, it may be greay iron but I will see and post some pics when I get her done. Thanks again guys.
                        Jonathan P.


                        • #13
                          To mask off a freshly painted area sprinkle your tape with a light dusting of talcum or baby powder. It won't stick quite as well, but it won't pull paint (as badly) when it's removed.
                          I cut it twice, and it's still too short!


                          • #14
                            Old Sign Painters Tricks

                            To strike a line of tape on a freshly painted panel ( dry but still green ) without having the layer lift. Lightly drag the length of tape over your pants leg this will temper the tack and aid in removal. For a smooth feathered edge lift the tape while the paint is still wet... the edge will feather out and flatten. To aid in removal of tape dog ear the none paint edge at the ends or place a double backed piece of tape about a inch long under half the tapes width at the ends as a pull tab to lift. For a finer edge line use scotch tape instead of masking.
                            Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.


                            • #15
                              japcas..........After you paint the rim (and after it dries), just put a light coat of vaseline on the rim, then air brush or spray the spokes.

                              The paint won't stick to the vaseline and you can wipe it off after the spokes dry. It shouldn't affect the silver paint, but I guess it really depends on what kind of paint your using. Just don't "glob it all over the edges" and you shouldn't have a problem with interfereing with the spoke paint.

                              I presume that your using some kind of mandral to hold the flywheel so that you can work with it.