View Full Version : PAINTING A CANOPY
04-02-2004, 08:35 AM
Something I'm going to try for the first time and need a little direction on.That being canopy painting.Masking off the area not to be painted is not really an issue but what prep work and paint to use is. Should one lightly sand with fine steel wool the area to pe painted so the paint will adhear better ? And what type of paint works best?
Doing a Harvard canopy and want to do it right.
04-02-2004, 02:01 PM
I have painted my canopies a couple of different ways but you have consider the type of fuel the canopy will be exposed to. In most of the ones I painted, it wasn't a problem, I didn't have to worry about fuel since they were jets and the turbines were behind the canopies. My best results were with polyurethane paints such as Dupont and base coat clearcoat with chromaclear or PPG mfg but you can also use spraycans from your local hardware store, I just finished my AV8R canopy with armorcoat spraycans, it was a pretty close match as you can see in the picture, I used True red Ultracote and fire red Armor Coat. If the canopy will be exposed to glow fuel, then you'll have to use an appropriate paint, maybe someone can enlighten us on that. As far as preparation of the surfaces, I mask the canopy and lightly sand the areas to be painted with fine sandpaper, apply a light coat of primer and one or two light coats of paint. It might not be a perfect method but it worked for me, I'm sure there are better ways.
04-02-2004, 02:37 PM
Gaston,thanks a bunch.Your method is interesting and certainly worth a try.I intend to side mount the engine to direct as much exhaust out the bottom as possible.Looks like the light sanding was correct thnking on my part.I'll give this a try.
04-02-2004, 03:52 PM
they other method would be to paint the inside of the canopy, that way it doesn't matter what kind of feul you use, and it won't scratch either. as long as the canopy is all clear it will work fine, not sure about sanding it though, i don't think the scratches will show through, but not sure.
04-02-2004, 04:17 PM
WILDBILL, another approach(pun intended) What I'm hoping to attain is that over time.as the paint wears and chips,it will get the wearhered look.Painting from the inside will give it another dimention.Never thought of that approach.
04-02-2004, 06:22 PM
I kind of agree also with painting the inside, that's what I was going to do with the AV8R canopy but one of my buddies convinced me to put a pilot inside, I'm not sorry I did, I think it does look better and I had the pilot doing nothing anyways, he doesn't know it yet but he might be in for a hell of a ride.
04-02-2004, 06:29 PM
When i mentioned painting inside i just meant the frame around it, still leaving it clear everywhere else just around the edges where you would painti it normally, thats all.
04-02-2004, 08:06 PM
I'm sorry if I misunderstood, I thought you meant painting the whole canopy on the inside, which I have done once in a while. As far as painting the frame from the inside, it would certainly be more durable but I imagine it would be harder to prep if you are looking for good detailing.
Here's a picture of the canopy for my BVM T33, I used Dupont basecoat clearcoat and chromaclear.
04-03-2004, 12:02 AM
Very nice Gaston, I haven't had to paint any canopy's lately, and the last one i did is in 3 pieces :cry: ,
04-03-2004, 02:36 PM
Thanks for the compliment,I used base coat, clear coat on the T33. About 10 years ago, I did an AT6 canopy and I might have used automotive trim tape for some of the canopy lines, it looks good until they start peeling off but it was quick and easy.
04-04-2004, 06:15 AM
What Always works for me is masking leaving the canopy frames exposed,
using 3-M , "Fineline" masking tape.(I use 1/8 & 1/4") Then fill in the open clear spaces with regular masking tape. Now carefully sand the framework with 400-600 grit wet or dry paper, then wipe clean. Make sure that all of the tape edges are tight against the canopy before sanding/cleaning or the paint will work it's way underneath the edges. If the canopy isn't attached to the model before painting, make sure you seal up the inside to prevent overspray from getting on it. Been there , done that!
Spray using light coats, allowing a little drying time with each layer. Once
you achieve the desired colour depth, let it dry for a short time, depending on the type of paint you use, then carefully remove the tape. Remove the large areas first, leaving the Fineline in place. Now for the fun part :D Carefully pick a tape end with with your Xacto knife and start to pull it, keeping your hand at a very, shallow angle so the tape "Cuts" the paint cleanly.
This method has always worked for me using any type of paint from Dope to Epoxy, give it a try.
01-13-2010, 05:47 PM
I paint my canopies and cowls with topflite monokote.right out of the spray can.I use monokote coverings so the paint is a good match.I mask off the areas then i take #400 wet sandpaper just to scuff the surface up.Then put on the paint.Top flite is fuelproof and do not need to use primer.Does a great job.Check out my pictures on the super chipmunk,and corsair.Go to profile.
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