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 "Cloudster" Construction Project Session #83

Speed 400 Cloudster Project
This report is going to be somewhat tutorial, even elementary, but for documentation purposes I wanted to go through the step by step process of painting trim on silk and describing the materials that work best for me. In the picture below is a special masking tape made by Pactra that many the model car guys use and you can get it in 1/16", 1/8", and 1/4" widths. This is absolutely the best masking tape for painting trim strips and patterns on silk covering. However, it is a little pricey, but one 20' roll will go a long way.
The trim application that I will be describing here is on the Cloudster's fin. My favorite "Swept-V" pattern is carefully masked off on the left side of the fin in the presents of the rudder using the Pactra 1/4" wide masking tape as shown below. This is also repeated on the right side of the fin.  
Some of 3-M's low tack blue masking tape is put over the outside part of the Pactra tape to prevent accidentally getting paint on the silk outside the 1/4" Pactra tape. Then two thin coats of clear nitrate dope were brushed on the area to be painted (with drying in between) to seal the edges of the tape as shown below.
I have had great success using the water base Tamiya acrylic paint for painting on trim. The picture below shows the jar of Glossy Red that will be used.
Testors make camel hair brushes especially for applying this type of paint, but again they are also a little pricey. The one used in this application is the Model Master No. 8851C 3/8" camel hair brush shown below.  
A thin coat of Tamiya Red paint was brushed on the masked off pattern, which was followed almost immediately a second thin coat as shown below.
The outside blue tape was removed within about ten minutes as shown below.
After about twenty minutes, the Pactra masking tape was removed, leaving the Swept-V pattern in Red as shown below. As most of you already know, the Pactra tape removal was done by carefully pulling it back over itself at a 45 degree angle to leave a clean sharp painted edge.
The look of this Red Swept-V pattern on the fin is best viewed in the presence of the rudder so you get the perspective of the pattern on the complete vertical tail as shown below. 
This procedure was also used to paint the tapered Red trim strip on both sides of the fuselage. Placement of the fuselage's trim strip was dictated by three self imposed constraints:
    (1) Strip should be simple and taper down the full length of the fuselage.
    (2) Strip should not be painted on covering over vent holes that are to be cut out. (prevents removing segments of the stripe)
    (3) Strip should not extend forward beyond the plane of the firewall. (just to keep the trim simple)
These three constraints resulted in a Red strip on the side of the fuselage that starts a 1/4" wide at the front and tapers down to a 1/16" at the rear as shown below. This Red strip is clean and simple. Notice that removal of the covering over the two fore and aft ventilation holes will not remove or disturb any part of the Red strip. I think the Red strip will look even better when the covering over the fuselage's two side windows is removed.......................Tandy  

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