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Finishing off by Filling wood Grain Empty Finishing off by Filling wood Grain

Post  Yabby Sat Jun 26, 2021 11:07 pm

Hi all,

I have had a look around but couldnt quite find what I was after. Building my Biplane I thought I might attempt to lift my build effort a little and was thinking of filling in the wood grain so as that the paint would look a bit better and the model would look a bit more glossy and not list mist sprayed balsa. When I was a kid we used to use Talcum powder and dope and then sand it nice and smooth before painting. My main concern is weight, I am trying very hard to keep weight down as the plane will be hand launched over grass using a middle of the road C0x 049 Surestart and weight makes in my view a Very big difference to the ease of hand launching.

Ideas, thoughts, views, opinions, all greatly accepted. :-)

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Post  Ken Cook Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:53 am

On one of your prior posts you mentioned that you crash with regular frequency. This to me is very counter productive to apply a finish that will be short lived. It would make more sense to determine why this is happening prior to achieving a nice looking finish. Using dope and silkspan is still the strongest, lightest solution you can use to obtain a good base finish. If that's out of the question, there are some other alternatives using spray can finishes. I don't prefer them but I've seen them and they look nice but they can be easily overdone and weighty if not properly done. One method that the late Allen Brickhaus wrote in Flying Models was the use of Minwax Polycrilic water based urethane. He would apply 2-3 coats of this sanded in between using a sponge brush followed with Rustoleum gray primer. He actually would lay lightweight glass cloth onto the wood after the first coat but I wouldn't recommend this for a 1/2A. The lightweight glass was attached with the Poly and then when sprayed, Allen used the glass as a gauge as he would sand the primer almost completely off just exposing the glass underneath.

              ONE ISSUE WITH water based products. they can and will warp sheet balsa. Therefore, when applied on a sheet wing for instance, you must immediately coat the opposing side.

             Assuming you have at least 3 coats of water based urethane on the wood, you could spray the primer, offer 20 min dry time and sand the primer almost completely off using 320 Tri-mite paper and a slightly soapy water solution. This would offer the smoothest base for the Rustoleum enamel. Once completely cleaned, light misting coat of Rustoleum Stops Rust enamel. I prefer to set the spray can in fairly hot water in a pot for at least 10 min prior to use. Shake can extremely well and insure all water droplets are gone from the can prior to spraying the model. Apply a light coat onto the model and I mean a light misting coat, no need to even offer enough to cover completely, just a base of mist around all perimeters.  Give 10 min to tack and offer another light coat until model is completely coated. Remember when spraying, don't concentrate on the main areas such as top and bottom of wings and fuse sides. Spray the edges first as this will blow overspray onto your main areas. Then go back over the mains and let it cover in a continuous spray pattern.
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Post  sosam117 Sun Jun 27, 2021 7:18 am

Yabby,
I'm from your generation with the talcum powder and dope.

On my rubber planes, hand launch or chuckie gliders, I use these products:

1.) Deluxe Materials Products --- Deluxe Model Lite Balsa Tint Filler
and this can be purchased at Peck-Polymers website:
https://www.wind-it-up.com/collections/deluxe-materials-products/products/model-lite-balsa-tint-filler

2.) Or you can try, Deluxe Materials Products --- Deluxe Wonderfill
and this can be purchased at Tower Hobbies website:
https://www.towerhobbies.com/product/wonderfill-240ml/DLMBD48.html

3.) Or you can use the Red Devil "Onetime" light-weight spackling
and this can be purchased at Walmart or on Walmart's website:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Onetime-0542-Spackling/19288644?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=101015580&adid=22222222222000000000&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=e&wl1=o&wl2=c&wl3=10352200394&wl4=pla-1103028060075:aud-807615483&wl5=&wl6=&wl7=&wl10=Walmart&wl11=Online&wl12=19288644_10001034959&wl14=red%20devil%20onetime%20lightweight%20spackling&veh=sem&gclid=550aae514c7f1e66e493ce892bc10c00&gclsrc=3p.ds&msclkid=550aae514c7f1e66e493ce892bc10c00

The first one ( Deluxe Model Lite Balsa Tint Filler) is good "IF" you are just going to give your plane a clear coat and don't want the  spackling to really show.

The WonderFill and the Red Devil spackle have the same feel and works the same and both are white.
They sand easily, using 600 sandpaper and it does well to fill the balsa grain.

Hope this give you a option of which filler you want to use?

I have been using the Red Devil (light-weight) spackle for over 15 years when it first came out and have yet to finish what is left in the pint container (1/4 of it is left to go).
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Post  sosam117 Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:41 am

@getback wrote:I just use the brush sanding sealer,,,    https://www.modelmerchants.com/products/sanding-sealer-by-sig?variant=39929799966899&currency=USD&utm_medium=product_sync&utm_source=google&utm_content=sag_organic&utm_campaign=sag_organic&utm_campaign=gs-2021-05-17&utm_source=google&utm_medium=smart_campaign&gclid=CjwKCAjww-CGBhALEiwAQzWxOi6jBOZU_kapsDLL-aGmBoZFUThsLNY_6Hc8vjdc4BlRT5luhPdCrhoCjzQQAvD_BwE   couple coats of this after 2-3 coats of fuel proof dope sand to smooth and paint ?! or run as is Cool Cool

I have used this in the past (SIG Sanding Sealer), just make sure you use it in a well ventilated room.
It works best if you do (at least) one clear coat of dope ( two is better) on the wood first, then use the SIG Sanding Sealer.
As it says in the instructions on the jar.

I went to the Red Devil "Onetime" spackle because building a plane in the winter using dope was getting dangerous (as I got older), I really can't smell the fumes like I use to.
No fumes also make the wife happier.
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Post  Yabby Tue Jun 29, 2021 3:38 pm

Thanks everyone, lots of really good options and ideas and different ways I can seal the balsa and get a better look. Ive built several biplanes, which I am planning on flying in a more risk averse manner than I fly some of my other models. lol! So I plan on them lasting a bit longer than my normal models and would like them to look a bit better than my normal models. I was glad to hear that the talcum powder and dope was a real thing and not my memory playing tricks on me. HaHaHa.

Maybe I should finish my Liquidator and take that out for a blast. I hardly ever used to crash that when I was young. Well not into the ground anyway. lol! lol! Its middle of winter here and really horrible for flying here so Im in modelling mode. Plenty to build for when the conditions are better. cheers

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Post  rsv1cox Tue Jun 29, 2021 6:12 pm

After Aero Gloss and Top Flite stopped making their sanding sealers I switched to MinWax sanding sealer with good results.  Plain old spackling compound fills the deep crevasses and sanding both smooth adds very little weight on non competitive models and usually results in a good finish.  Both are a whole lot cheaper than dedicated finishes too.  I'm still working on my quart of Minwax SS.

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