Day 49 - Stencils and letters.      Hours today: 10      Hours so far: 565

Spraying the registration stencil letters

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

I chose to paint the letters to add to the overall paint scheme - I did not trust a print shop to reproduce the correct blue colour with vinyl. The wing letters are huge - 8 feet long - so are a big part of the colouring. First job is to line them up accurately - notice the string and bits of masking tape to help me.

I got my local sign shop to produce a vinyl outline for a stencil. I've trimmed the stencil to avoid too much glue on my wings. This shows the green vinyl stuck in place, taking great care to ensure that the edges are well stuck down - the paint is so fine it will find any bubbles or wrinkles.

I used polythene sheet for the masking and regular insulation tape, having had problems with paper masking tape which seems to react and either leave nasty gunk behind or else take paint with it when removed. I found no problems with the polythene reacting to the paint - indeed the paint stuck very well to it, whereas auto paint flakes off immediately. So far I have spent over 3 hours on this one stencil.

Painting. Three coats, not too thick each time, resisting the temptation to turn it blue after just one coat.

The end result. Well, nearly. You can see lines of adhesive left from the vinyl, but this is easily removed with C2210 paint cleaner. Do not use reducer! It immediately removes ALL of the paint and leaves you with bare fabric again. I tried to remove the stencil as soon as I dared, about 3 hours after finishing the painting.

That's all the polytone for the time being. I'll fill the gun with etch primer and do the aluminium bits next. Next page