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  Stuck on an Airfix Saturn V kit - need advice

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Author Topic:   Stuck on an Airfix Saturn V kit - need advice
Silent Sea
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Posts: 15
From:
Registered: Mar 2015

posted 08-15-2015 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silent Sea     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know that there are a lot of talented model and kit makers here so I could really use your help as a beginner.

It's been kind of stalled for several weeks. Here's what I have so far:

I'm a little apprehensive about where to go from here. It's really the large black areas that are throwing me right now. So here are my questions:

  • Would it make sense to glue the big pieces together and then paint, or continue painting and glue afterward?

  • I am using Tamiya acrylic paint and Testors spray enamel. Does anyone have any experience with that combination? I am assuming that I would do an all-over spray paint of the parts I want white first, and then paint it black where appropriate.

  • In terms of the decals, are those best left as the last step?
Any advice would be appreciated.

Bob Shaw
New Member

Posts: 3
From: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Registered: Nov 2013

posted 08-16-2015 02:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob Shaw   Click Here to Email Bob Shaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paint all of the inside black first, or light may shine through the plastic. You'll also be able to see the black bits you've already painted if you don't do this.

Tykeanaut
Member

Posts: 2013
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 08-16-2015 07:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As above suggestion then spray white sections. I would leave unassembled and then paint the black portions.

Decals are always in my process left until everything is painted and assembled.

Hope this helps?

Silent Sea
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Posts: 15
From:
Registered: Mar 2015

posted 08-16-2015 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silent Sea     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I didn't even think of that. I suppose I could do that. So just spray painting the outside white won't keep light from going through?

And decals at the very end, good to know.

Thanks for the advice, I do appreciate it.

rlobinske
Member

Posts: 28
From: Crawfordville, FL
Registered: Oct 2014

posted 08-16-2015 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rlobinske     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you are going to keep the stack together, painting all the interior black is the way to go. If you are doing to show the interior sections, I suggest painting the interior areas chromate green with a mottle, yellowish-tan for the tank tops. Assemble the stage halves and do any seam filling and sanding before painting white. If you are uncomfortable with masking, New Ware has a mask set for this kit that can simplify things for you. Before applying decals, hit the model with a gloss coat and after they are dry, seal with a second gloss coat.

Ronpur
Member

Posts: 736
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 08-16-2015 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I have tried many different ways to paint a Saturn V. I have always had issues with bleed through of the black areas after painting the white first. You can rub the tape as hard as you can, for hours, and even try painting the soon to be black areas with the base white again to seal the tape. It always finds a way to bleed through!

So, I paint all of the ridged areas black first, then paint them white. But, I stop the white before it gets as white as the rest of the stack. It leaves the ridges a very faint grey color. This represents the slightly off white of these areas that you see in photos very nicely. If the white does bleed through, it is far easier to touch up white on black, the black on white.

Be careful mixing paint types too. Enamel and acrylics don't like each other. Epoxy paint tends to get a bit too thick and it can cover small details.

I also use metallic plumbers tape to make the batting on the F-1 engines.

Assemble each stage, and make sure your stripes match up, I paint the S-1C and S-II together. The S-IVB, I do separately.

Here is an Apollo 8 Saturn V I was working on recently, ready for decals.

And the batted engines after decals:

Oh, and get some after market decals from Space Models Systems, especially if you want something besides Apollo 11.

Ronpur
Member

Posts: 736
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 08-16-2015 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is an Airfix Saturn I built as the Ares-Saturn VB from Stephen Baxter's novel, "Voyage".

This kit is awesome, much better than the Monogram kit, in my opinion.

Ronpur
Member

Posts: 736
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 08-16-2015 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also, I forgot to mention, make sure you putty and sand the seams of the stages before you start painting. That really makes a difference.

Silent Sea
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Posts: 15
From:
Registered: Mar 2015

posted 08-16-2015 08:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silent Sea     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So many tips! I appreciate all the help

I painted the tiny LM today with touch-up to follow later. I'm not sure if I'll paint the tiny astronauts. I consider myself to have a reasonably steady hand and even that might be just a bit too small even with my microbrushes.

I'll probably just paint the inside black as per several recommendations here. Although I am curious to know about the other color recommendation if I were to leave it open - why yellow and green?

I'm not sure what I'll do about the spray enamel in this case, since I don't know off the top of my head what the hobby shop has for alternative types of spray, but I will look. I definitely don't want to be hand painting that much white. I don't think it would look good. (It's been so hot out though, so unless it gets cooler I probably won't be spray painting anytime soon anyway.)

I've sanded, but I didn't even know what seam filling was until I heard about it here and looked it up. I'm guessing that makes the difference between a glued together plastic kit and a really nice looking model?

Ronpur
Member

Posts: 736
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 08-17-2015 07:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you do combine paint types, enamel first, then acrylic. If you spray a chemical based enamel over a water based acrylic, it will eat it up! I try to stay with acrylic when possible, just because of the fumes and clean up.

And yes, don't try to hand brush that much white! It is very hard to get a smooth finish.

rlobinske
Member

Posts: 28
From: Crawfordville, FL
Registered: Oct 2014

posted 08-18-2015 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rlobinske     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Most of the metal components of the Saturn V were sealed with a zinc chromate primer, which has a yellow-green color. The insides of the stage skirts and interstages were not painted, so the primer was visible. Rechecking, the top of the S-I-C LOX tank at KSC is chromate green, but the tops of the LOX tanks on the S-II are S-IV have a mottle phenolic finish that has now darkened from the original tan color.

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