Air Tank Upgrade, Compressor Failure, and First Paint
Considering the time invested in this paint booth project to the end of a better painting process and higher quality painted models, I decided now was the time to fix this. I was hopeful that there would be quick-connect appliances that would fit right onto the current threaded intake pipe, however, I was not to be so lucky!
Instead I decided that the best route would be to install a quick connect valve between the tank and the existing piping, allowing two methods for filling the tank with air. The below slideshow hi-lights the modifications to the air tank.
Then I plugged in the compressor, flipped the power switch, and...nothing! My trusty compressor of many, many years decided to pick this moment to not start! I was displeased. To YouTube I went to research this issue and figured it was probably the starter switch.
Joe and San Antonio area modeler Anthony Lorch had already collaborated on the issue of the disappearing brands of paint facing the hobby and are experimenting with a creative solution. Joe has some unique colors for the locomotives of his Proto-Freelanced "Chinook Lines". Most notably is a difficult to describe gray/blue/green...ish color that he got from a German military color pallet. He thought I might be interested in this as the greens for my T&GN and NT&O locomotives were victims of Testors' genocide of the Floquil line of paint and are no longer available.
Joe, with a clear head, quickly honed in on the issue with my compressor, a power wire had come off the connection under the starter switch cover. The fix was very simple...and we had air! Joe did bring his own compressor and airbrush along with a quart of acrylic enamel paint from Sherwin Williams to test. The quart, matched to his model paint using Sherwin Williams' "Spectrometer", cost $22. The quart of course yields 32 ounces. Considering that most model paints are sold in the range of $3 to $6 per ounce, the cost savings is worthy of notice.
After dinner, it was time to paint. I decided that the Chinook Lines color would make a good primer so I grabbed a Walthers 50' Seico Pulpwood Flatcar from my repaint stock, removed the couplers, installed shop trucks, and we were set. Unfortunately I guess I failed to properly clean my airbrush after the last use and an unexpected blast of air went into the paint bottle, instantly adding a neat gray/blue/green...ish explosion pattern to the inside of the paint booth. It was christened properly!
Deciding to deal with that later, we substituted Joe's double-action paint brush and we were spraying. A few test sprays were in order and the paint/water mixture was adjusted. The below slide show shows the the painting of the pulpwood car as well as one of Joe's GP7 shells.
I must admit I was a bit skeptical about using house paint on a model. The result of this test has my attention! The finish was remarkably smooth and thin. I think that once I get comfortable with the properties of this paint there are excellent results to be had.
Many thanks to Joe Bohannon for his assistance! Now to get this airbrush cleaned out...