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Aircraft Exterior

Transition is from an aircraft wrecked in 1975, pulled from storage in 2014, to prepped and painted in 2016.

After about 5 iterations of acid etch and alodyne, the airplane received a final pass with scotch-brite, thorough rinse, alodyne, and yet another rinse.

The acid etch softened and enabled removal of corrosion. The alodyne protected the surface between iterations. With each iteration, it was easier and yielded better results in removing the corrosion. By using so many iterations, the entire surface was uniformly prepped.

Jumping past the still extensive cleaning, masking, and priming, the airplane received the white, base coat.

The paint gun and reservoir were modified to enable using an HVLP gun painting vertically to cover the bottom of the airplane. WIth a standard gun, the reservoir is upside down and the paint flows away from the gun.

As compared with the starting condition, the white base coat was considerably better.

From another perspective, it was the first time to see a reflection in the paint in over 41 years.

The stencils for the "N" number were applied over the white base coat. Everything that was not supposed to be dark blue was maskrd and covered.

Small pieces of vinyl tape were applied as needed to insure crisp lines over rivet heads and to provide smooth curves.

The dark blue coat was applied over the masking and stencils and allowed to "almost" set prior to removing the masking and stencils.

The stencils and masking were removed and allowed the paint to lay flat against the base coat. This made for sharp edges and a smooth transition between the paint colors.

With masking a stencils removed, the "N" numbers had plenty of contrast to make them easily readable from a distance.

The objective with this clarity is to make it airplane easily identified. A 3-dimensional pant scheme with the light and dark blue would actually make the numbers appear blurry in low light conditions.

The final, light blue accent strip is applied to act as a visual lead-in to the darker blue.

The layout for the light blue stripe was more difficult that I could comprehend because of the curves, flares, and visual illusions as it appears to follow the drker blue stripe. It took two iterations with layout to get the proper image and symetrical layout.

Rather that try to follow the flare around the spinner, the upper stripe is brought to a point.

From a difficult, quartering perspective, the lines flow comfortably around the side of the cowl to the front. The lines do not appear contorted from a higher or lower view as they might if allowed to enter the airlet.

While I am capable as a mechanic, I do not have the experience to match the quality of the gentlemen that painted N2888F.