Up one level Neidrauer Adventures Photo Album » Building a Live Steam Locomotive - the Mikado Project » Painting
Painting
Another non-print section, but another milestone event. 2014: Sealing the Tender, Numbering and lettering the engine (and a near disaster on the cab lettering), Tender Trucks. August 2013 - The paint tent is set up again for another round of painting. Parts have been Prepared, Primered and Painted. Now that this big batch is completed, most parts are now painted as they are completed, so you'll find them in their respective sections.

 12-Apr-2014 A near disaster! I pressed the vinyl paint mask on good and tight on the sides of the cab to make sure the white lettering would not bleed through. Unfortunately, when I removed the well-stuck mask, it also removed the black paint and primer below!!  Terrible. I couple hours with a small paint brush and black paint was spent filling in what the mask removed.  I guess there was still a layer of mill scale on the metal when it was painted black, and the mask glue was stickier than primer on the metal.  12-Apr-2014 The rough casting texture of the sane dome was too uneven for the vinyl paint mask resulting in some paint bleed. Some time with a tiny paint brush and black paint was required to touch up the bleed.  12-Apr-2014 The vinyl paint mask worked well stretching over the rivets.  24-Apr-2014 With paint masks from Connie Miracle Graphics, the engine and tender get numbered and lettered.  I use apppliance enamel white paint, which covers the black well and give a thick hard coat of paint.  12-Apr-2014 The engine air cooler pipes get primered with automotive etching primer paint and later painted black.  12-Apr-2014 The Tender deck and tender truck parts all get a coat of primer and black paint.  12-Apr-2014 ?Picture of a blotch of black paint? No, just a pic of the tender truck journal ends after painting.  28-Oct-2013 Tender tank, upside down, with two coats of primer and black paint. Once again, I am running out of warm weather to paint things. At least the outside of the tank will not rust anymore.  September 2013 The cab floor was painted separately, as was the brakestand and cab interior.  After everthing dried, the steam valve handles were painted red with a little bottle of Testors enamel (why buy a quart when an ounce will do?). Another trip to the hobby store picked up a bottle of Testors Yellow to paint the Oil valve handle.  August 2013. I didn't put a dropcloth down on the floor before I primed and painted. Boy, did that make a mess. I spent time with a putty knife hand scraping the floor so I won't be tracking the paint dust all over the house. The floor is now stained with grey and black paint footprints.  August 2013 Inside the paint tent, boiler bands, piping and a rope line with small parts hang to dry with a coat of paint.  August 2013 Boiler jacketing freshly painted.  August 2013 The paint station is set up and several hours are spent cleaning, sanding and preparing the parts for paint.  August 2013 After an unusually cool summer, I finally have the boiler jacketing parts ready for paint. My timing is not the best though, normal hot and humid summer weather returns, forcing me set up the paint tent indoors. Before starting to paint, I shut down the furnace and extinguish the hot water heater pilot light, also crack a window open upstairs and turn on the basement exhause fan.  18-Sept-2012 A week later after painting the interior green, the exterior gets several coats of Rustoleom gloss black.  18-Sept-2012 A week later after painting the interior green, the exterior gets several coats of Rustoleom gloss black.  13-Sept-2012 The cab is a two-piece design -- the back and sides are one piece, which bolts to the front, all which are getting a coat of green paint.  13-Sept-2012 After a success first fire-up, I need to get a cab on the engine! First I paint the interior a typical forest green.  18-Sept-2011 More painted parts! Reversing stand parts, rear boiler supports and cab floor.  13-Sept-2011 The smokebox with a fresh coat of Rust-Oleum etching primer #249322 and Rust-Oleum 500 degree high-temp cast-aluminum color paint #248949.  12-Sept-2011 Not everything goes to plan.  I had primered and painted the smokebox with high-temperature paint over a year ago.  Noticing some flaking at the rim where the rubber mallet had struck it (to drive the smokebox onto the boiler), I discovered I could flake the paint with my fingernail.  There seemed to be no adhesion of the paint to the metal, running a scraper over the shell ploughed the paint off with not effort. Instead of just touching up the paint, I scraped the whole shell, sanded, cleaned prepared it for fresh paint.  Looking at the instructions on the Rust-Oleum very high 2000 degree heat paint, after painting I was supposed to bake the part in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes, then 300 degrees for 20 mins and then 400 for 20 mins.  I never did that and now that it is 'one with the boiler' I can't properly cure paint.  I suspect failing to do so caused the flaking problem. i will use 500 degree paint instead, which does not require baking.   6-Sept-2011 First cost of Rustoleum 500-degree 'cast aluminum' paint.  21-Aug-2011 Going Green! The boiler in green etching primer.  I had spent the previous day going over the boiler with a 40-grit flap disk on the angle grinder removing all the dirt, paint and more importantly, rust.  Everything else on the locomotive is protected with a layer of paint, why not protect the single-most expensive item -- the boiler?  What a mess all that dirt and rust and mill scale made in the shop, everything is covered with a layer of grime.  March 2011 A little primer on the pilot support stays and the boiler support bracket.  26-Aug-08 The weather in St. Louis continues to be unseasonably mild for August, so I continue to mix paint and shoot locomotive parts for the big Mikado engine before the temperature and humidity get too high.

Here's good news for Mom and Dad: I really used that model 'F' Paasche airbrush you bought me 25 years ago! A couple of weekends ago I painted many of the little tiny parts, spending more than 20 hours prepping, priming and then painting with the black acrylic automotive paint. Using my HPLV gun, I learned on the fly to set the paint flow rate and the spray pattern (somewhat). Still, a big spray gun in the hands of a beginner trying to shoot all the nooks and corners was challenging, particularly trying to get paint in between all the spokes of the wheels.

My first attempt had thin spots with the primer showing through. Talking with my friend Mark M., I was going to borrow his touch-up gun when he offered to loan me his airbrush for the detail work. What a great idea! I modified a quick-disconnect fitting in the lathe to attach to the airbrush hose and plugged it into the big compressor. Boy, that big tank sure beats those little tiny cans of 'Propel'.

Last night I mixed a small batch of black paint (8 oz.) and filled the 1 oz siphon cup (with an eyedropper siphon), cranked the compressor up and got into all the small spaces. Here's a difference between a traditional siphon gun and a HPLV gun: 25 psi of pressure. I was running the big HPLV gun at 5 psi, the little Paasche was 30 psi! I hit most of the parts again, covering the thin spots up and getting about 5 oz. of paint down before the 2 hour working life of the paint expired.

Feeling inspired by the success of the little spray brush, and worried that the humid mass of air from the gulf tropical storms pushing into St. Louis would close my painting window for another month or two, I decided to put a coat of paint on the locomotive frame, cylinders and trailing truck chassis using the big gun. I can't move these heavy pieces around like the little parts, so I moved the painting setup around for stationary parts, mixed a new batch of paint, practiced a little more with the big gun getting a smaller spray pattern and put several coats of paint on before my paint window closed. By the time I finished cleaning up it was midnight, the humidity had rising from 56% to 82% and I was very tired. I'll have to roll the frame over and paint the other side when I get a chance.  Hmmm. Amazing how the clutter in the background just jumps out in a photograph of the Frame, Cylinders and Trailing truck in black. 26-Aug-08  After spending several hours cleaning and bolting the cylinder covers on, the cylinder casting has been primered.  Bill was disappointed that I painted the shiny brass covers.  More painted parts hanging on the 'drying rack'  I'm happy with the paint job, only a few areas need touching up.  Hmm. Black parts on a black background.  So maybe I'm a better machinist than photographer.  But the fact that the parts are Black bears witness to the work!  Sunday 17-Aug-08.  I take the plunge and fire up the HPLV gun, mix the single-stage Sherwin-Williams Acrylic Enamel automotive paint and start painting!  Check out the shelving full of primered parts!  This represents three spray cans of etching primer and a full days work.  Saturday, 16-Aug-08 Parts is Parts.  I spent the day Prepping and Priming all the little parts.  I realized that it would take a very long time to hook and paint each part individually, so I created two racks to hold the parts and wired them together to make things simpler.  Oh I am excited just to look at this picture of the wheels and trailing truck in primer gray! We have had unusually cool temperatures and low humidity for St. Louis in August and I have been seized by the moment to get some paint put on bare metal! 15-Aug-08  Drying rack for parts in primer.  Taking a tip from something I saw at a commercial paint/coatings business my best friend Ted S. worked at, I create my own parts drying rack from a spare furnace filter basket and some hooks from scrap aluminum ground wire.  I have a hanging hook to the left where the part is painted, then it is moved to the rack for drying.  The primer I am using is some awsome self-etching Sherwin-Williams automotive primer good for steel, aluminum and stainless steel metals, all of which I have on this locomotive.  The Frame is Primed. 10-August-2008  The back of the locomotive frame  The front of the locomotive is at the top.  This is a hard thing to photograph with my ancient Cannon S200 ELPH.  The frame from bumper to bumper is 6 feet long!