Re: Sandblasting booth...

Bob Sterner

I don't have a blasting booth myself but have availed myself of a friend's. I'd like to have one, but there is another approach to surface preparation which as far as I can tell is not used very much by RR modelers. It's more commonly used by figure modelers and car modelers.

I have made heavy use in the last few years of a product called Mr. Surfacer 1000. There are other grades that do either more or less leveling and filling, but I've only use the "1000" grade myself. Mr. Surfacer is out of Japan. When I bought my first case I had to send for it overseas, but now I see it's available on Amazon. I'd call it a surfacer and primer combination. It evens out the model without obscuring detail, providing a very nice uniform and even light gray surface that sticks tight to lots of plastic and metal materials. I have yet to do a formal comparison as to how it performs on slippery plastic relative to sand blasting, but I can tell you it sticks pretty danged tight to Delrin et al. so at the very least it helps a lot and does something pretty similar if not identical to what you get out of sandblasting. It comes off the model, should that be necessary, with high strength isopropyl, at least from most surfaces. I found it will not always strip completely off of everything with that solvent.

I have overcoated it with multiple brands of water and solvent based model railroad paint with good success. Do you get the idea I like this stuff? In addition, I found that it comes out of the rattle can extremely evenly so I don't even feel I need to put this sticky substance in my airbrush at all.

Also, on a related note I was having trouble getting the right orange-y yellow for some reefers I'm painting so I stripped the paint I didn't like and I undercoated with Mr. Base White from the same manufacturer. Then I hit it with Scalecoat II reefer yellow with a little orange mixed in Wow. The yellow went on like a dream and the hue matched what I was after in the Color Guide. The white undercoat seemed to let the paint achieve its intended hue on the model. In this case the rattle can was definitely not the best choice and I do plan to pick up some Mr. Base White in a jar for airbrushing for the next time I feel the need to give some paint a little help in the color department. From what I read on line, car modelers like Mr. Base White for the "pop" it gives colors. I wasn't after "pop" so much as accuracy.

Lessons learned from other modelers. I'd be curious to hear if anyone else in the railroad model community has tried either of these products. To me Mr. Surfacer 1000 has become pretty near indispensable.

I'd still like to have my own blasting booth. Jack's RMC article looks really helpful.

Bob Sterner
St. Paul, MN

--- In STMFC@..., jerryglow@... wrote:

To affirm the usefulness of a booth, I've been blasting cara and sub assemblies for years a I have a commercial booth from my days as a custom painter. It's great for evening out and cleaning up all sorts of imperfections. I recently did some ART cars with the little guards in the corners. Cleaning up after gluing was a simple matter as was cleaning end details.

Jerry Glow

--- In STMFC@..., "Jack Burgess" <jack@> wrote:

Ted Culotta's Essential Freight Car articles convinced me that sandblasting
the metal parts of resin freight cars before painting would be a worthwhile
idea. Doing it outside in the wind worked but was messy so I finally built
my own sandblasting booth. At one time, there were some photos in the STMFC
files of one built by someone else on this list but by the time I decided to
build my own, they had apparently been deleted although I followed the same
basic idea. My booth was simple to build and article on it is in
the new (February) issue of RMC for those interested...

Jack Burgess

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