I got mine yesterday as well. Came in the same box! I guess, with a 3 foot long piece of 22 gauge tubing, it's difficult to ship without damage. The last time I ordered some, it came in one of those heavy cardboard tubes.
That's part of the problem with enamel. to get a nice smooth, shiney finish, a fairly heavy coat is required leaving you open to runs, sags & bleed under. Lighter coats can sometimes lead to orange peel. I wish you luck though.
I'll bet you're using enamel paint. Enamel dries much slower giving it a lot more time to seep into all kinds of nooks and crannies, especially if it's sprayed on heavy. If you're going to use enamel, spray the first coat or 2 lightly. That way it won't seep under the tape as easily & it will seal up the tape edges before the final wet coat. I never have any bleed under issues with lacquer paints & Tamiya tape. I painted the fine pinstripes & FORD lettering on the tailgate of my '63 Ford with zero issues using lacquer & Tamiya tape & foil for masking.
It has suffered over the past decade or so. I had excellent results with Kustom Khrome when Bob was running it. Have yet to try it since George took over, but if he's using the same plater as Bob, I have every confidence in him.
Ok guys, I've been doing a little bit of research & I think I've found a great combo of all of our suggestions to make some really nice antennas. I checked out those "Grandt Line" nuts & washers, looked at some more tubing & some wire & here's what I'm coming up with. If the guitar string fits into the "O" scale nuts & washers, then it must be .02" wire. If we do the exact same antennas that "High octane" & "gtx6970" did with the .02" wire & the "O" scale nuts and washers for a base, you could slip a section of the hypodermic tubing over the wire to give the 2 piece look. The tubing I have is .02" inside diameter, but there is a thinner option that can be ordered from Amazon. They have a 22 gauge .02" ID .028" OD with a .004" wall thickness that would give the lower half a little bit thinner appearance. On another note, for those of us that can't readily pick up guitar string, I did a little digging in my stash & found some .02" "music wire" from "K&S Engineering" that I picked up at a Hobby Lobby a while back, so it should be readily available. I believe that they carried it right in the model section along with all of the other brass & aluminum tubing & rod.
So, some Hobby Lobby wire, some Amazon tubing & the "O" scale nuts & washers might be a great answer. Maybe a dab of some sort of glue or epoxy for the tip & you're good to go.
Thanks, everyone, for your input. We can do great things when we put our heads together.