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Preparing a metal body for painting.

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I was given a Maisto Ford KA kit from a guy at work to build. I am retiring next month & would like to build it & give it back to him before I leave. It is one of their metal body kits that I believe mostly snap together. The body is dark green metallic & I would like to repaint it with Testors color shift green/copper. I would like to use the dark green as a base, and am wondering how to prepare the body for new paint. Should I give it a light sanding with a mild sandpaper, or completely prime with a dark primer.

Thanks for the advice.

 

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I've not played much with die cast bodies, but scuffing the existing paint with very fine sandpaper should do the trick. Be sure to get in all the corners and grooves, too. If the existing paint has orange peel, I would block sand using sandpaper wrapped around a vinyl drafting eraser.

The alternative would be to strip the paint, prime with etching primer, and re-paint.

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I think that as long as everything you are painting is metal and no plastic parts are involved you could use most any automotive type paints safely without any problems. As suggested I would block sand the body to uncover any wavy body parts. I would also use a good quality automotive spray primer followed by additional block sanding. Since you will have an amount of paint buildup you should clean and deepen any body panel and trim lines just as you would on plastic so they don't get lost under the paint work.   

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I've had luck with sanding the existing paint to get rid of orange peel and rough it up a bit and then wiping it down with degreaser. After that, I shot the new paint and it worked with no problems.

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Here's what I'd do: 

1. Disassemble, remove all removable parts. 

2. Remove any tampo graphics or trim with non-acetone nail polish remover. 

3. Block-sand as necessary with #600 to remove runs, drips, orange peel, or other unevenness. 

4. Scuff with a fine Scotchbrite pad. 

5. Degrease with rubbing alcohol. 

6. Prime and paint as normal. 

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If you decide you want to remove the paint, find a can of AirCraft Stripper (either spray or liquid forms are available) Don't use it on plastic parts because it can harm them

Then, get some Etching primer. That bites into the metal better for adhesion purposes, and can take just about any hot paint over it. 

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