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Masking and painting gas tanks

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Posted · Report post

I've got some kits which have the frame rails and gas tank molded to the chassis pan. The frame also closely surrounds the gas tank on the sides and back, making it hard to get a sharp line of demarcation.

Suggestions?

Bonus question: What hobby paint best replicates galvanized steel?

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Posted · Report post

I'd try Silly Putty ... it works for irregular masking.

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Posted · Report post

Suggestions?

Bonus question: What hobby paint best replicates galvanized steel?

Mike is right about the Silly Putty. That stuff in combination with some masking tape is the best thing for the job.

And for the bonus question: Testors/Model Master Steel Metalizer!

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Posted · Report post

The frame is about a scale 1 1/2" from the sides and the back of the gas tank. How can I squeeze Silly Putty into that tight of a gap and still get a sharp line of demarcation?

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Posted · Report post

You could always cut the gas tank out, paint it, and then reattach it where it once was. I've done this in the past where getting a clean paint separation would have been impossible. Of course, you might have to do some touch up work on the surrounding frame rails and maybe the gas tank, but that's an easy putty and scrap plastic job. ;)

As far as your paint question.......check out the myriad of color samples that Alclad produces. Somewhere there's bound to be the galvanized steel.

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Posted · Report post

Scribe a line around the tank's perimeter, and that little groove, if you leave a slight burr in place, will give you an edge to paint up to.

Galvanized steel is pretty much impossible to replicate with any coating since it's not uniform, but I think Testors steel looks decent. Maybe mix in a bit of silver and some talcum powder to dull the finish a bit, too.

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Posted · Report post

Galv steel, use Alum buffing metalizer, DO not buff, but rub any high spots with a tissue, then a dusting of semi gloss clear..the tissue rub makes some areas a bit different...sorta like galvanizing does...and the zinc dulls / oxidizes with age

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Posted · Report post

To create a sharp, crisp delineation between the Silly Putty and the base of the gas tank, I use a guitar pick. Put the Silly Putty in place all around the tank, then use the wide edge of the pick (or similar tool) push the putty back away from the tank. That is, insert the pick parallel to the side of the tank until you hit the chassis and then angle the pick away from the tank to push the putty back. Does that make any sense?

And you can use Testors Metalizer Sealer over the buffing steel to get that galvanized look, after doing that tissue thing Greg mentioned.

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Posted · Report post

Scribe a line around the tank's perimeter, and that little groove, if you leave a slight burr in place, will give you an edge to paint up to.

Galvanized steel is pretty much impossible to replicate with any coating since it's not uniform, but I think Testors steel looks decent. Maybe mix in a bit of silver and some talcum powder to dull the finish a bit, too.

+1. Having a small scribe line helps tremendously in keeping straight lines.

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Posted · Report post

Good stuff, guys!

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