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Wallaces Table Engines Frozen in motion, DIY Now Finished
Welcome to my table for STWWW 2011. I really enjoy taking photos of engines in steam.
So for this year some stills of engines in steam
First up the Challenger.
Next the SE2a. Little but powerful and high RPM
I couldn't bypass the SE3. Fun, grunty and powerful
Coming up later. More pics and a DIY paint guide
Great pictures Andrew! I particularly like the second one, but all spot on.
Great images mate, I'm particularly fond of the SE3's, so it does it for me,
Wow! Those are some awesome photos!!!!
Andrew you are a really good photographer.
That is a great display!
Great pics mate, you certainly capture the moment and movement.
Those pictures are nice and clear, did you use sports mode when taking them?
Great pictures Wallace, I really like the spits of water coming out and frozen
Fantastic photos Andrew, i really admire how you capture them in motion.
Nicely done Andrew.
Thank you for all the nice comments.
Les I used a combination of manual shutter speed setting and night setting.
My camera has partial and full manual. If I use partial, I can adjust the shutter speed and the other settings are calculated automatically. If I go to full manual I have to choose all the settings. I used partial with some shutter speeds up to 1.5secs.
I'm not entirely sure but from memory I think the sports setting uses a very fast shutter speed.... ie when using it the engines would look like they aren't running
Onto a couple more
I couldn't forget the Jensen
And finally the girth Fleischmann
Wonderful images mate.
Ok, I was leaving this Paint guide until tomorrow but I have been called on for work in the morning due to a storm we just had .
I still hope to get back on later Sunday evening for more, but can't be sure
Welcome to my DIY paint guide. I hope this helps people out. It is a guide only and I am not suggesting if followed everything will work out perfectly but it should lessen problems. If you have your own way without problems, please stick to what works best. It's really a guide for people who are new to painting, having troubles or those interested.
For this I will use and refer to an engine base. Paint used is epoxy enamel with a rust guard in it. White Knight brand.
This is the engine that will be used. These are old pics as I lost the new ones I took of it being dismantled. The bubbly rust had got worst over the past 4 years so something had to be done. It was much worse than this
Choosing a paint
Firstly this will be dependent on what you are painting. Start off with a primer unless you are using a high Temp paint. Reason a high temp paint doesn't need a primer is it's usually designed to not need one. If there happens to be a HT paint that needs a primer, use the one suggested. Choosing a primer is simple, use one suitable to the top coat paint you decide on. Use etch primer on brass or copper, and normal primer on other parts.
Now is a good time to mention stick to the same brand from primer to top coats. It lessens the chance of things going wrong due to different brands having different forumations.
A) Enamel or Acrylic?
This is up to you. I find enamel better, it's hard wearing, gives a good finish without the need for buffing/cutting and seems to resist meths spillage. The downfall is it can be unforgiving at times, sometimes limited colours, has high odour and can take a fair while to dry. Acrylic is the opposite, easier to use, big range of colours (most auto match touch up paints are acrylic), low odour and quick drying. But acrylic can be less wearing, usually needs buffing/cutting and a clear top coat for meths resistance.
Where a paint is gloss/satin etc finish, the enamel will give that look straight from the can however as above, acrylic usually needs the buffing etc.
In saying all that there are acrylics on the market which are better than enamel, so it's claimed.
Another advantage of enamel is it's less likely to react if there is a small bit of original paint left providing that the original is enamel (most engines are). Some parts are hard to remove paint from and that small fleck of paint left is enough to react with acrylic.
Sometimes it is hard to tell what the paint type originally was. Mamods appear to have a type of enamel and I would guess most engines do.
There are so many combinations of things that can cause paint problems. Acrylic over enamel usually reacts. So if you are using acrylic on a bare metal spray ensure every bit of paint is gone and never do a light sand and coat on an original paint job if you plan to use acrylic unless you are sure it won't react. Etch or zinc primer over a "leave on" rust treatment can cause problems. Sometimes testing is needed. One thing that can reduce these problems is stick to one brand of paint from primer to topcoats and follow the directions.
Due to the climate and coastal exposure here I try and do the paint removal, prep and primer coatings in one day. Bare metal will have rust spots here within 2 days. Your area may be different.
This is the most important step. Get it wrong here and the paint has the potential to turn bad at any time. It's worth noting that if possible keep your spray area seperate from your prep area or if that's not possible, use newspaper or something like MDF sheet as a "tablecloth" on your work area. If you are using things like paint stripper and sanding you don't want these contaminants when painting. If like me you run engines on your workbench then there is probably steam oil on it and it's so easy to get some oil on your hand and touch the base when you shouldn't.
A) Cleaning down and stripping
You have the engine all apart. First thing is to wash down what you are going to sand/strip/paint. Reason being is parts can be oily, sooty or just generally dirty. These can can affect how well the paint removal goes and quite often you will simply push this dirt and oil into crevices with the potential to cause problems later. For this I use a wash called CT-18. It's like a car wash but depending on how well diluted it acts as a degreaser. Dishwasing liquid or basic car wash will work too.
B) Paint removal
This is personal preference. Sanding and paint stripper are the most common. I have read on the forums that simmering the part in a mix of laundry powder and water removes paint. Whatever works for you. For this tutorial I came across a paint stripper that is user friendly and it worked well. Many on the forum mention Nitromors. I am 99% sure this nitromors and other toxic dangerous paint stripper usually contains methylene chloride. This safe stuff didn't. Whatever you choose follow the directions including washing the stripper off. You want it completely clean.
C) Rust removal.
This is also a tricky choice on what to do and experimentation might be needed. At the end of this tutorial this is something I experimented with.
Common methods are sanding, wire wheel, rust remover and rust converter. Remover is usually an acid that removes the rust according to directions on the product. Converter converts the rust to a inert substance (some claim convert it back to steel), seal it, and it's ready for painting. Another option is electrolysis for which you'll have to check on the forums for as I have not tried it.
The degree of rust can be a factor of what to do. Very light and it can be wired wheeled/wire brushed or use rust remover. If it's deeper, bubbly removing it could leave pitting. You could use a convertor to avoid the pitting. Just sand back so it's all level then apply it. Or you could remove it and use a body filler of some sort to fill the pitting.
The tricky bit is with the rust converter. It often says not to use on bare metal as it cannot protect it. As converter works via chemical reaction I am unsure if applied to bare metal will it affect the painting? When you have a base with mixed areas of rust it's impossible to not get the converter on bare metal. At the end when I experimented I found it to be ok, it cured and handled primer on top.
If you do use converter and possibly remover the next step of cleaning for paint has to be done first. This is because on top of the converter the primer is applied and prepwash and maybe other products do not mix with the converter and possibly with the remover depending on it's directions.
D) Prepping for paint
This is the final step and the most important part of cleaning. It's the last chance to remove any contaminants. I always use a prepwash. It's also known as "wax and grease remover" or "prepsol". The current one I have has the ingredient xylene and is a form of thinners. There are other thinners that contain hydrocarbons that may work and some say meths works. I stick with prepwash as I know it works.
Old lint free cloths are ideal to use but it's very important that the cloth you use is clean and free of fabric softner. The fabric softener will affect the paint. So if you are ever using old clothing for this wash them without the softener.
Apply the prepwash to a clean coth and wipe it over the item. More is better too. You can either let if dry via evaporation, use another cloth to dry it or use compressed air. At this point try not touch the item with your hands as oil on your skin will get on the metal.
Unless you have tested the prepwash on the paint you are using DO NOT use prepwash between coats, ie, if you sand a coat don't prepwash it before next coat. It will probably strip the paint or damage it. You will need to find an appropriate wash but if doing it on enamel meths seems to be fine. Test first though.
For this guide I found xylene removes the primer but not the enamel coats.
Minus the small bits of paint left near the feet and at burner holder (it was deliberate) this base would be ready for primer had it been prepwashed. Clean metal makes life a lot easier to paint.
Setting up the item for painting has many options. You can hang it, sit it on nails, etc etc. I prefer to do it on a portable work bench that I can setup in the middle of the garage allowing me to get to all sides/angles. Smaller parts are good to hang. Whatever you do don't sit a part like a firebox or engine frame flatly on newspaper even if you don't want to paint the underside. The paint will soak into the paper and creep under. Then when dry the paper will stick. Also the blast from aerosol can stir up dust so ensure the area is clean.
A) Weather conditions.
Most cans will tell you the ideal conditions for painting. The cans I am using tell you to paint between 10 and 30 degs cels and not in high humidity. I always try to paint in between 15 and 25 degrees cels. Definitely avoid high humidity. Besides the temperature and humidity causing problems it also affects drying times so this should be taken into account. If a can says to recoat after 16hrs and it's humid or cold, leave it longer.
B) Coats and additional coats.
There can be so many different suggestions of coats, re coats, drying times between coats etc and that can be confusing.
e.g. The primer I'm using here tells me to "apply a pre-wetting mist coat followed by a full even coat" then "repeat if necessary" then finally "apply additional coats after one hour.
That alone is confusing and indicates that you can repeat straight away, but additional coats after 1hr???
The mist coat is simply a coat that may not give a perfect coverage and it will appear speckled. The full even coat is self explanatory. But "repeat if neccessary" then the later "additional after one hour" can mean anything.
The paint says the same on the top coat cans only additional coats after 16hrs.
Other cans I have (different brand but still epoxy enamel anti rust paint) says to apply several light coats allowing 10 mins between coats. Then more coats can be applied after 24hrs. The latter would be coats to fix any small imperfections or misses. I find this method much better.
Follow the directions but if they are not clear the important thing is not to apply heavy coats that cause runs or sagging. Give light coats, and if it suggests a period of time in hours between coats allow that time if you see something needs fixing.
For this tutorial I will follow the can directions. I will give a total of 3 coats of primer. As in the following video 2 light coats of primer.
I then added a 2nd coat straight away
Finally an hour later I did the last coat.
For the topcoats, the above videos were the same. However I allowed 24hrs (not the minimum 16 hrs) And gave more. So first topcoats as per first and 2nd video video.... leave 24hrs... I then repeated the 1st and 2nd video again 24hrs later, then again in another 24hrs This was taken after the final coats. Coat numbers aren't really important so long as it's even. Just don't do too many
The base finished
C) Applying the paint (or primer)
The videos above were to simply show you what I class as coats It's tempting to hold the can close, but often they suggest 15-25cm away. If you measure it, it seems quite a distance but keep that distance.
D) Sanding between coats.
Some cans suggest sanding between coats with a certain grade wet and dry. I don't bother. It's designed to pull out any imperfections and will help give a perfect almost mirror like finish.
If you do sand between coats you will often have to wait the full drying time before the next coat but always read the directions. eg. If I sanded the primer from the above video I would wait 1hr, sand it, then paint it again. Some cans will give more time.
With sanding you will need to clean off the dust. As in Step 2 part D, don't use a prepwash on paint unless you have tested it. Meths seems fine on enamel but just test it. You can just use water too, but be careful you don't get any contaminants.
Now the painting is finished you need to let it dry
As in "A" above, drying times vary depending on conditions and how heavy the coats were. Even poor ventilation (buildup of paint fumes) will increase drying times. I try to at least double the touch dry time it says on the can before handling and if possible wait the full drying time. This gives it plenty of time to harden and avoid mishaps.
I then give it about 4 more days as a minimum before assembling at which time I try to sit the part in a warm place. You will likely get away with assembly straight after the initial drying time. But longer is better. A general rule is if the paint smells it's still curing. Problem is that paint is "volatile" for about 3 months. So in that time you don't want to wax it, get oil on it etc. Not even I wait that long. Just take care with assembly.
After my final topcpoat for this guide I allowed just over 24hrs before handling. At this stage the paint is dry to handle. If there is any overspray to be removed now is a good time to do it. I didn't bother with masking the flywheel or lettering on the engine frame. Sometimes it causes more problems, but it's up to you. Here you can see the lettering painted over.
The removal of paint only 24hrs after last coat is easy with a knife. Be careful though. The shavings will be clingy to other painted surfaces and if you apply pressure they can be hard to remove.
Showing removal of paint from flywheel
Baking is an ideal way to cure the paint but it shouldn't be overdone. I wait at least a week before baking normal paint. If it's HT paint I wait double the drying time then bake it (if I opt for baking)
For normal paint you want a low temperature. If your oven goes down to 60-80 degs cels that's ideal. Try and avoid anything over 100 degs cels on normal paint. The process is to put it into the cold oven, turn the temp to 80C and let it heat up. Once at that temp leave for 2-3hrs.
The problem is paints can vary from brand to brand and you really won't know what will happen. Some can darken, blister and peel off. For this tutorial I was using a paint I had not baked before. Despite success with other epoxy enamels, this one may not have worked.
These parts were given 48hrs after final topcoats before baking at about 80C for 2hrs
HT/VHT paints can be baked according to directions on can. If they do not have directions you will have to try and simulate the running of a car engine heating up. This can be done via an oven. Put the part in cold and turn the temp to something that will be similar on a car. Roughly 120C for engine paint and 200C for exhaust.
If baking the paint on a boiler be aware the solder could melt. Opt for a lower safe temperature then use the first firing of the engine as follows...
start with filling the boiler with cool water. Put the burner in and carefully watch the paint and the safety valve. Ideally you want to pull the burner out just before the boiler reaches operating pressure. Allow to cool for 5mins, then do it again. Watch the paintwork for any blisters and at first sign pull the burner out.
Do this 2 or 3 times and that will give it the best chances of holding. Most do ok, and it's only the prep that causes probs
4) PAINTING HT/VHT, OTHER PARTS
The above is a guide for general painting on steel that are not in high temp areas. Other parts are done the same, only the primer and baking can differ.
Etch primer is best used on copper and brass. Put simply, brass/copper is smoother than steel so an etch primer gives a key for the paint to bond to. Most important is you read the can directions. Many will state to paint with a certain time of applying the etch primer and it's often short. Also the etch primer usually only has one coat.
Another option is to scuff the brass with a fine grade wet and dry then paint it.
The usual prepwashing/cleaning will be needed before painting.
A) Boilers and copper pipe.
A boiler will get to temps of over 100degs cels, the copper pipe higher. While I've had success with painting boilers in epoxy enamel only a HT or VHT paint will give more of a chance of handling the higher temps. Something like a car engine paint may be enough, brake or exhaust paint is even better. However HT/VHT may not stick well to the bare brass/copper. On the other hand many HT/VHT paints don't require a primer therefore you will be applying a normal primer. That primer will be the weakest point and if it fails so will the HT/VHT paint. It comes down to testing, trial and error of what works.
It's your choice but If possible don't paint the area that will be in direct flame. e.g. A Mamod SR1 or TE1 has part of it's boiler in the firebox. No need to paint this part. For others you may have to paint the whole boiler and I would recommend a VHT (exhaust paint).
The usual applies with the stripping/sanding/prepwashing. For the firebox a VHT like exhaust or brake caliper paint is best used. It handles the higher temps much better. Baking can be done as in 3F.
5) WHAT CAN GO WRONG?
Despite taking care things can still go wrong either accidentally or for no apparent reason. Besides information above here is some to help you lessen the chance of accidental problems and identifying what went wrong
The littlest thing can upset painting. Pay attention to crevices when cleaning and drying. A join in a firebox corner can retain water or paint stipper. When the blast of aerosol hits it it may come out and wreck the paint. Same with feet on bases. An air compressor gun can sort this out but has it's own problems.
If using a compressor for drying washed parts ensure it has a water trap. Without one the air will contain water and possibly oil.
Oil and silicon are the worst enemies hence the need for prepwash.
Here I deliberatly put a fingerprint on the base before priming. The paint seemed to go on the spot fine but a scratch test showed it came off easily
This here could be a problem. Paint not fully removed. If you were using acrylic this leftover paint could be enough to wreck the job
B) Identifying defects.
* Fisheyes: These are small circles in the paintwork where the paint appears to have repelled a spot in the centre. THe most common cause is oil or silicone of any type. Whether it be from your hands, air compressor, airbone pollutants in industrial areas and more.
You will see below an example of this that I got during the guide. Ironically I was only testing compatibilty. A deliberate fisheyeing was to come later but it happend anyway. All I had done to this base was wash it, strip it, wash again but no prepwash. Most likely cause was from my hands as it happened on both the baremetal I had sprayed and the rust converter. I have a feeling rust could absorb oil making it harder to remove (oil).
* Pinholes: Small pinholes in the paint. This is due to heavy coats and or not allowing sufficient drying between coats. The solvent wil leave small holes as it evaporates through the paint.
* Blisters: This can be caused by humidity or other water contamination. Also suface contamination from sanding residue and thick coats, not allowing drying time between coats. Like pinholes, but the solvent doesn't escape.
* Orange skin effect: If you are using acrylic this can be normal, it needs to be buffed. Otherwise it can be from to heavy paint coats on level surfaces. I don't have an example but it resmebles a faint surface of an orange skin.
Other more likely causes are the weather is too hot for painting, the can has been held too far away or the can is low on pressure giving big drops.
* Clouding in paint. Sometimes you can get a faint white cloudy appearance. A cause of this is high humidity or rain whilst the paint is drying or being applied. If it happens after you use the engine it is from meths (on acrylic).
* Crazing/cracking: You will see cracks in the paint as it dries. This is often not enough drying time between coats or incompatible paints. e.g. Acrylic over enamel. If the total paint coats is very high it can be a cause also.
* Flaking: Paint comes off easily. If it goes back to bare metal then the primer has failed. It could be due to not having a clean metal to apply primer to. Also the primer may be applied too thinly. Another cause is the primer was not dry before applying the top coats.
That covers most of them
It seems a pain to have to test first, but once you do it you know for the future. ALso you can ask on the forums for others experiences. I had to change paints for this tutorial (no longer able to get the paints I always used). Despite both the new and old being epoxy enamel with a rust guard, they were different brands and the difference was noticeable. This paint seemed thinner and the primer more reactive to contaminants. In fact the primer I would say is terrible and I won't be using it again
Besides the unexpected fisheyes in the test stage, I also got 2 in my primer coat on the topside of the base. Despite doing everything right, or so I thought. Something caused it. I am thinking rust absorbs oil so that could have been it. I didn't prepwash it enough
Also for the first time I came across a problem between different metals. I tested the primer on rust converter on the base and it seemed fine. As mentioned I got fisheyes but I had not used a prepwash. However on the tin part of the burner I got fisheyes in every spot I used converter. Maybe because it was tin? I don't know.
The whole base of the burner was converted, it reacted
And every spot seen here is where I applied the converter.
However below this line is where I had applied the converter then a quick flashover with primer. Compared to above the line (ignore the deliberate smudge) there was no difference. A scratch test in the primer on both rust converted area, and not revealed no difference in primer adhesion
For this tutorial and my own benefit I tried the normal primer on brass. It seems fine, and doesn't scratch off with my fingernail. Only time will tell and I will follow this up with results
Engine Frame in Primer
Being a different brand than I was used to (both paint and prepwash) I tried the prepwash on the primer and the converter. Good thing I did, it does strip them.
This is from dipping my finger in prepwash and wiping on the primer after they had dried
When removing overspray topcoats after the drying time the prepwash didn't have any effect.
Painting around decals.
First step is to check paint compatibility so if you are keeping the decal, but stripping the paint, clean the underside of the base with prepwash before doing anything else. Spray a spot test to ensure there is no reaction. Most show up within minutes, but leave it a day to be sure. It's worth checking the primer on existing paint too. The reason being is some original paint will be left when keeping a decal so the original paint will need to handle everything you put on it, prepwash, primer, top coat. Ensure this border of paint is clean and give it a light scuff with wet and dry if possible.
Remove the paint whatever way you find best like sanding. Using stripper will be tricky as you don't want it anywhere near the decal
You want to leave a small buffer of original paint around the decal. The more the better, but the more noticeable it will be.
1) There is a product hobby stores sell like a liquid latex for masking. Paint it over the decal, paint, then remove. I don't know what effect it has on old decals. It should be safe, however if it removes parts of the decal it may not have been worth saving anyway.
2) Using thin plastic something similar to the clear windows in packaging like found on battery packets, boxed toys etc. You want it thin, but not so thin that it's like paper.
The idea of the buffer of existing paint is to avoid bleed into the decal, help blending and finishing. The buffer should be about 3mm around the edge of decal.
If masking as in step 1, paint the product over the decal and into the existing paint, stopping about 1mm from the edge of the paint (=1mm from the start of bare metal). Paint the primer then remove the mask (as per it's directions)
You may end up with a raised edge. If so you can very carefully sand it or leave it.
When ready for the top coats, mask again, this time stopping about 1mm in from the edge of primer. Spray your top coats and remove mask.
This will stand out, either by the paint colour difference, raised edge, or both. Not much can be done with colours unless you get a perfect match. Again you can try careful sanding or buffing any raised edge but really it's not worth the risk. You are not aiming for factory perfect, just saving the decal.
Using plastic is much the same. You can scan your decal for a template, cut plastic to size, then another slightly smaller. Use the larger piece first like the masking above then prime. The trick is to get it to lay flat for spraying and removing it. The spray from a can could lift it. Try small weights or coins to hold it down. A piece of dowel with blu tac pushed down at the end works ok to remove it. I'd only use this if you cannot get the masking stuff.
The smaller piece is used for the top coats.
Finally the finished product. Topped off with a decal courtesy of Flywheel (Chris)
That's a great tutorial. It belongs in the reference section after the weekend is over.
A very comprehensive painting guide, maybe a copy should go into the Reference Library as well.
Excellent photographs of your engines in steam Andrew.Really different from the norm.
Really fantastic action shots. The tutorial is also brilliant and I'm sure I'll refer back to it in years to come
Some splendid stuff and very useful advice there too
Wow mate, that's an awsome effort! Brilliant idea for the engines in motion! And the paint tutorial is fantastic! Exactly as Roly says that belongs in the reference section after the weekend!
Great pics and i've learnt a lot from your paint guide,
I have to agree with everyone else as the paint tutorial would be great for the reference section and would be welcomed by a lot of people. Thanks for taking the time and effort for doing it Andrew and that Mamod looks fantastic!
Excellent insight into what constitutes a great paint job.
Pictures of toy steam in action, wonderful stuff.
Beautifully taken pictures
Excellent tutorial.... that's how everyone should do it!
Thanks for the paint guide it is so helpful.
Awwwwww ... nice photos mate, very nice photos indeed!
You can just "feel" the engines running in them.
Andrew, you must have been a photographer and/or body shop operator in a former life!!!
Those photos are outstanding and your prep/paint tutorial is a definite keeper...thanks for the great job putting that together, you will save many a restorer headaches down the road.
Thanks all for the kind comments.
I have kept a copy of the guide and will place it in the ref section during the week.
All day at work today so I decided to steam the SE1 from the guide and take some pics. While it's good for paint to look good and protect, it's true test is steaming.I only applied the decal yesterday so I protected it from oil and water for this firing.
As I used normal primer on the copper/brass of the engine frame and the burner I labelled it as an experiment. I realyl expected it to at least fail on the top of the wick holders but it was fine.
The engine after the firing. It was here I realised I forgot to clean off the base feet
I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks for viewing my table and for the commetns.
Well done to everyone who participated in this years event making it so successfull.
Now to spend some time viewing the other tables
Great pics of such lovely engines mate !
I really gotta improve my painting skills , so your guide will be real handy .
Top notch work in all repects mate , well done !
Great pictures and the SE1 turned out to be a beaut'.
Lovely finish to that SE1 mate - looks like new without going over the top. The postie must have known that you need that decal to finish it off, .
So true mate. Thanks for that decal too. It got here Friday, just in time especially considering we don't have a postie on Saturdays
Oh.. my goodness
I really like them all, wonderful
Great to see that beautifully restored brass flywheel SE1 in steam and a fitting end to your table Andrew.
Great table mate.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Nice engines, great photography.
The SE1 looks fabulous and have enjoyed all your steam photographs.
thats a great job there Wallace!
Well done Wallace, that steams superbly and looks a million dollars
The Denying Dutchman
Beautiful pictures and a perfectly performed restoration makes a great table.
Excellent stuff and honestly very tempting distractions from my railway interests!
Thanks for posting
You are the man for 'frozen' pics. Great table
Fantastic Andrew !!!!!
Thanks for sharing all this.
Great table, Andrew.
Your photographs are brilliant!
Great photos with all that steam coming out the stacks. What shutter speeds are you using.
Thank you everyone for your kind words.
I think the longest shutter speed I used was 1.5 secs with most around 1 sec.
Some pics were taken semi auto (I only adjusted shutter speed) and other were taken full auto on the night setting.
A great table mate, well done, a great table to browse and to return to