To Spray or Not To Spray?
As I wanted to start spraying my models (for the big areas) rather than hand painting and making a bit of a mess of them I had decided on starting with the cans of spray from Humbrol as a first tester of the market. If this proved successful and I wanted to carry on I might consider a reasonably priced airbrush set up, but we would have to wait and see about that.
Not In My Back Yard!
So with that decision made for the time my mind turned to where I could actually do the spraying. When I was a youngster and my mother was none the wiser I would do it in my bedroom with the window open and a few bits of newspaper and perhaps a bit of a box to protect the carpet etc. But now I am a responsible adult and realize how much carpets and furniture and wotnot cost there's no way I'll be doing in the house (and SWMBO wouldn't let me with in a mile of the house with a spray can). So the next place to consider would be the great outdoors where there is plenty of ventilation, but that would severely limit when I would be able to do it do to the famous British weather, coupled with living in a fairly rural coastal area with more wind than the big city. So this left the garage which at the time of these thoughts was more than a little messy (see Operation Garage) so things were kinda put on hold for a while.
Whilst this may seem a bit of a tangent, our dishwasher was starting to fail a few months back with half the contents needing rewashing as it had failed to reach them with the washing jets. What has that got to do with spray painting models I can hear you asking? Well we bought a new dishwasher and there was a rather splendid three sided inner box made out of 1cm thick card that was incredibly sturdy and I instantly had it reserved as the walls of my spray booth! Along with the lid bit to keep it all in line. the card was of such thickness that I figured it should take staples well which could be the easiest way to hold it together.
Squaring The Box
So that was the base and sides of the of the booth sorted and I needed to figure out how to finish it all off. This went through several variations including using clear plastic dustsheets across the top and lots of other lighting ideas. But eventually (and I mean eventually) I have settled on the following ideas.
A Piece o'Cake
I could already foresee issues with getting around to the other side of anything I was spraying and I recall seeing somewhere a turntable being used to get around to all sides of a model. Where to obtain such a turntable... PING! Light bulb moment. Rotating cake decorating stand - £6.95 from Amazon Prime -
Bingo. Ordered. Arrived next day.
|Seems a good buy, and 4.3 star rated|
Blinded By The Light
With the main body of the spray booth constructed the interior was a little dark and despite the plan for a clear roof it needed more light. The easiest way I could think to get some descent light in there was with some clip on lights you can pick up from most DIY stores and some of the discount shops in the UK. I thought 3 would be plenty, one for each of the sides, with some cheap daylight bulbs (they can be had for as little as £2.99 nowadays).
Putting it All TogetherSo the plans changed a little as I got everything together but I think it has actually worked out alright.
|Marking it out|
|Getting it stuck together with some weights on top to hold it down, used PVA wood glue as well as staples as they didn't hold it as well as well as I had hoped.|
Nice powerful daylight bulbs, bargain at £2.99 each and should put out plenty of light to see by.
OK so those pictures were all taken back in April when everything was going according to plan, though slowly. Then life sort of got in the way and before I knew it we're in August and I spent more time doing Couch to 5k than I have on painting! So with a few days spare after coming back from a nice sunny holiday the partly completed spray booth started to call to me from the garage, or more it was making sarcastic comments to me every time I went in there.
And you know what there wasn't that much left to complete it really, apart from having to clear out lots of spiders and cobwebs
The lights were glued in place with a little bolt to help keep them in place, the cake stand was glued in the middle as I didn't want it moving around. and I added a bit of a roof as I didn't want stray dust and dirt just falling in if I was spraying.
|All done, with a little roof added to keep some of the dust out|
|A 1/72 Curtiss Tomahawk for scale|
|Getting the Dak primed, at last|
|It's almost a production line now|
|Keeping them covered so the dust doesn't get to them|
So there we are, finally completed my spray booth and started to spray stuff. Just need to mask up the Dak and I'll be able to make much quicker progress with the sprays for the two top colours already sat waiting to be used.