A year ago I was buying my Overlander! Happy Anniversary Moonraker! Now I'd be happier if I had a little more to show for it but... it is what it is. There has been no progress, it's a little like watching grass grow. Scratch that, it's A LOT like watching grass grow!
She still languishes in Colin's parking lot. Every once and a while my BIL takes pity on me and if he's driving by will send me a picture of her. So sad. Pity party over.
In an effort to console myself, I started work on my nameplates, something I've been promising to work on since, well.... forever.
I had already stripped most of the paint off the nameplates,but even Citristrip couldn't budge some of it.
Out came the dremel with a wire brush. WEAR GLOVES!!!!! Little pieces of the wire brush come flying off and embed them selves under your skin (Ask me how I know!) Ouch Ouch.
I was careful to keep it off the actual letters because I didn't want to spend a lifetime polishing them!
and after. You'll notice I have started to polish the letters up here, but that required rounding up the usual suspects.
I grabbed every metal polish in the house to do a little comparison test. The top one is called Top Brite. The one on the left has recently become a star on Youtube as the polish of choice for Rob Baker (of The Vap fame - see The Vintage Airstream Podcast | Vintage Trailer Resotration
Polishing is dirty work! I got out my trusty dremel and chucked in a felt tip. The truck box polish is a liquid and has a little grit in it, the other three are a pink creamy consistency. I used Windex and paper towels to clean up the black crud. Worked well enough. I was going to try to catch the differences in each polish but it was like trying to take pictures of a Yeti. Just didn't show up on film!
I must concur with Rob though, the truck box polish worked the best. It was however, also the messiest, the dremel flung spots of it in wild abandon all over me, the table, the floor... Note to self, this is a good time to wear black!
Here's the felt tip I used, I also tried a felt wheel but it kept coming off the mount, I didn't like it as much as this one It's model number 422 It's as elusive as snow in NH this winter .... sorry, not found in the usual box stores. I am lucky to have a local hardware store that is superb, this is one of those stores that if THEY don't have it, YOU don't need it. And
**** Gasp**** the employees are so knowledgeable that I often play "What the $%^& is this part??" with them and they rarely disappoint! Pure candy for someone like me. They greet me with "Watcha got today?" I'm quite sure I've been the hot topic in the break room more than once! LOL I 'm wandering off the subject again huh?
Next up, I used automotive green tape to mask off the letters and a sharp razor blade to trim. I like this green tape way more than the usual blue painting tape. IMHO it makes a much cleaner edge. I used a plastic orange razor blades to "score the edges" before using the exacto blade. I picked some of the plastic razor blades on Amazon after a forum member recommended them and find my self constantly reaching for them. A belated thanks to DKB SATX!
Notice what letter I am avoiding????? Straight lines are easy with a razor blade, curves, not so much.
A new group of suspects! Time to pick paint. From right to left
Why so many? Well, my serial number plate (which is next up) actually incorporates 2 different blues a bright and a dark, so I wanted to make sure I had enough contrast. For these nameplates, I just had to make a decision between the first three. I liked the sail blue but felt it was a little bright, ultimately I opted for the one in the middle, the royal blue.
First I primed with bare metal primer followed by two coats of Royal Blue. To get the smoothest coat you lay on a thin coat followed by a flood coat. I won't say I'm the queen of spray painting but there is a permanent divot in my right forefinger!
I waited a couple hours and stripped the green tape off and Voila!
*cue copious sobbing*
I LOATHED it!
The blue was too dark, the spray paint had an orange peel texture that was blech
and in certain areas the gray primer showed on the edges of the letters. I know it looks okay in the picture. I should have taken a close up, but quite frankly, I was having a hissy fit thinking of re-taping all those letters! I got back on the Airforums because I could have sworn I read that Royal Blue was the closest to the factory color and ... double darn.... nope it was FORD blue.
Okay...... Okay, I can do this. Waaaahhhhhh
Citristrip to the rescue.
I think I've been here before, no REALLY , pretty sure.
To make a long story short I redid everything using Duplicolor Ford Blue. Actually the paint was FAR superior. I used the Duplicolor clear etching primer first and then three coats of color, two thin and one flood coat. It went on much smoother and thinner than the Rustoleum. Phew.
The skies opened up, the angels sang and my life was right again
For a comparison the one on top is Rustoleum Royal Blue and Ford Blue is on the bottom.
Next up - the serial number plate. It's going to pose some additional problems with the two tone blue finish so all this practice might be a good thing! At least that's what I'm going to tell myself.
My goodness - if I write this long of a post about 2 little nameplates what's going to happen when I get to the really hard stuff!