Thursday, January 7, 2010

Painting the Overhead

Amongst several other projects relating to upgrading the simulator over the holidays, I've spent the past couple of days in-filling with colour the appropriate sections of the overhead, which actually turned out to be an easier task than first imagined - though still requiring of several hours to complete.

After consulting the main diagram that the overhead had initially been designed from, I purchased two sample pots of the necessary paints (green and blue) from our local hardware store, as they offer a service whereby they will mix any custom colours you desire. I already had a tube of orange acrylic paint laying around the workshop.

The first step was to select which portions to do first and to mask off any areas where the paint may fall into other engraved lines that are positioned nearby. Paint was then applied, and pushed, into the appropriate lines fairly liberally and left to dry for roughly ten minutes or so. I'd actually completed the green sections previously but had forgotten to take photos of the process, so here I am beginning the blue lines.

Because the brown base of the overhead was done in a semi-gloss paint and was extremely hard from having been completed a long time ago, the newly-dried paint around the in-filling sections was easily removed by simply 'scratching' it off. Care was taken not to scratch the finish beneath however, by protecting it from my fingernail with an old rag.

It wasn't so much of an issue with the text (as I'm shown working on above) but with the other main lines it was important not to have too much excess paint to wipe off around them and to make sure that it was properly dried - because if it isn't there's a chance of the paint 'tearing' as it's removed, which results in an uneven finish due to paint possibly being pulled out of the areas you're trying to fill.

And here are some photographs of the completed look ...

The next post will probably concentrate on the fire handle panels again, as I've been reading the ATR 72-500 manual where it mentions a far more involved start-up procedure than I've been performing. This includes (amongst other things) testing the engine fire alarm operations prior to engine start, so I've been spending time wiring these up properly to transform several components which were initially simply dummy parts into fully operational pieces.

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