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A while back I did a repair job on an Ingram towboat model, and noticed that it seemed to have a thick build of hard paint, which I assume was epoxy or automotive 2k. I imagine that a nice self-leveling epoxy could be an expedient way to achieve a smooth surface on a wood model of a steel boat. 


Does anyone know if this is a typical trick of the commercial trade?



Some of the damage, but the paint could take a beating!




All better now


Edited by Patrick Matthews
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I have no idea about epoxy paint except on garage floors so I am curious as well as to applications on models.  I just looked up the 2K paint and see that it can be had in a spray form as well so could be interesting as well.   Hope there are replies to your post based on personal experience.


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It A number of years ago I bought a five gallon kit of epoxy paint used for industrial tank lining applications.  It was a two part paint, two 2-1/2 gallon cans, mixed 1to 1.  We used it to coat the keel of a Soling Class Sailboat owned by our Community Sailing Association.


I brought the left over paint home and used it to paint, by brush, the carved pine hull of my Benjamin Noble model.  The idea was to provide a smooth impervious surface for application of shim brass plating attached with transfer tape.  Well, the paint worked fine providing a hard smooth matt surface.  On the other hand the 3M transfer tape did not provide a strong bond and the plates soon lifted.  The model has sat for several years and I recently lightly sanded it and remarked the plating.  PVA glue seems to tightly bond paper plates to this surface.


Epoxies are notorious for an Amine Blush that can interfere with coatings applied on top.  It is removed with soap and water.  They have poor resistance to UV radiation so if prolonged exposure to sunlight is expected they are usually top coated with something else.



Edited by Roger Pellett
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I really can't see any advantage to two-part epoxy coatings on a model. I've handled a fair bit of epoxy on full size boats. It's a good adhesive, but no so good as a surface coating. Unless it is thickened with sanding additive ("micro balloons,") it's a bear to sand. Two-part epoxies and linear polyurethane coatings are very strong and great for heavy duty applications, but there's a learning curve to their use and they are unforgiving if not mixed and applied exactly according to the instructions. They are really an industrial product. They aren't worth the trouble, expense, or mess for a small model in my opinion. There are a lot easier ways to get a smooth painted surface on a model hull than epoxy.

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I have used a clear epoxy paint to seal the inside of model hulls. It was a paint model airplane builders used to seal balsa engine mounts to make them fuel proof. It soaks into the planks and bulkheads and make a very strong hull. One hull 35 years old has never developed cracks between the planks due to wood shrinkage - a couple of older hulls have developed cracks. And it doesn't change color as far as I can tell (not a problem inside hulls).


One caution about epoxy paints. We used white epoxy paint in the missile house and nuclear weapons magazines on the USS Oklahoma City CLG-5 back in the 60s and 70s. It produced a hard surface that resisted wear better than ordinary Navy paints, even on the decks! This was important because the ship was in WESTPAC for ten straight years and couldn't offload ammunition to clear the magazines for painting. But the white paint yellowed fairly quickly.


Here is a related tidbit. The gray paint the Navy provided for painting exterior surfaces wore off quickly. We had to repaint very often. I remarked that we should use gray epoxy paint because it would last longer. I was asked what we would do then to keep the sailors busy! Chip, prime, paint, chip prime, paint ...

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