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1 - Prepping and Priming the Adobe


Adobe Building A
Product #
101
Manufacturer
Suggested Retail Price
US$20


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Revision Log
10 March 2000converted to new format
3 June 1997page first published

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©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Prepping

We picked this building to start with, since it looked the simplest. It's basically a two-story tower with a one-story, added-on room. There are two doors and two shuttered windows, all in the front, half at ground level and half on the second story. (That second-story door is going to look a bit odd, unless I build a balcony onto this building...) There are five buttresses (two on the right and left sides, one in front), and a "front porch" slab on the ground in front of the ground entrance. This building is molded onto a 3/8" thick base, with beveled edges.

My first step was to touch up some of the rough spots: some bumpiness in the roofs, and some irregularities in the roof/wall joints. I'd heard on Usenet that Resinlite was amenable to sanding, so I grabbed my sanding tools.

(In this case, I don't even know the brand name of the tool I used. A few years back, wandering into a hair care products shop in the trail of my wife, I stumbled upon a bin of what I suppose are nail buffing things - essentially, 1" x 1" x 4" sponges with coarse sanding surfaces on three sides. They're a great product for certain kinds of sanding tasks. [In the same shops, also look for the Tropical Shine brand of mini-blocks - they are a little smaller, less coarse, with different grits on each side.] All of these filing tools wear out rapidly, but work great while they last.)

Some rapid buffing took out a prominent bump on the tower roof, and helped flatten it out (it was sunken in the middle, but not enough for me to sand it completely flat). The wall/roof joints looked as though there had been a bulge there in the original model, but I was able to easily buff the bulges out without losing any detail.

When I was done, I washed the building in warm soapy water to remove the dust, as well as any residue that might have been left in the molding process.


Priming

I decided to prime the building, in order to give the following coats a good surface to adhere to, and to "even out" the overall coloring so that the follow-on colors wouldn't be influenced by the brown shades on the unpainted building. I decided to prime with flat white, as it would make the best base for the washing technique I planned to use later on the wooden doors and shutters.

The first coat of white that I sprayed seemed to go on fine, but when I came back to see how it had dried, it looked awful - a blotchy paint job, with parts of the building looking as if no paint had been applied. It sort of looked as if the paint had decided to all flow off, but there wasn't a pool of paint at the bottom...

(I wonder - did I let the building dry long enough after washing it in warm water? Or did this flat white enamel paint not adhere to the resinlite? Or did the first coat somehow get absorbed by the resinlite?)

I decided to switch to a black primer coat, hoping both that (a) the change of color would show me more clearly what was happening, and (b) that perhaps a different paint would work better. I used an inexpensive flat black interior-exterior spray enamel.

The first coat of black worked much better than the first coat of white - most of the paint "took." Again, there were some oddities when the paint dried - in the center of the tower roof, for instance, a large patch of white in the central depression. And at the bottom edges of the building, it looked as if the paint had "flowed" into the angles and away from the wall surfaces (but not enough to cause any runs or drips).

It took two more coats of black paint to get an even coverage of the building, but in the end, the primer coat looked right.