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Sealing a body Skin

Discussion in 'Ask The Pros' started by Joanna Barker, Jan 19, 2022.

  1. Joanna Barker

    Joanna Barker Pack Champion

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    My grandson is planning on using a body skin this year on his pinewood derby car. After it has been applied to the car, and dried, can he spray a sealer on it to help with aerodynamics? Or is this even necessary? Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. CastleCrasher

    CastleCrasher Pinewood Ninja

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    Can't answer if it's necessary to seal the skin wrap. Last couple of years I've spray painted my son's cars with a clear enamel paint, from dollar general. Turns out good. Not exactly a professional quality paint job but it's good. Out on a limb, there's some debate on how much aerodynamics factor in on pinewood derby. Obviously physics are at play, but would a sealed skin improve performance vs unsealed? Assuming sealed is smoother then I'd assume it to be more aerodynamic also. I'll hazard a guess of 0.0005 second difference in before and after with all else equal. I could be wrong. My 2 cents.
     
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  3. Loud2ns

    Loud2ns Workshop Leader

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    I don't think it's necessary to seal over a skin.
     
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  4. CastleCrasher

    CastleCrasher Pinewood Ninja

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    Forgot to mention: We hand paint our cars then I spray on a clear coat to protect the design and it seems to really brighten it a bit and brings out the metallic flake sparkle that was hardly visible before clear coating.
     
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  5. Eric Scheid

    Eric Scheid Pinewood Ninja

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    E65647A2-A5D0-43DB-B146-B15905183543.jpeg Old plastic model maker secret is pledge revive It Floor Gloss. The nice thing is that it self levels and is easy to recoat. It’s easy to airbrush too (straight). Clean up is water or windex or acrylic thinner. You can wax over it once dry. It is very sticky for about 15 minutes so keep dust away. I do recommend sealing with something over anything soft or porous or decals. Sure slippery is a tiny bit better (until your car gets dropped) but the sealers can help balsa and other features hold up to impact and easier to clean. Decals like a glossy surface too. Seal decal and seal. Attached is a model we finished this week. It is a mirror finish sealing pinstripes.

    However if you plan to remove vinyl to adjust weight etc I would not bother over coating. You will just have a mess. Of course do the sealing several days before attaching anything intended to be lubed or moving.
    Good luck
     
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  6. CastleCrasher

    CastleCrasher Pinewood Ninja

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    Two and three years (PWD seasons) ago I used Future floor sealer (I think Future is basically a grandfather to the product you mentioned.) with mixed results, even after reading this whole article: https://web.archive.org/web/20210126073829/https://www.swannysmodels.com/TheCompleteFuture.html

    Sadly the original site turned into 404. I don't have an airbrush, far beyond the budget for PWD, which seems like the only way to get great results. When I used Future it was what I had available at the time, already purchased and actually it is a 10-15+ year old bottle. I somehow self discovered it's unorthodox use for clear coat sealing then found Swanny's model website. But even after buying and using Simple Green results were still mixed and the whole process was excessively tedious for the decent results despite the effort.
    Then last year a few bucks for a raffle can and appearance is good with minimal effort. Just my experience.
     
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  7. Eric Scheid

    Eric Scheid Pinewood Ninja

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    Sorry, to the original question, no I wouldn’t coat over a skin. Before or sanding sealer on wood (balsa or pine) but not on the skin.

    Besides you skin because you want a great look without the pain of compatible paints, solvents, cans, masks and airbrushes…..
     
  8. Prozach2

    Prozach2 Workshop Leader

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    LOL, I spent my whole childhood trying to figure out how to get my model cars to look shiny like that. Sure wish I'd had the internet back then!
     
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