Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dirty Job for a nice Autumn Day

A while back I bought myself a "Blackridge Mini Air Sand Blaster Kit" from Supercheap Auto. They were on special at the time for about 20 bucks or so against the current regular price of about 55 fun tickets and you can see them from time to time at the special price, so just keep an eye out for it.

I ran mine from my little compressor which is only capable of about 25-30 psi at continuous use, which is at the lower end of the range to use the blaster, with 30-60 being what they advise. I had good results at the lower pressure though, but could see where at times higher umph would be good.

Since the unit only came with a small container, 150 gm, of grit to use, I needed to get some more before I started anything. Supercheap do nut sell this fine grit, so I hunted some down and ordered some online from a mob called Aussie Sapphire Lapidary Warehouse out at Glen Innes in NSW. The original grit with the blaster was 240, so from the lapidary mob I got a kilogram each of the 220, 400 and 600 grade Silicon Carbide grit. At 10, 11 and 15 bucks a kilo plus 5 bucks per kg postage, I was very happy with the pricing. Their service was also very fast and it was only days later the little postman was delivering my package.

So here we see the original grit and the three new ones. Oh, and DO NOT OPEN INSIDE THE HOUSE. I did and the kitchen bench took ages to clean afterwards. The 600 grit in particular goes absolutely everywhere.

Messy. It is messy. Luckily I was playing around outside in my pergola and could hose it off after playing around. I am awaiting a delivery of a small modellers airbrush station with  a venting fan and will see if it can control the mess, but I think outdoors is best so far. Here is my setup for the day with grit all over it and my hand all covered in very fine glittering grit.

So carrying on from my last blogs about using the Frosted Glass can of paint to weather some wagons, I grabbed the duplicate untouched wagons I still had and gave them a bit of a blast. I practiced with some other items around the place first and have found that I like the 400 grit. 240 is also good and the 600 a lot too fine for me as it tends to clump. So with a full tank of 400 grit I attacked the wagons making sure to not go too heavy on plain painted surfaces - decals got a bit more attention and the paint just a going over.

Here is a blasted wagon on the left and an as purchased wagon on the right for comparison.

The process is fast and does dull the paintwork nicely. Decals fade out very nicely too. I do like it. You just have to make sure to get a stiff fine brush to get all the loose grit and dust off the wagon when done.

Here are the three wagons I did. You can see on the green BC Rail wagon that I was getting through the paint a bit too much inside the decals at the top right.

So here we have a comparison of the grit blasted wagons on the left and the original wagons on the right.

And here are the grit blasted wagons on the left compared to the Frosted Glass painted wagons on the right.

Oh, and for completeness, here are the spaceships, I mean bogies, with grit blasted on the left and Frosted Glass painted on the right.

So all up - I say it was very successful and another weapon in the arsenal of weathering.

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