The minimum number of coats of paint on the LCP cabin is three, a primer and two top coats. Painting is being carried out with a brush for rivet heads and seams etc. and flat panels are painted with a 4” foam roller.
The 4” roller is the preferred way to apply paint by most military vehicle restorers. There are no facilities to spray paint the LCP and there are features of the LCP cabin that we would like to pick out by not painting them, so hand painting is the only option. The RAF method of painting the LCP was, ‘spray it all over’; we are hand painting. Last week the LCP’s roof received its first top coat.
If anyone is interested in preserved steam engines then you’ll be aware that the groups carrying out their restoration have the same issue that we have, ‘in what livery should it be painted’. Bloodhound equipment was originally painted in Olive Drab and in later years IRR NATO Green was used. The latter shade of NATO Green was more brown that green, for reasons not understood, so the decision is to paint the LCP in its original Olive Drab. A photo further down shows a cable duct cover in Olive Drab – silk. Shades of colour do vary from the low light levels in the hangar but are OK for comparisons. The photo also shows the problem we have with matt paint as below the cable duct cover it has been easy to finger mark. The word ‘mark’ was written on the cabin wall with my finger and I didn’t have to press hard.
This photo shows the various colours I’ve been playing with which is from the top: MOD SAE 605/285, Commercially supplied NATO Green, Green – forget this one, MOD NATO Green and at the bottom Commercially supplied Olive Drab (Silk). The tin of MOD NATO Green when wet is as for the commercial NATO Green but when dry turns to a dull, very matt and almost light green. All this if for info as we are in favour of the original LCP colour of Olive Drab. The inside of the LCP doors are still in original Olive Drab.
I installed a duct cover in Olive Drab (Silk) yesterday and looking at it in the light of the general appearance of the LCP for the public (eventually) and durability of the paintwork, Neil and I agreed it was the best option. I now have a sample tin of Olive Drab (Matt) from a commercial supplier. The supplier of the paint claims their matt colours do not suffer from marking as do other matt paints. I suppose it will have a slight sheen. So the plan was to install two duct covers, one in Olive Drab (Silk) and the other in Olive Drab (Matt) so we can make a final decision re matt or silk. The supplier’s description of their matt paint is: ‘Dries to a tough, durable, matt finish that does not finger mark’. There is one downside of silk paint, it does show the ‘dinks’ in the LCP cabin walls due to it’s slightly gloss finish.
It is good having access to equipment like this to proceed safely with high-level work.
Besides the LCP roof being painted on Saturday the LCP all the LCP awning rails have had their first top coat and the base ring of the LCP cabin has been primed.
This is the rear of our work area. It shows a side wall of the LCP cabin, the T86 and the T86 aerial cage. The blue plastic box contains salvaged cable duct covers, two have been used to replace missing covers on our LCP and the rest cannibalised for parts, e.g. chrome budget lock covers where the originals had been snapped off. Our objective is to get the LCP back to an A1 condition.
Pete H was keen to get a ‘kit of parts’ sorted for refitting the various plates and covers etc. on the LCP so time isn’t wasted on Saturday ‘duty’ hunting and gathering ‘stuff’. During the week he cleaned out the rivet holes and re tapped all the ¼” UNF holes on the plates used to fit the canvas over the roof joints, 58 of them. He also made up the gaskets for these plates that go between the mild steel of the plate and the alloy roof section. Just need to finish the kit with the required pop rivets at washers then we can re fit these plates before the roof gets a final top coat.
Next job planned for this week was to re fit several budget locks to the cable duct covers. Several of the original budget locks are still in place on the covers but some fell off when removing paint and others due to corroded pop rivets and some were just missing, any missing budget locks are being replaced with locks salvaged from North Luffenham. All locks being refurbished. Pete had assembled a complete kit of bits for the cable duct covers including the rubber buffers that protect the covers when open. Replacement seals for around the edge of the cable duct covers were tested and it was found that the rubber seals donated by Pete M were a perfect fit without the need to do any cutting apart from length to give four 6’ 6” lengths to enable the door seals to be replaced too
So yesterday more painting carried out by Ian with one of the end walls receiving its first top coat
Pete M got the best job of the day, actually refitting something. The first items to be refitted are the short steel bars to which the canvas covering over the two roof joins will be bolted.
To be continued …..