Tag Archives: paint

Paint and materials arrived and a busy day with more panel priming and seat box building

During the week the faux leather turned up which I mentioned about ordering in my previous blog post and for £14 from eBay I was well impressed… I now have a 200cm (2m) by 131cm (1.3m) cut of fire resistant faux leather of which I will be using to cover my glare shield with, top-part of my side-stick pedestal and of-course the rim around the top of the centre pedestal… hopefully it will do the job and make the cockpit look great!

All the bits and pieces ready to go..

On my lunch break at work yesterday I took a trip across town to B&Q and purchased a small roller set for a couple of pounds, two extra foam roller head’s (I plan on using one for each coat in case they go funny after each coat – when they dry out etc.), some Evostick IMPACT glue which I will use to stick the faux leather to the MDF and of-course the specially mixed Airbus structural paint colour (RAL5017 in a Matt Emulsion finish) – In total the bits that I purchased from B&Q yesterday cost me £32 which I cannot really complain at 🙂

All sanded down and smooth… ready for its second coat of primer.

After applying the first coat of primer (Spare emulsion that I had in the shed) to my MDF panels and the pedestal last weekend, I was keen to wake up early this morning and get out in the garden to sand down the panels ready for their second coat of primer.

I was lucky with the weather and all day it remained generally sunny so I was able to fully apply the second coats of primer to all the panels including pedestals sections and then they all dried happily in the sun allowing me to the start on the seat box of which I would mount my BMW seat on top of…

Primed panels and pedestal sections drying nicely in the sun!

So having found some 2×4 timber in the shed and doing some research online (watching a few YouTube video’s of Airbus cockpits) I soon came to the decision that using one length on its side and one laying down raised the seat adequately – The seat I am using has some fancy controls on the side also allowing me to lower or raise the seat within a range of about 100mm (10cm) which is also pretty cool so I have some room at-least of errors 😉

So once I was happy with the general height of the seat – I worked this out mainly by comparing my seating position (my knee location against the upper pedestal compared to that of the first officers in this YouTube video) I then attached the seat runners to the wood with two large woodscrews and two pieces of cut out aluminium plate that I used as a washer for the rear holes as the woodscrew’s head passed through the rear holes.

The new seat-box/raiser unit in its raw, unpainted form…

Once mounted, the seat was very stable and I then screwed the lower piece of 4×2 on its flat side to the upper piece of 4×2 which the seat was mounted to, to strengthen up the two runners I then used some 12mm MDF cut to size (140mm high by 540mm wide) and then screwed across the two new raiser blocks to create a box like structure.

As you can see from the image, I also used a hole cutting drill piece to drill a hole in the front of the seat box in case I later wanted to install some foot well lighting or had  a need to feed some cables through.

Now that the seat-box/stand was ready to be primed I found another tin of surplus emulsion from the shed (as I had used up the other tin on the panels and pedestals earlier today) and then primed that too and is now drying in the garden as we speak (well as I type this blog entry!)… Once its dry I’ll pop out and just pop some wood filler in the counter sunk wood screws so that hopefully tomorrow when I get back on with the project I’ll be able to sand it down and have a full smooth surface ready for the second coat of primer.

Seat box in with it’s first coat of primer on

So as its getting on now and I’m due to head off out this evening I’ll be calling it a night until tomorrow morning, where and when hopefully it will be nice weather again all day and I can then get on with the bits and pieces that I hope to achieve tomorrow which are:-

  • Sand down and apply second primer layer to the seat-box/stand.
  • Lightly sand down all the panels and the pedestal and apply the first coat of RAL 5017 (…exciting!)
  • Start work on the side-stick pedestal.

Fingers crossed the weather will be as good tomorrow 🙂


Very productive weekend… Priming, sanding and ECAM/Throttle/Engine panel

I had a very active weekend on my project this weekend, here is a quick summary of what I achieved this weekend:-

  • Primed my pedestal (that I constructed last weekend).
  • Primed my MIP frame and glare-shield casing.
  • Screwed and glued the glareshield housing together.
  • Confirmed that B&Q will mix RAL codes.
  • Designed and printed the upper centre panels for my pedestal (ECAM brightness, ECAM mode switches and LED indicators as well as Engine starter panel), mounted and soldered in all the electronics.

So a little more in-depth now then…

From my last post that I made about last weekend, I found some old emulsion paint (a creamy colour that I had previously used to decorate a room in my house) of which was surplus to requirements and perfect for priming my MDF pedestal, the reason for priming the MDF is two reasons really firstly to seal the MDF, as you may know MDF is terrible for absorbing moisture and after cutting and sanding my panels the MDF fibres are left very exposed by coating the MDF in emulsion you are sealing the MDF and will be less prone to swelling due to moisture etc. in the future the other reason is to provide a good surface to paint the final layer(s) on later 🙂

I also had a nice surprise yesterday when I came across my MIP stand components which I had previously cut out last year (I had completely forgotten I had done that :)) so on Saturday I gave my pedestal a good coat ensuring the outer/visible walls and all cut  edges had a good coat of emulsion, I left to dry overnight and then lightly sanded down with sandpaper to remove the brush strokes etc and generally give a smooth even feel and then applied a second coat and is now back in the shed… ready for next weekend along with my MIP frame of which I also primed!

The next step once all items have been primed, sanded, a second primer layer applied and sanded once more will then be to apply several layers of the final colour, as mentioned above B&Q have confirmed they can mix colours based on a RAL colour code which I am extremely happy to hear 🙂 – Weather permitting I’ll make a trip to B&Q this weekend to get the colour mixed for the pedestal and MIP frame – I have heard that prices for custom paint mix starts at £22.

Sorry to be working backward but on Saturday I concentrated on getting my upper pedestal panel complete (well started and complete) as I am using a customised Saitek Throttle I needed to incorporate that into a panel, currently the cheapest Airbus Throttle and Engine Starter panel is over £1,500 (well out of my price range when I have many more important things to sort out for now) so I decided to incorporate the ECAM panel, throttle and engine starter panel on a single panel but made to look as if it was three (photos to come). All the momentary switches, toggle switches, encoders and rotary switches are now mounted and spent many hours yesterday soldering LED’s, resistors and switches together…. all of which seem to be working OK but still need to do the final test if FSX later on.

The upper centre pedestal panels was designed by myself in Adobe Illustrator (a great vector design tool) and then printed off, laminated then then carefully cut out with a Stanley knife (I should probably use a Scalpel knife but I didn’t have one to hand) the holes for the switches and LED’s etc then marked the 3mm PVC foamex before drilling the holes…. the Foam-ex is semi ridged and gives the switches a sturdy   mounting plate. After that was ready and confirmed that the PVC holes lined up with the laminated panel holes I then used double sided tape to stick the laminated panel design to the PVC panel and then finally mounted all the switches and LED’s and the Saitek Custom Throttle.

All-in-all a VERY productive weekend… lets see what next weekend brings although on my ‘to-do’ list of which I hope to achieve is as follows:-

  • Get the side-stick stand out of the loft, get that finished – a whole needs cutting for my Logitech Attack3, sanded down, primed… ideally want to elevate the left side of the stick and provide a slanted look stick (using some precision cut and sanded MDF)
  • Apply the second coat of primer to the MIP frame panels.
  • Give a final sand to the pedestal now that it has had both of it’s primer layers applied.
  • Get some PVC Faux leather cloth ordered from eBay (during the week hopefully to have in time for the weekend)
  • Get the Airbus blue colour mixed by B&Q.
  • All going well and I do manage to get the Airbus blue paint from B&Q, I will then apply a total of three layers using a foam roller to the Pedestal and MIP stand… After leaving for a week to dry etc I will then aim to upholster the glare-shield top and pedestal rim using the Faux leather to complete the pedestal and glare-shield 🙂

Really good progress (in my opinion) so far, still loads more to do but I am looking forward to it and gives me stuff to do 🙂