Where to find Humbrol #11 paint / HP 15c restoration ?'s



#24

Hello all,

recently purchased a 15c for a price I could not argue with. It arrived fairly dirty, but after some good cleaning, I was very impressed with the condition.

However, the hp15c logo inside the bezel has a bit of the paint rubbed off the raised lettering. I found a link in this forum outlining how to restore the logo condition utilizing 'Humbrol #11 paint,' accompanied with a 'dry brush' technique. Doing a quick internet search, I was unable to locate any online dealers selling this specific paint, though I did find one seller on ebay, but they are located in the U.K. Can anyone point me in the right direction where to locate this paint more closer to home?

In addition, what kind of paint brush should I be looking at, or could I use some other household item that's a smaller and more precise (so that the silver paint doesn't get in between the lettering as well).

Secondly, there's a fairly large cluster of scratches on the aluminum bezel of my 15c. It's a centralized cluster of scratches that, despite being noticable, cannot be felt with my finger. So I'm gathering they may be readily repairable.

I read of someone using fine steel wool (I have #000 I believe) and masking off the lcd and surrounding areas and lightly going over the entire bezel linearly, and then finishing off with some metal polish. However, he also stated that it left a bit of a yellowish/gold hue on the bezel since it eliminated the original coating. Has anyone else done this or a similar method? The last thing I want to do is do irreversible damage to it. I'm also wondering if wetsanding would be a preferable method starting with a high grit automotive sandpaper such as 1500 and working your way down if you dont initially recieve desired results.

And lastly, what are your thoughts on a light application of Armor-All to the 15c chassis after everything is well cleaned (for a deep black gleam)...or will it damage the finish?

Thanks much

Edited: 15 Feb 2007, 3:21 a.m.


#25

In answering you post I risk revealing that I know far too much about another rather 'niche' hobby for which I have far far too little time!

Unfortunately Heller - Humbrol's french parent company went into receivership last year and this may be why Humbrol paints are a little hard to find at the moment. Hornby has since brought both the Humbrol and Airfix brands but it may be a while before they restart production.

You can use this
table
to find an equlivilant paint from another manufacturer.

Though they are both in the UK I'd recommend either Hannants or Modelsforsale. Unfortunately shipping paints outside the UK seems to be an issue - however Hannants have said that they can ship paint overseas, but only if it is purchased with a model kit (so you can allways start another hobby too), apparently it is something to do with the packaging. The same may be true of Modelsforsale, I haven't checked - they both have the paint you are looking for in stock as well as the metalcote polished aluminium which is supposed to give a superior metalic finish when polished with a soft cloth.

Note that if you manage to find the Humbrol metalcote paint these may need to be over coated with a layer of clear varnish to prevent the paint rubbing off.

Mike T.


#26

Wow Mike, your knowledge on this subject is beyond extensive! Thanks much! I was just curious, would the Tamiya xf-16 flat aluminum paint be 'that far off' of Humbrol #11? Because Tamiya paints are quite easily obtainable at our local stores, and I believe I could find this particular shade at a nearby mart.

I could settle with a 'little off,' but I want to keep the calculator looking as close to 'OEM' as possible. Also, if no clearcoat is used, would the paint rub off very easily?


(any advice on removing scratches from the bezel is also appreciated)

Thanks!


#27

I've only really used the Humbrol paints but I suspect that the flat finish of the Tamiya paint could be improved in this case by over coating with a clear gloss varnish, and personally if I used a Tamiya paint I'd stick with Tamiya for the varnish.

Over coating this way is a common modelling technique - though usually people overcoat a gloss paint with a matt varnish to get a matt finish, for reasons I won't go into here!

I've not had a chance to try out my own tin of Humbrol metalcote yet but it seems to be well liked by those that have used it, though obviously they weren't restoring an HP calculator!

Good luck.

Mike T.


#28

a shot with future might do the job as well...
(no. i won't reveal any further secrets of the polystyrene addicts here. promise.]

#29

Take care and test the paints first. Humbrol paints are oil based and Tamiya are alcohol based they might damage the plastic. Water based alternatives include citadel, reaper and vallejo.

I'd also think seriously about overcoating with a varnish.


- Pauli

#30

I would like to know particularly how the bezel polishing goes.

My bezel on my 11C was so scratched I couldn't bear it. I polished it with very fine grit sandpaper (as I classical guitarist I keep piles of 600 grit on hand), but now the surface is too shiny. I should try the steel wool. Of course, masking off the LCD is necessary to allow for uninterrupted straight strokes. I have just been going around it.

As for the logo, I would like to try to repaint it, but I have no idea how to keep the paint on top and out of the actually letter engraving itself.

Les


#31

Use a carpenter Crayon to fill in the emblem even, wipe off excess, then paint whole surface. The wax can then be remove by wiping out with a q-tip (perhaps soaking q-tip in water and microwaving the q-tip before use to make it hot, so as to remove the wax from the logo groves).

I have not tried this approach, but it may work! I would try on something else first, but it is an idea.

#32

Well, I just took some automotive aluminum wheel polish to the bezel, and despite getting rid of the cluster of scratches, it did make that particular area extremely 'reflective.' So now there's a highly polished area surrounded by the dull brushed aluminum finish. I have tried polishing the rest of the bezel, but I can not get it to match :( . Does look better than before though, but I'd like to get the entire face to have the original dull reflective finish. Haven't taken sandpaper to it yet, kind of afraid to. I would have thought 600 grit would be a bit too coarse, but apparently it gave you an even shinier surface. I would be hesitant to take a lower grit to it, for fear the surface scratches created by the friction may be a bit too deep.

Tricky situation. Any ideas?

#33

Is the bezel on all voyagers solid metal?

I have a 10C which after long use looks less than brand new, the main flat surface is OK but there are quite a few scratches where the metal bends. I am very reluctant to use anything abrasive as it looks like underneath a very thin metal layer it is just grey plastic...

Mike T.


#34

No clue, but I do believe the 12c bezel is of the same metal construction as the 15c. Does anyone have a spare busted up bezel from a non-working calculator that they can experiment with? It'd be nice to be able to restore these pieces to 'like oem' condition since these tend to be the main problem points with these vintage calcs.


#35

Hi,

I restored a few bessels like this:

Take the bessel of, this is very difficult and means you have to work carefully with an exacto knife.
It will come off with a few dents even if you are carefully. I used a piece of wood to knock it back in shape as best as possible. After that I use sanding paper (is this a correct word) from FESTO, starting at from 600 and going up to 1000.
This gave me a really original looking bezzel and dents made from removing it were fully gone.
After that the second difficult part comes and that is putting transparent paint on it. I used semi-gloss paint. I putt he paint in a jar and dipsticked the bessel in it (I glued a piece of wire on the backside temporarily to be able to dip it) and then had it dry for some time. It took a few attempts to get it real even and dust free. The paint when not looking oké I removed with some chemical cleanser (trichloor ethyleen). It helps to warm the paint a bit, then, this helps to flow evenly when I hanged it for drying.
When it was oke I put it back on the HP with some thin doublesided tape.

Hope you have something from my experiences.

Ronald


#36

^^ Thanks very much for the info! I wonder if I could try and sand the bezel by masking off everything and leaving the bezel on? Perhaps cutting the sandpaper into little 'squares' that match the height of the bezel so I could get even coverage.

I'm going to test the top of the bezel with 800 grit and see how it goes.

One question, did you wetsand or drysand? I wonder if the clearcoat stage could be skipped if you just put a very light coating of polish on it (if sold to a collector, I doubt they'd be handling it rough anyways).

Any pictures of your finished product? I'm very curious to see.


#37

http://members.optusnet.com.au/brushedipod/

Came accross this link doing an internet search. That looks just about like the look I'm going for (maybe just a 'tad' bit duller). But the general idea is there. I shall try this out this weekend and post up my results. wish me luck.


#38

I have tried the scotch brite kitchen sponge before but just got more smoothness and shininess. Guess I wasn't rubbing hard or long enough.

I have gotten a not bad result with a coarser sandpaper (I have 180 grit here--yes that is correct), masking, and a few gentle strokes. It is not perfect, but it is closer to the desired effect.

Fine sandpapers will just buff down the mat finish and make it shine. So will the kitchen sponge, I think, if you don't rub hard enough.

Would like to know what you end up choosing for a clear paint/sealant.

Les


#39

You were right. I actually just tried 400 grit sandpaper (wet), and it still turned out shinier than I wanted. I guess I'll have to go down to 200 or below to get the effect I want. It's just extremely hard to sand it down while the bezel is on the calc due to having to sand the edges down to the same level.

I'd like to take the bezel off, but that's a big risk, and I don't think I'm willing to take it.


#40

I used 180 grit and it is just about right.

I am not looking for a perfect effect but I wanted to get rid of shine.

The calculator is a real beater so I did take the bezel off once to clean the clear display plastic (glad I did, display much crisper now). An Xacto knife is too sharp and stiff, I would guess. I used, of all things, a collar stay from a dress shirt. It bends around edges so I was able to wiggle it around to separate the bezel off. But I still got a little creasing.

Let us know what you ultimately chose to use as the clear protective layer.

Les


#41

I came across an unused kitchen sponge and gave it a fresh try--my last experiment used one that was "worked in" and lacked newness and full roughness.

After roughening up the surface with 180 grit paper, a light, linear buffing with the new pad gave the closest effect I have ever managed to achieve so far. But the key is the pad needs to be new and rough. The pad I used had black material on the rough surface not green like the one I used before. I don't know if this was the difference between my experiences. I think the freshness and roughness of the scotch brite or similar material is key.

It is not perfect--this is a working calculator and I am not looking to OEM perfection--but when I sit it beside my near-mint 15C the dullness and colour of the bezel is now very close. But there is no way I am going to get the 11C to look as good as the 15C. The former was used daily and roughly in the field by someone who didn't have a sentimental attachment to HPs and now tells me he prefers an $11 Sharp for his daily work. The latter was a present in college, lightly used, then sat in the owner's dresser drawer for twenty years. But I can tell you this 11C looks a helluva a lot better than when I got it. The next steps for me are sealing the new finish (let me know what you choose) and trying to repaint the silver on the logo. Thanks to Randy of FixThatCalc.com, I already have a good supply of extra feet.

I have been courageous with this since I have been resigned that this is a working grade unit and I doubted I could make it look worse than when I got it. Indeed, if I end up botching it I am quite happy to sell it at a loss (who wouldn't want a working 11C for 75 or 100 bucks even if it is cosmetically challenged?) and get a nicer one. Fortunately, I don't think I have to now.

The side benefit of all this is all this rubbing has reduced the appearance of light creasing from when I took the bezel off.

Let me know how you make out.

Les


#42

I know someone in the metal fabrication industry; perhaps if someone can get some accurate measurements of the bezel, I can draw it up in SolidWorks and get a quote for having new ones made.

I don't have a loose bezel, and I'm not confident in my ablity to take one off a Voyager without mucking it up enough that I couldn't get good dimensional data from it.


#43

Quote:
I know someone in the metal fabrication industry; perhaps if someone can get some accurate measurements of the bezel, I can draw it up in SolidWorks and get a quote for having new ones made.

I don't have a loose bezel, and I'm not confident in my ablity to take one off a Voyager without mucking it up enough that I couldn't get good dimensional data from it.



Wow that would be awesome. Unfortunately I don't think I'll be taking off my bezel soon so I can't get you accurate measurements. How much do you estimate they'd cost?


#44

Quote:
How much do you estimate they'd cost?

At this point I have no idea. The cost will depend a lot on the quantity, and I doubt that I can sell very many.

Note that I will *NOT* make replacement logo/model badges due to the trademark. I suppose I could make replacements that don't have the HP logo, but I doubt that anyone would want them that way.

I wonder if I could use a solvent to remove a bezel from a broken Voyager without damaging the bezel? Maybe some acetone?


#45

"I wonder if I could use a solvent to remove a bezel from a broken Voyager without damaging the bezel? Maybe some acetone? "

If you have just the plastic and the bezel and the plastic is deemed to be beyond all hope, you might try methyl-ethyl-ketone (MEK). This might be available at an industrial paint shop. It dissolves just about anything plastic (and try not to breathe the fumes too much!).

#46

Hi,

I did not use wet sanding. I guess the mattenes depends on te make of the sanding paper. With the Festo stuff I had a similar mateness as the factory bezels.
I did take of the bezel for you can not make it 100% even if the glass is in at the frame nor at the corners.

Scotch brite kitchen stuff is certainly to fine, it makes it shiny.

If you do not coat it the bezel is very sensitive to scratches and fingerprints, so i my opinion not coating is not an option. The only real differentiator I have today is the thickness of the coating. In my case it is much thicker that the original, but that had to do that I could not find a tough coating brand over here.

Ronald


#47

Quote:
Hi,

I did not use wet sanding. I guess the mattenes depends on te make of the sanding paper. With the Festo stuff I had a similar mateness as the factory bezels.
I did take of the bezel for you can not make it 100% even if the glass is in at the frame nor at the corners.

Scotch brite kitchen stuff is certainly to fine, it makes it shiny.

If you do not coat it the bezel is very sensitive to scratches and fingerprints, so i my opinion not coating is not an option. The only real differentiator I have today is the thickness of the coating. In my case it is much thicker that the original, but that had to do that I could not find a tough coating brand over here.

Ronald


I know what you mean about not leaving a coating on it. I got pretty good results with Fine steel wool, however it's still a bit more reflective than I think it should be. I just have to fine something a 'bit' more coarse.

The only thing about clear coating it, is that all the clearcoats that I know of only 'enhance' the shinyness/reflectiveness. This is where my problem lies. I thought I could just spray some automotive heavy duty wheel clearcoat but that would only make it look closer to a mirror reflection.

This is getting a bit frustrating...


#48

What about coating it, then buffing the coating?


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