Friday, March 11, 2005

Technology-art project #3

This the latest in my series of weird technology art projects. Having already done two cellphone faceplates and a computer case, I used a 256MB flash drive manufactured by Kingston.

Stage 1: Unpainted

For best results, use 1000 grit sandpaper to remove the pre-existing finish so the paint will get a stronger grip on the surface.

Stage 2: Initial orange coat

The first layer of colours should be done in coats. I ended up using Testors' Model Paint which adheres to plastic quite well. I masked off some of the areas, partly because I wanted the logo to show through, but mostly because the green LED would be obscured by the paint if I didn't.

As I used a brush, the strokes came through. This is why multiple coats are necessary. Again for best results, 1000 grit sandpaper was used to smooth out the brush strokes.

Stage 3: Stripes masked off, painted in black

To create the tiger stripes effect, I tore strips of masking tape and wrapped them around. I decided to tear them rather than cut as I wanted a more organic appearance. I used a vice grip to keep the painted surfaces undisturbed.

Stage 4: All colours applied

After the tape was removed, there was some spill outside the lines, but these were touched up.

Stage 5: Final stage, with 2 coats of clearcoat applied

Clearcoat is good for smoothing out most of the lines and the texture. I ended up using Tremclad spray clear coat, which isn't necessarily the best applicator for smaller jobs like this, as it's harder to control the spray. But as model paint isn't intended to be repeatedly handled, it's important to do as it'll save the colours for a long time.

Next project: Will probably do another cell phone case.

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