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      Paint  Your Own Model

Interested in having a Roprey modelled on duck, magpie or grouse? We can provide you with an all-white model that you can paint yourself to look like any quarry you wish. We can also provide instructions on what primers and paints to use. This is an art form like painting decoy ducks. However, we suggest that you don’t paint a model so beautifully that you don’t want to let a falcon near it!

Your model is made of tough nylon and EPP foam (expanded polypropylene). These materials have very high surface tension and repel most liquids. They are the most challenging materials to paint. In the factory we use stickers for detailed feather patterns and a system of dyes and binders for painting.

To paint your own model, start with a white model. Sand it down lightly all over except the foam head. This will key the surface but if you over-do it you may create a rough looking patch. The head is made of moulded foam and has a sealed surface with traces of mould release wax on it. This repels water based paints. Do not try to sand this foam. If you have some large white areas, such as on a Herring Gull, just leave them untreated.

Spray on a primer. Make sure you have covered every exposed part. It is a good idea to gently rub it in while wet to ensure it is thoroughly keyed into the surface. Leave it to dry completely, preferably overnight. You then have a surface that will take acrylic paint. This is not our preferred option because in use, the model will be flexing and this will make paint flake off. Therefore use as thin a paint film as you can. Acrylic paints contain flexible polymers, but even so, if it is applied as a thick layer it will flake off or crack. Do not apply any form of sealant on top, this will just increase the risk of cracking.

Paint can weigh more than you think! It is a good idea to weigh your model before and after. Try not to change the weight by more than a few grams.

An alternative method, and the one that has yielded the best results so far, is to use a 10 to 1 mix of isopropyl alcohol (10) and soluble matt varnish (1). You then mix an aniline dye to give the colour you want. This is very thin and requires no previous priming. We will be looking into providing premixed pots to make the dyeing process even easier.

You can download photos of your chosen species from the internet. Use them to check details of feather patterns. If you get into too much detail you may not want to fly your precious masterpiece! Below you can see some examples of hand painted models. The first is a Roherring Gull, the seconds is a Roaustralasian Magpie to be hawked by a New Zealand falcon.

If your still not convinced on painting your own then send us a email and we will paint one for you!