This information is meant to be General info, for helping less experienced painters (such as myself) with minimizing errors. I stumbled across this link & would like to share it:http://www.vac-u-boat.com/Spray%20Can%20Basics.htm
It shares some well explained tips for painting hobby crafts.
After reading on hobby & car body forums, here is my plan for Prep, Prime, and Painting:
Preface: Make sure you follow the Temperature/Humidity guidelines on the can. (50 to 90 degrees, 85% or less humidity)
1) Sand surfaces with 180 (some prefer 220 and 320)
2) Use soap & water to clean. Rinse with water to remove soapy film. Air Dry. This gets everything out of the crevices.
3) When setting up for paint, give it a quick wipe with alcohol to remove debris/dust. It evaporates quickly and many professional painters use it for cleaning for surface prep. Tack Cloth may be used too.
4) Plastic Primer - Shake can rigorously for 1-2 minutes. Prime with thin first coat.
5) Wait for primer to dry / flash / harden (dry to touch, not tacky/rubbery) and recoat if necessary.
6) Wait till fully dry and WET sand with 400 grit. Light rinse after. Air dry.
7) Wipe with alcohol to remove debris/dust.
Metallic Paint - Shake can, use thin first coat.
9) Wait for paint to flash and recoat.
10) wait till fully dry and WET sand with 400 grit (for better adhesion & a rougher metal look). 600 can be used also.
11) Lightly Rinse
12) Lightly pencil areas to mask for 3D weathering.
13) Masking Fluid or equivalent - apply with toothpick or fine brush (This is located with watercolors)
14) Wipe with water to remove dust/debris. (Alcohol may remove masking easier?)
15) Top Paint - Shake can, use thin firs tcoat
16) Wait for paint to flash and recoat
17) Wait till fully dry and WET sand with 1000 grit or higher (for smoother appearance). 600 gives a very rough look on gloss enamel paints. 1200 reportedly keeps the shine. 1000 takes most of the gloss away and makes it look more worn, but keeps the color.
Repeat steps 14 thru 17, with masking/painters tape to paint different areas.
Peel off masking fluid & weather as desired. Apply a light matte Clearcoat when finished to dull any gloss.
Final step) Let me know if this post should be edited. I want it to be as accurate as possible, without being too overbearing for new painters.
Here is some follow-up after following this paint plan:
I used 2 cans of Metallic, 2 cans of Plastic Primer, and 2 cans of Top Coat. This coated all the Jango-style armor plates from collar down to toes. This does not include gauntlets or helmet, but it does include the kidney plate. It managed to cover 3-4 passes, which measured about 2 medium coats on the front and the back of the armor. I only painted part of the back - just enough to get all the edges.
I used the same amount of paint on my helmet, both gauntlets, blasters, and all the greeblies. So 4 cans of each that goes on everything.
FYI, I suggest painting in a covered area with air ventilation. I painted outside on a 60 degree day with 40% humidity, and it felt great outside. But the wind gusts would ruin the spray pattern, and during the hottest part of the day, the direct sunlight caused the paint too dry too quickly (causing some wrinkles). Also, had a couple instances of random debris flying onto the wet paint.
I painted in the middle of the garage, with the garage door open at 2 feet. This worked out well - enough ventilation and minimal wind. Laid down a painters mat in the middle of the garage for overspray (which only over-extended by a few feet). Be careful when walking around the project, the paint will stick to your feet!
I placed photos a few posts down of my working area, showing the coat hangers and unique ways of holding up things for painting.