The Cub Den

The Cub Den

Jim Williamson on how he painted his Cub using Jerry Nelson’s System 3 paint.


  • 1 – Fleischman margarine tub (3-1/2″ w/lid). Keeps paint fresh and cleans easily.
  • 6 – 2-1/2 inch wide cheap foam paint brushes.
  • 1 – small glass eye dropper from drug store.
  • 1 – pint of water.
  • 6 – 1 oz plastic medicine measuring cups from drug store.
  • 4 – stir sticks.
  • 4 – ziplock sandwich bags
  • 1- 1/8″ wire formed for mixing paint with electric drill
  • 1 – pair of panty hose (don’t let the fellows catch you with these)
  • 1 – roll of paper towels.
  • 1 – pint of Jerry’s white paint
  • 2 – pints of Jerry’s yellow paint
  • 1 – bottle of crosslink

Make sure the Koverall (or whatever you are using) and all rib tape edges are glued down Lightly sand off excess glue or dope.  Get all pieces ready and ensure any bolt holes are not covered with fabric Using a drill and the 1/8″ wire stir the white paint in its original container Once mixed strain all the paint through the panty hose. Gets the chunks out Using the 1 oz plastic medicine cup measure out 2 oz of white paint and place it in the margarine tub Add 16 drops of crosslink (8 drops per 1 oz paint) Use another 1 oz plastic medicine cup and measure out 1/4 oz of water. (1/8 oz per 1 oz paint) Stir it all together Using the 2-1/2″ foam brush paint the bottom of your piece Always stroke the brush in the same direction. I painted all pieces in the same direction the wind would blow across it Keep an eye on the surface you have painted. If the texture looks like the surface of a football (Graham’s description and that is what it looks like) go back over, it with the brush. This develops if there is too much paint on the fabric When finished let it dry and start another piece. (Dries in about 10 minutes) Once dry DO NOT sand anything. If you cut any of the fabric hairs, they will just continue to rise. Sand only after you have at least 4 coats of paint If you feel you need another coat of white then start over. I only added one coat Once you have everything coated in white paint you can apply the yellow Follow the same steps above for the yellow paint When you start with the yellow your first impression is “What have I done!” Don’t panic it will start to build up just like spray painting Continue with the yellow paint until you cannot see through the applied paint When finished you will have a nice smooth finish that is glossy. Just like the real Cubby.


Don’t mix more than 2 oz of paint. It goes a long way and once the crosslink is added it cannot be poured back in the original paint. It must be stored separately. When you use this paint again add 8 drops of crosslink per ounce. The crosslink evaporates in about 10 hours While using the foam brush if you notice very small black specs then stop. Pick the black specs off with a paper towel and throw away the foam brush. After a while the brush will lose small pieces as it gets cut by the rib tape edges. Use a new one When you need to stop place the lid on the margarine tub and place the foam brush in a plastic baggy to keep them fresh The paint is 100% compatible with Top Flight LustreKote Cub Yellow. I painted some yellow on a test piece left over from painting my cabin and let it set overnight. I then applied a piece of masking tape and mashed it down hard. I then yanked it off fast and no paint came with it It took 1/2 pint of white and 1-1/2 pints of yellow to complete the Cub You can use less water to thin the paint but you will get a lot of brush marks. I used 6 to 8 coats of yellow Overall it came out very nice. I made a few mistakes like sanding the paint too early.

Thanks for the article Jim, A few comments that I would like to add are:

I did not apply a white coat due to the fact that my plane was an off white in color I applied two coats with a brush and airbrushed the last coat on. An airbrush can be used but I would not recommend it to someone that is new on an airbrush. Takes a lot of time to figure out what setting to use Adding line, numbers or details. Apply a coat of paint around the tape so that if the paint bleeds under the tape it will be the color of the plane and not the color of the detail A big plus is that it can be applied in door safely, and that you need no big dollar equipment to apply the paint. As Jim said in the article, all he used was a foam art brush that can be gotten at Wal-Mart for about 50 cents each.

If you have any questions feel free to contact JimWilliamson, Nelson HobbySpecialties or myself

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