Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

Repainting Cameras

Old post but worth it !!!

Published : 4th August 2013

Does anyone have experience with having a camera Body/Mags repainted with the original "factory finish". Who does this type of work besides the obvious Arri? It is for a BL4 and a BL2.

Thanks,

Ted Wiegand
Dir/D.P.
Pittsburgh, Pa.


>> Does anyone have experience with having a camera Body/Mags

CineAsst in Toronto does this, at good prices. Call Pierre Careau at
416-975-2565.

Jeff Kreines
US


Ted Wiegand wrote:

>> Does anyone have experience with having a camera Body/Mags repainted with the original "factory finish"

I can tell you that since camera bodies are generally some aluminium alloy that painting gets a little touchy. Surfaces have to be carefully prepped and cleaned and if you get fingerprints on the metal all bets are off. Ask to see old samples of their work. All the new ones will look good.

Mark Smith
NYC


Ted Wiegand writes:

>> Does anyone have experience with having a camera Body/Mags repainted with the original "factory finish".

It's called a "wrinkle" finish. It's quite common in industry, and any industrial coater or finisher can do the work.
New coatings are called powder coatings, usually containing epoxy. They are applied electrostatic ally and then baked on.

Like getting your car painted, it's a question of how far you want to go for an original "factory finish". You can take your car to your local Maaco franchise, or to a custom restoration shop for a "frame off" paint job.

The coating part is not expensive. It's the labour to disassemble your camera and mags, prep the pieces for coating -- removing the old paint, making sure every screw hole is plugged and everything that shouldn't be painted is properly masked, and then re-assembling everything.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


>>It's called a "wrinkle" finish.

Older cameras like the 2C, 16M, S, Eclairs, etc used the wrinkle finish. I repaired a few (Mitchells too, and an FX 35 Cinema Products-I had to find wrinkle paint at a custom car shop-it wasn't easy to fid wrinkle paint(perhaps in some cities it's easier.

The CP's and Mitchells had a bigger corrosion problem (magnesium) BNC mount 2C's from Cinema Products also corroded more-the mount area did, the original body paint didn't. The white powder from this corrosion did a lot of damage if ignored, when cameras were stored unattended for long periods of time. The FX mags got completely white and corroded, once you got rid of the powder, craters were left behind, and depending on the part damage was pretty bad.

BL's had a different paint, perhaps powder coated- don't use the wrinkle finish on them-and the 35III's also have a different coating. I would contact Arri- but if you must touch up, in doubt, try a mix of black-grey flat paint, and let the can "spit" a little bit, as in the original cameras

John Babl


I own a BL and I've tried to get the paint for it. Apparently the actual Arri paint (which is different from crinkle finish) is not legal to import to the US. I went to Arri in Burbank and they denied possession of any such substance). I know a guy in Miami who owns a couple of Arri's who smuggled some in from Germany. I'm told it's a two part paint. If you find some, let me know, my camera could use a few touch ups.

Blain Brown
DP
LA


I've done a few here in the UK. To do it properly, be prepared to spend a LOT of time stripping and preparing the camera. Be aware of sound insulation, internal finish and other items installed in the castings, most of these do not enjoy being baked in ovens! ( SR mag doors for instance )The paint used by my local paint shop was a "two pack" which did not HAVE to be baked on, just took 10 days to cure properly. The paint finish is known (in the UK) as spatter. The effect is achieved by spraying the colour coat on, then using special nozzles ( there are 3 grades fine, etc ) the spatter finish is put on top. Quite an art to get right I was told.

Don't forget that tired plated parts will also have to be dealt with, otherwise you will have a camera that still looks tatty.

Andy Taylor
Camera Engineer
Arri Media
UK


>>I know a guy in Miami who owns a couple of Arri's who smuggled some in from Germany. I'm told it's a >>two part paint.

Many years ago, I used to finish many of my projects with wrinkle paint. At the time (I haven't looked for it in ages) it came in a spray can, made by one of the big companies (Krylon??).

The way it was applied was that you put on the first coat, and let it partially dry (about half an hour), then you applied the second coat which 'attacked' the first coat and make that nice wrinkled look. And if I then baked the thing in an oven for a couple of hours, the resultant finish was remarkably hard and durable.

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC


>>it came in a spray can, made by one of the big companies (Krylon??).

Exactly. Since I can't get the real Arri paint, I use matte black Krylon Crinkle finish. It's not the same as the Arri finish, but for little touch-ups on base plates, etc, it's OK.

The real Arri paint forms rounded lumps which gives it that distinctive Arriflex look. The Krylon doesn't do that, but it's close. I'm sure Arriflex has it here, but they won't admit it as it is illegal to import.

Blain Brown
DP
LA


As previously posted, I've repainted Mitchells, 2C's and 16 M, S cameras. The wrinkle finish paint looks and matches factory- let it dry in the sun to cook a little. It's the 35III's and BL's that are not easy to duplicate.

I'll do a search later for the brand and post it-I found it at automotive shops, but it's been some time-

Best regards,
John Babl


I just repainted the casing on my Niner on-board LCD monitor and used a black spray-paint designed for pick-up truck bed lining. It is a VERY durable paint and tends to pick up a nice texture, rather like the old Arri 16S & BL series, prior to the splatter-epoxy paint.

I had a guy at Victor Duncan repaint my SR-2 about 12 years ago [back when there was a Victor Duncan] and he EXACTLEY matched the Arri splatter/epoxy paint...EXACTLEY!!!

Of course, the EPA has now outlawed this painting procedure.....that's also why Don Earl's slates no longer have the black/white diagonal stripes running all around the clap sticks!

Of course, I feel so much more healthy now.........

Cheers,
Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
US based DP
www.barklage.com


Hi,

I would go to Gecko cam in Munich, Germany. It is not in the states of course but they have a lot of experience repainting old camera's. Last time I was there they were doing a couple of bodies every week. You can be sure they do a good job. I am not connected to them in any way. Go to www.geckocam.de

Good luck

Herman Verschuur
Cameraman
Amsterdam, Netherlands


>> As previously posted, I've repainted Mitchells, 2C's and 16 M, S cameras. The wrinkle finish paint looks and >>matches factory

That's correct. I did a IIC with the Krylon and it worked perfectly.

I don't know why you can't import the Arri paint. Something to do with  them being "old Europe" or something.

Blain Brown
DP
LA


Blain writes:

>>I don't know why you can't import the Arri paint. Something to do with them being "old Europe" or >>something.

Many aerosol products as well as many common solvents previously available, are no longer available due to the propellants used or because of the solvents themselves. The common camera mechanism clear "triple 1" comes to mind.

We should get used to it. Many more will be phased out due to air pollution or the "greenhouse" effect. That's not necessarily a bad idea.

For those bound and determined to paint their own cameras, the Eastwood Company www.eastwood.com has just about every kind of finish -- wrinkle, crinkle, spatter and blitzen. The also have a DIY powder coating kit.

Eastwood specializes in tools and materials for auto restoration
enthusiasts. So when you get done practicing on your camera, you'll be ready to start on your Mercedes Gullwing.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


>>For those bound and determined to paint their own cameras, the Eastwood Company www.eastwood.com >>has just about every kind of finish -- wrinkle, krinkle, spatter and blitzen. The also have a DIY powder >>coating kit.

And they have a great paint that stops rust. I used it on my VW years ago and it worked great! Just paint right over the rust and it stops it from spreading.

Jim Sofranko
NY/DP


Blain Brown writes:

[[ I don't know why you can't import the Arri paint. Something to do with them being "old Europe" or something. ]]

Hmm... Do you think if they renamed it "Freedom Paint"....?

Dan "OK, now the joke's officially been done to death" Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA


>>I don't know why you can't import the Arri paint. Something to do with them being "old Europe" or >>something.

Probably something to do with depleting the ozone layer, vinyl(forget the name) substances

John Babl
Miami USA


John Babl wrote:

>>Probably something to do with depleting the ozone layer, vinyl(forget the name) substances

I bet the EU has tougher restrictions than we do on paint presently. The Substance you forgot (maybe due to breathing too much of them in
the 60's) are VOC's -volatile organic compounds. There are plenty of great epoxy paints available, many are water based. The prep for the surface to be painted is very important , and the paints are quite durable.

They'll take many doses of racing fuel, brake cleaner, even brake fluid without blushing.

Mark Smith


Yeah, I just saw a garage floor done with epoxy about 6 months ago. It is an extremely hard and a durable surface. I believe they don't even paint it as much as spread it on the floor.

Jim Sofranko
NY/DP


Jim Sofranko wrote:

>> Yeah, I just saw a garage floor done with epoxy about 6 months ago. It is an extremely hard and a durable >>surface.

IT really is only as good as your floor. If you have a bad floor, epoxy won't hold it together - arrgghh

Steven Gladstone
Gladstone Films
www.gladstonefilms.com


>> Probably something to do with depleting the ozone layer, vinyl(forget the name) substances

That's funny!

Taking into account that the U.S. are denying (for many years now) to sign the international agreement for the restriction of CFC's and other substances that harm the ozone layer.....

Argyris Theos
DoP
Athens Greece


 

Argyris Theos wrote:

>> That's funny!
>> Taking into account that the U.S. are denying (for many years now) to sign the international agreement for >>the restriction of CFC's and other substances that harm the ozone layer.....

Please, let’s keep politics out of this, Okay.

This is not from a listmum, but someone who is just tired of all the ridiculous political based comments that go on. I'll illustrate thusly.

Few of us are invited to talk with politicians about the affairs of the world, so outside of "The West Wing", and other political based entertainment - Which includes the "News Media". We do not have a real solid idea of what is actually going on. I'm sure that some on this list know more than others. But how many people on this list have sat down with Tony Blair, or President Bush, or any other political leader and discussed the worlds ecology??????

Yet there are statements that are self contradictory such as the above one. Is the fact that the United States apparently bans the use of certain chemicals, even though it won't sign a treaty banning them, being decried and not applauded? How silly is that?

Treaties cover many things, and are complex and more economic than ecologic in nature.

So since we don't REALLY know firsthand what is going on (myself included), can't we just stop with all the rumour slinging.

As far as the paint being outlawed in this country. Well, here are my possible takes on that :

1) High Tarrifs are imposed on the importation of these paints for "Ecological" Reasons
2) High Tariffs are imposed on the importation of these paints to protect American companies that make a similar product.
3) The Insurance companies have decided that these paints are too volatile, and raised insurance rates. Hey it could be true - The owner of Canal Rubber told me that was why he no longer stocked 707 Spray glue
- of course he could be lying.

4) Arri doesn't want to sell the paint to a customer because they want to control the representation of the product as much as they can?
5) Arri hopes that you will give them your camera to repaint, and they can make more money?

Please don't continue discussing why my points are correct or not. I don't care. Personally I just use a Sharpie for touch ups ( I know it doesn't help with Grey cameras.)

There are probably more reasons, but it is all conjecture. Again, I am asking the list to keep political views off list postings. Not as a listmum, but as a fellow list member. If you must include political based commentary, you know where that belongs.

Thanks

Steven Gladstone
Gladstone Films


I am under the impression that p+s technic might do the job as well (after all they are repainting their evolution models to a gray finish)

Argyris Theos
DoP
Athens Greece


>> I bet the EU has tougher restrictions than we do on paint presently.
>>The Substance you forgot (maybe due to breathing too much of them in the 60's) are VOC's -volatile >>organic compounds.

Yeah, my fave "fake it as real lacquer for the camera" Varithane paints are apparently no longer available.

Sam Wells


> Please, let’s keep politics out of this, Okay.

I agree, but... please try to distinguish between politics and humour in the future please.

Argyris Theos
DoP
Athens Greece