View Full Version : RC Overhaul finally complete
After receiving a much needed part from radiocemetary (Thanks Steve), I finally finished the Oly 35RC. I replaced light seals, repainted top and bottom plates, fixed the meter contacts, cleaned the rangefinder glass, fixed the flash sync (corroded wire), pounded out several dents on the top and bottom plates and replaced the body covering with new skin from Camera Leather.
Now, on to test a roll of film to make sure it all works.
Nice work jgcraft (he says, hiding his jealousy!) ;)
Wow that looks great! The RC looks nice in black. What type of paint did you use?
I used a Rustoleum product called Painter's Touch in Semi Gloss. I like the finish but I'm a little concerned about the durability. I let is sit for a full 3 weeks before re-assembling and still managed to chip it. I sanded off the old finish with emory paper down to the brass, cleaned it with a strong solvent but it just doesn't seem very tough. I read contradictory reports about using a primer first so I didn't use one.
I used an Elmer's Paint pen to fill the engraving which worked OK. I tried to find a paint stick but couldn't find just one, you had to buy a whole kit with about 30.
Now that looks a really class camera - you could just look at it and not use it to preserve the finish! (Just joking)
Have you any hints and tips about knocking out the dents?
I used a small hammer and the back of a small metal punch that I had. It was slightly rounded and no sharp edges. I also just used a piece of pine 2x4 to pound against. Not easy. Someone had dropped the camera somewhere in the past and the entire corner was bent. I could only get it part way fixed and I was afraid to pound too much and cause a metal fatigue crack. I also tried a small piece of 1/4 inch wood down and it worked OK on the bottom plate dents but the metal punch worked faster. Getting inside to pound the dents out on the ends were the toughest. My advise would be take your time, don't expect miracles. I have also read where people use auto bondo. It should work as long as you get it down to the brass.
More or less as I figured it could be done.
I'll now investigate further - I have a 'spares or repairs' 35RC on which I try most things. Its been one of the best buys I have made because it doesn't matter if I mess up with it. Its a great learning 'tool', and confidence builder.
It would be nice to have a spare but I'm way too frugal. I try to do a lot of research before I try things so I don't destroy a camera. Actually, this rehab was fairly easy. My biggest problem was the paint. When I went to reassemble the first time, I dropped a dab of Duco glue on the new paint and it immediately removed the new finish so I had to resand the entire top and redo. The pounding out of the dents is not easy to get a good job. I'm sure I will do better next time. I'm now tempted to repaint my Leica IIIa but I really don't want to mess that up.
The RCs are wonderful cameras. Painting them makes no sense for me...
Could you teach me how did you overpaint the logo?
I have repainted my RC several times due to "chips" finally I painted the top and bottom with about 4 coats and it hasnt chipped yet. It is a bit "thick" but just makes it feel soft to the touch if that makes sense. (the paint is not soft)
Ruben, I thought it was a big deal to do this but it was quite simple. I bought an Elmer's brand paint pen with an ultrafine tip. I just started filling in engraving and wiped any mistakes off with a paper towel. I went over the larger portion twice but the finer engraving just once. Took all of 5 minutes. I read another article where the person used a paint stick and wiped off the residue with a tissue. Either way works. I did notice that I had what appeared to be a little residue on the black so I used auto scratch remover to rub off the residue. Another easy task. Of all the things I did to the camera this was probably the easiest. You can buy the paint pens and paint stick where they sell art supplies. I went to a Michaels Craft Store to get the paint stick.
Ohotobizz, Did you primer first? Did you take the pieces down to brass or just sand the plating? I did 2 coats to make sure it was covered everywhere.
Several very light coats of clear lacquer will solve the chipping problem. Works on small painted parts just like it does on hot rods.
I've had great luck with Floquil paint from thee local hobby shop. It was originally formulated for painting brass model trains. Xyzol based and toxic as hell, but beautiful fine pigment and air brushes splendidly (clean the airbrush with lacquer thinner)
I would love to try chemically blackening the brass rather than painting it. Birchwood Casey Brass Black sounds like it would work well. Made for blackening brass gun parts and said to be very durable. A clear coat over it should give a nice satin finish.
If you're considering model RR paints (and they are good stuff), consider Scalecoat (the original "Model I" formula). Then bake at 175 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours.
Chipping is also a problem with brass railroad models.
You can also pickle the brass with vinegar before painting.
John, Thanks for the tips. I may try the pickling on my next project and will try to find the paint. I wonder what manufacturers do, like Leica, when they present enameled models.
Looks good. Thanks for all the tips folks. I've got a trashed 35 RC. I just might paint its plates to mount on my good 35 RC. By the way, what's radiocemetary?
I am radiocemetery. I used to work on old tube radios as a hobby. When my youngest daughter was 6 years old she was looking for me one evening. When she found me working at my repair bench she said, "I thought I would find you down here in the radio cemetery". The name stuck.
I contributed some parts from my parts unit 35RC to charjohncarter and to jgcraft so they could also finish their 35RCs.
Good luck with your project.
Steve West (radiocemetery)
Good one Steve! My grandson calls me Ra-Ra (a corruption of Ray and Grandpa)! I should have used that for my user name!
Since my oldest daughter just got married, I may become a grandpa too. She is a real photographer, I just have fun with cameras. I started getting a few old cameras after I became interested in them while researching a film camera purchase for her when she was in college.
Watch out - grandkids are addictive. Here's a shot from last week taken with the 35 RC ... this is 30 seconds after he threw a Rumpelstiltskin fit ... he's right in the middle of his terrible twos!
:)He looks like trouble to me.
Great! but why is the picture of the camera in such a low resolution? :(
You put a lot of effort on it, why not showcase it? :)
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