VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

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vintage AE
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VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by vintage AE »

Okay, I'm not a pro, let's just clear the air on that one.

I snapped a photo of my unpainted body with just 4 pieces of masking tape on it and posted it on one of my local off road tracks facebook page. It sparked some questions, so I thought I'd do a photo log of the process I go through on painting a body. Since my body is a really easy one to paint and can be done in less than 2 hours, I thought I'd give this photo log a try.

I didn't think of snapping pics until the masking stage, so to get you up to date...wash your body with soapy water and rinse. I use liquid hand or dish soap, I'm not fussy. Apply you window masks, if you want, some people prefer masking their windows with their own masking tape to get a better fit.

Most of you know this car, this is what we are painting today. The pin stripe makes it really easy to do, you'll see.
2014-06-30 20.36.45.jpg
I use vinyl pin stripping masking tape that you can get at the local auto body supply shop. I've got 1/16 and 1/8" tape that works great for RC bodies.

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I lay the vinyl tape down as my pin stripe in this case.

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I then I mask the whole thing with liquid mask.

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Hard to tell, but 3 coats of liquid mask, first thin, second to heavy. I water mine down a 1/3 with water and use ~45psi with a medium nozzled airbrush

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I cut the liquid mask on the tape on almost each layer. If you do this, you maintain the sharp, crisp edge of the vinyl and you don't risk scoring the body.

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Of course, darkest colour to lightest colour is the order when painting from the inside out.

First layer, black shading and blue background.

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Cut along the next line and remove that section of liquid mask. Fluorescent orange backed with white...you can see the difference in colour once you back it.

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Hard to tell in this lighting, but backing the fluorescent colours always make them pop.

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I tend to put on the fluorescent colours too think and the crack if dried to quick with the heat gun, so to even out the head and slow the process down, I use the heat vent in the kitchen, works amazingly well.

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Next is pink, now because I need to back it with white after and the fact that white is my last colour, I cut the liquid mask from the tape on the front pink line and remove only the tape. If you don't cut it, the liquid mask is still stuck to the tape and you will pull off the liquid mask with your tape...you don't want that to happen.

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Because this is a modern buggy body, at this stage, I will be cutting out the edge of my window masks so I have a pink trim around the windows.

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I always take note on each colour and touch up any lines of scrapes that I mistakenly do. I use a micro brush for touch ups and a wooden tooth pick to scrape the unwanted bleeding or over spray off. The wood doesn't scratch the lexan, but does a great job taking the paint off.

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Now that the pink stripes are done, I simple just remove the rest of the liquid mask and lay down my white. I also back my pink stripes at this time too.

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Once it is dry, then rip off those window masks and the protective film and you are done.

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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by matt1ptkn »

2 hours, really?? Amazing job! I've got to start using liquid mask. Masking tape takes forever :x . Without an airbrush, what options are available for liquid mask application? Can it be brushed on???
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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by vintage AE »

Yup, it can be brushed on, it just takes longer to dry. Always use a light first coat too. It will tend to pull up when tearing away the various layers if you don't have a clean cut.

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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by snowfox »

Awesome guide, you make it look very easy!
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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by uniquenamehere »

Awesome... thanks for sharing that!

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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by Bubbleboy »

So can you airbrush paint in an enclosed area? I've heard the fumes are little to none. Do you use a one or two stage airbrush?

On the other end of the scale, I tried using Tamiya polycarbonate spray paint in the garage with the doors open and nearly died....it was unbelievable how bad it smelled
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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by OUTLAWD »

Great post!

I feel it is time to up my paint game...and this is helpful. I like the idea of using the fine line under the liquid mask...I never trusted myself to cut a straight line inside the body...
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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by vintage AE »

Thanks guys, the reason I did this post was to make people feel like they can do it too. The thread wasn't to show that I paint, it's to show that you can paint too.
Bubbleboy wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:45 am So can you airbrush paint in an enclosed area? I've heard the fumes are little to none. Do you use a one or two stage airbrush?

On the other end of the scale, I tried using Tamiya polycarbonate spray paint in the garage with the doors open and nearly died....it was unbelievable how bad it smelled
I use water based paints, there's not precautions needed for ventilation. I use a BBQ box with the side cut out for a painting booth. When I paint bodies in the field...say in an office or the hotel room, I just use a piece of paper or the plastic packaging that comes with the body as my over spray shield. In fact, I just use the paper or plastic to clear my air brush. When painting, I always hold the body to the light to see where the spray is and how thick it is. Or, if that's not working, then it's almost a sure bet that if you hold the body away from the light to see into where you are painting helps. Knowing where your masking edges are is key.

I kinda got off track there...I use dual action airbrushes.

I use a Badger Patriot 105 Arrow for the small jobs and detailing. Fine needle and nozzle combo for line work and a detail needle and nozzle for shading.

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And this Badger Patriot 105 for liquid mask and large areas since it has a larger cup for more paint

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http://www.badgerairbrush.com/Patriot_105.asp

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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by Bubbleboy »

This is great!

You mentioned you thinned the liquid mask. Do the paints you buy require thinning as well?
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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by vintage AE »

They can be. Most people like using the rule of thumb of a paint with a viscosity of skim milk with about 15psi on the air compressor. Myself, if the paint is thicker, I'll just turn up the psi a bit. Someday, I will be more diligent and thin my paints, but until then I'll manage with adjusting the pressure.

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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by Bubbleboy »

Ok, one more question. How many times have you accidentally tipped paint out of the top feed? Should I consider one that has a sealed jar with a feeder tube to avoid this?
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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by vintage AE »

Might as well show it stickered up. I'll have to wait until I get my tires and some goodies from Mr. New A&L guy to show the final buggy.

TIP: Paint your wing on the top and then clear coat it. If you do this, when you take a tumble on the track you are less likely to scrape the paint off. Lets face it, most of us are going to run clear wings because the get pretty beat up. If you are painting a shelf queen wing, paint it on the underside to give it that nice top surface.

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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by vintage AE »

Bubbleboy wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:04 pm Ok, one more question. How many times have you accidentally tipped paint out of the top feed? Should I consider one that has a sealed jar with a feeder tube to avoid this?
The gravity feed ones come with a cover so you don't spill your load. Having said that, I don't use those covers and I've spilled my load several times when moving my hand too quickly :lol: :mrgreen:

Seriously though, it's up to you. I haven't used the other kind, so I don't know.

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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by Coelacanth »

Some excellent tips there. I'm a rather new airbrush user myself, but I love how much better liquid mask works for avoiding paint bleed, and more complex paint jobs. I also spray on the liquid mask, at least 3 fairly heavy coats. I keep a hair dryer handy to blow-dry between coats, it sure speeds up the process of masking and painting.

I have a pair of Hobbyking airbrush kits, and they work fine for basic spraying, but I sometimes have issues spraying FasGlitter/FasKoat, which ends up being a pretty thick solution. The airbrush clogs far too easily, even at higher pressure and with the largest 0.5mm tip & needle. Any suggestions, or have you tried spraying that stuff, by any chance?

You also mention using a detail tip & needle for shading...do you happen to know what size that is? My shading skills definitely need some help. :)
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Re: VAE's "How to paint like the pros"

Post by lmw94002 »

That's really sweet.

I hate masking myself and anything other than a straight edge w/ scotchblue tape makes me nuts. Even straight edges in the curves of a body can be difficult. So one trick I like is using vinyl tape (like for sign making). I have a really old / small vinyl cutter so I have scrap vinyl rolls around. So I often cut curves/patterns or even thin "stripes" on the vinyl to use on my car bodies.

When you soap up the body, you can put down the vinyl and it's still "workable" to slide it or get edges set right and pushing out any bubbles of larger mask pieces. Just like doing vinyl lettering on a glass door.

I do want want to get the airbrush going again for trying liquid mask and doing shading again. I just usually keep it to a simple 3 tone / straight stripe job since the race bodies tend to get destroyed. I need to up the game though for the shelf queens.
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