December '18

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52 THE SHOP DECEMBER 2018 It's helpful to work out your flames on paper or computer before you break out the paint. This is the Photoshop rendering I did for the Firebird flames. Yes, it's rough, but it gives me an idea of the layout of the fire. directly at the edge of the template. Direct the paint inward of the template edge. There will also be times when you'll softly fog in paint in some areas. Real fire flames can be painted in any color, from blue to purple to green or even white. But the most common ones are red, orange and yellow. For this example, I'll be using three solid basecoat colors—red, orange, yellow—and three candy colors— candy red, candy orange and candy golden yellow. The candy colors are made using PPG DBC500 Clear basecoat and their DMX toners. As for how much toner to mix into the clear basecoat mix? The easiest way to judge it is to use a paint paddle. Dip the paddle into the paint, then see how dark or light the candy is against the wood grain. Find the good medium between too light and too dark. To help give the fire its free-flowing shapes, the technique requires templates. Some painters make their own, but I use the same templates designed by the Tru Feel e Heat The materials and tools that were used for these flames. For the solid colors, it's PPG Deltron DMD 1677 Scarlet, DMD 1608 Organic Orange and 83032 Sunburst Yellow. For the candy colors, DBC500 is mixed with DMX toner. For the yellow, it's DMX 210, red – DMX 212, orange – DMX 211. SX330 pre-cleaner to remove overspray. House of Kolor KC-20 and a ProStat gun for anti-static. The Artool Templates scattered here are Original Tru Fire and Tru Fire 2nd Degree Burn. To apply the paint, I used tools from SATA, SATAgraph 4 airbrushes, artguns and minijets. I like to work from the back of the fire to the front, laying and spacing out the embers that will be at the end of the fire. Start out with a tiny flick of red, then go larger with each ember. Don't put them in a direct line. You want them to randomly "dance" across the surface. Then I sketch the lines for the various shapes, going larger as I move forward. Once the shapes start to develop, I'll find a curve or shape on the template that matches up to the curves that were freehand-airbrushed. Little by little the shapes start to fill in. Notice how open and loose these are. I'm using about 45 pounds of air pressure. This photo is an example of the layering of the different shapes and how the open sides of the shapes allow them to run together. The biggest curves of the templates were used here. Note the "fogginess" of the color application. In some areas, the red paint is solid, but in other places it's very thin. And in some of those thin areas, freehand lines were airbrushed, creating a side to those shapes. The red fire is completed and ready for the application of the red candy. See how the fire flows up and down along the car? Never paint fire in a straight line. Closely examine the red fire and make sure that the overspray didn't travel too far from the flame area. If it does, try and wipe it away with pre-cleaner or use a 3,000-grit foam disc to gently wet-sand the overspray.

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