December '18

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54 THE SHOP DECEMBER 2018 Feel e Heat out by wiping the surface down with an anti-static fluid like water-based wax and grease remover and then go over it with a ProStat anti-static gun. After airbrushing each layer, I use solvent- based cleaner to wipe away any overspray. Sometimes I'll use a 3,000-grit foam pad to gently sand away the overspray. Then I repeat the anti-static process. Look closely at the edges of your artwork. How far has the overspray traveled? If the overspray is heavy and grainy-looking, then the paint might need to be reduced more. Thinning One of the most asked questions is how much should the paint be thinned down? This will vary from painter to painter, depending on the kind of paint used and the painting style. But here's an easy way to know how much reducer to add. When you're prac- ticing, look closely at the way the paint is landing on the surface. Is it grainy-looking? Are there lots of tiny dots of paint? Too grainy means the paint needs to be thinned down. You're looking for a clean- but-soft application. It's better to have the paint too thin than too thick. Overspray The biggest headache in painting real fire flames is the overspray. There are two options for dealing with real fire overspray that has extended too far past the flame area. If the vehicle is a non-metallic color you can use that color to blend in the edge Now for the yellow. The one thing to remember when airbrushing the yellow layer is to not overdo it. Concentrate the yellow at the front of the vehicle. Then build off the orange layer but take care not to completely cover it. Aim for a ratio of 65 percent orange to 35 per- cent yellow or something close to it. This is the place to use some of the smaller and medium curves on the templates. In some places a short lick of yellow fire works great; in other places longer licks fit the space. Keep it random yet balanced. After checking for and removing any yellow overspray, airbrush orange candy on some, but not all of the yellow. Then spray a medium coat of candy yellow over all the fire. I use a SATAminijet 3000 B spray gun for this. Be careful not to oversoak the fire, as it will soften and "mottle" the layers, causing them to melt into each other. Don't apply too heavy of a coat. Use the yellow paint to highlight some of the yellow areas. This will add depth to the fire. Remember to spray inward of the edge of the template. Now a yellow and white paint mixture is used to add a slight highlight to some, but not all of the yellow areas. Just a tiny touch! Some painters will use white for this step. Try it and see if white works for you. Here's the fire, ready for clearcoat. See what I mean about the shapes in the fire? The shapes should be flame-like yet indistinct. Real fire works well as an accent graphic. Here it's used to accent the recesses on these hood sides.

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