Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Cabronita Thinline: Hot Rod Flames

OK, it's decided - subtle hot rod flames it is for the Thinline Cabronita. Here's how I go about adding simple flames to a paint job. Caveat: please remember that I am an amateur who knows very little about the art of spray painting, airbrushes or anything of the like. This is a very simple approach that I have found that I can handle with my limited skills and the tools at my disposal!

Enough of the caveat, let's get to it! The first step it to take my design and transfer it on to a sheet of artists frisket. I have found that it's a good idea to trace it as thin as possible to avoid any errors during cutting.

Tracing my original flames design onto a piece of artists frisket
The next step is to cut out the design using a combination of scissors and a craft blade. This is the toughest part of the process and it can be very hard at times to create a nice smooth line. There are many places on this effort where my blade work was not up to snuff, but we can only do out best!

Cutting around the outline to leave the flames only.
Once the design is cut out, the backing is removed and the design is stuck down to the surface. There's not much danger of the frisket removing the original paint as it's usually very low tack (sometimes too low tack!).

The front design is peeled away from the backing and stuck down.
The back design is exactly the same as the front.
Once the frisket is stuck down on all 4 sides, any remaining areas are masked off with painters tape and butcher's paper. Be careful not to stick the tape to the original paint (it usually isn't low tack!) and also make sure you don't miss a spot! Taking the masking off only to reveal a spot of paint you didn't intend is a real prick let me tell you!

Additional areas are masked with butchers paper and painters tape.
With the additional masking complete, the new colour can be put down. This colour will become the new background colour - leaving the existing colour for the flames. I find that 2 coats should be more than enough to get even colour coverage but not create a large height difference between flame and background.

For my new background colour, I'm using MTN94 Bali Green. It's the next grade in the turquoise (seafoam green?) colour chart. I think it looks pretty good and will provide a subtle contrast to the MTN94 Luminous Green used for the flames.

The flame colour (left) is the original MTN94 Luminous Green.
The body colour (right) will be MTN94 Bali Green.
And so, after two coats of Bali Green the masking was ready to come off. I'm pretty happy with the results! The actual colour isn't quite as blue as it appears here. I managed to get all the frisket off without tearing the new paint. Gently does it!!

The front and under-edge with the frisket removed.
The back and top-edge with the frisket removed.
The body is now hanging in my bathroom under the IR lamp, getting ready for Acrylic clear coats. I can't wait to see this baby all assembled. Once the paint is cured I might do a sneak peak assembly to see how she is looking!

Postscript 08/04/2015:
Got the hardware on to the body for a quick peek - I just couldn't help myself!

A sneak peak with the chrome hardware. Looking great!