Author Topic: So.....the leadhead and the airbrush  (Read 756 times)

Online ctom

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So.....the leadhead and the airbrush
« on: 01/14/18 07:36 UTC »
While I am not a master painter I have played with the airbrush and lead heads for a while now and feel I can offer some suggestions.

I keep my paints simple. Createx in standard colors, fluorescent colors, transparent colors and pearlized colors are my stock in this trade. I use very few of these paints as is, right out of the bottle. The Plum Pearl would be the exception since my current bottle sprays on nice without any adjustment to it straight from the jug. Otherwise I like to blend colors to get the colors I want. My chartreuse is Lime Pearl and a some fluorescent yellow. My hot pink is Hot Pink Fluorescent with a shot of Pearl Magenta. My hot orange is Fluorescent Orange with a few drops of Tangerine Pearl. Any other color that does not have pearl in it gets pearlizer in appropriate amounts to make it a pearl. This sort of makes up what my paints are.

I do not undercoat lead jigs or blades. My colors go right on the metal as it is when it comes from the mold. On some jigs I may want a pearl white belly or side color and that is always applied as the first color. Top and bottom or overlay colors are sprayed on accordingly. Once the colors are all on but before the eyes and top coat are applied, I heat set the pain using a heat gun. Menards or Home Depots sells generic branded heat guns pretty reasonably. Even opaque paints can be fairly transparent when coats are done over bare, shiny lead and when the pearl colors are used the result is a near metallic appearing finish that's super nice to look at. As mentioned before, blending colors and different paint types  gets you some trick colors as long as you stay within the boundaries of the basic Createx paints. The AutoAir and Wicked colors are formulated differently and may not mix with the standard products.

I keep plenty of airbrush cleaner handy as well as a bottle of denatured alcohol. Denatured alcohol is found in any paint department and a quart can goes a super long way. I use the standard cleaner to clean the brush, then I run a couple rounds of alcohol thru the gun to finish it up. The alcohol does  a great job of removing any paint residue hanging in places a small paint brush can't get, like behind the spray cone and along the needle inside the brush body.

Another product that is really handy to have around is reducer. I bought an eye dropper with my reducer and use it for dosing my paints. As a rule the paints right from the bottle are ready to spray. I generally will add a drop or two of reducer to most of these because I feel the reducer lets the paint flow much smoother thru the gun and it helps prevent "clumping" of the paint which is usually a matter of the paint drying as it leaves the nozzle and makes a "spit". You can hear when the paint is binding in the spray head. The reducer simply lubricates the paint and also slows this drying time at the spray head so everything stays spraying smoothly. It takes little reducer to shape up the paint and the eye dropper helps you duplicate the dosage when needed.

Finally, if one uses the fine particle color shifting pearls and/or hi lite powders that are used in the making of the soft plastics to mix into a clear top coat, then sprayed over a black base coat, some unreal results can be had. This generally works best over a larger surface...larger sized jigheads and blade baits do better with this. A couple light coats works best and expect some real interesting finishes.

I've been working with the Diner Shiner and Teardrop heads in 1/16 and 1/8 ounce sizes recently and have some with a blue back, white pearl sides and bellies, with an orange throat and pink backs and white pearl sides and bellies with the orange throats on the drying rack right now that are really something else. I applied the white pearl to the sides an bellies, leaving the shiny lead exposed across the backs and then sprayed my back colors on just heavy enough to coat well. The shine comes right thru the back colors and look like plated metal. The white pearl was made with simple white and pearlizer. Red eyes on these give them some serious fire. Pics will come later.

These are little things I have picked up along the path of this air brushing and I'm passing along. If you haven't tried air brushing it is something that really rounds out the tackle crafting and I'd urge you to try it.


Offline Lamar

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Re: So.....the leadhead and the airbrush
« Reply #1 on: 01/14/18 08:01 UTC »
  That's good stuff Tom. I haven't got into airbrush painting yet. I do have a powder paint sprayer and like playing with the candy colors to give my spinnerbaits and jig heads a different look.
I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

Online ctom

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Re: So.....the leadhead and the airbrush
« Reply #2 on: 01/14/18 08:10 UTC »
Some of the newer heads like the Diner Shiner, the underspin, ad the Ultra heads have so much nice detail in them that traditional powder painting loses most of it. Air brushing powder is a much better way to apply the powder coat on these if the detail is wanted to be preserved but the air brushed liquid paints.....man that has just turned my head. I keep saying I'm doing some ballheads next but I get hung up on the other heads. lol One of these days.....

Online Muskygary

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Re: So.....the leadhead and the airbrush
« Reply #3 on: 01/14/18 08:19 UTC »
Tom, What's your setup..airbrush, compressor, and what pressure do you spray at? I've never sprayed lead, only blank crankbaits. I find createx  needs to be reduced. Also wicked. Testors and comart are the best to spray right out of the bottle. I'm finding most guys spray at a higher pressure than I do; which may be part of my problem. I usually spray from fifteen to twenty pounds.

Online MT204

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Re: So.....the leadhead and the airbrush
« Reply #4 on: 01/14/18 10:00 UTC »
Tom.
Thanks for the great wright up.
This afternoons project?
Practice and learn airbrushing.
Gonna start with a blank piece of paper and work from there.
Got lots o the diner shiners cast and waiting for paint-----if all goes well.
Wish me luck!

Online ctom

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Re: So.....the leadhead and the airbrush
« Reply #5 on: 01/14/18 11:43 UTC »
Gary ....I have a pancake compressor with a built in regulator that I leave at 20 psi most of the time. Some paints do better at 25 psi. I have the Badger Patriot brush. Some day I will install an in-line regulator with a moisture trap.

I have a set of the CS Airbrush paints that Do-It sells and quite a few of the Createx I mentioned before. I use reducer in most of these paints NOT because they need thinning so much as because I think the reducer makes the paint "slicker" which makes it flow so much nicer. Spraying is a pleasure with the paint reduced slightly and reduced paint hardly ever acts up in the brush. White needs reducing big time or it will spray clumps unless I crank up the pressure a lot. I think white has a ton of pigment in it though and may be why its a problem child for me occasionally. Most all of my Createx colors will get between 2 and 4 drops of reducer, just enough to make the paint slipperier. The CS coatings paint is appropriately thin right from the bottle but it still gets a drop or two of reducer. It doesn't take much reducer in any paint to make a big difference and is why I use the dropper to administer the reducer.

The air brushing in and of itself is not at all hard. Its the paint and mixing of colors that can be a challenge. As I mentioned before, most every color I spray is a blend so I can get the color or effect that I want. Keeping the spray coats thin and applying the paint over freshly cast, shiny, lead makes a super nice finished product. Dipping in the CS Seal Coat brings out the true beauty, seals the eyes and makes a tough hide on the heads without adding much of any bulk and allows for the detail cast onto the heads to jump right out. I think its safe to say that most people on this site know that I like the smaller baits and detail and air brushing has simply opened up a huge door for me in finishing the smaller jig heads that are big on detail. For my personal uses I will more than likely powder coat my 1/32 and smaller ball head jigs, but larger head sizes and those heads with detail there is nothing nicer to work with than the air brush.

Yes, I have a pile of plastic bodies that I spray up and then wash off and start over on. There's a huge difference in how the air brush and I get along on these larger format baits and I still need to practice. I'm almost confident in the process now but just not quite. Soon though.



Offline tom1441

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Re: So.....the leadhead and the airbrush
« Reply #6 on: 01/15/18 11:17 UTC »
White is a hard color to spray it likes to dry at the tip of the airbrush. As the air is pushing the paint out the tip-off the airbrush the air is drying the paint. That is with the water base paints. In my opinion.