A. Excellent and timely question, but perhaps a bit beyond the scope
this column. My advice is to take the next Airbrush Getaway hands-on
seminar or check out Craig Fraser's soon-to-be-released instructional
video on the subject (available in November through Airbrush Action,
Bear Air, Coast Airbrush, Dixie Art and automotive supply stores).
There is not really just one definitive answer to your question because
if you ask 10 artists about the technique, you'll get 10 different
The quick and generic answer is to start with HOK SG-101 lemon
and basically spray the base of your design by following a reference
photo of a flame that you like. Then, mix Pagan gold kandy concentrate
into some SG-100 Intercoat clear. Gently start to apply it in the
shadowed areas until you create the look you want. Next, mix some
Tangerine kandy concentrate into SG-100 Intercoat clear and darken your
shadows. What I like to do at this point is to come back with a little
bit of black and actually define the flames a little better. Stand
back, check your reference and then highlight accordingly with white,
and sometimes additionally with yellow. If it meets with your approval,
clearcoat and deliver your job.
Q. Is it possible to blend HOK pearl basecoats together to achieve
A. Yes, I do it all the time. For example, if you want to come up with
a purplish blue, mix two parts PBC-40 (violet) and one part HOK PBC-35
(true blue pearl). That would give you a custom pearl color in a
formula that, if you write it down, you can use again. This is a
problem facing many custom painters, they'll create a custom color but,
if they have not recorded it somewhere, won't be able to match their
own paint down the road when a customer has a problem.
Q. Tom, I saw a car the other day that looked black until the light
it, then it became a deep kandy red. How do I achieve this effect?
A. I would start off with a black basecoat (BC-25). Depending on how
light-reactive you want your kandy to be, I would apply one of three
products that HOK produces for this purpose: MBC-01 (pale gold), the
brightest base; MBC-02 (platinum), a medium-reactive base; or MBC-03
(black diamond), the darkest. There are dozens of other products you
could use, but these are the simplest if you are not experienced with
kandies. To get your desired effect, I recommend doing a test sample
before going on to your car or bike. Once the base is down, apply four
to six coats of UK-11 apple-red kandy. Then clearcoat, color-sand,
buff, and you have a job.
Q. I use a powerjet compressor and get tons of moisture in the lines.
How do I correct this?
A. I recommend using a moisture trap. The one I use is made by
DeVilbiss, and they really do an excellent job to eliminate moisture
your line. You can also add a desiccant drier if you require absolutely
Q. I've been painting for a little over a year now and I would like
paint my car kandy-apple blue. What do you recommend for someone with
little experience with kandies?
A. The easiest way to achieve the look you are seeking is to use the
kandy basecoat system. This system uses a dye and pearl together. For
blue job, I would put a black sealer down. Over the sealer I would
apply four to six coats of KBC-04 (oriental blue) or KBC-05 (cobalt
blue), depending on the blues you like. One note of caution: Do not
SG-100 Intercoat clear in between your urethane clear. This will stop
the process by which the dyes bleed into the clearcoat, creating its
own kandy-apple effect. I would recommend using three coats of UFC-19
clearcoat. Don't tell your friends what you used and they'll think
you're a hero & the best kandy painter in town.
Q. I currently use an Iwata HP-C
and a Badger 150. My air source is a
Scorpion compressor. I have installed an additional filter/moisture
trap and a regulator with a gauge. What air pressure should I spray
with? Currently, I use regular Createx paint and I'd like to try House
of Kolor. How is House of Kolor reduced.
A. The desired air pressure depends upon the effect youÕre trying
achieve and how close the gun is held to the surface. If youÕre
to put a heavy shadow on something, you would spray farther back from
the substrate and use more pressure, even up to 40 pounds (psi). If
you're doing some stippling, you might reduce the pressure as low as
two pounds. And in most cases, the closer you spray to the surface the
less pressure or paint you would release.
When I airbrush, I reduce urethane base coats one part to one part,
but depending on what you wish to achieve, you can reduce as much as
part to 2 parts. Reducing this much allows for a finer line, more
gradual buildup of color, and greater transparency.