ohioskeeter

Airbrushing Plastic Crankbaits

9 posts in this topic

I have just started airbrushing and needless to say I am poor at best. I have just a few short answer questions because I know you get these questions all the time. Before painting a plastic bait (ordered from Jann's Netcraft) do I need to prepare the bait for airbrushing? Such as a primer or sanding? 2nd, after each coat do I put on a top coat (or whatever you name the clear gloss)? And if so what kind do you recommend. I have read many posts on here and the process takes a lot of hard work. I know that and am willing to put in the time. Right now I struggle with the Paasche VL with it spitting all the time. I clean it and about 1 minute later it starts spitting. Any suggestions? I use createx water based paint. I bought lacquer paint and tried it tonight because I didn't know better and it was messy. Do you painters use lacquer paints in an airbrush? I appreciate any help or suggestions.

Ohioskeeter

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You have a few options. At minimum wipe down the bait with denatured alcohol to remove any oil or grease (don't use a more active solvent or you can melt the plastic). Light sanding will improve adhesion,or you can try an adhesion promoter like Bulldog. I usually just wipe them down but I also clearcoat with DN which contains a solvent that soaks through the acrylic paint and adheres very well. Lay down a color basecoat (usually white), then shoot your colors. I recommend heat drying each coat/color as you shoot it. I don't use clear coat between colors. The only reason to do so is to be able to wash off a mistake without washing off good paint under it. It seems a lot of extra work to me. My basic premise is that the more stuff I do to a bait, the more likely I am to screw it up.

If your VL spits paint: you're shooting at too low a pressure, the paint is too thick, you have an airbrush problem like a bent needle, or perhaps you did not match the right needle with the right tip (easy to do!). I don't suspect the paint since unthinned Createx shoots without problems through most airbrushes including VL's

Yes, some guys prefer lacquer to acrylics and it can make a very nice bait. But it needs to be thinned with solvent and you NEED to wear a proper face mask rated for solvent use and have proper ventilation. A vast majority of TU builders only use water based acrylic paints for safety and ease of use/cleanup.

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Guys I bought a face mask with 100 filters and after painting last night I was sick and a little dizzy. I painted in the garage with the door open. Should I wear safety goggles/glasses? Also, any suggestions on how to ventilate. I have no room for a paint booth just a garage. Also, do you tape off what you have done when painting a bait a different color in another area?

Thanks

Ohioskeeter

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If you wear a mask and use acrylic latex paint, the paint shouldn't cause you any problems. I paint in my garage, run a fan in the summer but just open the door otherwise and have never had a problem. If you tape off one area and shoot next to it, you will get a very sharp paint line that IMO isn't very attractive. Try shading from one color into the next for a more natural look. The only time I want sharp lines is when painting a gill slit, kill spot, crawdad legs, or sharp patterns like perch and Firetiger. I use shoot-through templates for all of those. The only thing I tape is the lip on a repaint.

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Where do you get the templates? And thanks for the advice. I am still getting the spitting on my baits. I have cleaned it well (I think). How do I match up the tip and the needle, maybe that is my problem.

Thanks:)

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Skeeter-

Are you spraying water base paints? If so, sounds like you might be trying to spray too thick of paint. Try thinning until the paint is milk like consistency.

Turn your air pressure up next. Too much is better than too little I think.

If you bought a mask and are still getting dizzy, you must be shooting solvent based paints. I suggest you switch to water based. I spray my baits in a bedroom converted to a project room. No harmful or flammable vapors, and I don't get the munchies!:lol:

I prime all my plastic bodies with a water based rattle can white primer from Rustoleum. It is very forgiving, doesn't stink, and dries fast. It also seals the foam bodies very nicely. I only clearcoat at the very end of the job.

Hope this helps, there are many ways to do things, so this is just my opinion, and keep your eyes wide open on this site as there is a lot of experience and you can learn something every day!

Most importantly, just keep trying new things!

Jeff:yay:

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Templates/stencils

I use frisket film because it's easy to cut and will bend to fit the contours of a crankbait. Frisket is a clear plastic film with a peel-off paper backing you can buy at art or hobby shops. It's the easiest template material to use (designed for this purpose) and one roll lasts a lifetime. Trace an outline of your bait on the frisket, then pencil in the details you want to add to the bait. Use an Xacto knife to cut out the details, then cut out the bait shape. Here's a tip - when you're ready to paint, don't peel the frisket film off its backing and stick it on the bait! Just hold it against the bait, shoot your paint and then dry the template with a hair dryer. Now, flip it over and use it for the other side. Voila, both sides exactly the same! Plus, this allows you to save the template to use on other crankbaits. Pretty soon, you'll have a library of templates you can use for almost any detailing task. I use them for kill spots, red gills, craw legs, firetiger blotches, perch stripes, etc, etc.

Most frisket film is marked with a grid of blue lines. Another tip is to register the tail and nose of the bait along one of the grid lines when you outline the bait. When you're ready to paint, put that line on the nose and tail and you'll know you have the template straight.

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I got mine from dixieart.com but their shipping is quite high on orders less than $50. Haven't looked, but Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc should have something similar.

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