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fivebigfish

Painting Eyes

12 posts in this topic

All right. I go home every night go out in the garage and airbrush crankbaits. I am not satisfied with my ability but I am pleased with the improvements that I have made since I began this a couple of months ago. I am happy with my ability to paint a bait, but the eyes are killing me. I am using a stencil for the gills and kill dot. But the eyes, AAAGGGHHH!!! I have used Q tips, Nails, small dowels, the ends on paint brushes and nothing seems to look as good as I want it to. I am spraying Createx and then using acrylic (Testors brand) paint to dot on the eyes. Have any of you ever used stencils for your eyes? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I probably have 25 baits painted and ready to clear coat, I just haven't put the eyes on them. Every time I feel like I've created my personal best, I put the eyes on and I'm not happy with it. Thanks fellas.

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Why don't you try stick on eyes, they come in lots of colors and are very realistic. Most plug builders use them. Also come in a variety of sizes.

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Five,

You might consider going to a local sign shop and have them cut out a bunch of small dots in different colors and sizes. For example: 1/4-in yellow dots and 1/8-in black. Put the black dot in the center of yellow and then just stick on your lure. Perfect eyes every time.

Gene

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I've never made them for hard baits but I've made a ton of eyes for flies. I always used two different methods.

Method 1 - painting

I used several straws, stirring rods of various sizes to make eyes, dip them in your paint then touch them to the correct location on the fly/lure. (I would usually spin them slightly when I made contact with the bait. Once dried I would use a smaller straw for the pupil, sometimes a third dot was applied.

Method 2 - punch out eyes

Get various sized hole punches from a craft store, then look and see if they have any mylar prizm tape (red, silver, gold, green are frequently available) Also get some black electrical tape.

Punch out various pieces and sizes of the different tapes put larger tape down then add smaller electrical tape pupil. These can also be made in advance and applied to waxpaper for future use. If you like 3D eyes adda drop of epoxy to each on the waxpaper, it will need to set up for a while and be pretty thick before you apply it though.

I would make up a bunch of these and place them on wax paper until I did a batch of epoxy flies, then use the left over to coat the eyes I had made up, while the flies were drying.

Robert

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I was hopeless at painting eyes i am to shakey,what i did was make up stencils for spraying eyes on,i made stencils out of thin stiff plastic packaging material like you find on those clam shell packages ,on a timber lure i would lay the plastic over a sacrificial lure blank then hit it with a heat gun till it starts to wilt then manually push it down with a pencil to help it shape to the lure then use a hole punch to cut the eyes shape out,with a plastic lure it is even easier put a lure blank in one half of the mold put the plastic sheet on top same with heat gun then get the other half of the mold and put it over the blank and push down it makes a perfect stencil that covers one half of the lure then you can cut whatever design you want to spray .

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I had the same problem when I started out. Someone sent me an e-mail and helped me, so I'll pass this along.

First off, go buy the cheapest set of drill bits you can find. Get the 1/16 thru 1/2 set. Put a dab of paint on something, I use storage box dividers, since I have a million of them, Dip your drill bit, ( NOT THE SHARP END) and it's a perfect circle every time. I bought me some 1/2 wooden dowels and put the sizes I use in them. It gives you a little handle. Cut the dowel about 3 inches long, drill a small hole in the center, put whatever size drill you want for your eyes, dab some devcon on the small hole, drill you drill bit about 1 inch into the dowel and leave it. Remove the drill bit and dowel from your drill then do the next size.

Hope this helps you. I got this idea from this board. There's pictures on here somewhere. Check them out.

T-Ball

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It has take me alot of practice on paper plates to get the eyes right, but I still get them off line on the bait. I use some stickon eyes but doesn't have the same effect to me. Keep at it, just like using the airbrush you will get the hang of it.

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if you want perfect round eyes with an airbrush i have found a drill bit gauge works great i just tape up the holes i don't use the size gage i got goes from 1/16th to 1/2 half the great thing is i got it free in the mail

Jack

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I use a belt hole puncher to make various hole sizes on masking tape. Tape them on the right positions & just spray, just don't spray too thick as u might make the edges jaggy when u peel the masking tape off.. The black pupil can then be done the same way after the first layer dries. When I get lazy I just dot the black pupil with a brush (I can do this because I do Chinese caligraphy & had 15 yrs practice getting a perfect dot with a brush :D)

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After struggling with the same problem, I bought some "eye dotters" from staminainc.com. They are 3" plastic sticks with small foam balls on the ends. They pick up the right amount of paint and touching them to the lure makes a nice round raised 3D eye. Come in a package of 5 for not much $, and you can rinse them clean with water and reuse them if you're painting acrylics.

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