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DoDFire

Painting Crankbaits ?'s

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I am interested in learning how to paint my own Crankbaits and wanted some pointers as where to start. I have painted 30 million $$ aircraft when I first enlisted in the Air Force and that was only 2 colors 20 years ago, now I couldn't paint the ground if I dropped a gallon of paint in the dirt, but I want to learn. 

For you guys that do paint, what are the things I need to research before I ever spent the first $. Better yet your recommendations on books or info online that are straight forward steer you in the right direction with tools, equipment, and supplies as well as how to set the equipment up (compressor psi, brush, nozzle settings etc.) I'm all about learning so any help is greatly appreciated. My daughter is very talented with her painting skills (not airbrush) and I could see us doing this together for Daddy/Daughter time if we can learn it. Not sure if classes are offered for airbrushing but that could be an option if it is. Anyways I'm open for any and all suggestions. Thanks.

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Its an addicting hobby. Alot of it is subjective and changes with each person to suit their needs. A great place to start is some of the lure making specific forums as well. 

I personally use an iwata eclipse hp-cs airbrush. Its great all around performer, with an excellent reputation, but not bank breaking price. Has a .35 nozzle/needle and its a good size to do base colors as well as ability to do fine lines. 

I used my pancake style air compressor i already had for running nail guns. My set up for it is to run it (outside) at 60 psi working pressure to a second regulator i could adjust as needed to actual painting pressure.  I normally spray between 18-35 psi, depending on what paint im using. I mostly spray waterborn auto air paints, but have also used true automotive urethane paints like house of kolor. I would reccomend starting on either auto air or createx paints. 

 The urethane paints have amazing colors and spray superbly, but are very dangerous, requiring good organic vapor respirator masks, and exhaust venting to remove fumes. I would not reccomend them. 

Color wise, start with a white opaque or sealer, the reducer made for your choice paint, and then transparent paints of your choice. Every lure gets a white basecoat to brighten the layers up than come over it. Add a touch of paint and a drop or so of reducer, the paint should be roughly the consistency of milk for spraying.  I picked up a bunch of the little plastic communion cups to mix my paint in myself. They are cheap, clear so i can see paint colors well, and disposable. 

Diffrent things help make diffrent patterns on lures, such as netting or bridal veil material makes a good scale pattern. 

After that just practice. Alot. Its the only real way to really get a feel for how to get paint consistency for spraying and contol of airbrush to get patterns you want. 

 

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X 2 with all the above. Aside from the excellent info that junyer357 posted, I would also recommend watching YouTube videos on the subject of lure painting. There are hours worth of tutorials there that will help answer questions and get you started. The Iwata Eclipse hp-cs airbrush is also the one that I use, as well as the Createx, Wicked, and Auto Air water based paints and a small pancake compressor that I picked up cheap from Harbor Freight several years ago. I like to paint indoors, and the compressor is very quiet. The reducer that I use is Auto Air 4011. You will find that some paints will need more or less to flow properly, especially at low PSI. 

Here is one such video that you may find helpful. The artists name is Mikko, aka SolarBaits from Finland. His work is amazing. Here he demonstrates how to paint gills and fins using stencils. Even for a beginner, it's not as hard as it may look to get great results.

Above all, have fun! 

 

 

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All good advice.  There's a learning curve to painting crankbaits and you just have to dig in and start doing it to develop the knack.  I use a lot of painting templates to control where paint goes (and doesn't).  Cut them from artist's frisket material and leave the adhesive backing on the plastic sheet, then simply hold the template against the lure while painting.  Flip the template over after drying it to do the other side of the lure and you can save the template for other lures, building up a "library" of templates for future use.

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Thank you much for the info. I'm going to read and watch all I can and buy the equipment and supplies along the way until I have the basic set up. I have patience and I'm in no hurry to just go out and start buying everything under the sun since I have no clue right now. This will give me time to absorb all the basic info and get the process and steps into my head so I can enjoy it instead of getting frustrated. I had an account on tackle underground a few years ago and was in there with the other jig guys, I'll get back on there as well.  I may have questions later on and if ya'll don't care I may holler at you guys to steer me straight. Thanks again. When I do paint one I'll post up a pic so you can get a good laugh. I'll go ahead and name it......Fruity Pebbles......Cause I can see it now, color everywhere.LoL

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I paint cars and do some custom painting also. I would rather do more custom painting if it was more profitable but there's more money in straightening fenders and auto-body repairs. Anyway...

If you don't want to dump several hundred into an Iwata or Paasche air-brush, you do have some choices. Google Air Brush Depot and it will take you to TCPGlobal. Their house brand Airbrush is a Chinese knock-off called Master. It's actually pretty decent. I do custom bikes using them. Their Precision Control series will give you the fine control needed on crank baits. Their G44 is a nice little gun and costs less than $40. They also have inexpensive diaphragm compressors if you don't already have a shop compressor. Airguns don't use the same hoses and fittings as air tools or spray guns so the hoses and small compressors made for airbrushes all link up together without having to fins oddball fittings. You can get a compressor and hose from TCPGlobal for under $100. They also have a kit ( ABD KIT-G444-T) which comes with the G44 gun, two needles and spray tips, hose and compressor for $139. Check Amazon, sometimes TCPGlobal sells their stuff there too at a lower price.

 

Someone mentioned Auto Air paints. Those paints are made for airbrush work. Some traditional automotive paints don't pass well through the fine nozzle in an airbrush, particularly whites and thicker colors. Be careful what you buy. even though I stock automotive paints, I still need to buy lower viscosity and "less sticky" paints for airbrush work.

 

There's tons of YouTube videos on airbrush techniques. The techniques are the same for baits as they are for hot-rods and custom bikes, baits are just done on a smaller scale. The hardware stores sell small sheet metal pieces. Pick up one of those and practice on it. You'll see "two hand" techniques on YouTube to help steady your hands. It's hard to learn on a crank bait body. Here's a pic of a Harley tank I've painted over and over, several times to learn new techniques and the white one is a 8"x16" sheet of sheet-metal. All these techniques are all over YouTubs and used on crankbaits. Both of these are done with the G44

f7138eef-0142-41b3-bb99-902b2f7dada3_zps

b9a21703-bdfb-4299-8f6c-5e2a686aaabb_zps

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Thanks for that info and the pics you posted look wicked, I love how the flame looks like it is jumping off the work piece with the shadowing.

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Alright, first purchase has been made in this process. I spent all day yesterday, past several days actually reading and watching videos and taking notes. I think it's starting to come together now. Looks like to me the biggest problem would be how much I want to complicate it. I can and always do make things harder than it should be. With that in mind I'm still going to read and watch all I can. I figured around the new year I'll make the purchase for a brush and compressor and a few of the basic paints then I'll learn the equipment and setup Then head into practicing airbrush control and doing some of the exercises until I feel comfortable shooting the plastic blanks. I'll try my best to resist the urge to paint the blanks right off the bat. <---- you know what's gonna happen, Right.... Anyways it's starting to click with me and I do feel that if I take my time and pay attention all should be well. Thanks again for the pointers. 

 

Spro Little John MD copy and a 2.5 square bill from Shelt's.

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I had to take my son to an appt. today and stopped in at Hobby Lobby, I bought 1 yard of material for scale patterns and thought I'd try my hand at making a stencil for the Little John blanks, so a pack of film and material then out the door. I made a quick ugly vacuum box and went to town. Here are 2 sets of the Little John MD stencils I cranked out, I'll figure out something for a pattern later but for now the process has started. I think they turned out decent for a first run.

 

 

IMG_20161220_160918.jpg

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I just used a plastic box with a lid, I cut a hole into the side of the box and cut the top off of a plastic nesquik milk bottle and epoxied that into the side of the box so I could insert the hose from the shop vac. Very crude and ugly as sin. I am going to make one the right way then I'll post pics. I actually got lucky to get the results I got.  The plastic box was about 16"×16" with a bunch of holes drilled into the lid. Pretty much the same concept as a few of the metal popcorn tins you see online where the guys are making stencils for their cranks.

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It will be fun watching your progress. Maybe it will get me motivated too.

 

Short Fish had a real good point up above about using a white base paint under your colors. Particularly under chartreuse and day glow colors. If you are shooting metallic (metal flake)colors, particularly reds and blues, try to shoot a primer close to the same darkness (for lack of the right word) as the main color of the lure. Dark blue =dark primer. Light blue = lighter gray primer. With reds, go hair little lighter. Metallic paints are pretty transparent which allows the metal flake to be visible. Using the right under coat primer color will save you a bunch of paint and effort. We do this in the body shop to speed up the process and save on paint. It isn't cutting corners, it the right way to do it. I've heard them called "spectral gray" primers. You can find these in rattle cans. Probably from the same place you get your paint.

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1 hour ago, Snipe Hunter said:

It will be fun watching your progress. Maybe it will get me motivated too.

 

Short Fish had a real good point up above about using a white base paint under your colors. Particularly under chartreuse and day glow colors. If you are shooting metallic (metal flake)colors, particularly reds and blues, try to shoot a primer close to the same darkness (for lack of the right word) as the main color of the lure. Dark blue =dark primer. Light blue = lighter gray primer. With reds, go hair little lighter. Metallic paints are pretty transparent which allows the metal flake to be visible. Using the right under coat primer color will save you a bunch of paint and effort. We do this in the body shop to speed up the process and save on paint. It isn't cutting corners, it the right way to do it. I've heard them called "spectral gray" primers. You can find these in rattle cans. Probably from the same place you get your paint.

Thank you for that bit of info, I will put that in the notebook as well.

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Very cool stencils! I have a feeling you will surprise yourself with your paint jobs. PVC tubing is good for lure paint practice because it's smooth and white plus has a curved surface. Wipe clean with alcohol and use them over and over.

Here is a pretty good video that may help you get started. 

I hope you and your daughter find it to be an enjoyable hobby. Looking forward to seeing what you end up with.

 

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Ok, I tried it and I'm happy with the first attempt. It's automotive paint and clear-coat. I use big Zara Spooks for stripers so I painted one to look something like a menhaden. I've had fish spit them up in the boat. I really need bench space for this to keep everything steady. I figure if they hit all white, they should hit this.

 

menhaden:

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Spook

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Here is the first one I have ever painted, lots to learn and a whole bunch of practice to come....I was trying to get comfortable with the air pressure/paint flow and using a couple of stencils and this was the results. Surely I can get at least one fish to eat this thing. I'll take better pics one day, the phone pics are nasty. I do want to Thank you guys that have shared info with me so Thank You very much, I do appreciate the help.

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IMG_20161227_010847_zpsr0ky2z6v.jpg

 

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Alright, it's 5 am and time for bed........See what a silly chunk of plastic and paint has started, I'm hooked. Shad pattern before epoxy, I'll add better pics later this tablet camera sucks.

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All right, last pics for awhile.

 

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Nice work, the craw pattern colors are great.  Airbrushing lures is like Crack....once you start you're hooked. 

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I lied.......More pics. Sorry, I got the bug bad.

 

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17 hours ago, DoDFire said:

I lied.......More pics. Sorry, I got the bug bad.

 

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They look like killer cranks to me buddy. Great paint job. :thumbsup:

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Thanks guys, I have never done drugs, but painting these I feel like a crack addict, I can't stop mess'n with this stuff. I have to be honest, I enjoy painting way more than tie'n jigs and I love to tie a jig in case you didn't know..... I have no clue what I'm going to paint when I sit down, I just start blending paints one drop at a time on a sheet of paper to experiment and see how the different paints blend and what color I get, then I shoot a color when it looks good to me, I guess that's what I like the most. I never know what I have till it's done, if I don't like it I clean it off and shoot it again. I'll get my colors down to what works around here when I stop playing around. I still have a dozen blanks to play around with then I'm out. I'll be researching more on where to buy the better blanks and go from there. Anyways......I talk/type to much. Here is what I ended up with tonight. Bone with chartreuse/orange on belly, black transparent over blue pearl on top (that you can't see in pic) 

 

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