Beetleguy67

I'm working on a 1:18 scale Volkswagen Beetle and am trying to recreate an actual Jewel Beetle (the insect) as a paint job. 

So far I think I need to apply a white metal primer, then a coat of Chrome Silver, followed by a translucent yellow. By then airbrushing translucent blue around the edges while leaving the center area pure yellow, the blue should make green and still be translucent enough to see the silver beneath.  The colors won't change with movement, as they would with a real beetle or iridescent colors, but stay fixed, which is fine by me.  

Has anyone done or seen something similar? abebdcb2bf047df92fb58acb0a617cfd.jpg 

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Ivy Ivy
You might also experiment with adding one of the Duo Pearl Ex pigments to the equation. Add them to one of your current ABI colors or mix them with some combination of ABI extender and maybe a teeny bit of Jacquard Colorless Extender to see if you can recreate the color-morphing effect of the beetle shell...? Maybe.
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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
I agree with Ivy.  I think I would use a black basecoat first.  Black is going to bring out the different colors better.  Then I would take the transparent green and add Interference gold into it.  Interference gold will give it that coorshifting gold.  

You also might try some of the iridescent green airbrush too to give it more dynamism.  It will go well with the interference godl and trans green.

Use the intereference gold at 8-10% volume of the airbrush paint 
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Beetleguy67

Thank you both for the input.  

I am confused on the black basecoat though.  Candy Apple auto paintjobs use a metallic basecoat for it's reflectivity. The beetle pictured looks like you could see your reflection in it.  Wouldn't black prevent that?

Still looks like I need to do some shopping.  I'll post pictures of my tests.

Thanks again!

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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
Well, with a metallic paint job the black basecoat kills any light reflecting off the basecoat, which actually increases the reflectivity of the mica.  You can also use a red basecoat to make gold look really antiquey and warm.  

Notice any part of the beetle that is not metallic is black.  This bug has a black basecoat.  
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Beetleguy67
OK.  I think I get it. Black primer/basecoat, then metallic silver, then translucent colors on top, followed by clear topcoat?
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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
The metallic is your choice.  I suggested the interference gold  pearl ex mixed with transparent green.  You are airbrushing right?
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Beetleguy67

I last airbrushed t-shirts 40 years ago, so I'm a bit behind.

I'm borrowing the airbrush from the finish department where I work. I'm preparing samples on soda cans to practice on curved metal surfaces. 

Customizing the die-cast model will take me a while - super cheap but major labor.  

The paint job keeps getting more and more expensive. LOL.

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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
Yeah these types of customizations don't come cheap.  Please post  pictures for everyone if you can when you are finished.  We would love to see it.  
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Beetleguy67

I'm not finished yet, but would love some advice on my topcoat.

I made 16 soda can samples to practice on. I used Spaz Stix black base, followed by Ultimate Chrome and clear topcoat, but was unable to get a uniform coat on larger surfaces like the roof. The overspray rubbed out fine, but I was still left with visible borders on my strokes. 

I also tried Rust Oleum Metallic Chrome , which was incredible uniform, but after the application of transparent colors, lost more of it's reflectivity. In the end I went with the Spaz Stix, and made a point of keeping my strokes along a linear pattern on the vehicle, which I think is in keeping with the insect/organic nature of the desired finish.

I tested Dragonfly Glaze, numerous Jacquard Transparent colors, Pearl Ex Interference Gold, and Duo Blue-Green. All of them looked pretty cool, but the best match was a Transparent Yellow  basecoat, with Transparent Green around the perimeters of the body panels and the lower portion of the vehicle.  It's fixed, and only simulates true iridescence, but has nice depth and warmth. 

My question is now that I have a solvent based black, chrome, topcoat with a water base layer of transparent yellow and green on top, what type of clear gloss should I use to protect it and deepen the colors? I was unable to get a perfect, uniform wet edge finish with the solvent base Ultimate Chrome topcoat, and I don't know if my cheap airbrush will do much better with a water base.  It seems like an aerosol can would give me that big spray and uniform coat, but I want to make sure I don't have some weird reaction.  

What would give me the best, high gloss, finish?

I've got pictures of every test I ran, but don't want to post until I'm done. So close. I can't wait.

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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
I really like Krylon triple thick clear glaze added in several thin coats.  It will not re-wet the paint.  The brush on solvent glazes are more likely to that, especially urethanes.  
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Beetleguy67

I'm picking up a can on Friday.

I had some Rust-oleum Painter's Touch2x Ultracover that I tried on a sample - man, the color went super dark (too dark).  

Fingers crossed.  

Thanks again.

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