Layering of Createx Candy20

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DES

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I am looking to do a two-tone metallic candy finish on an Estes StarOrbiter. Yellow body color, deep red nosecone fading out to the yellow body color about half way to the fins. Presumably, some transition through red-orange in the middle as the colors overlap.

Base color will be the silver sealer and the 4603 Coarse Aluminum Flake. The candy colors will be the Createx Candy20 dye colors in their gloss clear. The question is - which color in the fade goes down first? Do I fade the red over the yellow? Or the yellow over the red? I suppose I could try both, but I only bought the small bottles of Candy to try something transparent and new.

Anyone who has experience with layering different colors of candy varnish, guidance is appreciated.
 

Nytrunner

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Calling @Rocketcas

My first thought from regular painting is that the darker color (red) on bottom will show through the lighter color (yellow) and give an orange tinge.
Conversely, If you put down the yellow and then sprayed red over, the darker color may block out the yellow and you'll just get red/yellow instead of orange.

But I'm not the airbrush expert, they'll be along shortly!
 

H_Rocket

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As said above, you always go from darker to lighter. I do a mist coat of each creating the transition and do it over and over - most times I end up with six to eight actual coats. I also force dry the coats. The key to the candy is very light coats and as perfect a prep as you can get. Candy is merciless with respect to showing flaws. Also, you will have to clear this when done. water based candy is very fragile and does not truly shine until the clear is applied. Future floor polish WILL NOT WORK.
 

DES

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Thanks much. So If I'm understanding correctly, the dark goes down first, before the light. But you aren't building dark to full intensity before starting the light. Rather, you are alternating the dark and light coats. Makes sense for the most transparent blend of the candy, but will mean a lot more gun cleaning...
 

Rocketcas

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I am looking to do a two-tone metallic candy finish on an Estes StarOrbiter. Yellow body color, deep red nosecone fading out to the yellow body color about half-way to the fins. Presumably, some transition through red-orange in the middle as the colors overlap.

Base color will be the silver sealer and the 4603 Coarse Aluminum Flake. The candy colors will be the Createx Candy20 dye colors in their gloss clear. The question is - which color in the fade goes down first? Do I fade the red over the yellow? Or the yellow over the red? I suppose I could try both, but I only bought the small bottles of Candy to try something transparent and new.

Anyone who has experience with layering different colors of candy varnish, guidance is appreciated.
Great Question. I have experience with the layering and fading candies, but not with a multi-color fade.

However, I would start with the yellow and move to the red. Use light coats to build color. Take your time and enjoy the creative process.

And, if you are up for a wee bit more of an adventure…

Here is another approach that might make sense. I assume red at the bottom to yellow at the top.

  • Use yellow first. Coat the entire rocket to the desired color depth. A 25/75 mix with Lemon Yellow and Tequilla Yellow might be the right place to start. (Lemon yellow is too, well, lemony.)
  • Next, mix 50/50 Tequila Yellow and Grabber Orange. Shoot this from the bottom of the rocket up to the fade and blend as you go up. Around 2 /3rds of the way up, maybe?
  • Next, use straight Grabber Orange, and repeat changing the fade and blending location further down the rocket.
  • Next, use a 50/50 mixture of Grabber Orange and Blood Red and repeat. (You might be able to skip this step - GO, and BR are very close in color.)
  • Finally, use Blood Red.
I think this technique takes advantage of the transparency and color build characteristics of candies.

Here are a couple of additional items to keep in mind.

  • Nothing is exact in this process – that is the beauty of using custom paints!
  • Because of light coats and short drying times, this will go faster than you think. Minutes between coast is all that is needed. You will be shooting color, running a cleaner, then reshooting the next color quickly.
  • Candies are designed for the building of color. Resist (going to the Darkside Luke!) the urge to apply heavy candy coats. By all means, go deep (if desired), but do it slowly.
  • Candies are very highly concentrated dyes. Mix them at a ratio of 1 to 3 with the 4050 clear. (Maybe more as needed.)
  • Given the 4050 to candy mix ratio, you have more than enough paint for the Star Orbiter and probably a few more.
  • Mix the material before you start. It allows the paint to settle and keeps the process moving quickly.
  • Put an inter-coat clear of 4050 over the Coarse Aluminum to maintain flake orientation. It also provides a recovery point if things go wrong.
I would encourage the use of a basic automotive clear for the final clear coat. The colors flake will pop!
 

H_Rocket

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Nice step up on my process. I have tried the method of layering as well. Your color mixes are intriguing. I've not been that creative.
 

DES

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Thanks for the help with this. As James pointed out, there isn't a lot of uniform instructions on the use of the transparent clearcoat dyes. The Createx instructions say to mix them 1 part candy dye to 6 parts 4050 clear, but their own youtube videos all seem to be done at 1:3. Nor are there really any "system formulas" suggestions for sealer, flake and candy combinations. I guess they don't want to stifle creativity. Myself, I'm an engineer, not an artist, so I appreciate instructions, with less trial and certainly less error...

I'll just play with it a bit. I have the Tequila Yellow, and the Blood Red. I like the idea of mixing the Lemon Yellow and the Tequila. The Lemon is far too pale, and the Tequila is a bit orange or brown. A mix should be about right.
 

DES

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It has taken me a while to get back to this, but I wanted to share the results of my two tone Candy fade experiment.

I ordered a new HVLP spray gun from Amazon, figured out what I needed for paint, and ordered that from Airbrush Direct. Watched a couple of YouTube videos, and pretty much waded right in.

Except for the primer, all of the paints are Createx “waterborne” products. Their transparent colors are very cool, and I can get them shipped to Alaska (pretty much everything is shipped by air) without hazmat or flammable shipping issues. Plus, I absolutely hate to clean sprayguns with lacquer thinner.

The rocket is Estes StarOrbiter I had already put together, modified just a little bit with an Apogee Rockets ebay and dual deploy section. 45 inches long, 1.75 inch diameter, 29mm motor tube.

Fillets are West Systems G-Flex gel epoxy. Applies and tools nicely, and flexible enough not to crack when used on cardboard tubes.

First step - filling the spirals. I mostly use the Rustoleum lacquer based gray auto primer. This dries very fast, has a reasonably hard film, and a moderate fill. It sands easily and doesn’t really clog the paper. It takes two or three coats to fill the spirals, sanding between coats. Filling actually goes faster if you sand, because it knocks off the high spots while leaving the primer in the valleys.

Use an adhesion promotor on the plastic nose cone, it makes a huge difference in paint adhesion to the polyethylene plastic. I used Duplicolor spray promotor. The Createx folks say their UVLS polyurethane clear is good adhesion promotor too. This is the same gloss clear used for the rest of the rocket, so that might be worth a try.

Here is a photo of the finished rocket.

red final coats.JPG
 

DES

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Because the Candy finish is completely transparent, there are multiple layers over a base coat. The Createx options are endless, but I went pretty simple. Base coat is the Createx Autoborne silver sealer, reduced 10% or so with the 4011 reducer. Not much to look at, similar in appearance to the grey primer, but more reflective and adds a uniform base color for the metalflake. This is three thin coats about 20 minutes apart, took about 5 ounces total.

autoborne silver.JPG
 
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DES

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Then the metal flake layer. This is the 4013 Coarse Silver, mixed with the 4030 balancing clear and 4011 reducer. A 4 oz. bottle of Coarse Silver metalflake was just enough to get two coats of metalflake down on the rocket. I can dial my spraygun down to about a 5 inch wide fan, but that isn’t super efficient on a 2 inch wide rocket.

Again, not much to look at here. Can’t really tell the difference between the primer, silver base, and aluminum metalflake in the photos.

The two coats of metalflake did cover completely and pretty uniformly, but aluminum metalflake is pretty dull and grey without a clearcoat. Pretty much dead flat, very little sparkle by itself.

FYI I am spelling this as metalflake because for some reason TRF browser insists on turning fl*ke into "fine".

metalflake.JPG
 
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DES

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The spray gun - a Chinese “Cartman” Brand with a 1.3 mm needle from Amazon, fitted with disposal spray cups. These use a thin plastic liner, 50 of them for $15. Did I mention I hate cleaning spray guns? I keep one of these cups loaded with the 4011 waterbased reducer, and sprayed a little through the gun between coats. The gun itself seems to be very nicely made, well machined, good adjustment knobs, and sprays a decent uniform pattern.
About $100 for the spray gun, spray cup system, and an inline filter and regulator.

spraygun.JPG
 

DES

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Time for the color coats. I used the Createx UVLS Clear Gloss polyurethane, with the Candy2O dyes. This is a waterborne, high grade polyurethane, looks almost like Elmer’s White glue in the bottle, but has a low surface tension so it wets the surface, and doesn’t bead up and crater. Pretty thick, it has to be reduced to spray. The Createx user guide says to use 3 parts UVLS to one part dye, but all of their YouTube videos say to use 6 parts UVLS to 1 part dye, and that is what I used. It seemed to build color quite fast. It would have been much darker if used at 3:1, and I wanted light.

The transparent yellow is first. This is 75% Tequila Yellow, 25% Lemon Yellow. A total of 4 thin coats, 20 minutes apart. Used a total of 6 oz. of the UVLS clear, 1 oz. of dye, and not quite an oz. of 4011 reducer. The coats were maybe just a little bit thicker than I should have. But the UVLS wet film doesn’t pull apart and crater like the 4030 clear will if you get it too thick.

The yellow was a bit more golden (green even) than I was going for, especially under fluorescent lights. But it looks good in the sun.

yellow 1.JPG




yellow 2.JPG
 
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DES

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Onto the fade. I wish I could say this was skill, but no, its actually magic. By holding the spray gun close to parallel to the axis of the rocket, with the spray directed primarily at the tip of the nose cone, the spray blows down the length of the rocket, sorting itself out as it blows by. The nose, being just inches from the spray nozzle gets most of the color while it gets thinner and lighter as the diffusing spray mist approaches the tail. With just a little bit of steering here and there, voila, a magic color fade.

This is Candy2O Blood Red, 6 parts ULVS, 1 part dye, 10% 4011 reducer. The fade was put down in 6 or 8 very thin coats 15 minutes apart or so, with every coat directed at the nosecone, with the spray parallel to the rocket.

I was quite happy with how the color fade developed, I was aiming for a continuous color fade from deep red, passing through a spectrum of red and orange, ending with yellow at the tail, and just a kiss of red on the leading edges of the fins.


UVLS gloss and dye.JPG


red first coats.JPG


red final coats (1).JPG
 

DES

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Clearcoat. The Candy2O dyes are not lightfast, and a UV blocking clearcoat is needed to keep them from eventually fading. Also, the bottom part of the rocket has a “dusty” texture because the paint mist is already drying as the spray mist reaches the rocket. Plus the clearcoat adds a lot of depth to the finish to help things pop. Wipe any dusty unbonded paint off with a slightly damp paper towel.

For the clearcoat, I just used the same Createx UVLS Clear Gloss polyurethane as for the color coats, just without the dye. I started the project with one 16oz bottle of the UVLS, at this point; I had about 5 oz. left. I cut it about 15% with the 4011 reducer, and was able to get three moderately wet coats on the rocket, just slightly milky.

The cured film is glossy, but it doesn’t really have the “clear” depth I’m looking for. I’m not sure if it needs additional coats to build thickness, or if the base coat dyes bleed into the clearcoat. Which doesn’t harm the fade effect, but muddies up the clearcoat.

Certainly open to suggestions there. Looking for a crystal clear topcoat with a good film thickness that the dyes won't bleed into.

But overall, pretty happy with how this turned out, and when she saw the finished rocket, the wife forgave me for all the "wasted" time.


applying clear coat.JPG


finished 1.JPG


finished 2.JPG


finsihed 3.JPG



red final coats.JPG
 
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Rocketcas

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Great Work! Beautiful job.

Love Createx. As far as clearing goes, a Createx paint effort needs a 2K clear (IMHO). It will take the paint to the next level!

I like the PPG Shop line - see attached. It will set you back about 60 bucks for the clear and hardener.

Two quick items...

The correct PPE is crucial for safety. Appropriate respirator and eye covering are highly recommended along with long sleeves and balaclava.

An additional spray gun might be good as well. I have sprayed clear out of my Createx gun resulting in contamination.

Looking forward to additional pictures if you try it!
 

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