Practice VW Bug No. 2

The first VW Practice Bug I wanted to learn how to use the air-brush and try out some pre-shading techniques. Ultimately, I didn’t like the pre-shade technique on that model, though I may try it again on a different one in the future.

The goal for the second bug was to try something new with paints.

While building the practice Porsche, I ordered some Al Clad gloss varnish. The Artist Spouse had given me some old interference pigments to try on the Porsche, and while none of them worked out on that project, I wanted to try them to see how that interference pigment looked on a car, and if it had the pearl effect that I was hoping for that just looks very cool.

The first step was to prime clean up the body lines and to prime the body. I was going to use an undercoat of red to give more warmth to the final colour, but the Artist Spouse recommended using black, since the interference pigments are a bit transparent. Rather than pigments that selectively reflect and absorb colour, the interference pigments create an interference reflection that creates the colours that we see. She thought a red undercoat would end up looking brown. So I primed with a black primer and used that as the base coat.

I ended up settling on a blue-green interference pigment. I mixed this in a spare paint bottle with the Al Klad gloss varnish and stirred it up well. I wasn’t sure how much pigment to use, so I likely used way too much. The first dry coat gave me a pretty good hint at how this was going to turn out.

And by the time that I got the final wet coat, I was really liking the effect that these interference pigments gave. These pigments look metallic, but the colours are also greatly effected by the light that hits them.

With this practice bug, I really didn’t take my time and honestly kind of rushed things. I really wanted to just quickly see how the colour turned out, and it honestly shows. There are imperfections in the final paint and in the model itself. I didn’t give much through to the interior colour, and I ended up picking a dark blue that just didn’t work.

While this paint is naturally high gloss, since it’s just a pigment suspended in the varnish, it doesn’t like wet sanding. There were a couple of imperfections that I noted that I tried to sand out and this resulted in some spots where the paint just didn’t re-take in later coats. It left outlines of the areas that had been sanded more in a way that’s a bit strange. This is something to keep in mind if I try these colours again.

I think the ultimate lesson on this project is not to rush things. Yes, I only wanted to experiment with the colour, but had I taken my time, this whole project could have produced a much more interesting result that would have highlighted the colour better.