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post #1 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Swirl project

Hey everyone!

I'm still in the process of refinishing my '90 UCRG1 (the original thread is buried somewhere in the forum, I haven't posted for quite a while now).

I'm currently practicing my swirling with varied success. I'm using Testors enamels (a mix of both their current line and the now-discontinued model masters), and I'm testing on paper plates with a base coat (sometimes primer, sometimes white) on the bottoms of the plates. Here's my setup:
  • Container is about 11" x 15", lined with a white trash bag.
  • 3 gallons of water @ 70-75 degrees F. We have very hard water here.
  • Borax: 62.5 mL total, about 1.4 tbsp/gallon
I've gone through several colors and my main colors right now are:
  • White: Does not spread AT ALL when poured on top of other paints, barely spreads when poured alone, even after I thinned it quite a bit. It what doesn't stay on the surface sinks straight to the bottom. Comes out in huge blobs that drip on the plates.
  • Black: Spreads OK when I put it in first, however when I pour it in, as it spreads it separates into tons of tiny little droplets, an as it settles, it becomes more uniform. This hasn't really affected the end result as the problem goes away by the time I dip, but it's still very strange that the paint does this. Thinned quite a bit. Usually turns out okay on the plates.
  • Turquoise (Model Masters line): This color spreads a LOT, it often pushes all the other paints away, I usually end up only putting one drop of it in at a time to keep it from pushing the other colors too much. Skins over faster than the other paints but if I move quickly, I can usually dip before it skins. Not thinned at all. Turns out great on the plates.
  • Grabber Blue (Model Masters): Same problem as the Turquoise, spreads a LOT and skins too soon sometimes. Not thinned at all. Usually turns out a bit thin and faint on the plates, but not bad.
  • Dark Blue: This color is from the newer Testors line, and originally, even after being thinned, didn't spread well, but when it did, it looked good. It wasn't very vibrant though, so I added some turquoise and grabber blue to try to fix these problems, and it spreads/looks better now, still doesn't spread REALLY well though. Turns out pretty good on the plates.
  • French Blue (Model Masters): I've abandoned this color now for the dark blue I mixed up, it was very hit or miss, sometimes it spread well, other times it didn't. It also skinned over too quickly most of the time. It looked good on the plates though.
One of the biggest problems I'm having is that the first color I put in NEVER spreads to the edge of the container. Even with fresh water and a clean plastic bag, when I put the first color in, it starts to spread, but then stops because some transparent component of the paint that ends up on on the outer edges of the color skins over IMMEDIATELY and prevents the rest of the paint from spreading. However, when I remove the film and the rest of the paint spreads, it spreads out too thin and skins over quickly. Any idea what's causing this/how to prevent it?

The other main problem is that the Turquoise and Grabber Blue spread too much and push all the other colors away. I feel like these are the only two colors that work as they should though, because they're the only paints out of the ones I've tested that actually spread like those in all the YouTube videos I've seen. Could it just be that all my other colors don't work?

So here are my questions:
1. How can I prevent the paint from skinning over too fast? I know I can add mineral spirits, but the mineral spirits I have looks like milk, and I'm afraid that it might affect the color of the paints.
2. Has anyone had success with Humbrol's black, white, and french blue? I just ordered some, so I'll be testing those soon. What other brands have good blacks and whites?
3. How can I make the colors spread better? I know thinning them is supposed to help them spread, but I've already thinned them a lot (several cc's at least) and they still don't spread well. I also know that increasing borax helps them spread but the borax can't be the problem because the other colors spread too much. Suggestions?
4. In most of the youtube videos, all of the colors spread about the same, regardless of what order they are put in. For me, it seems like all the colors I put in on top of another color (with the exception of turquoise and grabber blue) spread very little compared to how they spread if I put them in first. Ideas?

Here's the album with pics of my test swirls: http://s1118.beta.photobucket.com/us...wirl%20Testing. There are two pics of each plate, one front and one back. They WERE organized in the right order so that each pair of pics would be next to each other (I even literally named them A.jpg, B.jpg, etc.), but unfortunately, until Photobucket learns the alphabet, the order of the pics is all mixed up.

Any and all feedback is hugely appreciated!

-Eric





Last edited by kfm946; 03-05-2013 at 08:04 PM.
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post #2 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 08:34 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Re: Swirl project

Hate to break the news to you, but Testors really sucks for swirling. If you're going to use model paints you should have gone with Humbrol they are more consistent, spread out much better, and don't run as bad as the Testors.

Don't expect much help with swirling around here, for some reason everyone is tight lipped as hell when it comes to anything to do with swirls. Just because they spent way too much money and time learning how to do it they feel everyone else should have to as well..

I'll be happy to help you as much as I can, although I'm no professional, I've spent a lot of time on it and I've got some good results...

That second swirl down would look sweet without the runs

Last edited by Swirltop; 03-06-2013 at 09:15 PM.
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post #3 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 08:40 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: alabama u.s.a.
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Re: Swirl project

The testore with the orangish maybe red label work great.
dont use borax and use room temp water .
dont mix the paints too much either.

i got good with testors when i first started.

also as long as you get good with anypaint it dont matter if you are using crayola crouns in the water . lol swirling is about what works for you. KEEP PRACTISING.
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post #4 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 08:51 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Re: Swirl project

I tried to do a swirl with Testor... it was a disaster. funny, it worked okay on the test plank but it was a mess on the guitar
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post #5 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 05:02 AM
 
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Re: Swirl project

The first time I tried testors bottled paints it was a disaster.I almost gave up.It occured to me that the paints had too much gloss and needed to be really thinned out.Instead of doing that I tried the spraycans.Worked pretty good.But like everyone else says it takes time to develop your method no matter what you use.Someone could tell me their method and paints and it would still be alot of frustration anyway.But if I put the time in, I would eventually get good at it.Even though I have swirled a 100 or so over the years that people actually liked, I still feel like a complete amatuer compared to some of the stuff I have seen on here.
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post #6 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 08:44 AM
 
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Re: Swirl project

I agree with swirltop.second one down looks best
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post #7 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 08:51 AM
 
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Re: Swirl project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boombatty View Post
I agree with swirltop.second one down looks best
+1 nice and smooth and colors are full.
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post #8 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Re: Swirl project

Thanks for the compliments guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirltop View Post
Don't expect much help with swirling around here, for some reason everyone is tight lipped as hell when it comes to anything to do with swirls. Just because they spent way too much money and time learning how to do it they feel everyone else should have to as well..
Yeah I can understand that feeling. Although at the same time I feel like it would be more beneficial to everyone for us to work together to nail down the science of the different methods, so that we can put more time and effort into the artistic and technique side of things. Just my opinion though

Unfortunately, I'm really short on time and money at the moment, and this is a one-time project, so I'm just trying to get it done rather than become a great swirler (for now). So it doesn't make much sense to put in all that time and work that the pros do if I'm not going to use it more than once like they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirltop View Post
That second swirl down would look sweet without the runs
Yeah apart from the splotches of white, that one definately looks the best. I can't wait to see what it looks like when I get a white that actually works. It seems like most people have to thin the white more than any other color, so I'll try that with the Humbrol white that I ordered.
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post #9 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 05:08 PM
 
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Re: Swirl project

Honestly you can thin the white almost as much as you want since you'll probably be swirling over a white primer right? I've also seen guys use a clear so that the white primer just shows through.

The Humbrol white that I used had to be thinned about 50% or it would just sink without spreading at all...
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post #10 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 04:21 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Re: Swirl project

I have had the best luck by far with rattle can enamel sprayed into the cap dirrectly onto the water over any model paint. Be ready as it may dry fast. No thinner needed.
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post #11 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Swirl project

My humbrols arrived today, I did a couple of tests and they work beautifully compared to the Testors! They spread all the way to the edge, didn't skin over too fast, easy to work with. I'll have some pics tomorrow.

I did things a bit differently:
3 gallons of water @ 72 degrees F
Less borax, only 45mL total of borax, 1 tbsp / gallon

Only a couple of issues:

The black took quite a while to spread evenly, and some parts didn't spread evenly at all. Do you think I need more borax?

The colors, especially the black (probably because it didn't spread evenly), came out a bit thin on the plates. Do I just need to put more paint on the water?

I'm ordering some more colors tonight, but Humbrol doesn't seem to have a very wide variety of gloss colors. Anyone know of a place where I can find more colors? Or another brand of paints that work well for swirling, have good colors, and aren't too expensive?
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post #12 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 171
Re: Swirl project

Here is one I did with Tremclad spray paint. It worked out better than any model paint. I did not want it to be too busy. The spary paint spread really nice, all colors.

http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f18/rg...-118382-3.html
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post #13 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 07:39 PM
 
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Re: Swirl project

Quote:
Originally Posted by kfm946 View Post
My humbrols arrived today, I did a couple of tests and they work beautifully compared to the Testors! They spread all the way to the edge, didn't skin over too fast, easy to work with. I'll have some pics tomorrow.

I did things a bit differently:
3 gallons of water @ 72 degrees F
Less borax, only 45mL total of borax, 1 tbsp / gallon

Only a couple of issues:

The black took quite a while to spread evenly, and some parts didn't spread evenly at all. Do you think I need more borax?

The colors, especially the black (probably because it didn't spread evenly), came out a bit thin on the plates. Do I just need to put more paint on the water?

I'm ordering some more colors tonight, but Humbrol doesn't seem to have a very wide variety of gloss colors. Anyone know of a place where I can find more colors? Or another brand of paints that work well for swirling, have good colors, and aren't too expensive?
I found that the Humbrol black I had needed to be thinned about 25% to spread really good and not gob up. Same with the green that I got.

Adding more Borax will also help. When the paints take too long to spread I try adding more Borax, if it spreads really fast and goes right to the edges and stays there, reduce the Borax.
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post #14 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Re: Swirl project

GUYS I DID IT!!!!



Best swirl I've done yet!

I did a couple more tests today (including that one^), working more on my swirling technique.
Used the same water as last night, didn't dump it.
All of those can be found here: http://s1118.beta.photobucket.com/us...wirl%20Testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirltop View Post
I found that the Humbrol black I had needed to be thinned about 25% to spread really good and not gob up. Same with the green that I got.
I put 3 drops of thinner in it before I did any tests with it. It seems like it pushes all the other paints away but all the pigment stays in the middle and gradually evens out. When it finally does spread out, it is very transparent, unlike any of the other colors. As you can see in some of the pics like the one below, the black is so thin that it appears as a medium/light grey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirltop View Post
Adding more Borax will also help. When the paints take too long to spread I try adding more Borax, if it spreads really fast and goes right to the edges and stays there, reduce the Borax.
I was thinking that but then it would just make the black spread out (over a larger surface area) and the layer of paint would be even thinner/more transparent.



Any suggestions?

I ordered some more shades of blue to try out for this weekend, hopefully I'll get to some full scale testing and maybe even the guitar itself!

Also, any suggestions for objects to swirl the paints with? I used some thin nails and they work okay but I'm wondering if there's anything better.

And should I sand the body to 400 or 600 grit before swirling? It's been so long since I've touched the body that I forgot.
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post #15 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 07:37 PM
 
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Re: Swirl project

Quote:
Originally Posted by kfm946 View Post
I was thinking that but then it would just make the black spread out (over a larger surface area) and the layer of paint would be even thinner/more transparent.
Any suggestions?
Use more Borax and get the black to spread all the way.

Make sure you stir the paints really well. Then shake the sh!t out of them for at least 1 min before you use them. This little step makes a world of difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kfm946 View Post
Also, any suggestions for objects to swirl the paints with? I used some thin nails and they work okay but I'm wondering if there's
I like to use large zip ties; the paint doesn't stick to them as much as it does to a lot of other things

Quote:
Originally Posted by kfm946 View Post
And should I sand the body to 400 or 600 grit before swirling? It's been so long since I've touched the body that I forgot.
I always had better luck misting a light coat of clear over the primer than sanding the primer. The paints stick better to the slight orange peal of the clear coat than it does to the primer and won't run.

#1 tip of the day. Buy some Naptha and some blue shop towels. If you don't like how the swirl comes out on your guitar, just wipe it off with the Naptha. There's no need to have to sand it and prime it again
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