Behind the scenes, custom bodyshell Painting with PbM

The first in what will probably be a pretty irregular series!

In this post, we’ll take a look behind the scenes at Paint by Magoo as we go about custom bodyshell painting. The color scheme the customer had in mind was three colors; Blue, Yellow and White – from the colors of his favorite soccer team, Leads United. We decided that he’d let PbM just ‘go for it’ and come up with a design… as long as we worked with those three colors he’d be happy. I think the end result blew him away.

If you’d like us to produce something like this for you, get in touch using the Contact Page!

How we do it!

Cut liquid mask, ready for paintThe first stage after cleaning the shell is to get the liquid mask on, and make sure it’s dry. I like to let each coat air-dry if I can, but for those customers who insist on rush jobs (you know who you are!) a hairdryer can be used. Next up the design is laid out on the outside using marker pens, the very carefully cut on the inside using very sharp scalpels – new blade every time. Then I can weed out the first color, and the fun starts! This shell is going to be blue, yellow and white, so working out the workflow is going to be key. I’ve decided to go blue-yellow-white as that should work, so I’ve weeded out the blue areas to start. In this photo you can see the clear area where the blue will go, and the area’s that are still in mask, including the hand cut starz.
Laying down some dark shadowsIn this case the first color in the workflow is going to blue, as it’s darkest and frames the straz. First stage is to use some thinned out black sprayed at a low pressure to frame all of the blue areas. I’m aiming for a lot of contrast in the blue, to make the yellow that will go on really pop and to avoid having to shade the yellow so a really contrasty shadow should work really well in this case. It looks a bit of a mess at this point, but most of the paint is actually on the mask, not the shell, so it’ll clean up as I go, and I’ll wind up with nice smooth shadows.
Completed blue areasAt this stage the black is dry, and I’ve laid in the blue. I started with a deep iridescent (very fine metallic) blue around the edges, coming just slightly in from the black. Then the whole area was dusted with fluorescent blue blended back to the dark blue. When I shot white on behind this the blue areas blend smoothly from a very light (almost white) blue, through to the black shadows.
Yellow starz with added texture With the blue dry, time for the starz to get some attention. First off their unmasked, and then the paint goes in. Starting with a special mask and some grey paint I laid in a few ‘micro dots’… cheap trick that adds texture and interest and is vital to get that ‘Euro’ look I was aiming for. Once that’s dry, just add yellow – opaque rather than fluorescent in this case – and back with white to make it all pop!
Pretty much done! We’ve skipped on a bit now. With the starz done, the main yellow area was sprayed in the same way, using more micro-holes for additional texture and interest on what would otherwise be a very large, flat area. Finally, the mask for the white is removed and the whole shell is sprayed.
Once the water-based paint is well dry a couple of coats of protective clear lacquer go on, and it’s ready to go to the customer for a good ragging. And remember, Paint By Magoo shells are worth at least two seconds a lap…

You can see the final job in more detail by clicking here!

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