ADI AvP Queen test casting, repair and modification

Over the last couple of days I've been adjusting the colors on the major repair area. While I was happy with my overall paint job I was not thrilled. And while I think that it suffices to the extent that no one who didn't see it damaged would ever think it had been damaged, my ideal goal (with any repair) is for me to not be able to tell where I repaired it. I'm sure if you are on this forum you too are your own worst critic and understand this.

On Wednesday I did some eraser testing using a Pentel Hi-Poly eraser. Seemed to work to gently dial back some of the dark green spray I had mistakenly used instead of black to reduce the area's luminosity. If you look closely there are some lighter silver areas in the middle around the two dark horizontal creases. Those were where I tested.
22,12-07 (8)eraser testing.jpg

On Friday I cleared (using General) all the small repair areas, which need no further adjusting. Then I set about trying to get rid of the dark border clouds you can see in the pic above, and shift the hue more toward aqua, and adjust the luminosity too as my repair area was a little too dark. You can see here how the value is more evenly similar to the ADI paint now, but the hue shifted a bit brown, and some of it is still too dark.
22,12-09 (23)even more erasing.jpg

Next I drybrushed the X-11 (apparently you can drybrush hybrid acrylics). Some of the drybrushing was over the darker colors but most of it was to lighten the space between splotches. This got me a lot closer to what I was after.
22,12-09 (26)drybrushed aqua.jpg

Then I cleared it and...crap. The darker colors darkened a lot more than the lighter colors and shifted everything again. But better to find out now than when I'm doing the final clear with a 2K.
22,12-09 (29)cleared big repair.jpg

So, back to drybrushing...this time focusing more on adjusting the overall value (standing far back to look at it) so the ranges lined up with the ranges of ADI's paint on either side. I will point out that adjusting the repair are would be MUCH easier if I just darkened ADI's paint to blend out my repair over a wider area. But since this portion of the project is restoration that seems counter to my purpose.
22,12-09 (33)drybrushed more silver.jpg

Cleared it again, much better but not there yet.
22,12-09 (36)cleared again.jpg

Actually I thought it looked decent enough to move on to painting the middle section next...until I turned off the lights and saw that the repair area is much darker under low light (one small motion sensor light still active) than the ADI paint. So now I was sure I was not done adjusting. This pic below is over-exposed but accurately shows how different the repair area looked under this light. I must assume that to some degree this is because the reflective values of Alumaluster and Tamiya's X-11 are different. But also that is just an assumption at this point because I do still have more color paint over my reflective surface than ADI did. I will find out more after adjusting the repair further.
22,12-09 (39)with main lights off.jpg

Saturday, began with more significant drybrushing using a much larger makeup brush. The focus at this point was trying to get rid of the dark clouds on either side of the repair area and pulling the ADI lighter areas (low-to-high from the left, and low from the right) across my repair area to make it more integrated. Why not airbrush I hear you ask...because drybrushing gives me more precise control and there is zero overspray. So no risk (or changes) to the ADI paint to either side that I'm referencing/matching.
22,12-10 (3)silver drybrushing.jpg

Then I shifted to focusing on color tone, using the aqua to tint select dark green and browner splotches to be more in keeping with ADI's arrangements. I drybrushed some of this through the masks I had made, to reduce the fuzzing of the splotch shapes. ADI's were fairly crisp and I didn't want to get everything else right but then betray the repair area via textural inconsistency.
22,12-10 (4)aqua added.jpg

Cleared it again, mostly to check for darkening. A little but the aqua doesn't darken as much as the dark green did. Also, at this point I began to wonder if there even WAS any dark green on ADI's blue side. In retrospect I think that they may have just used aqua and black and as the aqua darkened it simply looked more green to the eye. Too late to change on the repair area now, but maybe something to consider when I paint the middle. K.I.S.S.
22,12-10 (8)gloss cleared.jpg

So yes, you guessed it, more drybrushing! This time I was working to balance the lighter values that I now saw more clearly in ADI's shadow areas. If you look closely you will see that their shadows often have a lighter portion underneath. I expect this is there to imply reflected light and that (along with the reflective base) would add a lot of sculptural definition - especially on film.
22,12-10 (11)more drybrushing.jpg

Last touchups of the day. More adjusting of shadow areas and contrast between splotches. This was, I think (because I've never done it), a lot like putting on makeup. Step back to get a better sense of the whole, then jump forward to work on a spot that stuck out as wrong, back to distance, and on and on. Every time you see something that stands out, that's what needs to be adjusted. Until you get to the point where the standouts are relatively the same as the reference.

Which brings us to "good enough". As I have been told:"A painting is never finished, it's abandoned." Because there is always more you could do. Or similarly for machinists:"There is no perfect, it's a question of tolerance." What is acceptable deviation? I know I should let go of my goal of not being able to tell where my own repair is, that's a deep rabbit hole in the context of a candy paint. So my revised goal is that my repair look to be of similar deviation as the variety within ADI's original paint.

In the context of my revised goal the large repair is still not all the way there, but it's a lot better than it was on Wednesday.
22,12-10 (15)last touchups.jpg

Here is a quick before/after, since the changes are subtle in the sequence of pics above.
22,12-10 (18)before_after.jpg

It's actually kind of nice that this project finally tried to be a pain in the ass. Things were going too smoothly up to this point, at least for a project that I expected to be quite difficult. Now I feel like the hardest "gotcha" event is behind me. Even though there is more fine tuning needed I at least feel like I now understand the variables and their relationships to each other.


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A little project today, PShopping the colors from my OSL-style idea onto the middle section. I think it will make each ADI composition more distinct from the sides, and from head-on it should be pretty interesting. FYI: There are only 5 colors used on both sides, and black and the base silver. And all 5 colors are used on each side, just in different ways. Toward the center of this layup you can see my swatches.
22,12-10, 4x test layup.jpg
Love the way you're tackling this enormous project (love the tuto also):cool::cool:(y)(y):notworthy::notworthy: Funny how different lighting can modify your paint/ you have discovered. I'm sure that if you put the whole thing outside, the natural light will play tricks on you also.
Eager to see your next update!
Mount it on a frame and turn it into a trike! Front wheel coming out where the queens face would be. :)
LOL, that's a great idea...except that the middle horn would be impaling your face!

It actually would be a great idea, stylistically, for a trike. At 4' wide the crown could work at 1:1 scale. Someone great at tube bending could make an organically shaped frame, etc...rear fenders might be like the queen's thighs...and maybe 6 thin flattening super long (takeyari style) zoomie headers could be like her back spikes. It would not be subtle.
Did much of the middle section color work yesterday, and the black shading, paint revisions, and a thin acrylic clearcoat today. I am close to calling it done. And by done I mean not done but ready for final (urethane) clearcoating of the entire piece.

*Disclaimer* This will get pic-heavy!

*2nd Disclaimer* This might be anti-climactic because I think the end result looks a lot like my PShop pic from the previous post.

I started with aqua, adding splotches (blue side) and a little bit of shading (green side).
22,12-12 (1)starting middle, aqua.jpg

22,12-12 (2)starting middle, aqua.jpg

22,12-12 (6)starting middle, aqua.jpg

Then I did the dark aqua and the dark green, which would be splotches and shading on blue and green sides, respectively.
22,12-12 (9)dark aqua and dark green.jpg

22,12-12 (10)dark aqua and dark green.jpg

22,12-12 (11)dark aqua and dark green.jpg

22,12-12 (12)dark aqua and dark green.jpg

22,12-12 (13)dark aqua and dark green.jpg
22,12-12 (14)dark aqua and dark green.jpg

Then I remembered that ladders make you taller! And that up to this point I hadn't actually looked at the crown from a more straight-on angle that will be closer to it's final wall-mounted viewing angle. So this:
22,12-12 (15)dark aqua and dark green.jpg

Also, if you were curious, here is a pic of my color list and application guide for the middle section. They were based on observing the ADI applications on both sides. And yes, I realize I haven't yet detailed my paint selections...getting to that, just short on time right now.
22,12-12 (16)middle section palette and notes.jpg

Next was yellow. This was to bring out the tips of the horns a little, but also to add visual movement through gradating their intensity. And to echo the yellow ADI put in the open area to the rear, across the middle section.
22,12-12 (18)yellow.jpg

22,12-12 (19)yellow.jpg

22,12-12 (20)yellow.jpg

Then olive. This was used for splotches on both sides, but sparingly. And then on the green side to blend the dark green and yellow. I also used it to add some interest to the dome area's green side, as this was completely unfinished by ADI.
22,12-12 (26)olive.jpg

22,12-12 (27)olive.jpg

22,12-12 (28)olive.jpg

22,12-12 (30)olive.jpg

Next was brown. This was used only for little detail areas, usually in conjunction with a presence of yellow.
22,12-12 (43)brown.jpg

22,12-12 (44)brown.jpg

22,12-12 (45)brown.jpg

22,12-12 (46)brown.jpg

So ended Monday. A pretty productive day (well, a 1/2 day). And I could already see things I wanted to adjust. I did some erasing, to knock back some fill spray. And I could tell I would need to increase the aqua intensity to match ADI's. Which leads us to today...

Tuesday. Black day...meaning it was time to paint all the black. Which I expected would take a really long time, because there are a lot of details in the middle section. WRONG! Sort of. It didn't take as long as I expected. But there were some weird complications. For one: I couldn't drop my air pressure (remember, shop compressor) low enough to splatter paint from the airbrush like I wanted to. The whole rear 1/2 of the blue side is speckled (like shooting from a spray paint can too far away) and I wanted to airbrush "badly" to echo that texture in the middle too. Took quite a while to get a passably acceptable compromise result, which included some hand stippling with a ratty old brush.

From there it was revision time: Looking at all the stuff I didn't do quite right; density of colors, intensities, areas out of balance, areas too balanced, etc. etc. I ended up going back in with aqua, dark aqua, brown, yellow, and then black again after. But I think it now looks pretty good.

Then I cleared all the areas I worked on, again with thinned General acrylic gloss clear. But because of the high pressure I used it kicks really fast so none of the cleared areas look glossy like ADI's urethane gloss. And that is the goal for tomorrow (or today because now it's past midnight).

Pics of it pretty much done:
22,12-13 (9)revisions.jpg

22,12-13 (10)revisions.jpg
22,12-13 (11)revisions.jpg

22,12-13 (12)revisions.jpg

22,12-13 (13)revisions.jpg

22,12-13 (14)revisions.jpg

And a parting pic from up high:
22,12-13 (16)revisions.jpg
Yep, the challenge is to be, somewhat, symmetrical with the other side. Great paint job and tuto:cool::cool:(y)(y):notworthy::notworthy:
I would've, personally, jumped from one side to the other while doing such paint job. It's easy to apply your primary colors, then secondary, etc...while doing it on both sides;) You can achieve, then, that symmetry and overall look, as you know I'm sure(y)
Yep, the challenge is to be, somewhat, symmetrical with the other side. Great paint job and tuto:cool::cool:(y)(y):notworthy::notworthy:
I would've, personally, jumped from one side to the other while doing such paint job. It's easy to apply your primary colors, then secondary, etc...while doing it on both sides;) You can achieve, then, that symmetry and overall look, as you know I'm sure(y)
Thanks guys. Yeah, that's pretty much what I did; jumped from section to section for each color, usually followed with a similarly significant color from the other side. But more importantly was the push/pull thing, a term I learned from mini painting. Taking paint off (or drybrushing more base over, same diff) can be as much of an impact as adding paint. Which is a fancy way of saying a lot of this was trial and error, and "sneaking up on the cut". Obviously the whole thing was a big learning curve, as I've never painted like this before. I'm thankful that she played nice.

Also, I can tell from the pics (more than in person) that the valleys between the horns of the middle section needs a little more color. They are just a little too silver, if you run your eyes horizontally (in the past pic) across each row. Specifically I think I should pull the colors from the middle horn column to the middle of each valley, and more so toward the front and middle rows.
Got a lot done's done. Except for figuring out how I'm going to support it on the wall. Anyone have a good reference for the tensile strength and longevity under load of various ropes, cables and chains?

Not enough time to process pics today, so here are a few from last night. I took these with the lights out. Kinda moody, and it shows the colors and lines of the sculpt differently.
22,12-13 (21)dark.jpg
22,12-13 (22)dark.jpg
22,12-13 (23)dark.jpg
22,12-13 (24)dark.jpg
22,12-13 (25)dark.jpg
Pro-Job on that paint/repair project :cool: :cool: (y) (y) :notworthy::notworthy: As for hanging that beauty...I don't know how much it weigh or if, over time, hanging it in a somewhat vertical angle might warp the whole thing:unsure: Dust is also a factor with all of those nooks and crannies...
I'm sure others will chime in to give you some tricks;)
Pro-Job on that paint/repair project :cool: :cool: (y) (y) :notworthy::notworthy: As for hanging that beauty...I don't know how much it weigh or if, over time, hanging it in a somewhat vertical angle might warp the whole thing:unsure: Dust is also a factor with all of those nooks and crannies...
I'm sure others will chime in to give you some tricks;)
- It's about 45lbs +/-3. It's a very strong fiberglass part, with the folds and wrinkles forming a network of incidental structural reinforcements. That's why I attached my 2x4 cable mount where I did. And also my 2x4 keeps it from flexing in the X axis, which was the only way it used to flex.

I'm not concerned about dust, or about "UV" light. Last year I tested and mixed a coating that I applied to the underside of my skylights that cut HEV (the real threat, not UV) by 75%, and I also used filter media to seal the gaps in the skylights so very little dust gets through but air can still pass.

If at some future time the forum would like an in-depth thread on the misconceptions of "UV" light and how they interact with our plastics and paint pigments (and retinas) I have enough data that it would be worthwhile to share.

About dust; I love brush seal! I use this on the glass gaps and the door ends on all my cases. And on the irregular side of my studio's window vent plate. Air can move but particles get blocked. There are also much larger versions for industrial applications, like rollup doors.
Yesterday I finished the crown. Essentially. I still plan on reinforcing the mounting bar, and sign it on the back with a note about ADI painting the sides.

The day began with testing the clearcoat...just in case there were any freak interactions. I used Upol #1, which I've had good experiences with on one of my cars, and for some smaller projects. Here is the section I chose, small and varied enough that potentially repainting it from scratch would not be horrible. I cleared over my work and ADI's, as that was the plan for the whole piece.

Oh, and I should have mentioned that I had previously cleaned the WHOLE piece with white vinegar and a brush and towel, to get out all the fine dust that had accumulated over the years on ADI's paint. White vinegar is my duster of choice, because it doesn't (in small doses) interact with any paint or primer chemicals and it's residue evaporates quickly.

Anyway, the test...nothing bad happened. The checkered paint you see is cracked, under ADI's clearcoat. That might become an issue later, but I think it will be stable under double clearcoats.
22,12-14 (2)testing clear.jpg

While that dried I adjusted the colors of the middle section, generally bringing more color out into the valleys and slightly merging some blue and green side colors in non-patterned ways. These adjustments did NOT include black, which is why it's a little lop-sided on the blue side at this point.
22,12-14 (3)after color adjustments.jpg

22,12-14 (4)after color adjustments.jpg

22,12-14 (5)after color adjustments.jpg

22,12-14 (7)after color adjustments.jpg

I also hit the front part of the dome with a little more aqua, so it would more clearly parallel the brighter aqua shade below that is part of ADI's paintwork.
22,12-14 (6)after color adjustments.jpg

Then I added more black. Part of this was to bring the blue side value down to where ADI's was, and partly this was to increase the clarity of the black linework that's very apparent in the creases on the blue side.
22,12-14 (11)after black adjustment.jpg

22,12-14 (14)after black adjustment.jpg

22,12-14 (15)after black adjustment.jpg

22,12-14 (16)after black adjustment.jpg

22,12-14 (18)after black adjustment.jpg

Then it was time to gloss the crown. As an example of how significant an impact this has on the appearance look at these pics of ADI's glossy sections and my paint still matte. Notice how important the specular highlights are in describing the surface detail! It's almost like the effect of blacklining in mini painting, but inverted.
22,12-14 (20)gloss contrast.jpg

22,12-14 (22)gloss contrast.jpg

Here is a pic of the back with an area not yet glossed. Notice how much more depth of color and detail the gloss section has. Even more than I expected. Perhaps I should have adjusted the colors a little less, not knowing they would deepen quite so much.
22,12-14 (23)half glossed.jpg

But it is what it is now. Also, this was a really cheap project overall. Didn't have to buy/re-buy much, maybe $30-40 in paint and $20 for the ProPoxy that I still have 90% of. Except for the clear. I used almost three bottles (heavy wet coats, and twice over my middle section paint because it was physically rougher than ADI's cleared paint) and that cost about $75. But it is an excellent clear, and reasonable for the coverage it provided.

Finished crown:
22,12-14 (27)finished.jpg

22,12-14 (28)finished.jpg

22,12-14 (29)finished.jpg

22,12-14 (30)finished.jpg

22,12-14 (31)finished.jpg

And from the estimated display angle:
22,12-14 (33)finished.jpg
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