Airbrushing and Custom Painting in the NorthWest of England.
I have added this page in an attempt to answer some of the regular questions that get asked of me.
If what you want to know is not covered here, email me and I'll answer it.
What sort of paint do you use?
I use almost exclusively Auto-Air paints. They are trickier to use than cellulose, urethane and 2k paints,
but there is a better variety available to suit the customers needs. They're much safer to use as well.
What do you spray ontop of the work to protect them?
I use a 2k (2-pack) lacquer. This is a lacquer that is mixed with a hardner, and goes off within a certain time window. This is known to be a very tough lacquer, as used in the automotive industry, is very good at resisting knocks, and is as fuel proof as it gets!
Who produces the designs for the canopies, helmets, or guitars?
Usually you do! Most customers contact me and tell me that they've seen a design somewhere and would like one spraying in a similar way. Occasionally customers leave the design to me with a few comments about colours they like, and colours they don't like. As a customer, feel free to produce your own design. I will spray this for you, but if necessary, I wll provide input as to whether or not the design fits together well. It's easy to produce a canopy design that looks fantastic, and is the envy of everyone at the field, but if you can't see it in the sky, it's a waste of time and money.
How long does it take to produce a canopy?
From the time I get the canopy, usually about 2 weeks. Helmets and guitars obviously take longer because of the more detailed work involved.
Who supplies the canopy or helmet?
Sometimes a customer sends me the canopy (or helmet) because the kit they've bought includes a blank canopy, or alternatively, I can source them, at cost. Most canopy suppliers will even ship the canopy direct to me, upon you purchasing it.
How much does it cost to spray a canopy?
This varies according to the canopy, and not how you might think! Some canopies are easier to spray than others, or to put it more accurately, take less time, and this is not due to the size of the canopy. (Believe it or not, a 250 cano involves just as much work as a 700 cano). Some canos are notoriously harder to prep due to their "poorer" finish when they come out of the mould. When primered up, all I'm looking at is millions of holes that all need filling, then re-primering, then re-filling, etc. As a rule of thumb, I use the size of the canopy as a guide for the pricing, and apologies for not knowing every canopy out there and its' size, so I use Align canopies as a guide. T-Rex 600 size canopies and above, £60 plus the cost of the canopy. (ie TDR, Aurora, 700, Logo, etc) T-Rex 500 size canopies and above, £50 plus the cost of the canopy. T-Rex 450 size canopies and above, £40 plus the cost of the canopy. These prices are for what I term "normal" airbrushing. If you want an Aliens head on it, etc, it will cost more ! The price includes 2k clearing, and recorded delivery to your address.
How much does it cost to spray a helmet or guitar?
This simply varies according to the design. Prices start at £250.
What designs can you put on the canopy?
Virtually anything ! At this point in time I do not charge extra for your name to be put on, or for a logo to be incorporated into the design, etc. Some companies charge an extra $10 for a name, $10 for a logo, $10 for an extra colour, etc. It soon mounts up !
Do you repair canopies?
Some can be repaired if all that is involved is a minor fix. This will obviously cost more. If you've dumb-thumbed it into the ground, chances are that there's alot of work involved, and it's a "write-off". It's just not worth the cost of having it fixed - cheaper to buy a new cano.
Do you repair helmets or guitars?
Helmets - definately not, unless it's never going to be used on the road or track! It has to be either a new helmet, or one you use at present, in good condition. If your guitar is showing its age, or has too many dings in it, they can be filled in prior to re-spraying. This does not affect the musical tone of the guitar. Acoustic guitars can also be aprayed, but be mindful that this will affect their acoustic tones when you put paint and lacquer on the resonating board!!
Can you re-spray over an existing canopy design?
It can be done, but once again the cost goes up because of the prep time. Not only am I NOT at square one, I'm even further back !! I have to remove stickers, decals, etc, and then prepare the surface to take primers. This may involve removing glue residues left over from the decals, etc. The canopy you get after it will be worthwhile though. You won't know that it had a previous life !
Are the canopies you spray on new?
They are always new, usually supplied to you in the manufacturers' box that was sent to me. I will never use secondhand canopies unless this has been agreed between myself and the customer.