Originally Posted by jeffyjeep
I think I know how that finish was achieved! I once colored Easter eggs in a similar finish when I was a kid (yes, eggs HAD been invented already back then.)
The way I did the eggs was:
I started with a large bowl of clean water. I then added different colors of oil-based paints to the water--which of course floated on top of the water. I then randomly swirled the colors gently. I then carefully dipped each egg into the water. The floating paint adhered to the egg, creating a random color pattern.
Is that (sort of) how you did it, Lee?
That's it in a nutshell, or eggshell, if you prefer ...
I use an old 30 gallon trash can, and fill it to the top, so most model rockets will fit completely underwater. Of course, make sure nose cone is tight -- wrap masking tape on shoulder to help keep water out. I also seal up the motor end as best as I can. A good method is to have a spent motor on a dowel, and insert into motor tube and mask it. Then you have an easy way to dunk the rocket. Even if the seal is not perfect, you'll be fine, since the rocket is not in the water very long when dipped.
I've had the best luck with enamel spray paint. I don't recall if I've used lacquers, but they might dry too quickly. I've not had much luck with acrylics. They probably tended to blend with the water, rather than sitting on the surface like an oil slick. Shake all your cans so they are all ready to spray. A helper would make the process faster, but I've done this myself when my kids were little and I did not want them handling spray paint!
Spray colors quickly onto surface of the water and dunk. If you want to try redip and need more paint on water, use newspaper or paper towels to mop up the old paint and spray a new coating. The rocket shown is long, so I dipped both ends, and used different colors.
I've found a base coat of white is best, but I've used black, and sprayed red, orange, and yellow for a king of Halloweenish finish.
This is a great way to use up tiny amounts of paint that we all seem to have -- especially those little Testors cans.
I'm thinking I want to do another!
I think some cool effects could be done with an airbrush. I really need to get mine out and play with them. I did see a rocket that was painted white, and had lots of different color dots that flared out like a fireworks starburst. I think the owner used an airbrush and just held it close to surface and released a tiny bit of paint. It looked like it hit and then just splashed out radially from the center. Very cool effect.