This tutorial will discuss the techniques for using pearl powders with model building. This follows the third build layers chart. For this example, I will be showing the effects of spraying pearl powders over a gloss black surface and a white surface. The applications of pearls are endless, and they can be applied to any painted surface to create a pearlized look. The technique I’m using is to mix the pearl powders with a clear carrier and then spray the mixture over an already painted part. The pearl powders can be mixed with paint to create pearlized paints as well.

For this demo, I am using Jacquard PearlEX pearl powers mixed with Mr Super Clear Gloss. I have mixed these pearl powders with Future floor polish as well with similar results. A very small amount of the pearl powders is mixed with the carrier, then the mixture is poured into the airbrush and sprayed out.

[fvplayer src=’/videos/mixing_pearl_powder.flv’ width=600 height=380]

Next up is spraying the part. Begin with a light tacky coat, then a heavier coat.

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Below is the resulting picture for spraying on the base color coat:

Below is another example with a different part. The same process and techniques are used but the pearls are sprayed over a white surface.

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And the corresponding painted part:

Applying a couple of coats of clear gloss will deepen the shine and give the pearl layer a more 3D look.


Below are some additional examples of pearls used in different kits


SD Kampfer:


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Sigma

    I love the effects of pearl powders.
    For SD Kampfers pictures- the picture in the middle is of it in the drying process? Are is it already on? In the last pic The effect looks more brighter. Is this the effect of it with clear gloss? I really like that look.

  2. akoxix

    great tutorial!! i got one question though.. do you thinned the mixture with thinner?? because, i watched your tutorial and you did not thinned the mixture.. thanks for answering!! XD

  3. GameraBaenre

    For the future, I didn’t thin it. But you can thin the carrier (mr super clear, future floor polish, etc) if it is too thick. In fact, I recommend thinning it as it will make it spray out of the airbrush easier.

  4. akoxix

    haha.. thank you!! will try it on my Kampfer… Thanks.. XD

  5. Alocrius

    When you suggest a tacky coat then a heavier coat on top, would you get better/smoother results if you let that tacky coat dry then put a second layer on for in effect two smooth thin coats as opposed to maybe one chunkier coat? I know it would be more time consuming but wondering if it would make a difference..

  6. GameraBaenre

    You would get a similar result in either case. The heavy coat mentioned is still a very thin layer of paint since it’s applied via an airbrush. It is just heavy in comparison and reference to the light tacky layer.

    I’ve not run into any issue of smoothness with this paint technique. The smoothness of the paint is actually more dependent on the smoothness and cleanliness of the bare plastic surface. Dust free, oil free, and well sanded will insure a smooth surface.

    The tacky layer of paint helps lower the chance that paint pooling and forming pigmented runs and uneven levels of paint on the surface.

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