After some trials and a few epic failures, a black crappie paint schedule came together and has been documented for future reference.
I used a Paasche Vision airbrush for this pattern. Itís a nice tool with a MAC valve for adjusting the air to paint ratio and has a smooth trigger action.
I used Createx paints with Illustration base and Wicked paints with High Performance reducer. Normally I only use Createx or Wicked and donít mix the two brands on any one pattern. In this case I didnít have all the colors in either brand so the use of both was necessary.
The blanks are LC 1.5 style with DRS rattles. They were dipped in a sealer before painting. The bills are wrapped with plain painters tape. Any glue residue left on the bills can be removed after the clear coat by using a little Goo-Be-Gone on a paper towel. Here they are after being base coated with Opaque white.
Each coat is flash dried with a hair dryer before another is added. Here the blanks have been shaded with several colors from upper back to belly. This gives the lure the shimmer of colors that you see on a Crappie. Upper head and back green with turquoise and silver overtones; Sides lighter with randomly scattered dark splotches; lower gill plate and abdomen whitish.
The dark splotches can be made with a stencil like the one here or with an art sponge. I prefer a stencil as I have more control over the pattern and the sharpness or blur of splotch edges.
In order to give the backbone a scale pattern mesh is used. Itís cut in oblong circle shapes based on the size of the blank being painted. The mesh shown here is the small style sold by Lures Unlimited. Itís a little stiff straight out of the package but can be loosened up. This mesh is about a year old.
In this picture the mesh has been stretched over the lure blanks and fastened in place with alligator clips. Save yourself and extra step by taking care not to scratch the belly paint when fastening the mesh on with the clips.
Here are the lures after the mesh has been removed and the stencil work is done. Note the shaded eye sockets and gill plates. Turn the air pressure down and over thin the paint just a little to do the detail work. Keeping the airbrush just the right distance from the blank is critical.
The painted blanks have air dried for a while and are now ready for the 5.5mm eyes to be added. Once the eyes are on tight itís time for the epoxy clear coat to be brushed on. After a few hours the epoxy has dried and the lure is ready for hooks and rings to be added.
Hereís the finished product. The lure on top is a black crappie painted using this method, and just for reference, Iíve included a white crappie painted from a different schedule below itÖ.
Hope you enjoyed the 1-2-3 easy crappie pattern