|Tamiya 1/24 Volkswagen 1300 Beetle (1966 Model) work-in-progress: First layer of Bumblebee Yellow|
Any online research for colors can never rally be 100% accurate. There are too many uncontrollable variables at play such as the image might have been edited, the display monitor may have low color space (sRGB/Adobe RGB) accuracy, etc. So short of being physically next to the actual vehicle used in the movie set, you just never know for sure. So after a fair bit of research, I came across three reasonably consistent images of the Bumblebee Beetle under three different lighting conditions namely cloudy, sunny and artificial light (see below). The yellow in question is both bright and light.
|A Volkswagen Beetle on the Bumblebee film set during what looks like a cloudy day|
|Said Volkswagen Beetle, this time located in arid conditions on a sunny day|
|Last but not least, the Bumblebee Volkswagen Beetle indoors under artificial lighting|
For variations in the yellow I decided to play around with the underlying primer coat instead of mixing different tints of the hue. With this objective in mind, I used the Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 (Black), Tamiya Fine Surface Primer (Light Gray) and Tamiya Fine Surface Primer (White).
|Primers used in color test: Mr Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black, Tamiya Fine Surface Primer Light Gray and White|
|Color test using plastic spoons primed with the aforementioned primer spray cans (see photo above)|
Meanwhile as to the yellow itself, I used the Mr. Color GX 4 Chiara Yellow thinned with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner at a ratio of 1:1. This was subsequently sprayed onto the spoons with different colored primer coats. As expected, the spoon with the white primer coat had the brightest yellow while the one with the black primer coat had the most muted yellow. On the spoon with a light gray prime coat, the yellow had a mid-range brightness but seem to be the most light. It seemed closest to the Bumblebee Yellow I was after. It made sense too as most real-life cars are primed in gray.
|Closet hue to the Bumble Yellow I had was the Mr Color GX4 Chiara Yellow|
|Chiara Yellow painted on top of plastic spoons with (from left to right) black, light gray and white primer|
One disadvantage to airbrushing is the tedious need to mask areas that require or have been painted with other colors. For this I used Tamiya masking tapes and some cheap cling wrap.
|Masking of the assembled part thus far using a combination of masking tape and cling wrap|
|Only this half-hexagonal shaped flat surface will received a coat of Mr.Color GX Chiara Yellow|
To be frank I suck at masking, at least for now. It would seem like a no-brainer task but like all techniques they require some trial and error as well as experience to get right. I'm not there yet. Even after covering up everything with cling wrap and masking tape, some holes still inexplicably existed that allowed the paint to get in as far as to the engine at the back. Luckily the damage caused by the paint overspray wasn't overly bad. I managed to fix the issues with some brush painting by hand.
|A light gray version of the Tamiya Fine Surface Primer was chosen as the primer coat|
|Despite my best efforts at masking, some overspray of paint unfortunately seeped inside to the parts|
|Light reflecting of the yellows seem to give the surrounding background surface a yellowish green tint|
|Despite my best efforts at masking, paint overspray unfortunately still seeped inside|
|Thankfully effects of the paint overpsray wasn't too bad and I could hand paint over the resulting damage|
|First section of the Volkswagen Beetle painted with yellow and now awaiting weathering|