Flames are just cool. They're the signature of a real hot rod. But obtaining a flame job you can actually be proud of generally takes skill, some artistic ability, or the money to hire such talents. We had none of the above, but in lieu of those qualities, The Eastwood Company is now offering all you need to produce respectable flames on your own. A new addition to the variety of reusable traditional flame stencils in the Eastwood catalog is the Mickey Harris Hell Fire stencil kit. A multiple award-winning custom painter, Harris created the Hell Fire kit to help produce the type of flame job that replicates actual fire. This current trend in custom paint is a bit more involved than the standard traditional flame job, but we figured we'd give it a try. The included DVD, narrated by Harris, helps to breakdown the steps and gave us the confidence to believe we could actually pull it off with no prior experience. Eastwood also carries a selection of airbrushes and the mini-compressors to run them, plus a line of custom paints; everything we needed came in one box. The Hell Fire flames look best over black, and we happened to have a discarded black hood from an old project car to experiment with. Read on to see how much of a mess we made. Both the Hell Fire stencil kit and the airbrush kit included instructional DVDs-the modern equivalent of the instruction manual, and you may be tempted to treat them similarly (i.e., toss them aside thinking you know better). Do it right: Grab a beverage, kick back on the couch, and observe. If you want this to come out right, you should probably take some simple notes unless your shop has a TV with a DVD player-ours doesn't. Both the Hell Fire stencil kit and the airbrush kit included instructional DVDs-the modern The Hell Fire flame stencil kit can be ordered with a corresponding paint kit that includes the required colors and some clear, all of which are premixed and ready to shoot. Gun-cleaning solution is part of the paint set as well. We also needed an airbrush, and Eastwood recommended its Iwata automotive airbrush set featuring an Eclipse professional airbrush plus the Smart Jet Compressor setup to feed it, the water separator, and all necessary air lines. The Hell Fire flame stencil kit can be ordered with a corresponding paint kit that include The airbrush is a simple device. Just fill the cup with the pre-mixed paint, snap the lid on, and you're ready to paint. The button on the airbrush has two functions: Pushing it down lets the air flow; pulling it back feeds the paint. You'll need to get the hang of metering each to get the desired combination of air and paint, but we found it to be pretty forgiving. The airbrush is a simple device. Just fill the cup with the pre-mixed paint, snap the lid Setting up the airbrush takes minutes. Position the compressor unit somewhere near your workspace, attach the intercooler line-that's the one with the coils-to the compressor output and then to the water separator. The non-coiled line goes from the water trap to the airbrush. Plug the unit in, flip the switch, and it will run until reaching 35 psi, then automatically shut off. When the pressure drops, the compressor kicks back on to maintain pressure. Setting up the airbrush takes minutes. Position the compressor unit somewhere near your wo The stencil kit has six different stencils for varying types of flames. Each one still contains the cut-out portion, which is called a positive stencil. Both will be used during the flaming process. We selected a style that seemed the most like traditional hot rod flames. The stencil kit has six different stencils for varying types of flames. Each one still con To get started, simply hold the negative stencil over the area you want to flame. Begin with red, and for the Hell Fire-style flames, ghost the area with a light spray. Laying a heavy coat of paint will make the stenciled flame too sharp. To get started, simply hold the negative stencil over the area you want to flame. Begin wi PARTS LIST DESCRIPTION PN SOURCE PRICE Mickey Harris Hellfire DVD and stencil set 11699 Eastwood $149.99 Hellfire Auto Air eight-piece paint set 11700 Eastwood 49.99 Airbrush set w/compressor 37329 Eastwood 479.99 Next, fill the cup on the airbrush with some orange paint and go back over the flames, this time filling in the interior while leaving a red border all the way around. Part of the trick here is to fan the edges so the transition between orange and red is more of a fade than a sharp border. The orange paint in the kit was the hardest to work with, as it was a transparent color and very thin, which made it run easily. If necessary, the air pressure from the compressor can be reduced. Next, fill the cup on the airbrush with some orange paint and go back over the flames, thi 'These flames look like they're straight out of Disney's Fantasia. After the general shape of the stencil has been dusted on the surface, remove the stencil and go back over the flame, filling in the interior with more red paint, but leaving the edges fairly light. 'These flames look like they're straight out of Disney's Fantasia. After the general shape One of the things we learned is that the real fire-style flames don't get impressive until they're done; during the process they tend to look like a mess. We point this out now, because the next step is not going to look good initially, but it should pay off later. Use white to create a series of Y-shaped highlights that look sort of like lightning bolts within each flame lick. The idea is to add dimension and depth, which should hopefully appear later in the process. One of the things we learned is that the real fire-style flames don't get impressive until After the white highlights are down, the next phase involves fogging over them with a transparent yellow/gold. The yellow/gold is sprayed over the white and somewhat beyond, blending over the orange. Afterward, reload with white and add more small touches to the Y-shaped highlights, and then dust them with more yellow/gold. After the white highlights are down, the next phase involves fogging over them with a tran Another step that might seem counterintuitive is the addition of black highlights. The effects become apparent toward the end of the flame process. For this, the positive stencil should be used to apply lightly sprayed subtle black outlines in the interior of each flame. We strayed from the instructions and freehanded this step-using the stencil would have been better. Black is the only color not included in the paint set, so we used some black Rust-Oleum thinned down with acetone. Another step that might seem counterintuitive is the addition of black highlights. The eff Once the black accents are down, add more white with the negative stencil to create depth. Hold the stencil and move it around, using portions of it to make varying licks in the interior of each flame. Like the black accents, these should be small, subtle, and evenly dispersed. Aspiring pyros need to be patient and understand that practice will improve their technique. Onlookers seemed to think our flames turned out trick, so we must have done something right. Maybe next time we'll actually use a car. Once the black accents are down, add more white with the negative stencil to create depth. SOURCES The Eastwood Company 263 Shoemaker Rd. Pottstown PA 19464 800-345-1178 www.eastwoodcompany.com Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!