View Full Version : So you want to paint your Bigfoots

04-07-2002, 06:46 PM
Ok Guys, I took the time to figure out an easy way for everyone that wants to try to repaint your Bigfoots and make your own plastic stuffers. No mixing, 3 colors out of the bottle that will make them look great. I washed them with a sponge and water, then dryed them with a towel and painted them. I used Polytranspar airbrush paint that was water base taxidermy paint straight out of the bottle with a little rubbing alcohol for thinner/retarder to help keep the paint from drying on the needle of the airbrush so bad. The paint comes from WASCO <a href="http://www.taxidermy.com" target="_blank">www.taxidermy.com</a> The first color is Sahara Tan WA72, second color Chocolate Brown WA70, third color Scale detail black WA65. I used an Iwata Eclipse CS gravity feed 1/3 oz. double action airbrush with a crown cap added part no. 94 ECL4500, crown cap p/n 94 1050 crown cap, super lube airbrush lube for trigger and needle, p/n 94 015001 from <a href="http://www.dixieart.com" target="_blank">www.dixieart.com</a> oh, you also need an airhose 10' braided 94 BT010. Start about 40 psi. and put a little alcohol in the color cup and add the Sahara Tan and fill about 3/4 full in color cup, spray the back edge of all the feathers on the back an then go down the sides, look at reference photo's to see how far down on the sides you want the brown. After you have highlighted the back out line of each feather from behind the neck to the base of the tail, mist some paint on the back and sides to lighten them a bit and blend in the tan, not to much though. I did 2 bodies with 1 color cup so you are not using much paint. Dunk the airbrush in a bucket of water and slosh it around and work the trigger underwater to pull water through the airbrush to help clean it, then squirt some alcohol in it and take your finger in the cup to get the paint off the sides and go back to the water until it's clean. Fill the color cup 3/4 full with a little alcohol and the chocolate brown and paint the rest of the feather that you didn't put the sahara tan on, it's a game, try and stay off the other color on the edge of the feather. Spray heavier on the wingtips and base of the tail, Look at your reference to see how far down on the sides you want to take the brown. After you finish painting all the feathers, from an extreme rear angle, spray the back and the sides of the bird, this angle will catch paint on the feather edges an highlight some more detail. Clean that color and put the black in and paint the tail and you are done. Clean the head and neck and you can repaint the cheek patch with some flat white and a paint brush if you want. Then paint the body(I put the feet on to hold onto the legs) and the head with Testers Dull Coat from a hobby shop, it's clear flat lacquer, you might be able to buy flat lacquer somewhere else also. Let me know if you find any thats works as well as the Testers. I did it all free hand with no masking or stensils and no hand brush detail work and I was very happy with the outcome. Have fun! Oh, put some clear gloss finger nail polish on the eyeballs after the flat lacquer drys. <img border="0" alt="[CajunRich]" title="" src="graemlins/CajunRich.gif" />

OK, I can't get the photo's to work on this old thread so I am posting them at the end.

04-07-2002, 07:09 PM
That looks awesome! Wish I had the talent to do that. How long did each decoy take you? <img border="0" alt="[Whackage]" title="" src="graemlins/Whackage.gif" />

04-07-2002, 07:10 PM
Looks good, but dam I bet it takes half a day to do one of those suckers.

04-07-2002, 07:18 PM
It only took about an hour and 15 min. to do both. I put the tan on both and then did the brown, I think if you did a bunch you could speed it up.

ext. goose
04-07-2002, 07:35 PM
Thanks alot for all the info!!! Those things look great!!

04-08-2002, 03:09 AM
You are right Flipper they really look good.Would it be easier & faster to spray the dark first on the back & sides & then detail the tan? See you Sunday.

04-08-2002, 06:33 AM
IMHO, it is easier to finish the detail and shade with a darker color, the splits in the feathers and feather edges don't look right if you do the lighter color last. You are not doing a total repaint with this method, you are finishing the detail and using the original paint to your advantage. You can fix scuffed up areas in the process. :D

04-08-2002, 08:24 AM
Would that testes help with factory higdon paint or are you using it as a flattening agent? your decoys look great

04-08-2002, 08:40 AM
also the choc brown does it match the backs of bigfoots. I know that sounds stupid just want to make sure before purchase. I do not have your talent with art. I am looking to repaint economy windsocks to match my bigfoots better. i have a feather detail template that looks good but the base brown does not look the same. i have heard the burnt umber matched the bigfoots. what is your opinion on that. Your decoys obviously look good so will take your advise.

04-08-2002, 09:24 AM
The Testers is used to dull or kill the shine and should work as a clear coat on any paint except on an oil, I have not tried that. You are using the gray base on the original Bigfoot paint and giving it a brownish tint to make it closer to IMHO the actual color of a goose, so by itself the chocolate brown would not even be close. You could try a dark gray basecoat that was close to the stock Bigfoot color and then go with the brown. You can also mix some black with the brown to make a new color. I was just trying to come up with an easy way for people without having to mix any colors. I hope this helps, if you have any more questions ask away!

<img border="0" alt="[Whackage]" title="" src="graemlins/Whackage.gif" />

04-08-2002, 06:56 PM
Just thought of a way to answer kygoose's question, the whole feather is not brown when you are done. After you highlight the feather edge with the tan, and mist a little more tan on the back and sides from about a foot or so away you end up with a gray feather with a tan edge. Then when you go back with the chocolate brown you just highlight the middle of each feather or maybe do like a J or hook shadow in the center of the feather and you end up with a feather with 3 colors that creates depth and looks soft. When you start playing with the airbrush you will understand. When you are learning to control the trigger you push it all the way down so the air is on then you pull the trigger back to add paint. Get a big piece of cardboard and practice making spots and lines without a big blotch of paint and cut a circle out of a piece of cardboard and hold it up like a stensil and shade around the edge and then more on the bottom half. Then when you pull the stensil away you have created a 3D ball(practice) and try and understand the affect the shading has. Try and put a spot where you are looking and practice making thin lines by getting close to the work with the airbrush, it's a lot of fun.

Decoy Carver
04-08-2002, 09:37 PM
Very well done! Nice descriptive post as well. I think your technique makes very good sense instead of guys trying to apply to much paint. Very soft looking backs.

04-09-2002, 10:41 AM
flipper My bigfoots have more of a greenish brown back not a grey back. how old are your bigfoots. I am new to bigfoots have they changed their color patterns.

04-09-2002, 02:55 PM
CS, those sound like Herters or Higdons, it will work and look great after you put the tan on and mist some more tan on the back and sides, post a picture of them if you want and we will take a look. My Foots are 4 to 5 years old, maybe you have some early ones. :D I guess if I look real close at one I can pick out the colors you said, it wont matter, the more colors the softer and better they look. When I am painting a fish the idea is to layer lots of colors to create depth, if you mixed all of the colors together and put them on all at once it won't look near as good. <img border="0" title="" alt="[HS]" src="HS.gif" /> I know what you are thinking, how did we get to fish? I was just trying to give another example, birds, fish, they are all fun with an airbrush.

<img border="0" alt="[Whackage]" title="" src="graemlins/Whackage.gif" />

Triple BB
04-09-2002, 05:11 PM
I think your decoys look great. I've thought about some air brush work, but I'm unsure how beneficial it would be. If you stand back 30 yards from your dekes, can you still see the detail?

04-09-2002, 05:32 PM
Not sure if it will make a difference at all, geese have eyeballs like 10x binaculars so they might pick up on something farther away than what you think. If you take the time to fancy some up and they land on you it might make you feel like you spent your time wisly. But hey, it's a goose related activity that is fun and it will teach you how to use an airbrush, and everyone needs to know that. <img border="0" alt="[BeatsMe]" title="" src="graemlins/BeatsMe.gif" /> That way when you retire you can go to Florida in the off season and paint T-shirts for good looking girls! <img border="0" alt="[BigHest]" title="" src="graemlins/BigHest.gif" />

04-09-2002, 05:51 PM
Very good job. This I have to try, except my dekes are persuaders. Does their colors change any of your three paint colors??

04-09-2002, 06:14 PM
I think they are all pretty close on the base color, the Bigfoots have really good feather sculpting and that gives them a big plus over say the Higdons that don't have the detail. If you have to figure out where to put the feathers, and lay the whole thing out then it just got a whole lot harder. You can see where every feather is on a newer style Bigfoot so they are a piece of cake. I am sorry but I can't remember looking close at a persuader so I don't know if you can see all of the feathers. If you look at a side photo of a giant up close you will notice how pronounced the light tan edges of the feathers on the back and part of the sides are and doing that step will make the paint job. The other shading will enhance the end result. <img border="0" alt="[CajunRich]" title="" src="graemlins/CajunRich.gif" />

04-09-2002, 08:37 PM
Flipper my foots are a year old and more brown than yours. A buddy of mines foots have the grey back you are talking about. I am too intimidated to go after my foots with paint. I am actually trying to get my windsocks to blend with my foots better(less yardsale more movement). thank you for all the info on this. the main thing I got with this is the layering. I doubt I will ever get those windsocks to look close enough for what I want though. I do not know if the detail will help flipper or not, but if I had his talent I damn sure would hunt with them painted up. Thanks again Calvin

04-11-2002, 06:51 PM
Hey, if anyone is having trouble finding the Testors dull coat 1260, you can go to the manufacturer, <a href="http://www.testors.com" target="_blank">www.testors.com</a> then go to paint, then to clear coats, then lacquer and Dull Coat 1260. :D <img border="0" alt="[CajunRich]" title="" src="graemlins/CajunRich.gif" /> :D

04-14-2002, 04:16 AM
Kygoose said <a href="http://www.dixieart.com" target="_blank">www.dixieart.com</a> is out of the Iwata Eclipse CS, so you might try <a href="http://www.bearair.com" target="_blank">www.bearair.com</a> they are the same on price, ask for their catalog also, it has a lot of info. <img border="0" alt="[CajunRich]" title="" src="graemlins/CajunRich.gif" />

04-14-2002, 06:52 AM
Flipper Have you tryed using SEM colorcoat flexible coating (13023) Low luster clear coating
you can get it from auto body and paint stores you can buy it in spray cans or bulk. I use it to restore sil decoys and it drys very flat. it is made for spraying plastic vinyl. I also use the airbrush in my taxidermy work and gun painting and feel that this stuff gives off less shine than satin flat lac. it speeds up you final top coat also to use a spray can or touch up gun on the clear top coat.
Give it a try and let me know

04-14-2002, 03:10 PM
The question I have is this !!!!
For someone that wants to start doing this what would it cost for the basics on equipment for the airbrush and so forth!!!Is there a kit somewhere that has most of this or do you have to buy it piece by piece!!!
Those do look awsome!!! :confused:

04-15-2002, 10:47 AM
If i did this correctly the cost of the airbrush and compressor is 89 and the hose is 12 and the super lube is 4 so that would be a cost of 105 plus tax and free shipping!!!!Does that sound right!!!

04-15-2002, 11:00 AM
The cost of the paints is 17 dollars a quart!!!
I was wondering what it would take to paint 5 dozen bigfoots!!!Estimate for me please!!!
Flipper I sent you a PM and if you could take the time and answer that I would appreciate it very much!!!I want to thank you for all your help here so far!!!
I would like to try it!!!!

04-16-2002, 06:49 PM
Sorry, I was turkey hunting! BrianM I would start with a couple 8 oz. bottles, it takes less than 1/3 ounce of the tan and chocolate brown per decoy and very little black to touch up any dings in the tail. The pricing sounds right. Half-Canada, the Dull coat is flatter than a plain flat lacquer, I will check out your SEM colorcoat because I hate the 3 oz. spray cans. Is SEM the brand or the type? :D

04-17-2002, 04:51 PM
Man that Flipper knows his stuff. He visited a few days & brought his airbrush & equip. & taught me a lot. He also does fish & waterfowl carvings, that you would not believe. He did a couple bigfoots for me & they look too nice to use for hunting. Guess I'll have to use the ones I'll do.

04-17-2002, 06:16 PM
Flipper Sorry I couldnt get on line we had a storm monday that knocked out power just got it back tonight. Yes that is the brand name of the paint and top coat.
Hope it helps Half-

04-17-2002, 07:53 PM

Just wondering If you would have any interest in painting a few dz Higdon decoys for me and what the cost might be for you to do them... I know with my Talent & Time I would never in a Million Years be able to get them to look anywheres close to that Good.... Man those things ROCK!!!! :D Maybe this is something that you don't even want to get started in, but I just had to ask. Think it over and let me know... If nothing else we can at least shot some BS or something :D

GAND'R LAND'R <img border="0" alt="[Juice]" title="" src="graemlins/Juice.gif" />

04-17-2002, 08:22 PM
No thanks, you can do it! Jump right in there. :D

04-19-2002, 07:01 AM
Hey Flipper have you tryed the SEV yet. It cost about $10.00 per 13oz spray can or about $30.00 per Quart I sprayed 6doz real geese shiners with that quart and made them as flat as the none cloth side of my real geese pro series plus it stays flexible.I would bet that is what the sil decoy mfg are useing. One other thing I have tryed with some sucess is mix a little corn starch in with you satin lac.to make it dead flat. Experiment with the amount let it sit for 10 min and mix it well. Painting Decoys is a blast as long as they are your decoys. hope you can use some of this info.

04-19-2002, 03:29 PM
Half-Canada, I ordered some today from an auto paint supplier and it will be in next Monday, 7.00 per can. :D

04-19-2002, 08:08 PM
Flipper looks like I will be looking for a new auto body paint store I think they were getting to me! :confused: <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />

04-20-2002, 12:21 PM
Half canada you caught my attention about silos. Are you spraying them to reduce shine or bring out color?

04-20-2002, 02:58 PM
Yes All of the above reduce shine bring out color and cover all the travel scratches. to give it a newer look but most important reduce shine it made a dramatic differance on some old 1995 real geese 3-d-s.

04-22-2002, 03:37 PM
Half-Canada, I got the clear today and it was 7.49, list 13.95 so I guess you were still getting a good deal. :D

Blake Hermel
08-11-2002, 10:17 PM
ok !!!!!

08-12-2002, 02:20 PM
Flipper, those are great looking!! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Art]" src="Art.gif" /> BTW, gunvideo.com has that video in stock.

08-12-2002, 03:42 PM
Thanks, I will check it out. <img border="0" alt="[CajunRich]" title="" src="graemlins/CajunRich.gif" />

08-17-2002, 05:15 PM
Having never even used an airbrush before I decided to try this today. Four hours and four decoys later I stopped for the day. What a difference it made esp from across the yard. Mine look nothing like flippers but they do look good. Thanks for the instructions Flipper. I have a doz full bodies to finish and then onto my duck dekes.

Great big THANKS to Flipper. You ever make it to West Mo. you have this coming. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Cool]" src="Cool.gif" />

01-09-2003, 07:25 PM
here's what you need, shootemintheface.

04-07-2003, 08:38 AM
Been getting a lot of emails wanting to know about what to buy so I decided to bump this up instead of going through and answering all the same stuff again. Please let me know if anyone needs anymore information than is on this post.

Also been asked a lot about clear so I decided to add the post and photo of a paint job with no clear to try and keep things together. Sorry to anybody that has seen this stuff before but we have new people with lots of questions.

04-07-2003, 11:45 AM
I was showing a friend how to paint his Bigfoots this week and he was asking about a clearcoat and I told him I was using a gloss waterbase taxidermy paint and I would show him how to kill the gloss and not use a clear to dull the finished decoy. I just added a few drops of Lifetone Hydromist flattening concentrate ( p/n 903) to the color cup and stirred it with a toothpick. I decided to post a photo for everyone since we have talked about the dull coat or some other product to kill any shine. This decoy was painted with about 1/3 third of an ounce of paint so the cost of paint won't break you up and as you can see no clear coat is needed. So get those airbrushes out boys and start painting!

01-21-2004, 03:43 PM
HP changed something on their site where the picks are linked to so I bumped the post after I fixed the picks because I got an email that Ben couldn't see them. Thanks for the heads up Ben. If anyone else thats new or needs any help yell and scream!:Rich:

01-21-2004, 09:44 PM
Could you do it with a hand brush?? I don't have access to a airbrush. Thanks.

Good Huntin,

01-22-2004, 05:33 AM
I couldn't blend by hand as well. I think it would take forever. It doesn't cost that much to get set up with an airbrush. The great thing with the airbrush is you can add just a little paint or shade something that would be very tough with a brush unless you were doing a light wash. You can try it but it will be real hard to get the soft look of feathers overlapping and the depth or 3D look the airbrush gives you.:Rich:

Steve Beckstrom
01-22-2004, 07:58 AM
Flipper I can't get the pictures to come up that are in this thread. Could you help me with this? I am very interested in doing this as a hobby as I love goose hunting and decoys.

Also I would love to film you doing a bunch of these as a resource. Do you have a digital film camera?

Your work is awesome, my work will never be as good as the only art I can usually do is done with a protractor or some other tool.

Steve "the sometimes good goosehunter"

01-22-2004, 03:06 PM
Yell if you can't see them!:Rich:

01-23-2004, 04:53 AM
Here is one of the original pictures that won't come up anymore.:Rich:

01-23-2004, 04:54 AM
second one

01-23-2004, 04:57 AM
Hope this helps everyone. I had links to them on HP's free site and they must have stopped hot links to their site.:NW:
Now the photo's are on this server and we should have no more problems. Thanks Cliff!:cool:

02-08-2004, 09:01 AM
Those look sweet, I'll have to try that with my foots.

03-04-2004, 04:25 AM
Hey Flipper,
I was wondering if the white on the cheek patches was any special paint or if it was just flat white. Also I was wondering how hard it was to flock the heads and tails. I just got four dozen GHG fullbodies from Fred Zink and some of them are flocked and they look awesome and thought I would try doing the rest along with touching up paint.

Thanks Levi

03-05-2004, 05:32 AM
The flat white can be put on with one of those little throw away foam brushes. Some guys buy a little rustoleum can or you could use flat latex house paint. Do a search on flocking it has been talked about a lot.:Rich:

03-05-2004, 03:29 PM

03-05-2004, 04:18 PM
Practice, practice and then you will be amazed how each one looks better and better! Have fun!:Rich:

03-12-2004, 06:22 AM
Flipper will a Iwata HP-C double action airbrush work all right. Also how did you get the bellies on the dekies to the grayish tan tint, and do you use the same white on the uderside of the as on the cheek patches.:HUH:

Thanks Levi

03-13-2004, 02:29 PM
glider, the flat white can be put on with a cheap foam brush. The same will work anywhere. The light grayish tan is the factory color with the Sahara tan lightly misted on it. This is not a total paint cover up. The trick is to enhance the factory base color not cover it up.:Rich:
I have an Iwata HP-BC and it is great but it is not gravity feed and I use a Paasche color cup with it. It looks like they changed the Eclipse C to the HP-C so that is the one I was talking about, so to answer your question, yes. :Rich:

D Stimac
06-16-2004, 08:01 AM
Hi Flipper,

After looking at your work (and others) I couldn't take it anymore and dug out my old Thayer & Chandler airbrush. I started turning some snow goose shells into juvies and I'm having OK results.

This airbrush has a small side feed color cup and I used to use it for illustration using mostly gouache (an opaque watercolor). I don't think this airbrush is really meant for heavier paints and it does get hung up pretty fast.

On my decoy experiment I used some latex house paint thinned down with alcohol and I had to clean the tip & color cup pretty often.

I'm thinking about getting the Iwata eclipse. Do you think it will be a big improvement over what I'm using now? I'm sure part of the problem was the house paint. Maybe the Polytranspar would work OK in my Thayer & Chandler???

Thanks for help.


06-16-2004, 06:14 PM
I have 3 models made by Thayer & Chandler and they are a great airbrush. I think the part that will help the most is the steaper angle on the needle in the seat on the Eclipse that helps with clogging. If you look at a fine detail needle in some other brands the needle has a very long thin taper and I am always dinging the thin needle. You have a smaller hole in the seat that is longer and so it clogs much easier. The Eclipse will still paint hairline thin lines and will also go up to an inch or two. I find myself going to the gravity feed Eclipse for most of my work because it gets the job done with less extra work. If I am really doing a lot of serious fine detail I have an Iwata Custom Micron C. It has a little smaller needle and seat and a little smoother action. For most work I just use the Eclipse. Get a little bottle of the Iwata or (Media) brand lube and coat your needle when you put it back together. I also put a drop on each side of the trigger. It will make any airbush trigger feel better and won't mess up lacquer or waterbased paints like an oil would. If you need any more info let me know. :Rich: Oh, airbrush paint pigments are ground smaller so yes IMHO they would spray through a tiny hole better than house paint.

D Stimac
06-17-2004, 06:13 PM

Thanks for the info. Yeah, the needle on my Thayer & Chandler has a very gradual taper on it. I ordered some Polytranspar today and I'll see how that works in my airbrush. If I'm still having problems I'll probably get the Iwata.


12-21-2004, 04:31 PM
How much does one of those airbrushes cost? I am kind of interested in trying this. I have about 5.5 DZ Bigfoots that I could use this on, then I wouldn't sell them. As of now I'm thinking about selling them to upgrade to all customs.

Those pictures look worlds better than a factory bigfoot!! :TT: :uh:

Husker Hunter
03-28-2005, 04:39 PM
Those look great flipper. Looks like a good job for me and Captain Budweiser this summer when the fishing gets slow. Thanks for sharing.

02-08-2010, 12:54 AM
they are awsome looking