Words from JoAnn Bortles, Paint and Body Lead:
One of the foundations of the Valkyrie Project is the sharing of information and knowledge. Body and Paint Weeks saw some a wide variety of skills and techniques among the team members. We had master auto body technician Jess Anderson along with her former helper Dee Asbury Robertson, yet Jess had a very little spray gun time. Amy Bogner had over 10 years in collision painting but little experience in custom painting. Jess Gomez ran circles around all of us when it came to prepping cars for paint but was in search of painting techniques. Amy Fitzgerald is an expert in reconditioning metal parts but wanted to expand her knowledge of body and paint. Diane Tran had attended Art Center and blew our minds with her incredible renderings and designs, but she had never actually worked on a car. Little did we know we had an unreal auto body and painting prodigy in our midst! I myself, was looking forward to learning some time saving bodywork and prepping techniques from the collision professionals on our team.
So in addition to getting the body and paint finished in record time, we also needed to make sure everyone received all the training they had hoped for. Throughout both of the two weeks at Roberts Collision Center, team members helped other team members, taking the time to share their skills and carefully explaining the foundations of the techniques, whether it be bodywork, prepping, painting, color design or custom artwork.
I was not surprised at the skill level of the team. Working in collision is hard work, whether you’re a painter, body tech or prepper. They have to get the job done in the shortest possible time. Techniques get passed down over the years from person to person. And this tradition of sharing techniques perfectly fit our project AMX.
Everyone learned from each other, yet there was one person who blew us all away. Our Diane Tran was a true Ninja. Quiet, with a Zen like concentration on the work she did. She asked questions when she wasn’t sure and took instruction on bodywork techniques better than almost anyone I have ever known. But where she really amazed us was with her first time painting skills. Brian at Robert’s gave her a few spray gun handling lessons as we got the car ready to go into the spray booth in order to seal and basecoat/clearcoat the door jams and the underside of the trunk lid using the FBS tapes and Pro-Maskers. Jess Gomez also wanted a paint lesson, which started in the mixing room, where I explained the process of using PPG’s Deltron system. We quickly moved into the paint booth, where Diane and Jess both took turns spraying PPG’s Epoxy Sealer and the Wimbledon White Deltron basecoat we had mixed up. Next it was time for applying the clearcoat. PPG’s DCU2021 is the first choice of many painters, including myself and Amy Bogner. Diane and Jess had no problem applying smooth, run-free coats on the parts.
As we sanded the first round of primer, the week was drawing to a close and some of the team members has been looking forward to learning about color and design. So even though the clock was against us, we took some time away from the car and I gave the team members a lesson in color mixing, color design and the artwork technique that would be used for our AMX. Here is where our PPG paint really shined, as the metallics and pearl particles in their paint is so very unique and eye catching. As a team, together we designed the blue metallic/pearl that would be used for the iconic AMX rally stripes. We also sprayed out the stars on our test panels using PPG’s Crystal and Flamboyance Pearls. The team members agreed we had a great color and design plan.
We ended the week by double teaming the AMX with Amy Bogner painting PPG’s K36 on one side of the car and myself on the other. Amy walked out of the booth raving about SATA’s 100 B P spray gun. “ I have GOT to get one of these!” she annouced. “ This lays down the sweetest coat of primer!”