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A full day of dyes

November 12, 2011

There’s three different dye methods that I’ve been wanting to try. I’ve been gathering all the necessary ingredients over the past couple of weeks, and I even built a gradient tool, which I mentioned in an earlier post. I couldn’t decided which method I wanted to try yesterday, so I just bit the bullet and decided to try all three. Like doing anything new, it was fun and exciting, but also, I pretty much messed up every disc I wanted to try. It’s a learning experience and my first dyes weren’t all that incredible either. So all in all, it was a good session.

The past couple of times I’ve sat down to work on a dye, I’ve ended up not doing it because I’d trash the stencil trying to apply it. I’d been using regular masking tape as transfer tape, and it ripped my contact paper. I’ve since snagged a roll or two of painters tape for “delicate surfaces” which has been performing beautifully.

After taking the time to put my gradient tool together, I really wanted to try a couple of gradient discs first. I kept a pot of black dye going most of the day to lay down the stencils, and once I got the first couple done, I started heating up two gallons of red dye, one pot at a time.

One of the first problems I ran into was having to cut down the length of hose I was using so the dye would run smooth. I also figured that it would take a good while to drain two gallons of dye, so once everything was set up and the drain was running at a trickle, I left it alone to start cutting out my next stencil. I didn’t anticipate the flow slowing down, first to having too long of a hose running into the lower bucket, and second because the volume of liquid in the upper bucket had decreased. Fucking physics!

So even though I had the flow problem fixed by the second dip, the fade still ended up less gradual than it could have been because the flow basically stopped for ten minutes during the first dip. I don’t think either one looks bad for a first try, but the Nuke SS definitely looks better than the JLS. Although, I didn’t think about the fact that the back of the disc would get dyed too. So even though I re-masked the stencil to keep the inside area blue, the red dye got on the back so the effect isn’t as strong. It’s still lighter than the rest of the gradient, so it still looks cool. Or at least I think so.

It’s hard to see in the photo, but the stamp on the JLS burned into the disc a little so the black ran under the mask, but once again, these are all test discs for the sake of argument.



The Reddit disc was off to a bad start from the first dip. I’d never dyed anything in Gateway’s Evo Pro-line plastic, and this disc was starting to wear away in the center, not to mention that it was an X-out. So the black bled under the mask pretty bad. I figured a white disc would be the easiest to try the plastic bag marble on. So I balled up 5 plastic grocery bags and put them in one of my dye pots. I then spooned blue dye on top of the bags. Some people heat the dye in the microwave, but I left mine at room temperature. I weighed the disc down with a jug of water and let it sit for about a half hour. I pulled it out and rinsed off the excess dye, but I decided it needed a second sit, and then a third and a fourth. Some people have talked about leaving discs on the bags for up to 12 hours, but I don’t think this is necessary.

The shaving cream marble disc was interesting, but ultimately a failure. A couple of SC marbles came across the dye-a-day thread on dgcoursereview that inspired me (including another Jimi Hendrix dye). I tweaked my idea so it would be a little different and cut my stencil. It was only after the black dip that I realized the way I’d cut the stencil, Jimi’s afro was also going to become an under-the-chin beard. Once again, not what I was shooting for, but you live and learn. Setting up the shaving cream bed was a trial as well. I really don’t think I got the mix right for the small bottles of dye, but I also underestimated the amount of cream I’d need for the bed in my disposable plate. With more cream I could have smoothed the bed by running a straight edge over the top, but since I only mixed up about 2.5 cups, it didn’t reach the rim of the plate. I had to use a spatula, but I got a decent surface nonetheless. The dye mix didn’t sit on top of the bed as well as I’d hoped, but after swirling it with a toothpick it still seemed to have the desired effect … even after I put the disc in (you can still see it through the disc).

I realized later that I’d mistakenly mixed black dye with the shaving cream instead of blue, but they pretty much look the same in the containers I store them in. It didn’t end up hurting the disc though. Even though I let the disc sit in the shaving cream bed for about 18 hours, because I didn’t get the mix right, the dye ran together in the shaving cream and didn’t stay looking as awesome as it did at first. The end result works, but the right consistency with the shaving cream mix would have yielded a much better final product. I’ve also just found out that champion/Z plastic don’t work as well as star/ESP with this method.

To cap off the last couple of days, I played a putter round at Pecan Park this afternoon and shot lower than I did last time I played with my full bag.

I’ve got some more plastic on the shelf and some more on the way to the house, so I’m sure I’ll take another crack at all three methods. There’s also a full line-up of discs in my Amazon wishlist if anyone is feeling particularly gifty.

So since Halo CE Anniversary comes out this week, and because dyeing is so awesome … here’s 100 ways to die in Halo Reach.


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