Recently it became clear to me from a handful of posts on the Turbo Dorks Facebook group and Turbo Dork Discord channel that some folks are unaware of the magical properties of the Zenishift.
Zenishifts are a subset of Turboshifts and are called out as being different on the website with a separate collection page. However, if you support your FLGS this distinction is not obvious. Bottles of Zenishift paints are labeled Turboshift. The directions do state that the paint can be used over a black, white, or zenithal base. However, this is easy to miss.
So what exactly are Zenishifts and how do they differ from all of the other Turboshifts? The difference is all in what causes them to "shift". Standard Turboshifts change color depending on what light you are viewing it under and what angle you are holding it to that light. Zenishifts change color depending on what color primer they are used over. They appear almost as if they were two metallics in one bottle, with one color or the other dominating depending on what color base they are sitting over. In the bottle, they look like one of the colors that they flip between.
Cool, huh? The only real trick in using Zenishift is that a light spray with white primer over black will probably not cut it to show the two distinct colors. You either need to make sure that the white goes on fairly heavily or hand-paint the area that you want to be "white" with white paint.
For this post, I primed a set of toy trucks with matte black paint, sprayed the back end of each truck with white paint as if the sun was coming from behind, and then painted each truck with one of the Zenishifts. In retrospect, I find that these toy trucks are not the greatest models. However, they do illustrate my point. In any case, be sure to check out the photos at the end of this post for more Zenishift examples.
Below are examples of the Zenishifts in the current lineup --- Bubblegum Crisis, Prism Power, Twin Sons, Fae Wylds, Hemogoblin, and Romeo + Juliet. There are before and after photos for each of the paints.
Bubblegum Crisis is the OG of Zenishifts. It was released fairly early with a set of Metallics that look particularly "bright" over white. It subsequently became clear that Bubblegum Crisis had a darker side --- over white it is bright pink like Bazooka gum but with a hint of gold, over black it is gold with pink highlights.
Prism Power and Twin Sons were the next to come along. Three paints with unusual properties were enough to require a new name so "Zenishift" was born.
Prism Power, named in honor of Sailor Moon, does a pink/blue flip-flop. When used over white it is a peachy pink with blue highlights, when used over black it is medium blue with a slight pink shift.
Twin Sons is a blue-green fusion made to add something special to the sons of an Alpha Legion army. When used over white it is a light blue with green and gold highlights, over black it is green with blue and gold.
Three more Zenishifts joined the Turbo Dork lineup with the Expansion 5 release. Two light and romantic (Fae Wylds and Romeo / Juliet) and one dark and spooky (Hemogoblin).
Fae Wylds is truly magical, reminiscent of shimmering fairy wings. Over white, it is pale, glittery pink; over black, it is silvery green.
How does one describe a hemogoblin? Not sure, but Hemogoblin the paint seems to represent the idea well. Over black, it is a very, dark green (the goblin part), over white it shows kind of a rusty iron-oxidized color (the hemoglobin part).
Romeo / Juliet
The idea of Romeo and Juliet in a bottle is indeed romantic but in this case, they are never really able to get together. Romeo / Juliet is a rosy pink over white but, over black, it shows up as royal purple.
For inspiration, I will leave you with photos of some of my favorite models that the Turbo Dork team has painted using Zenishifts. Take advantage of the magic.