Author Topic: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes  (Read 73994 times)

Offline Second Air Force

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HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« on: March 05, 2010, 04:22:34 PM »
Since several of us have discussed NMF airplanes on Letipapa's Mystere IV A thread, we thought it would be nice to have a thread dedicated to ideas on how to make bare metal airplanes as realistic as we can. Everyone is invited to contribute all ideas as to preparation, materials, and methods that they use to get a proper finish for such airframes. Hopefully we can all learn from one another and increase the realism we all strive for.

I'll post this photo of a Falcon Vacuform F-89 that I built in the later 1980s as a starting point.
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_0625.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes

I used Alclad and a product that I can no longer remember  :-/ for the finish on this model. The 1/1 airplane I replicated was a rather tired machine and the skin was no longer the bright, polished finish of a new bird, hence the finish I was trying to achieve. I'll post some techniques and a few other photos later, but other duties call!

Scott

Letipapa

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2010, 01:27:08 AM »
Wow! This is so good! :-eek :-eek :-eek :-obey :-clap :-clap :-clap :-clap :-clap :-clap
It really has the gloomy shine:-wave

Offline No.1

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2010, 09:13:41 AM »
Surface inspection

First at all I would like to congratulate to our friend Second Air Force for starting this great subject and I have set it sticky for a some time as well it definitely worth it :-flo

In this installment I would like to give some different approach to the use of the metal paints and this is based on the experience of the local fellow modelers. It is well known that in great value to the quality final finish depend on the same surface preparation. But it happen that even if we give our best to fill all the gaps, seal all joints and smoothed surface as much as perfect, that when we start to paint it, that some of the omissions and errors become visible in that moment. There is colors which less show thats in-corrections and there is paint who show them better. Definitely the top one color to show surface imperfections is the silver! Any silver paint will show you on surface if you miss anything. So this mean that in other hand this could be also help in finding errors.

On suggestions of our forum friends Samuraj77 and tenk I have buy one non modeling products, this is Cosmos Lac High Heat silver spray. Its principal use is to cover up heating surfaces and pipes and it is very fast drying, surface excellent adhere properties and it could resist temperature up to 700C!. It come in can of 450 ml volume and as well it cost some under 5€ and it excellent coverage make it best buy.

It is used as thin coat spray over the surface and due to the high shine it shows excellent whole surface details and you can spot any trouble details, including of bad surface shaping (this could happen when try to correct surface shape with filler). I recommend that, if you spot any trouble, to fine sand it, recommended sand paper is 1500 of 1500 grit, and sand down area and correct it with the way need for it.

Sample build for that method is Lightning:

http://www.letletlet-warplanes.com/2009/12/28/eduard-lightning-f-mk-1a/

Cheers :-wave

Offline Second Air Force

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 05:31:36 PM »
See, I've already learned about a new product!  :-ok Keep the ideas coming, folks.

I apologize for not yet doing anything with this thread. I've been trying to figure out how not to bore everyone or tell y'all stuff that you already know all too well. :-blah :-blah :-blah

When I start a NMF project the first thing I have to do is plan. There are some kits out there that have so many flaws that the project would take years just to make the parts fit, much less to get a smooth enough finish for bare aluminum. The second consideration I make is the markings I want to replicate. My NMF methods require that I paint any anti-glare panels, radomes, deicer boots, etc. before the aluminum.

Once the planning and collecting of kit and other materials is done, the building process goes on as with any other kit with the exception of fixing ALL defects in the seams, panel lines, fit of turrets, canopies, etc. Quite often I've just sanded all the panel lines off (especially the raised kind) during the filling process and rescribed them lightly later.

For studying the quality of all my surfaces, and especially the seams, I use a grey lacquer auto body primer, dusted on with the airbrush in very light coats so as not to attack the plastic. I then use the red oxide auto primer and dust on another light coat, just enough to make the surface red. I use this as a "guide coat" to wet sand with 600 grit or so. All the flaws will show through as either high (grey) or low (red) primer. Sometimes I can go back with more spray coats of primer and wet sanding to fill the flaws, sometimes it takes some spot filler to correct the problem. Once I'm fully satisfied with the entire surface of the model I can move on to the final stage, applying the paint and aluminum.

More later,
Scott

Offline No.1

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 05:52:01 PM »
Quote
I apologize for not yet doing anything with this thread

Oh no! House is built from many bricks! You have give fine enough for this thread and during the time this will build up in great source of info. Just wait to see what other members do (for example Profa used some cosmetic tool to make outstanding metal surface!!!)...

 :-clap

Offline Second Air Force

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2010, 06:13:35 PM »
Ok,

Here's how I apply Bare Metal foil. Sorry about the photo quality, and the foil I have is probably ten years old, so this is a poor representation of the process. As the foil ages on the backing paper it seems to become more fragile and tears easily when removing it. New sheets fresh from the hobby shop should give good results. I use "Chrome", not "Ultra Bright Chrome" because it is more representative of shiny alclad and conforms better. "Matte Aluminum" is good for alternating panel shades on relatively flat surfaces. I use Alclad or Testors Metalizer for various areas depending on shading, shape, etc.

First, and most important, is a perfect, glass smooth surface. Any seams, scratches, etc will really show up when the foil is smoothed out.
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_0635.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


Next, use a metal straight edge and a BRAND NEW X-acto blade to cut a panel to roughly the size you require:
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_0636.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


Now pick up a corner of the foil with the BRAND NEW blade and carefully peel it off the sheet:
[http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_0637.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


Apply the foil to the area you want to cover, being very careful not to fold or kink the foil in the process:
[http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_0638.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


Now smooth the foil carefully across the entire surface, and I use a fingernail to slowly insert the material into all panel lines:
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_0639.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


This step is a bit more difficult on vacuform models due to the panel lines on vacuform being less distinct than on injected kits. If you're careful, you can use a flexible ruler to wrap around the fuselage in order to maintain straight panel lines. I use the fresh blade to trim down the panel lines on the kit and remove the material not needed:
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_0640.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


Simply repeat this process to add panels across the airplane, being careful to smooth the foil with a soft cloth from time to time. In this example I used Chrome and Matte Aluminum to get the varying panel coloration:
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_0650.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


If you aren't satisfied with a particular area, you can carefully remove the foil with a fingernail or soft tool. Clean off all adhesive that may remain before putting on the next sheet:


There you have it, one guy's way to do NMF aircraft. Practice makes perfect as in any hobby, but I've had good luck with this system. Three things to remember: Absolutely smooth surface; BRAND NEW X-acto blades; and fresh Bare Metal foil.

Here is a Fokker 100 done with the BareMetal method:
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_0021.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


Scott

samuraj77

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2010, 09:14:38 PM »
Excellent  :-clap :-clap :-clap
And the Fokker-100  :-love

Offline No.1

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2010, 09:17:58 PM »
Very informative  :-clap And this worth to highlight:

Three things to remember: Absolutely smooth surface; BRAND NEW X-acto blades; and fresh Bare Metal foil

Offline Second Air Force

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2010, 06:55:41 AM »

And the Fokker-100  :-love

I used to work on the full-sized version of that little fellow, in fact, on that actual tail number several times.

S

Letipapa

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2010, 01:07:57 PM »
Ha! Great :-clap :-clap :-clap
I do not now do we have those metal foils her in Belgrade in the modeling shops, I should ask for that.
But until than, I am interested how to get slight differences just using the paint. I know that I can add some small amount of black or maybe white to make it darker or lighter, but does it work that way? :-think

May be I should experiment with few different Al colors? :-think

Offline Second Air Force

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2010, 09:34:32 PM »
Letipapa,

I once used silver paint with a tiny touch of light grey in it to darken it. It did change shades a little bit but it seemed to lose the "metal" look in the process.

I have had good success with these Testors metal finishes. I don't know if you're able to buy any of these products in Europe, but they work really, really well. All of these products (except the "Silver" on the top left) are ready to airbrush right out of the bottle. You MUST use a perfectly clean airbrush and bottle with a screen on the pickup tube, and it will take several bottles of paint to do very large models. The sealer is recommended if you're going to mask over the paint, but I don't always use it as a final clear coat.
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_4698.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


Here are two more products. The small bottle of Metalizer gives much the same results as the Testors products. The SNJ system is a bit different in that it consists of the spray on material and a bottle of actual aluminum powder that you apply and rub in to the surface to give the aluminum finish.
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_4699.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


And my favorite, the BareMetal Foil.
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w117/2AF/IMG_4700.jpg
HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes


Scott

Letipapa

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 10:20:41 PM »
Hey, Scott, thank you :-flo :-flo :-flo
There are Testors metalizers in the shops here and I think I'll try something with them. Only there is the fact that I already sprayed with auto lacquer (to see all mistakes), so I am thinking is the surface good enough. Anyway, there is a lot of sanding waiting me on Mystere. When I finish it, do I need to put something on before I use this metalizers.

For the rest of the products I do not think its easy to find in Belgrade, allthough it could be.
 :-wave

Offline Second Air Force

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2010, 11:06:36 PM »
Auto lacquer should be a good sub-surface finish for the Testors products. I use lacquer auto body primers, both grey and red oxide, as the base for the Testors Metalizer Lacquer. If you spray the Metalizer directly onto bare plastic use a very light dusting coat first to "seal" the softer plastic from the Metalizer thinner. The Testors materials are all very "hot" and will etch plastic easily if you lay it on thickly. Don't ever spray Metalizer over enamel--it will lift the enamel just like an application of paint stripper. (I know from experience....... :-red)

It's actually quite hard to spray a thick coat of this paint as it is extremely thin and covers well. The fact that the coats should go on thin makes it very important to handle finished models with cloth gloves--the Metalizer can be affected by the oils in our skin and frequent handling. One of the good things about these products is that it is relatively easy to fix little problems by overspraying worn areas with a new coat and burnishing/polishing it to match the surrounding surface.

Scott
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 11:09:27 PM by Second Air Force »

Offline No.1

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2010, 11:11:25 PM »
SNJ are among the first to appear on market many years ago. I have never use it but do have used Testors products. There is also some old products, not available today like a Liqui a Plate and Rub N Buff. Did anybody use them?

Cheers :-ok

Offline Second Air Force

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Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2010, 11:20:35 PM »
I used Liqui-Plate on the vacuform F-89 I started this thread with. That was the product I couldn't remember the name of...... :-roll It worked pretty much the same as the other products as I recall all these years later. I still have the "How To" book that came with the Liqui-Plate and it is quite thorough. I don't think I used Rub N Buff but I do remember the name.

Scott