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Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander






London

Hi all,

Have bought some Alclad High-Shine metallics for a project I'm working on, and have been doing some research on how to use them properly, as they seem to require a great deal more prep to get the desired effect.

A couple of things I've seen have said you have to be absolutely meticulous in prepping the surface, including priming, sanding, priming, priming again and then polishing/buffing. This seems a bit of overkill in my eyes, but hoping to get some more opinions on how to use these paints.

Cheers.

   
Made in au
Grizzled Space Wolves Great Wolf





It you're going for a mirror shine, then yes, the base you apply it to needs to be extremely good.

The chrome-like mirror finish comes from having a gloss black undercoat which itself has a mirror like finish, then you apply a very thin layer of the alclad to get the metallic mirror-like effect.

But if you're going for a more hazy metallic, similar to an oxidized aluminium or the wings of a P-51 (which were a painted metallic rather than a bare metallic in real life) then you can get away with a rougher undercoat. It's only for that mirror-like finish you need to be perfect.

I will say though, the tighter the curves on your model, the less important it becomes. Basically if you're painting a Space Marine (very small radius curves on the armour plates) it's far less critical to the final effect than if you were painting a 1/32 scale P-47 Thunderbolt.

But maybe test it out on some models you don't care about first, see how the effect works and what it's sensitive to, maybe even intentionally prep some of your test pieces poorly so you have a reference of what it comes out like.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/08 13:50:15


 
   
Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander






London

Well I'm painting an EE Lightning which usually had a metallic finish like the Mustang.





There's a clear difference between the finish styles as you mentioned, and while I'd like to go for the mirror finish, it does seem a bit out of my skillset.

I think you're right in that I should do some tests first, but what exactly should I prep it with. I apply the black gloss, then what?

   
Made in au
Grizzled Space Wolves Great Wolf





I guess I'll add to that and say whilst the surface you use as a base needs to be very good, depending on the context "very good" might just mean avoid primers that are overly rough (something like Tamiya's primer is nice and smooth) and use a good quality gloss black spray for your basecoat. If you didn't have any seam lines to begin with, that'll probably be good enough without any further sanding or polishing required.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Valkyrie wrote:
Well I'm painting an EE Lightning which usually had a metallic finish like the Mustang.

Spoiler:




There's a clear difference between the finish styles as you mentioned, and while I'd like to go for the mirror finish, it does seem a bit out of my skillset.

I think you're right in that I should do some tests first, but what exactly should I prep it with. I apply the black gloss, then what?


Nice looking plane! I guess don't be afraid to go for a mirror like finish in the bottom image, just be aware if you get it wrong you'll probably end up with the more matte finish like the top image.

When I've used it in the past, I like to use Tamiya primer while filling the seam lines, as that can be sanded back to help you fill the seam lines but gives a nice smooth finish that doesn't need to be polished, then I've used either an enamel gloss from Humbrol or Alclad's own gloss black primer as the basecoat. Apply the Alclad nice and thinly and let the effect build up gradually.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/08 14:05:17


 
   
Made in gb
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine






Northumberland, England

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adUZDrG66yA&list=WL&index=9&t=543s

Because I (think I) know what you'll be doing, this should help you immensely . I'm not strictly convinced you need an absolute mirror surface to work with, but at the same time the more prep you do, the better your result will be

Spoiler:
A note on the P-51 - they weren't strictly 'painted' silver. The silver you see is a mix of either genuine metal, or silvered primer (Zinc primer) and was either waxed or laquered over. Technical Order 07-1-1 is the documentation which ordered manufacturers to cease all painting. The reason being was that paint added a considerable amount of weight and friction to the aircraft, which decreased it's range and speed (Both vital in an escort fighter). My point here is mainly that silvered aircraft *should technically* be glossy smooth - but considering scale and hobby enjoyment then I follow the above advice. Do what pleases you and with the least disruption to your enjoyment.

Caveat: My knowledge of P-51s is based on that document, I'd love to be corrected if anyone has worked with P-51s personally.


EDIt: Ninja'd

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/08 14:13:11


Into the Fires of Battle! Unto the Anvil of War!

Numine Et Arcu
 
   
Made in au
Grizzled Space Wolves Great Wolf





 Warpig1815 wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adUZDrG66yA&list=WL&index=9&t=543s

Because I (think I) know what you'll be doing, this should help you immensely . I'm not strictly convinced you need an absolute mirror surface to work with, but at the same time the more prep you do, the better your result will be

Spoiler:
A note on the P-51 - they weren't strictly 'painted' silver. The silver you see is a mix of either genuine metal, or silvered primer (Zinc primer) and was either waxed or laquered over. Technical Order 07-1-1 is the documentation which ordered manufacturers to cease all painting. The reason being was that paint added a considerable amount of weight and friction to the aircraft, which decreased it's range and speed (Both vital in an escort fighter). My point here is mainly that silvered aircraft *should technically* be glossy smooth - but considering scale and hobby enjoyment then I follow the above advice. Do what pleases you and with the least disruption to your enjoyment.

Caveat: My knowledge of P-51s is based on that document, I'd love to be corrected if anyone has worked with P-51s personally.


EDIt: Ninja'd


Definitely agree that mirror finish isn't necessarily going to be historically accurate. I think the best thing is if you can find reference images of the specific plane you are trying to recreate, and go for that.

Or what I like to do, look at a lot of images of planes from an era and then make up a plane that could have existed but is not based on any particular one example.
   
Made in gb
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine






Northumberland, England

Very sound advice Skink

One of the main rabbit holes I see with historical modellers is attempting to recreate history. Sounds stupid, but history is entirely subjective (As a classics scholar, my life is spent being exasperated with this ). Half these machines weren't photographed, many were retrofitted, modified or bodged as the situation called for, and the technical documentation presents an ideal, and not a reality. It's futile to try and 'present' history, so just give it your best approximation in a way that pleases you and you won't be far off.

Into the Fires of Battle! Unto the Anvil of War!

Numine Et Arcu
 
   
Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander






London

 Warpig1815 wrote:
Very sound advice Skink

One of the main rabbit holes I see with historical modellers is attempting to recreate history. Sounds stupid, but history is entirely subjective (As a classics scholar, my life is spent being exasperated with this ). Half these machines weren't photographed, many were retrofitted, modified or bodged as the situation called for, and the technical documentation presents an ideal, and not a reality. It's futile to try and 'present' history, so just give it your best approximation in a way that pleases you and you won't be far off.


I definitely agree that trying to get *exact* historical accuracy can be a bit over the top in some cases, similar to "rivet counters"*. For example the Lightning kit is the F1 type, but the cockpit upgrade I found only had the F2 and upwards. It's such a miniscule thing and I doubt that it'll ever be noticeable on a small kit.

*Rivet counters are model railway enthusiasts who are so invested in detail they will literally count the individual rivets of a model to ensure accuracy.

   
Made in gb
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine






Northumberland, England

Exactly. In some cases, I find people like that are more concerned with massaging their ego than conveying a sense of history. And the differences between the F.1, F.1A and F.2 Lightnings were mainly technical features that were basically indistinguishable on the model. I reckon you'll be safe with an F.2 cockpit

Into the Fires of Battle! Unto the Anvil of War!

Numine Et Arcu
 
   
Made in au
Grizzled Space Wolves Great Wolf





There can definitely be a level of fun in learning the history to come up with what you're going to do, while some people can be a bit stuffy about it there's also people who are friendly and willing to have a chat.

I don't know about more modern aircraft, but for WW2 aircraft the forums on "ww2aircraft.net" have been really good when I've asked about historical aspects of planes I've been doing.

One thing that makes metallic aircraft so difficult is getting the result you're targetting. You might get a good result, but it wasn't necessarily the one you were aiming for. Perhaps it's too bright, perhaps it's too dark, perhaps it reflects too much, perhaps not enough. And you could follow the exact same procedure one day to the next and get a distinctly different result.

I guess that's the thing that separates skilled modellers from the mediocre ones like me, they don't just get a good result, they get the result they were looking for in the beginning, lol.





Automatically Appended Next Post:
Just another thing that came to mind, alclad is a lacquer so make sure your airbrushing station does a good job exhausting fumes outside of your house. You don't want yourself or your family breathing those fumes.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/08 16:10:43


 
   
Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander






London

So I had a test run of the Alclad paints on a scrap bit of plasticard and I'll be honest I'm not too impressed. I used Vallejo Gloss Black as an undercoat and while there's a fair bit of shine after applying the Alclad, it's far too streaky and overall ruins the result.

From what I can gather there's a bit of a learning curve when applying Alclads, and you have to use thin layers, but how thin? I had the compressor set to 15psi as recommended but I was getting next to nothing on the card.

   
Made in au
Grizzled Space Wolves Great Wolf





Hmm, what do you mean by "streaky", that's not an effect I've noticed before?

Maybe you're applying coats too quickly? Try applying just a very small amount, wait a few seconds, check the result, then apply a bit more. As you build it up it'll go from gloss black mirror finish to a dark metallic mirror finish and then as you apply more it'll get lighter but less mirror like. Getting a chrome like effect (where it's both light and mirror like) is really difficult and not an effect I've personally been able to get on any of my attempts, as it gets hazier as I lay down enough to get the brightness.

15 psi actually sounds a touch high, but my regulator is not accurate at low psi so I go by feel more than what the regulator tells me. Maybe try a bit less pressure and see how you go.

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Procrastinator extraordinaire





Edinburgh, UK

Metallics, both lacquer and acrylic should be sprayed at a low PSI in case you end up with spiderwebbing, which may be the source of your streaking issues. I find that thin metallics like Alclad or Vallejo Metal Color to be so thin that you don't notice the layer building up until it's too late and you start to get runs of paint in the panel lines or in the body. Take it slow and let the paint dry (especially lacquers) between coats.

I had a few incidents of that when I was painting my metallic Mig-15 so had to sand it down and restart but here is what I ended up with before varnish using Vallejo Metal Color white aluminium:


And the finished model after a matte varnish:


If you want a proper metallic sheen, you need to do the prep as you would prep a car (or model car) and be careful of the varnish you're using or you'll lose the effect you want.

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