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Why removing chrome from chromed parts ?

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  • Member since
    January, 2014
Why removing chrome from chromed parts ?
Posted by JayF on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:59 AM

Hello

In cars WIP I see many people voluntarily removing chrome from already chromed parts (using various methods) and putting it back afterward with either paint or something else (also various methods used here too).

I was wondering : why would you do that ?

Just asking out of pure sheer curiosity, not trying to start a heated debate here.  Wink

  • Member since
    February, 2014
Posted by jazzsoul60 on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 1:08 PM

Because kit plating is out of scale (too thick), not realistically shinny and many times not the smoothest.  Alclad as well as other paint on plating offer many shades of chrome, polished aluminum, brushed aluminum and other metallic shades.  The can be applied much thinner also to look more in scale, just to name a few of the reasons.

  • Member since
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  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 1:19 PM

I also thought that glue didn't take to the chrome parts

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Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 7:36 PM

I scrape chrome in spots where I need to glue because glue and chrome don't adhere well on a kit.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 8:35 AM

Another reason is that the sprue attachment areas are frequently in spots that show, and then lack the chrome finish.

Personally I do not remove the chrome. It can be primed, undercoated and then Alclad.  Or, if the sprue area is small enough, there are some good chrome/silver paints that can touch up small spots.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
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Posted by Tarasdad on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 9:48 PM

Don, that's exactly what I decided to do on the truck I'm building. Sprue marks are small enough that a touch-up with chrome silver will do for me.

Tarasdad

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  • From: Roanoke, Virginia
Posted by BigJim on Thursday, August 14, 2014 12:12 AM

I have had a few kits that have had some very realistic plating. It was quite thin looking and had the appearance more like polished metal or a satin finish. Too bad more plating can't be done like that.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, August 14, 2014 8:39 AM

BTW, my understanding is that most "chrome plating" in model kits is vacuum deposited aluminum.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2010
Posted by CrashTestDummy on Thursday, August 14, 2014 9:18 AM

It depends on the particular kit on whether or not the chrome comes off or not.  Newer kits seem to have a bit better chroming that is thinner (I think most of that is what's used under the chrome).  I tend to strip the older kits as the chrome really softens the details that can be revealed and better-displayed if covered with something like Alclad.  But yeah, it really depends on how the chrome looks on a specific kit.

Gene Beaird,

Pearland, Texas

G. Beaird,

Pearland, Texas

  • Member since
    January, 2014
Posted by JayF on Thursday, August 14, 2014 4:41 PM

Thanks all for your answers !

Right now I'm building the Monogram 1970 Road Runner and I was looking for some color ideas for the body.

On one of the site I went to check it was such a big deal to REMOVE the chrome for those parts, but nobody ever venture as to explain why.

Do you think I can glue using 2-parts epoxy ?

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, August 15, 2014 9:09 AM

JayF

Do you think I can glue using 2-parts epoxy ?

Do you mean the chrome parts or the whole kit?  Epoxy will work, but I don't see the advantage for most of the kits. For the chrome parts, you need to remove the chrome from the gluing surface (usually the bond of the plating is not really strong enough to rely on), so you can glue the part with anything that will stick to styrene.  If you glue the part with epoxy, without removing plating, the glue WILL stick to plating, but the plating bond is very much at risk of failing if it is a big part. If it is a small part, you can get away with it without removing plating, but in that case CA will work also, and is easier (and smells better) than epoxy.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    August, 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Friday, August 15, 2014 1:53 PM

Hi,JayF;

    I have to ask you. Is the kit you're building New? The reason I ask is this . Many older straight MONOGRAM kits had a tendency to have Chrome plating disappear over time. I don't know if it was oxidation or what . My 70 Malibu looked kind of funny with yellow plastic showing through the chrome.

   Unlike many, I do Not use Alclad in any build  . I use foil Chrome exclusively . Or if it's for a contest build then I send them to Chrome -Tech, inc. For that professional touch . This requires stripping all the original plating off . For a few bucks more they will do set-up and stripping for you .

     In case you ask. I use the cheapest , shiniest foil I can find and then make my own . Yes, I do use " Bare-Metal " foiling too . It just depends how many colors of aluminum I want to represent on a natural metal airplane .

     As far as scale thickness I really didn't know anyone was OCD enough to measure the plating thickness. I never have . After all,why is that necessary if the kit chrome is good ? As far as autos are concerned ,They could put the sprue connections in a spot harder to see . Many times it's a line vertically cutting the bumper, say from the ends. If you trim the line off , well you've got a bare plastic spot.

    The right shade of foil chrome , Burnished thoroughly will hide that and you can't see the edge of the foil chrome anyway, Unless you use a magnifier . Only OCD judges do that .         T.B.

  • Member since
    January, 2007
Posted by the doog on Sunday, August 17, 2014 9:55 AM

The very first thing I do when building a new car kit is BOOM!--sink the chrome parts in bleach, and usually within 1/2 hour I have nice bare plastic. Quick, easy, and then oh-so-much easier to work with. Not only can you easily glue pieces without the mess, hassle, and waiting time of epoxy--yuck!--but you can sand the attachment points and clean up burrs, parting lines, etc--real necessities if you're serious about producing a high-quality build. A simple coat of Alclad imparts an amazingly bright sheen of chrome for pennies when you can do a dozen kits or more for the price of one $7.00 bottle.

The previous poster talked about using bare metal foil or sending pieces off through the mail to some re-plating company. Whatever floats your boat, but speaking for myself, I would go mental if I had to wait for parts to get back from some company when you want to get building. And having worked with bare metal foil plenty of times, I can say that this is an impractical choice for curved bumpers and pieces like manifolds and valve covers. Not to mention that BMF can have a very high "learning curve", and it also can have adhesion problems if its old. You're much better off getting some Alclad. You won't believe how easy it is to use and how high quality it looks.

  • Member since
    January, 2014
Posted by JayF on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 10:58 AM

I saw some people putting the chromed sprues in Simple Green and let them soak for a few days before removing the excess paint with a stiff toothbrush.

Talking about Alclad (I never used it), can you hand brush it or you must use an airbrush to put a coat on the parts ?

Also, does it come in many "colors" (don't know how to properly call this) as does it come in dark chrome, light chrome, heavy chrome, etc. ?

  • Member since
    February, 2014
Posted by jazzsoul60 on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 11:14 AM

Alclad 2 has about 19 shades of metal.  No way can you get that realistic appearance from kit plating.

BMF has it's place with large flat surfaces.  Very small parts with indented surfaces are plated better with Alclad 2.

http://alclad2.com/

  • Member since
    January, 2010
Posted by CrashTestDummy on Monday, August 25, 2014 2:15 PM

Jay, while you can brush paint it, and I've successfully done that on small parts/sections (namely a polished rim effect on a set of wheels for a car I'm building), it's best sprayed.  Like spraying, it requires several coats to build up to the desired effect.  With brush painting, though, you have to wait until the previous coat is completely dry before you apply another coat.

And just like the pieces you air brush, you have to first coat the part with a gloss coat of usually black paint.  If you brush that on, your brush marks will show up under the alclad.  

Gene Beaird,

Pearland, Texas

G. Beaird,

Pearland, Texas

  • Member since
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  • From: UK
Posted by PatW on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 4:24 PM

In some kits the engines come fully chromed which doesn't happen in real life, so I get out the oven cleaner fluid and after an hour or so it's all gone. I can then paint the engine in more traditional/real colours.

Remember , common sense is not common.

  • Member since
    December, 2013
Posted by CodyJ on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 12:12 AM

For me I remove it because like many have mentioned the part shouldn't be chrome at all.  For instance the Hemi cuda kits come with chrome valve covers.  Many don't realize it but they never came that way.  They were painted black from the factory.  Other kits will have other parts that have no business being chrome unless you are making an insane show rod.  Typically axles, starters, hoses, intakes, etc are not chrome.  Thats what drives me nuts about AMT's Semi Trucks.  When have you seen a Semi with chrome drive shafts!??!?

The most important reason for application is it lessens the chance of flaking when you paint it the correct color.  Paint doesn't tend to bond very strong to the chrome surface even if you use primer, and will flake and wear on the edgeds.  Removing the chrome and "roughing" it up a bit with very fine steel wool creates the perfect surface for paint to adhere to.

  • Member since
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  • From: West Virginia, USA
Posted by mfsob on Saturday, August 03, 2019 11:15 AM

the doog

The very first thing I do when building a new car kit is BOOM!--sink the chrome parts in bleach, and usually within 1/2 hour I have nice bare plastic. Quick, easy, and then oh-so-much easier to work with.

I'm tackling a car kit for the first time since, oh, dinosaurs roamed the earth, and decided the chromed parts were too ... chromy/shiny/whatever.

I've tried soaking the parts in bleach, going on two hours now, and some of the chrome - mainly on the large flat areas, is staying stubbornly attached. On fine details like grills and vents, it came right off. Suggestions?

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, August 03, 2019 11:29 AM

I remove it for the reasons Pat mentioned, however I leave it where it would be on the real thing. This model had chrome cylinder heads, crank case and trans cases. (wrong). I stripped those and painted them with Alclad II to look like aluminum. The pipes on the other hand look right left plated.

All model "chrome" plating is not equal. Some comes right off, others are a bear to get loose. I've tried about everything except purple powder, which is said to work well.

Try spray oven cleaner. Most of those kinds of things are lye based and are quite caustic so wear gloves.

  • Member since
    July, 2019
Posted by Robotism on Saturday, August 03, 2019 11:32 AM

The casting process in any plastic kit is going to leave casting marks in some form. Usually this is a thin line of plastic along parts you have to sand or remove with a knife. It leaves you in an awakward position where you have to remove the chroming to clean the part of have the chroming but obvious seam lines along parts. It's a lose/lose situation.

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    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, August 03, 2019 12:27 PM

True, I generally choose to live with the mold parting seams.

  • Member since
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  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Sunday, August 04, 2019 7:36 AM

If seams need removing on chrome you can use either BMF or Molotow pen to replace the lost chrome.

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Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, August 04, 2019 7:51 AM

Hi;

 I was going to reply to the fellow that suggested Not using Foil. Now that said. Since I found out Chrome Tech is no longer in business I use my trusty Molotow unit and still use foil too.

   I have never had problems with foil on curved surfaces. Why? Well you cut relief slots in the foil. Burnish well. Then,take a brand new Single edge razorblade ( NOT a new number11 X-Acto blade! ) and cut off the overage. Burnish well with the side of a Aluminum X-Acto number one handle or a piece of aluminum tubing.

    Using the tubing or handle seems to make seams dissapear and the chrome in that area seems shinier too! I have tried Alclad and I don't care for it. More work than foiling on just a bumper.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: West Virginia, USA
Posted by mfsob on Monday, August 05, 2019 7:07 AM

It might come to foil, or Bare Metal Foil, which I have ... somewhere. When my wife saw me rummaging under the kitchen sink for the oven cleaner, she asked what I was going to do with it and then politely suggested I not blow the house up while I was doing it. Big Smile

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: West Virginia, USA
Posted by mfsob on Tuesday, August 06, 2019 12:07 PM

Well, the spray on oven cleaner didn't work. Guess I will have to track down this Simple Green stuff mentioned above.

Tell you what, this AMT chrome is tough.

  • Member since
    December, 2018
Posted by Ted4321 on Tuesday, August 06, 2019 2:06 PM

mfsob

Well, the spray on oven cleaner didn't work. Guess I will have to track down this Simple Green stuff mentioned above.

Tell you what, this AMT chrome is tough.

 

I tried several tricks to get AMT chrome off a tanker trailer frame.  Gave up after 2 weeks of messing with it.  Moved on to something else.  Good luck.

T e d

  • Member since
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  • From: Roanoke, Virginia
Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, August 06, 2019 6:46 PM

I learned a long time ago to just soak the part in Clorox. Never had a problem.

  • Member since
    March, 2014
Posted by Graham Green on Tuesday, August 06, 2019 10:42 PM

BigJim

I learned a long time ago to just soak the part in Clorox. Never had a problem.

 

If you check what Clorox is actually made from, then the main ingredient that removes the shiny stuff is  Sodium hydroxide.

Why not just use it straight, instead of buying all this other junk.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_hydroxide

  • Member since
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  • From: UK
Posted by PatW on Wednesday, August 07, 2019 2:14 AM

The Jeep CJ-7 I've just built had really heavy, very bright chrome and most of the research photo's I gathered (as I do with every build) showed that 99% of the factory built cars were white, so I stripped the chrome and sprayed them white.

As mentioned by a previous message where the wheels were to be cut from the sprue there was a big lump of white plastic so shaving that sprue lump off showed a large area of white plastic where it would show even after the tyres were mounted.

Remember , common sense is not common.

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