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Bare metal foil

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  • Member since
    June, 2017
Bare metal foil
Posted by UnwaryPaladin on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 7:59 AM

I would like to try bare metal foil on an aircraft. I picked up a 1/72 Hobby Boss F-84E Thunderjet. My questions are:

1) Is this a good subject to learn on? It has the wing tanks and drop tanks, am I getting in over my head for my first attempt?

2) What is the order of assembly? Should I attach the canopy then paint and foil, or do the canopy seperately?

3) What is the order of painting? The jet has olive drab anti glare paint, the canopy has what appear to be white reinforcement straps (?). Should I do the paint first then foil around it or foil the entire aircraft and paint over the foil?

I know there are videos and articles out there on applying foil, but the devil is in the details! What details can you offer for this project? Thanks in advance!

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 9:34 AM

I have given up doing a whole airplane in foil.  I never was able to get the wrinkles completely out when applying it.  Some folks I know cut the foil into individual panels so they are working with small pieces, that seems to work with them.

I personally find those new metal finishes like Alclad and such easier.  Yeah, I had some problems recently, but I was going against recommended undercoats, and think I have solved the problem.

I suspect Alclad, being a lacquer, will, like enamels, disappear these days because of environmental concerns, and am planning on trying the new Vallejo stuff soon.  Several friends I know are trying it and love it!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 11:04 AM

How often do you really see a shiny aluminum aircraft in service - other than restored aircraft in the air show circuit? Use Tamiya aluminum in rattle can instead. It gives it a better look of worn aluminum aircraft look. Or use Alclad Aluminum...

As far as suspecting Alclad disappearing, I highly doubt it for they're not of Testors line. there are lacquers still in use today in autobody shops. Will Alclad lacquers disappear? No.

  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: Fullerton, Calif.
Posted by Don Wheeler on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 11:05 AM

I've only done one aircraft with foil, but I'll share my experience.  I used plain Reynolds Wrap foil and stuck it down with Mona Lisa metal leaf adhesive.  I placed the foil on a flat surface and brushed the adhesive on it. Then I placed it adhesive side down on a clean piece of glass.  I buffed it to give it a grain.  I applied it in small pieces between panel lines.  I used a toothpick to smooth it out and a sharp blade to trim edges.  If a piece didn't come out right, I pulled it off and tried again.  It will conform to gentle compound curves with a little work.

I did all painting before foiling.  Masking over foil could be tricky.  I attached the canopy after. The canopy frames are silver paint. When the foiling was all done, I brushed a coat of Future over it to seal edges and protect the finish.  You can see it on this page.

I have used Baremetal foil for details on car models where it works well.  But, mine had tiny wrinkles that are hard to get out and look bad on larger surfaces.

Don

https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/home

A collection of airbrush tips and reviews

Now also an Amazon E-book and paperback of tips.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
Posted by UnwaryPaladin on Thursday, August 03, 2017 8:38 AM

Thanks for the replies. I'm getting the impression that the effort in foiling isn't worth the outcome, at least when used to cover an entire aircraft.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, August 03, 2017 9:54 AM

BlackSheepTwoOneFour

How often do you really see a shiny aluminum aircraft in service - other than restored aircraft in the air show circuit? Use Tamiya aluminum in rattle can instead. It gives it a better look of worn aluminum aircraft look. Or use Alclad Aluminum...

As far as suspecting Alclad disappearing, I highly doubt it for they're not of Testors line. there are lacquers still in use today in autobody shops. Will Alclad lacquers disappear? No.

 

Museum aircraft are often in a polished condition.  Also, look along the flight line at the antique and classic area at an EAA meet or Antique Aircraft Association meet.  Lots of folks there keep their planes polished.  Owners of golden age civil aircraft often keep them polished.  And airlines in the thirties and forties (some even into the fifties) kept their planes polished.

As to disappearance, vapors from enamels and lacquers are increasingly being considered harmful.  Paint shops doing work with them are under increasing regulation.  While hobby paints have not been affected much by regulation yet, they may be soon, which is one of the reasons Testors is giving up on them.  Remember, hobby paint rattle cans did have to get rid of the fluorocarbon propellents.  And, I know many modelers who have gone to acrylics entirely, because of pressure from spouses.  Yeah, enamels and lacquers are still around, but I personally feel the handwriting is on the wall.  I want to learn how to use the acrylics metalizers while I can do it leisurely, rather than wait for the lacquers (the real stuff, not acrylic lacquers) to disappear and then have to learn quickly.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: Fullerton, Calif.
Posted by Don Wheeler on Thursday, August 03, 2017 11:24 AM

UnwaryPaladin

Thanks for the replies. I'm getting the impression that the effort in foiling isn't worth the outcome, at least when used to cover an entire aircraft.

The trick to foiling is to not be in a hurry.  I actually found it to be kind of relaxing.  And, nothing looks more like bare aluminum than the real thing.  It can be clear coated without affecting how it looks and stands up well to handling.

Don

https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/home

A collection of airbrush tips and reviews

Now also an Amazon E-book and paperback of tips.

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Friday, August 04, 2017 6:07 PM

I have been using Bare Metal Foil for years and I would never go back to using paint to imitate a NMF. Alclad is not easy to apply, and when finished it still looks like a painted surface. It is easy to apply the BMF without wrinkles. I have a technique that is foolproof. 

Most aluminum has a natural grain due to the metal being extruded. It is easy to add "grain' to BMF(check out the F-104). I do not think that is possible on a painted surface.  It is easy to "kill the shine" on BMF. Just weather it in the same manner as weathering a painted surface. The F-86 and the F-104 have minimal weathering. The P-47 is weathered and does not have an unrealistic shine. In fact, it looks like a real metal finish because it is a real metal finish.  Only metal looks like a metal finish. I am currently working on finishing a 1/48 scale B-29 and a B-58 in Bare Metal Foil.  When finished they will look fantastic.

The F-84 is a perfect model to try BMF. That plane has simple shapes and would be easy to do.  I'll share all of my techniques with you if If you want to try BMF. Just let me know. 

 

Examples of Bare Metal Foil are as follows:

 

  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: Fullerton, Calif.
Posted by Don Wheeler on Friday, August 04, 2017 6:45 PM

Johnnyk -- Beautiful work.  Your BMF obviously didn't have tiny wrinkles in it.  Maybe I got a bad batch.  The thinner BMF would conform easier than household foil.

Don

https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/home

A collection of airbrush tips and reviews

Now also an Amazon E-book and paperback of tips.

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Friday, August 04, 2017 8:20 PM

Don Wheeler

Johnnyk -- Beautiful work.  Your BMF obviously didn't have tiny wrinkles in it.  Maybe I got a bad batch.  The thinner BMF would conform easier than household foil.

Don

 

Don,

You are a very talanted modeler, you should give BMF a try instead of kitchen foil. I tried kitchen foil and it was a big mess. I just could not get a smooth layer of adhesive. The BMF has an adhesive that is activated by rubbing the foil. 

Tip 1 - reducing the BMF shine: BMF has a too much of a shine. Plus, it shows finger prints. Both can be eliminated by spraying the sheet of BMF with Simple Green and then wiping the foil dry. Whatever is in the Simple Green reduces the shine. Most of my foil is Matt Aluminum foil, but I also use Improved Chrome in a few panels.

Tip 2 - eliminating wrinkles: I buy the foil directly from Bare Metal Foil. The adhesive is fresher. Apply the foil in small sections. Burnish the  BMF with a paper blending stick after the foil is placed on the model. The BMF does not really stick until it is burnished. Paper blending sticks are so soft that they will not damage the foil no matter how hard you rub. There will be no wrinkles ever, I promise.

Tip 3 - Natural grain: The natural grain in aluminum can be duplicated by rubbuing the burnished foil with 0000 steel wool. Just rub the foil one time only. Alternate the direction of the grain.

Tip 4 - weathering: I use Tamya Smoke in very thin layers. However, it is important to  wet the foil and the brush first. Wipe the Smoke with a damp paper towel immediatly after applying it.

Tip 5 - Decals: Cut apart the USAF decals into seperate letters. That way the carrier film will not be visible. Be carful of decal setting soultions. Some solutions will blacken the BMF.

Tip 6: This is a marathon, not a sprint. It take time to apply foil but the ersults are worth the time.

 

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