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The CHROME tree in a kit

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  • Member since
    March 2014
The CHROME tree in a kit
Posted by Graham Green on Thursday, June 27, 2019 4:58 AM

A lot of modellers just grab the Chrome tree with their bare hands and over a period of a few months the chrome looses it's bright polished look. As time progresses what's left of this chrome now just fades away and your left with whatever colour the tree was made of.

This now kind of makes the model look like $hit, so there is a way of defeating this dreaded loss of the chrome and your model looking real sad, so read on and all will be revealed.

Oh, I unashamedly will plug any Testors product, as it has been proven that it works for over half a century of use by myself and many other satisfied customers.

If anybody disagrees with what has been said here, please post your method of defeating this dreaded curse.

Click onto the JPG for an enlarged version.

 

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, June 27, 2019 8:33 AM

Well, Graham, while I agree that it might not be the best idea to touch the parts just to play with htem a little, your idea of spraying the whole sprue with clear doesn't sound good to me at all. Luckily for me most of the models I have built or plan to build in the future didn't/don't have the chrome sprue. But the ones that did usually annoyed me because under that lovely chrome finish you had flash, mold parting lines and other nice things like that. So the parts had to be cleaned up, filled, sanded and assembled and just then I could start thinking of rechroming them - I hope you see that at this point your advice isn't very helpful.

Here, let me post some pictures to cheer this thread up a little.

1:24 Mack RW Superliner by Pawel

Those fuel tanks out of the box had a really ugly seam splitting them vertically - it was easier to scratchbuild them out of some plastic piping than filling and sanding the seams. After that they had to be rechromed - with Alclad 2 chrome. Some gloss clear went on them too - but it wasn't Testors - it was Alclad clear. Any clear always dulls down the shine a little - my trick here is to put a very light coat of Alclad chrome on top of the clear, that restores most of the shine. I know, it sounds funny, but works for me.

Here's another one:

Those bumpers had to be modified a little, and also did have a nasty seam line in the "wings" - very visible, so I had to sand them down and rechrome the bumpers. Again, I have used the trick with "alclad on gloss" described above

And the same model, rear view mirors:

The kit part (on the right) had a nasty sink hole right in the middle, thonseam lines along the rod and was molded with the door hinge that wa supposed to be body colour. To save time on fixing the issues I have scratchbuilt two new mirrors using some silver-coated copper wire for the rods and plastic discs for the mirrors. Those were Alcladed and ended up lookig good IMO.

And I also had a feeling, when I was removing the chrome from some parts, that many manufacturers already clear-coat them. So in the end I really wouldn't sweat it, and like I said I don't think clear-coating the whole sprue is a good idea. But of course you have paid for the parts so if you really want to...

Thanks for reading and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    March 2014
Posted by Graham Green on Thursday, June 27, 2019 3:55 PM

I do hope you noticed that I did say " checkout the chrome tree and make sure all the bit's are there and it is all OK", so, if something is not quite right and you don't repair it then  --------

Now by NOT giving it a clear coat and you continue to touch it and later on all that bright shiny chrome magically dissapears, it could have been avoided by a very simple fix.

Please notice the grill, the name of the truck on the side of the bonnet, the overhead marker lights and the headlight surrounds on the following picture. The chrome work looks bright and shiny like it's brand new, remember that this model was finished back in 1991, proof is right there looking at you, that it actually works. Click on the pic to get an expanded view and you'll soon see how shiny those bits are.

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, June 28, 2019 4:20 PM

I find it easier to strip the chrome-I use SuperClean-and then paint the part as appropriate.  Thats especially true where the chromed parts go together and have seams.  It's just easier to deal with them that way.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Friday, June 28, 2019 4:23 PM

Hi There ;

 I have some other bits to share .My Monogram Car Kits were known to lose their chrome plating Just sitting there looking pretty. So I foil Chromed everything from the Git-Go !

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, June 28, 2019 4:32 PM

I had a hard time with the chrome on my Norton Commando. I had two choices on a part-by-part basis. Either leave the chrome and live with the part lines, sprue nubbins etc., or strip them. I've learned that trying to fix stuff usually makes it worse. I'm with Brad on the strip paint and with Pawel on the replace it route.

I do agree, the less handling the better. I wipe the parts down with a silicone glasses cleaning glove once I've removed them, and try not to touch them any more.

The other stuff I stripped (some near impossible to strip) and repainted with Alclad.

Or some like the windshield mounting flange, I just created with shiny BMF.

I've also found that kits just go hell-for-broke chroming (actually aluminum vacu-formed onto the plastic) everything to be "cool".

An example would be the fuel tanks on that rig. The real things usually aren't chrome anyways. They usually are polished aluminum. Same with the wheels. Chrome plating works best on ferrous metals, which are heavy. Yes, plastic and other material can be chrome plated, but it's a complicated process.

Good thread.

 

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Friday, June 28, 2019 5:01 PM

Taking a small detour, that is really an outstanding Kenworth, Graham. Is that the old AMT flatbed or...? Would love to see more images.

And I agree with GM, this a great thread. It's good to get a lot of input on kit chrome and the methods people use to work with it.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, June 28, 2019 8:15 PM

mrmike
Taking a small detour, that is really an outstanding Kenworth, Graham. Is that the old AMT flatbed or...? Would love to see more images.

I got sidetracked with the discussion and didn't give the tractor trailer model the attention it deserves, thanks for pointing it out, Mike.

That really is a VERY cool model, Graham.

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2014
Posted by Graham Green on Friday, June 28, 2019 10:00 PM

Suppose I should start a post just showing this Kenwortrh W 924 S.A.R. It's 1/16th scale and you can just go overboard on the detailing. Make sure you click on this photo and then go for the expanded view. IndifferentIndifferent

  • Member since
    September 2013
Posted by Les.61 on Friday, June 28, 2019 10:11 PM

Graham, 

Nice build. Based on the number plate you would be a New South Welshman in Australia?

  • Member since
    March 2014
Posted by Graham Green on Friday, June 28, 2019 10:50 PM

Please STOP swearing, them 'buggers' from down there are known as 'c-o-c-k-a-roaches', me, I'm a banana bender.Big Smile

  • Member since
    July 2013
Posted by steve5 on Friday, June 28, 2019 11:10 PM

Queeennnsslanndderr .

 

  • Member since
    September 2013
Posted by Les.61 on Friday, June 28, 2019 11:18 PM

Graham

My apologies but some of us have to live below the border Big Smile. Do have friends in Toowoomba and Longreach.

 

  • Member since
    March 2014
Posted by Graham Green on Saturday, June 29, 2019 4:38 AM

Toowoomba only.

 

  • Member since
    July 2013
Posted by steve5 on Saturday, June 29, 2019 4:53 AM

is that where you are from graham ?

 

  • Member since
    March 2014
Posted by Graham Green on Saturday, June 29, 2019 6:51 AM

Nope, I'm in Brisbane.

 

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, June 29, 2019 1:56 PM

Hi;

I gotta say this .When it comes to trucks.When they are fancy they go quite far.My fleet rigs only had the brushed ,dull finish tanks.Would've got them painted if they had been available for a reasonable price .They actually cost More !

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, June 29, 2019 1:58 PM

Hmm;

    Dats da Kitties Meow !That last photo tells it all!

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