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Bare Metal Foil

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  • Member since
    February 2015
Bare Metal Foil
Posted by skyraider0609 on Thursday, August 20, 2020 11:25 AM

I'm going to tackle a Hasegawa Lear 35 that I started years ago and has subsequently been lost in the fourth dimension for ages.  I just dug it out and want to finish it as a C-21 using Caracal decals as a gift for a friend who flew them.

The leading edges of the wings and tail and engine cowl lips are chrome, as is the windshield frame, and I'm wondering about using foil to address those areas. I've read and looked at YT vids about foiling. I've never used it, so am I better to foil or mask and paint with chrome silver? In particular, I'm trying to figure how to foil the curve of the engine intakes. Any ideas? I don't want to make more headaches than necessary.

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Thursday, August 20, 2020 12:26 PM
I would go with painting those areas. BMF hasn't been my friend, though...
  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, August 20, 2020 1:22 PM

How important is the model to you.

BMF is great stuff, once you get the knack of how to use it. I'm still on the uphill side of the learning curve, but I figure I have to start somewhere, right?

Like lacquer, it will show you your mistakes in BOLD copy, so surface prep is very important.

Something like a round intake; you do it in a bunch of little pieces.



 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.


  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, August 20, 2020 1:28 PM

Alclad is a good solution for this.  Use the chrome for a brand new aircraft, just plain aluminum for a plane that has seen some service.  Mask off that area and undercoat with gloss black, then the Alclad.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, August 20, 2020 2:35 PM

 I might be inclined to try it in flat areas or some raised pieces, trim maybe where you never used it before. But things like cowls and such I'd stick with metal paints, be that Alclad, maybe AK Metal etc......... Go with something you know the ropes of overall though. Alclad chrome is pretty convincing, maybe a bit fragile.

  • Member since
    February 2015
Posted by skyraider0609 on Thursday, August 20, 2020 3:27 PM
Thanks for the info guys. I think the paint route is the way to go. If I can figure out posting images here, I will attempt a WIP
  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Thursday, August 20, 2020 6:32 PM

Drop johnnyK a PM.  He has done several birds in bmf ..pretty much a master with that stuff

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, September 13, 2020 10:34 AM

I must have missed this post.

I looked at photos of the actual Lear 35. The engine cowls would be really difficult to finish in BMF. You would need to foil the cowls in sections. BMF does not work well on compound curved surfaces such as engine cowls. I think that paint would work better. That's what I do on my models.

Doing the leading edges in foil is not too difficult. Go here to see how I apply foil:

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    January 2014
Posted by Silver on Friday, September 18, 2020 12:51 AM

Mask off the area.Airbrush enamel gloss white then after a one hour drying time use a cotton swab and rub lightly with aluminum polishing powder.It will turn chrome.Seal w/gloss.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, September 18, 2020 11:54 AM

Just a note;

   When foiling intakes I do this. I cut a strip in a size that will overlap Into the intake. Then Carefully cut slots in the strip. Don't cut to far. Now line it up with the ring or panel line at the trailing edge of the area. Burnish the joint with a Number one aluminum handle that is smooth and scratch free. Make sure the seam is small and at the Bottom.

 Now carefully take those little leaves. Fold one into the intakes. If it goes in to far carefully pull it out and trim to fit. Then fold the remainder inwards, and Burnish with a tapered Aluminum handle. This will smooth it out and give it a high shine. 

   I wish I could post from my phone and I would show you what I mean.

  • Member since
    February 2015
Posted by skyraider0609 on Friday, September 18, 2020 1:46 PM
Discretion is the better part of valor it’s said. Thanks for the info and suggestions everyone. I will take “Pete’s path of least resistance” and paint those areas. I’m still getting my legs under me with this hobby after being away for so long, so I’ll opt for PPOLR. I have enough “oh &%#*” moments as it is.
  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Friday, September 18, 2020 8:43 PM

The nacelles on this B-24 are BMF. The cowlings are painted with Testors' Metalizer Aluminum Plate. I tried covering the cowlings in BMF but it just proved to be too difficult.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.


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