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Alclad Natural Metal Finish with Low Effort and Low Expectations

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38 replies
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  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Thursday, November 2, 2023 4:54 PM

Pawel

Hello!

I think in the "top" shots the "odd" panels are too "in your face". I like the effect in the photo from the side very much though! Thanks for sharing and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

 

Hi Pawel, I agree 100% the odd panels are too prominent. I was hoping the lazy approach with an airbrush dusting with light gray would tone them down. But I think I will just remask the odd panels and go over them with a lighter metallic shade. Thanks for the feedback and have a nice day also :)

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Saturday, November 4, 2023 12:00 AM

I remasked and repainted the odd panels.  I am happy with the improvement.  Thanks, Pawel for the comment!

Before

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After

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  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Sunday, November 19, 2023 11:55 PM

Finally finished my first NMF plane using alclad.  Here are my main takeaways for regular alclad finishes.  I know polished finishes are a completely different animal.

  1. Surface finish is important, but not to the level of highly polished finishes.  Don't need 3000 micromesh finish with gloss black primer.  1000 grit with rattle can primer should be fine for regular alclad.
  2. Although imperfections in the putty and sanding will show up, it isn't too difficult to get a decent surface.
  3. Spraying alclad over a light colored primer requires fewer passes and is easier to get good coverage. Unless I am trying for a deeply polished finish, I think I prefer white or light gray primer for alclad.
  4. Spray the alclad straight from the bottle at 15-20 psi.  For me having the airbrush 2 inches away had the best results.  Any further caused a rough and grainy finish, possibly because the alclad was drying before it hit the surface. Once I figured out the right distance, spraying alclad is pretty easy. And airbrush cleanup is also very easy. I really enjoyed spraying the alclad.
  5. Preshading some panels to get shade variations did not give me the results I wanted.  I ended up masking over the alclad and mixing with dark aluminum and burnt metal to get different variations.  Gotta go easy on the tinting to avoid having overly dark panels.
  6. Washes, post-shading, pencils, and makeup style Tamiya weathering all gave good results over the alclad.  I got the effect I wanted, a veteran bird with many sorties and quick turnaround between sorties.  I tried not to overdo the weathering.

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  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Monday, November 20, 2023 5:48 AM

IMO it looks great ! Congrats !

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 10:21 AM

Hi oldermodelguy, thanks for the compliment! I will never match the level of detail and precision I see in the other builds here. But I am trying to find a good balance between decent build quality, my limited skills, and limited time and budget. I think my next NMF will be a P-47. I am looking forward to applying some of the lessons I learned with this P-38.

Just maybe this thread might ecourage other newbies to try regular alclad. It's not as difficult as it seems when reading other threads and articles. Just try it, and be ready to learn from mistakes and make adjustments. And be ready to accept less than perfect results ;)

On deck I have a 1/48 F-105D from Revell with raised panel lines. Nothing special about this build, just standard SEA camo. So I don't plan on starting a thread with this one. Maybe if I find a good way to deal with the raised panel lines.

Take care, and thanks again for looking.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 10:42 AM

I was involved recently in a restoration project on a 1:1 Hawker Sea Fury, and I have to say that you pretty much nailed the bare aluminum "workhorse" look with your Lightning.  Nice work!

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 3:47 PM

burrito king

Hi oldermodelguy, thanks for the compliment! I will never match the level of detail and precision I see in the other builds here. But I am trying to find a good balance between decent build quality, my limited skills, and limited time and budget. I think my next NMF will be a P-47. I am looking forward to applying some of the lessons I learned with this P-38.

Just maybe this thread might ecourage other newbies to try regular alclad. It's not as difficult as it seems when reading other threads and articles. Just try it, and be ready to learn from mistakes and make adjustments. And be ready to accept less than perfect results ;)

On deck I have a 1/48 F-105D from Revell with raised panel lines. Nothing special about this build, just standard SEA camo. So I don't plan on starting a thread with this one. Maybe if I find a good way to deal with the raised panel lines.

Take care, and thanks again for looking.

 

Hey you have a new starting point for your future builds. And what I like best is you worked through the challenges and ended up with a nice build with very decent paint work. I was pleasantly taken back when I saw your used airplane look and the weathered look around the cowls.  You will only build on what you've learned. Thumbs up !

On the raised panel line build maybe don't worry too much about the lines but rather concentrate faintly on the panels themselves and let the lines be as they may. Or maybe more seasoned raied line airplane builders can help you out here, the last 105 I built I was 12, now 73 lol.

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 8:44 PM

Hi Eaglecash867, I muist admit I never knew about the Sea Fury.  But I read some articles and what a plane!  Fastest single-engine piston fighter, 460 mph, 100 deg/sec roll rate, 4500 ft/min climb.  Too late for WW2, but went against Mig-15's in Korea and shot some down.

Thanks for the compliment.  I get a lot of enjoyment from weathering and replicating that "workhorse" look.  I found a photo of an extremely "workhorse" Thud that I will use as a guide for my next build, but I don't think I'll go to that level.  That's one of the biggest cannon gunpowder stains I have ever seen, and behind that it looks like some huge staining from ejecting shell caases or hydraulic fluid leaks from the vulcan.  And the lower fuselage is filthy.  If planes ccould talk, imagine the war stories this plane could tell.

 0a5ac3dc9b6045fbd23fe0ff657dc755

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 9:05 PM

Hi oldermodelguy, thanks again for your encouragement.  There were times where I was getting discouraged, but I tried to hang in there.  Patience is not one of my virtues lol.  And thanks for your comments on the cowls, I am pretty happy with how it turned out.  Tbh I didn't see this on any of the photos I looked at, I'm not sure if real Lightnings have this type of staining.  But I used my imaginiation and just added stuff until it had the look I wanted.  I am looking forward to building on what I learned.

I think you are right, I shouldn't worry too much about the raised panel lines.  I will focus on washes and post shading.  I heard of pin washes, maybe I will try that.

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