Saturday, January 26, 2008

Alclad Experiments Part II--results

So we are messing with different enamel and acrylic basecoats under Alclad II's wonderful #107 chrome lacquer. I painted a whole bunch of parts here's what I came up with.

First, the thing that came out best was the control--the extremely heavy coat of enamel gloss black that I put on the transmission. So as per what you may have read, if you want the thing to look the most "chrome like" that seems to be the way to go--at least I couldn't come up with a different base coat that looked better. But the difference was fairly subtle between using this and other colors as basecoats.

Next the pipes. As I think I said in an earlier post, I base coated a pair of exhaust pipes that had been sprayed with Testor's "Plum Crazy" enamel from a rattle can--a dark (almost black) purple with heavy metalflakes. It looked OK, but the heavy black looked a bit better--but only a tiny bit. As you might be able to see from the picture, I had masked off the molded-in mufflers with liquid mask from MicroMark, and to my surprise the chrome over the liquid mask (which I didn't get a picture of) looked pretty darn good! I don't think I'd advocate leaving the mask on there indefinitely, but I was pretty surprised that it worked at all. I peeled it off and revealed the purple under it, which looked pretty good as well--the liquid mask held up to the alclad perfectly.

What this means to me is that you can use a non-black undercoat, mask off whatever you want, spray the alclad, get rid of the mask, and it will all come out OK. BTW the metal flakes in the basecoat didn't make any difference I could see to how the finished "chrome" looked.

The gold heads came out next best. They looked decently "chromed" and when looked at under certain light had a very faint gold tinge to them. It was a cool effect that I plan to experiment with more.

The timing cover and starter--undercoat of red and green respectivley--came out close to how the black looked but not quite as good. It might be that I just didn't use a heavy enough coat of enamel under the Alclad lacquer. It didn't make a huge different however.

The silver undercoated oil pan came out OK but not great. It seems lighter colors don't work quite as well. This ended up looking more like enamel paint and less like chrome.

The flat white engine block came out looking pretty strange. The chrome barely covered it and ended up looking like a very faint dusting of chrome over white. Not necessarily a bad look, but not very much like somewthing you'd see on a real car. Maybe an effect for an interior?

I threw in some acrylic undercoated items. The end result was not what I expected. I figured the Alclad would eat the undercoat away or something else awful would happen. This isn't what I found. The flat black acrylic undercoat (I used Tamiya flat black) came out looking decently like dull aluminum or maybe even very light colored steel. The carb ended up looking almost the way it started--as if the gloss black "ate" the paint. Maybe it all ran off; I am not sure what the heck happened to this, but, the alclad basically refused to cover it. So using acrylic black instead of gloss was a bust for me. Too bad, because acrylic is a lot easier to use and wash up.

Next up: I want to see if I can find a clear coat that helps how the metalizer looks. I am also going to experiment with covering alclad plated parts with tinted acrylics.

Experiments with Alclad II chrome

OK, how often do we need to make something look chrome. I have heard you can send it a part you need plated out for the vacforming plating thing but that sounds like a pain. So I started to experiment with Alclad II paints.

You can find out more details about the basics on the web. I won't go into too much detail about how you're "supposed" to do this here....but to start by painting some enamel black paint on these guys then get out the Alclad, put it in your airbrush, and paint in light coats. For chrome, the part "crisps up" after a minute or so and looks reasonably "chromed". The Alclad is supposedly lacquer but nevertheless is OK to spray over enamel--can't quite figure that one out--but I am not a chemist, so there you go.

Well, I messed around with this a bit. One thing I found out is that the Alclad black primer, what the mfgr recommends, isn't as good that good at all as it seemed to cause some ripple in the final look.....instead, I think the current thinking goes, use something like Model Masters gloss black #FS17038 (from Testors--I usually don't like a lot from testors so this caused some doubt right off) as basecoat. And lo and behold....For things like aircleaners and headers, the FS17038 and alclad II chrome came out OK and was pretty easy to do.

So I was curious--how does this same thing look with different basecoats?

I went into the parts box and dug out a 327 chevy that was still on the trees. I don't remember what kit it came out of, but the color of the white plastic makes me think it's Chinese molded AMT of some stripe. I painted each part a different enamel color: red (timing cover/water pump), green (starter), aluminum (oil pan), gold (heads), heavy gloss black as a control(trans) and flat white (block). OK, now I need to let them dry and try coating them with Alclad chrome. Let's see what happens (see above--I will post the results today sometime....)

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