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.