Friday, December 24, 2010

66 Olds 442: BMF and ClearCoat

For the past several months I have been trying to create "clean" build of a 1:25 scale Olds 442....there are two things working against this: clean builds take a lot of time, and I don't have a lot of time; and, being a bit absent minded and sloppy, doing things in a "clean" manner doesn't come very easily to me.

Last time I wrote about the color coat, using a mix of Jacquard acrylics I whipped up, applied with a cheap airbrush to the body.

Now it's time to add the trim...for this I used something called "Bare Metal Foil" or, as the hobby magazines sometime call it, "BMF".

This comes in a single 4"x8" (?) sheet and costs about six bucks. Think of rice-paper-thin, uber-fragile tin foil with a semi-sticky adhesive on the back and you have a sheet of BMF. You cut out strips with a #11 Xacto knife, stick it over what needs to be chromed, tamp it down with something like a toothpick, and, using a very (very!)sharp knife, carefully, and I mean carefully, cut away what you don't want. You can spend hours with BMF--it is not for the faint of heart. For me, the windshield surround you see here is about the best I can do. It seems impossible to me, and I've tried, to get a really smooth finish out of this stuff, but it's better than nothing.

I have read articles in hobby mags about using BMF, and one writer I remember said it's not that hard to use--I have news, it is. Very hard to use. Very, very, frustratingly hard.

I will say, however, that it looks better than trying to mask and using something like Alclad II or one of the other "real metal" paints. I couldn't get that to look decent at all.

Once the BMF was tamped down, I brushed over it with some Future Floor Polish which is basically clear acrylic paint. Besides dulling the brightness of the foil, which I've found makes things look more realistic, it means breathing on the BMF doesn't lift it off. So I'm now up to about 5 coats of clear. When I hit 7 or 8, it's time to polish, another frustrating and difficult thing to do well. Merry Christmas!

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