Saturday, July 18, 2015

Aside: Look Ma! No BMF!

After going through some old emails, I realized I have not been building models again "for a few years now".  To my amazement, it's been more like 10 years!  You'd think I'd be a bit better craftsman after 10 years working on a hobby like this off and on.  Oh well.  What you gonna do?

So for the 69 Chevelle project I am looking for an alternative to Bare Metal Foil.  Mostly used for replicating chrome trim, I have found BMF almost ridiculously hard to get really good results with. I don't want to spend a ton of time getting the 1:25 Chevelle as good as I can just to have Bare Metal Foil make it look crappy.

In going through Youtubes I saw one guy who was using the product above as an alternative.  This from Microscale, same guys who make one of my favorites: Micro Krystal Klear.

How it works: you brush some of this glue on the back of household tin foil.  Let it dry and get tacky. From there, cut out strips and basically use it the same way you'd use BMF: apply, burnish, and cut.

So how does it rate?  Well, to me, tin foil looks and feels a bit different than BMF.  Tin foil is thicker and heavier than BMF, which makes it more durable, and I can burnish it with more gusto without tearing.  On the other hand, even with a brand new #10 blade, I found getting straight cuts elusive, as you see above; I imagine this is the downside of it being thicker and more durable: the thickness makes it harder to cut.

However, things like A pillars with 2 trim strips came out a bit better (I guess).  Being able to control how much adhesive is applied to a given piece of trim was a bonus. and the made it easier to get   really thin trim pieces to stay put, which is a problem I've always had with BMF.

So overall, this is an "I don't know."  Tin foil and glue is definitely cheaper than BMF, and you don't have to peel tin foil off paper backing every time you want to use a bit.  Or worry about it going bad (which BMF does after a few months).  But overall, I just don't know.  I think I have to keep looking.


Tom Browne said...

I guess I wasn't aware that BMF goes bad ... what are the symptoms?


Charlie Lamm said...

The adhesive on it doesn't work any more, that's the symptom I've seen.

If it doesn't stick, you can't use it!

I had this issue a few years ago then started to hunt around on hobby forums to find out why and sure enough, according to the scale auto forum, BMF has a shelf life. I am not sure how long.

Now, I date my envelope of BMF when I get it. I store it in a desk drawer vs. just out in the open (not sure if that helps?) I usually don't use it if it's over a year old. Or if it won't stick, I throw it out.

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