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Dispelling Modeling Myths

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#1 JollySipper


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:02 PM

There's a few myths, or maybe "Half-truths" floating around on the forum about how people go about certain meathods or achieve certain results. Some of these may have some folks confused, or even scared to try a new technique. There are a few "myths" that I would like your help to get straightened out, and if you guys can think of more, please post them!


#1- Alclad, I've read on several instances where Alclad was hard to work with because of it being so delicate, but I've also read where it's just as tough as kit chrome... so which is it?


#2- Scribing open panels, BMF makes a tool just for this, yet guys insist on claiming to use the back-side of a #11 blade (which I can never get to follow the groove). How many of you actually use an Exacto blade to open panels?


#3- Fine line masking, again something that can be purchased, but when people ask the painter how they get such fine lines masked, they always come back with the old "stacking of the blades" response...


I don't want to start any arguements amongst the members, just would like to bring the truth about some things to light is all! ^_^ 

#2 W-Machine


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:15 PM

Just from my own experience.


#1: Alclad is as tough, if not tougher, than kit chrome. Follow their instructions to the letter, and the results speak for themselves.

#2: I rarely bother to open panels. But I used the sharp side of a new blade when I have. It worked for me. Sorry I can't help you more here.

#3: I use BMF as a masking agent when I need a sharp line. Or a fine, narrow line. I use a straight edge to get the width I need.


I am no prize-winning modeler, so caveat emptor if advice comes from me.

#3 Kaleb


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:28 PM

1: haven't used alclad so I can't help there

2: I use the blade with great results, when it does slip out, I just sand it out.

3: never touched bmf, hardly anyone comments on my builds so I don't have to give the "stack the blades" answer. I simply use frog tape or tamiya tape for my lines. Great results

Overall patience and practice makes a better model.

#4 customsrus


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:35 PM

From my experience:


#1. I don't think Alclad is as tough as chrome, if you handle it too much it seems to rub off.

#2  I use the backside of an exacto blade to open up door panels. If I am just scribing panel lines to make them deeper I use a dental tool..

#3  I agree with W- Machine on the BMF for a sharp line, but I always spray away from the edge to avoid buildup of paint. Also Tamiya make a fine line masking tape that I have used and have had good results with.


You will probably get a hundred different answers to each of these question. Like Kaleb stated Overall patience and practice makes a better model.           

Edited by customsrus, 06 May 2013 - 05:37 PM.

#5 Harry P.

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:37 PM

The only one I have experience with is #2, and yes, I use the back side of the blade to open panels. Works great.

#6 Quick GMC

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:47 PM

1. Alclad is tough on the finish, but a lot of handling and it will rub off. Handling with latex gloves will eliminate any issues. 

2. Backside of razor blade, but I sand it with a coarse sanding stick first. Make a super sharp point that won't run off the line. 

3. Still trying to figure this one out. 

#7 Yahshu


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:59 PM

1. Alclad is a fantastic product once mastered.

2. I use the back of a #11 blade, depends on how fast or slow I'm going as to if the blade slips.

3. I use automotive masking tape for fine lines, have also used BMF & Tamiya tape,, if they're appled correctly I''ve had no problems with any.

#8 fatkidd


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:11 PM

1. I haven't used alclad on a model...yet.

2. I use either the back edge of an xacto blade or a sharpened dental pick.

3. I use either 3M blue vinyl fine line tape and Line O Tape.


here's an example of some simple line that were done with a combination of tapes mentioned above in 1/4",1/8",1/16",1/32", and 1/64".


#9 Lunajammer


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:12 PM

1. Alclad is great, surprisingly easy to use if you go easy. Rubs off with handling.

2. I use the blade. Don't like it. Would like to explore other possibilities.

3. No experience. Use BMF & fine Tamiya tape well burnished.

#10 goodguyinar416


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:15 PM

1. I myself just bought some Alclad, but have not used it yet.

2. Yes I use the back of exacto knife for scribing, but also use the blade part.

3. As for making a fine line, I use Bare Metal Foil or 3M Scotch tape with sharp crisp line results.


Painting I always spray at an angle, as customsrus does with good results. I'm not a great painter, but I guess fair...I get the job done!

#11 martinfan5


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:34 PM

1. I haven't used alclad on a model...yet.

2. I use either the back edge of an xacto blade or a sharpened dental pick.

3. I use either 3M blue vinyl fine line tape and Line O Tape.


here's an example of some simple line that were done with a combination of tapes mentioned above in 1/4",1/8",1/16",1/32", and 1/64".


Wow, that is really cool, awesome job on that one

#12 Gluhead


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 09:00 PM

As mentioned already, follow the directions...actually follow them...lol...and alclad is pretty dang durable. You can't handle the begeezus out of kit chrome and have it never wear off or dull down a bit, either.


Panel scribers aren't specifically for opening panels...they're actually for creating or refining the panel lines. Aircraft modelers have to do this a LOT, which unless I'm mistaken is what segment of the hobby bmf was actually developed for. I didn't even consider the question in any other context than that until I read everyones replies...but if I answer the question in the context I thought it was intended, then yes I use #11's for this but really wish I had a good purpose-made panel scriber.


I can't really comment on #3, but to say that for what really basic masking I do, I more often than not use bmf at the edge and block off large areas with tape. I've never been able to get a line that consistently satisfies me from tape...fineline or otherwise.


I guess I can make one other comment to that one - some crazy stuff is possible with spray cans, but an airbrush is infinitely better for intricate designs, no matter what kind of masking process is used, if for no other reason than the ability to control volume of paint.


Just my two cents bucks worth (inflation, ya know).

#13 zenrat


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:47 PM

I use a combination of different scribers including the back of a #11.

This is my favourite.  Olfa PCS Panel Line Scorer



It makes quick work of a styrene car body and is even great for cutting 5mm perspex.

It does however need a guide line cut first with a scribing stylus (if there is no existing panel gap to follow).


However, you wanted new myths.  Here's a few I used to believe.


Airbrushes are a pig to clean so rattle cans are better.


You have to thin enamel paint with enamel thinners.


One part (cures by evaporation) cellulose knifing putty doesn't shrink back.


Two Pack clear isn't worth the health & safety hazards.

#14 Blown03SVT


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Posted 07 May 2013 - 02:03 AM

#1- Alclad- IME, not extremely tough to use, takes some proficiency to get a feel for using it. Seems to be fairly durable to me but I don't get crazy with handling either. It's a coating on plastic... it will rub through just the same as kit chrome or other paints.


#2- Scribing open panels- I use different tools for different situations, no one tool is the perfect tool. #11 blade is the old school tried and true method. I also have scriber tools, and dental picks as well as a razor saw. At least no one is still using an Auto World hot knife to open panels.


#3- Fine line masking-


I am not much for complicated paint jobs. If i need fine tape I make it out of painters tape. Put a strip down on a sheet of glass lay down a machinist rule and cut with a #11 blade.

#15 kalbert


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Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:28 AM

There's a wide variety of tools and techniques. What works well for one guy might not work at all for you, and what you swear by some other guy might swear at. Try new things, do what works for you, and don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

#16 Deano


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Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:33 AM

OK ... I'm a little confused.  I keep reading that Alclad rubs off when handled.  Now, I use Alclad primarily for small parts that I'd like to be chromed or wheels and bumpers so ... how many of us are actually picking our models up by the bumpers or wheels? :huh:

#17 Gramps2u


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Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:41 AM

1. Alclad I use it Love the results, much more durable then testors metalizers.  But then,  I don't handle my builds very often after completion.

2. I use a #11 blade, slip of the hand happens & easily fixed no sweat...

3. I  use the Tamiya masking tape and a avid user of it alone.  BMF for mask, haven't yet but maybe if in a pinch I would.

#18 jaydar


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Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:47 AM

1. Alclad chrome is great, easy to use. Rubs off with handling. over coat with Alclad Aqua Gloss #602. Result is that it is more durable and realistic looking in my opinion.

2. I use the blade to open panels. I use the BMF tool to deepen panel lines.

3. Use any tape you want. seal the painted edge with a bit of future. paint. run the sharp edge of a #11 blade along the painted side of the tape to break the future seal and remove.

Edited by jaydar, 07 May 2013 - 03:47 AM.

#19 clovis


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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:11 AM



here's an example of some simple line that were done with a combination of tapes mentioned above in 1/4",1/8",1/16",1/32", and 1/64".



And I've been wondering if my skill set is good enough to mask off and paint a headlight bucket on a 16th scale Mustang....


You guys do amazing work.

#20 Greg Myers

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:48 AM

and on #2 opening up just about anything. I rigged this up to cut (open) the second set of wheel openings. ;)