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How to: Bare Sheetmetal Exposed!


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#1 James W

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 10:34 AM

For several years I've been using Bare Metal Foil on models to simulate sheetmetal that has been stripped of paint.

It's a straight forward process, but there are some techniques I've found that can make the finished product more believable.

First a basic how-to, then in subsequent posts I will add more details.

A fresh Mopar quarter panel will play guinea pig. I primed it so I could see my progress, but you would not have to prime first.
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Using a file and 600 grit paper I roughed up the surface. This is subjective depending on the condition of the car you want to replicate.
I also used a ball end cutter in my motor tool to thin the panel to make waves in the panel. The primer really helps me see how thin the plastic is getting as it turns dark just before breakthrough.
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Here is the panel after the foil has gone on. Not very convincing. You can see a few blemishes in the surface around the fender.
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My 1:25 angle grinder. Some plastic tube with a piece of 1200 grit paper glued on the end that I chuck into the motor tool.
Also shown, when I work with BMF I use a feltpen on the back of my #11 blade so I can better see the tip against the foil.
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Working at slow to medium speed on the motor tool I try to replicate the same patterns that would be used on a full size project.
You may have to replace the sandpaper frequently as it fills with metal, and be careful not to burn through the foil.
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Back to painting, I prime right over the foil to hide the edges.
I used a spray can then removed excess paint with some brake fluid on a Q-tip.
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To subtle for my photography skill, I then wash over the foil with black india ink. It dulls the shine and fills in the deep scratches in the foil caused by the file and paper. It also give an uneven tone to the metal.
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Please comment and ask if you have any questions. I will be posting part 2 soon to show more advanced techniques.

Edited by James W, 16 January 2010 - 09:16 PM.


#2 Guest_Gramps-xrds_*

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 10:54 AM

That's a pretty interesting idea James. It should work great for a shop dio car. It turns out very realistic.

#3 Foxer

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 11:18 AM

Fascinating! That sandpaper really does a convincing job.

#4 Sixties Sam

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 11:37 AM

What a great idea! That really looks convincing! Very creative! Perfect for a diorama.
Sam

#5 Joker

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 11:39 AM

James ...that is thinking outside the box! I bet BMF never thought their product could be used like that. Thank you for the tip of using a marker to darken the blade,that's always been an issue with me. Keep up the good work! Kit Bash

#6 noname

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 12:51 PM

I've been thinking about this for a while. Hope you don't mind if any of us borrow that technique. It looks quite convincing. In the past I've done that bare metal thing with just paint . Didn't turn out too bad.


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Edited by noname, 16 January 2010 - 12:54 PM.


#7 diymirage

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 02:35 PM

ive been meaning to use this technic on my dioramas workbench

basically put the BMF on, paint it and then scuff the paint of to make the top look scuffed and old

#8 charlie8575

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 02:51 PM

Very cool idea!

Charlie Larkin

#9 lowriderphil

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 05:29 PM

I've been wondering about that too, I was thinking that maybe the matte aluminum foil would work as well

#10 Jairus

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 07:26 PM

I give it 5 thumbs up! :D


(But I happen to know James is keeping some secrets to himself.... ) ;)

#11 James W

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:08 PM

Thanks for the comments, I will be adding more tomorrow.

Matthew C, I would be honored if you use this technique yourself. That is why it's here. I tried metalizers and it came out looking like paint.

lowriderphil, I'm almost out of 'chrome' and will be going to matte aluminum very soon.

diymirage, I think you will like tomorrow's additions.

Jairus, you're not helping me sell this thing!!! :D

I will be happy to answer any questions and give ANY help I can.

#12 disabled modeler

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 02:02 AM

Hey James, That is a neat trick! It really looks realistic! Thanks for the tip!

#13 weasel

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 08:51 AM

excellent idea!!! i to may 'borrow' that....hmmmm.... racecars....

you might also try a cheapy/old electric toothbrush, modified of course, for the 'machine turn' swirl...
[didn't somebody have a blurb in MCM about this??]




B)

#14 weasel

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 09:01 AM

AHHHA!! that's his secret...lol

#15 James W

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 12:52 PM

Here are some WIP pictures where I created weld seams under the foil.

In this picture are two different features. First the triangular patch on the C pillar is .005 inch sheet that was glued down, than the edges were feathered with a file. This is a patch that has been welded in then dressed with a grinder by the bodyman. Second are the slits cut into the roof in the following manner. 1st cut with a #11,2nd cut deeper with a razor saw, 3rd opened with a small triangle shaped file. These will be undressed weld seams.
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After the cuts are opened, .015x.020 strip styrene was glued in. This was the smallest I had on hand. When the strips were softened by the liquid cement, I used a sharp tool to push the strip into the groove to simulate the weld beads. Note the lower strip has bunched up and needs to be trimmed away because the strip stretches out as it is worked along the groove.
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Here the welds are near complete. You can see around the welded areas the file work I mentioned in Part 1
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After the foil was applied, I painted over it with Red Oxide primer followed by medium blue paint. The paint was then stripped with lacquer thinner and brake fluid on Q-tips and brushes to carefully reveal the welds. Some powered sanding also shows.
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Black ink was washed on and a little added to the seams to give the illusion of heat discoloration.
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The finished model after I added some painted on rust to the bare metal areas, and also some black primer.
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My first attempt to foil this model showed more unpainted areas. One thing I tried to do was to disguise the edges of the foil by not leaving straight lines at the edges. But you can even see the layers of foil on top of itself.(between the welds) Sanding can be done to fill the edge of the foil under the paint. The bare foil areas can also be discolored with ink and paint to make the seams in the foil look natural to the sheetmetal. With more time on another project I think I can make this method work better.
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Another idea in the works, trim holes were first drilled then refilled. When the foil goes on there will be small imperfections that can be discolored with ink. I like to use ink for this because is washes up with alcohol and leaves behind a variety of shades. Paint could work as well. I often paint a car with oils then weather it with water based colors so that the original finsh is not altered.
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Thanks for looking. Please feel free to ask if you don't follow my ramblings.

#16 diymirage

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 01:21 PM

looking great james

or not

depening on how you look at it i guess

however the coockie crumbles,
it looks very realistic and it is definatly a nice break from those showroom finish models we so often build :)

#17 James W

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 01:27 PM

A few More Examples.

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#18 Nick Winter

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 02:10 PM

A few More Examples.


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Looks like a clean project, give you $3500 for it and I'll haul it home ;) :)

in all seriousness this is a very good tip

#19 seeker589

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 01:54 AM

I give it 5 thumbs up! :lol:


(But I happen to know James is keeping some secrets to himself.... ) :D


Did you borrow some thumbs for that, Jairus? Or do you live too close to a Nuclear Power Plant?

I goota say that the effect is quite convincing. Has anyone ever seen the bare metal features in The Rodder's Journal? They are really quite awesome. Some pics:
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These are OK but there has been some really great ones - like Harry Bentley Bradley's '48 Ford years ago.

#20 James W

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 06:38 AM

Thanks for posting those, it's always important to have good reference pictures.