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Painting carbon fibre effect

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#1 Matt Bacon

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:23 AM

Hi, all... this is the method I use for painting carbon fibre effect finishes on car parts. It's not perfectly to scale, but it gives a good "impression" on a model, and especially if you need it on interiors where it won't be examined too closely. Works well over compound curved shapes which would be a pain to decal as well...

You start with some ribbon from your local haberdashers/craft shop/Boyes/Walmart, that looks like this:
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As you can see, I have two sizes. The one on the left is usable for radiator grilles etc, and is really too coarse, but gives a more clearly visible effect and hence a better contrast "at a glance". You decide whether you prefer the closer to scale look or the clear contrast between carbon diffuser and red bodywork!

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The base material is just painted black. In this case it's a bit of spare black painted card headlining that I used on the DBS.

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You need to hold the ribbon CLOSE to the model part. It stretches and conforms nicely, but use tape to hold it down or fix the part in place and stretch it over with your fingers if necessary to make sure it conforms closely to the part. The finer the mesh, the more important this is. If you don't have it close enough, the pattern just blurs and eventually isn't there at all...

Spray with your contrasting "carbon" coat. I use Zero Paints Graphite Grey, but any darkish metallic grey will do. You can also paint the base coat in the metallic grey and overspray with black through the mesh if you want to vary the effect, say in an engine bay with several carbon fibre elements.

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You should up with something like this (the clear coat I used quickly is attacking the black base paint on the card, which is why you can see bits of gold colour emerging -- choose your paints carefully for compatibility!). You can see that the right hand side is much finer patterned than the left. It has a discernible pattern, but from any distance it will merge to grey. The other will give a stronger impression of "carbon" on your model, but if a contest judge gets out the magnifying glass or picks it up, it'll be too coarse for scale. You pays your money and you takes your choice (the ribbon, by the way, costs about 50p for 3 feet, and you can use it over and over...)

I hope that this helps some of you!

best regards,

#2 Deathgoblin


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Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:27 AM

That's a nifty tip. Thanks! :)

#3 Scuderia


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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:12 AM

thats pretty cool, thanks for sharing this for sure.

#4 Dr. Cranky

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 12:51 PM

Very cool.

#5 Tonioseven


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Posted 14 July 2012 - 08:17 PM

Nice. B)