Software engineers also made electronic fraud, identity theft, and oodles of other fun activities possible. Life is dull only if you allow yourself to be addicted to and controlled by the technology and, for one reason or another, you lose access or the ability to use it. Like I stated before, technology is great. BUT, there is no physical permanence to software and what it creates. It exists only in the abstract in the form of lines of code. You can't touch it. If your hard drive fizzes out, all that neat collection of electrons which constitute your life in the modern world is gone. Just playing devil's advocate, don't take it personally.
Technology is great......until it stops functioning. My point is that if, God forbid, a major catastrophe occurs and civilization as it is presently exists comes to an end, an overwhelming percentage of the population would not be able to cope with what's left. Techies are useful when it comes to working with virtual reality. It's a whole different ballgame when having to use your hands, as well as your brains. When their magical devices no longer function, the jig is up, pal. They're as useful as attempting to screw in a left-handed light bulb into a right-handed socket. I don't need a computer to perform mathematical operations or to design something. I can use a slide rule, drafting equipment and hand tools just as easily. I appreciate technology; it's that I don't depend on it anywhere nearly as much as some other people might.
If it doesn't fit inside your trouser pockets, you don't need to carry it around. That goes for double for the hiking backpacks lugged around by dumb*sses on subways and buses. You're going to work (maybe), not on an expedition through the Andes.
Art, I didn't say that it's not doable. I pointed out exactly the same thing you wrote in your response. The plastic still requires to be etched prior to being placed in the electroconductive solution. My point was that it's an involved process and the kits available are still fairly expensive. The refills can be just as costly as the kit itself.
The Eastwood kit isn't usable on plastic. First of all, plastics are non-conductive. In order to electroplate plastic, it must be etched with an oxidizing solution, placed in another solution containing copper or nickel ions which chemically bond with the etched plastic and provide a conductive surface for electroplating. In short, it's an involved process which isn't worth the effort or financial layout to plate model parts at home.
The problem with spraying a fixative on chalk or dry pigments is that they will absorb the fixative and darken,and in some instances, very significantly. My POV is from my primary interest in modeling AFVs. The petroleum and oil based weathering products impart a more realistic look and are better suited to handling.