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Replicating Surfaces/Textures

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Wasn't 100% sure were to put this, but here goes....so I thought it might be a good idea to hear from others on what some of you fellow builders use to replicate the various finishes on our vehicles (i.e. cast iron engine parts, vinyl interior/exterior parts, machine finishes etc...). There is a lot of cool stuff on the market now days, and it would be nice to hear/see examples of some of this stuff.

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Testors "buffing" and "non-buffing" metalizers are among my favorites, and are quite easy to use because they're rattlecans.

The "buffing" Aluminum Plate, for instance, does a good job representing alloy sheet if it's shot fairly wet, allowed to dry for an hour or so, and buffed with a very soft cloth (like the backside of an old sweatshirt).


That's what's on the engine cowl of this model. It prefers to be shot over bare plastic generally. Shooting it over primer gives a muddy silver effect that just won't buff up...like the cockpit cowling.

Unfortunately, shooting a "sealer" over it, even Testors' own product, destroys the polished effect and turns the stuff into muddy silver again.


Another effect you can get from these metalizers is shooting them very dry, to the point of orange-peel. If you get the texture right, you'll end up with a convincing and in-scale brand-new sand-cast aluminum look. The intake manifold and trans housing on the photo below illustrate that particular look, but the resolution isn't high enough on the old camera I used to really show the texture.

Another effect shown below is a slightly weathered aluminum casting, the blower housing, achieved by just shooting the part with a sandable gray primer, again dry enough to get a slightly "grainy" surface.


The cast-aluminum look is a little easier to get an impression of from the front wheel center below. The rim was very carefully masked to preserve the chrome.


Cast magnesium, when it's raw and unpolished, is often a very dark flat gray. Duplicolor hot-rod primer gets that look quite well.

I achieved this unpainted alloy body, straight-from-the-fab-shop look, by using a combination of buffing metalizers and Rub 'n Buff wax finish over a lightly sanded surface.





Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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If I am painting an interior that is basically one color, like Black, I'll spray the whole thing in one color of black - doesn't matter which one really.   then use various flats and glosses to make the parts appear to be different materials.   With an airbrush I can control the sheen of the parts.  Vinyl seats are somewhere in the middle.   Carpets are dead flat if I don't use flocking or embossing powder.  

I paint lots of metal castings - transmissins and such with Dark Anodic Gray.   I have sevral jars of the stuff and can paint straight from jar through airbrush.   Transmissions are never bright.    Exhaust will be this, stainless,, or burnt metal - whichever is closest to hand.   Stainless steel metallizer can represent cast aluminum parts that aren't bright anymore.   Looking at them closely, they really aren't so much metallic as a shade of gray, unless they are polished.   Getting your eye to accept that an aluminum part isn't really what comes out of the can/jar is really hard to do.  

Good thread going here.

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