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StevenGuthmiller

Wheel Arch Molding Foiling Tutorial

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I occasionally get asked about some of my foiling techniques, and as wheel arch moldings sometimes give me the most problems, I thought some of you might find this technique useful if you have not tried it.

 

Of course, the first step is to cut and apply a large enough piece of foil to cover the wheel opening.

As you would with any section of foil, press it down tight into the edges with a small conical swab, sharpened tooth pick, or whatever your tool of choice is, and lightly burnish the surface with a soft cloth.

Then using a sharp #11 blade, cut the overhang of the foil within about a 1/8 to 1/4" around the inside of the wheel well for folding over into the inside of the body.

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Next, carefully burnish the foil over the edge of the fender lip with a swab all of the way into the inside of the fender until secure.

(This does not have to be done perfectly as the majority of the over hang will be removed later.)

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Using a straight edge, cut very thin strips of blue painters tape to be used as a cutting guide.

I generally cut these strips approximately 1mm wide.

The thinner the strip, the easier it will be to "bend" around the radius of the wheel well.

In this case, because the radius is so round, I found it easier to use 2 strips and bend each half way around the opening.

I like blue painters tape for this operation for a couple of reasons.

One, It has sufficient thickness to allow the blade to ride along it's edge as a cutting guide, and two, the blue color is a helpful contrast to the foil and the blade to aid in being able to see what you are doing as you cut.

The taping operation can take some time under magnification with a fine tweezers to insure it is applied properly, but I feel that it's worth the time in the end.

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Once the tape is applied, using a sharp #11 blade, begin the cut on one end, working your way slowly and carefully around the opening, watching to be sure that your blade tip is riding up against the edge of the tape as you go.

Being right handed, I find that this is the easiest if you start on the end with the blue tape on the left side of the tip of your blade.

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Once the cut has been finished, you can remove the tape, and then very slowly and carefully begin pulling up the excess foil.

I take my time because on occasion, the blade can run up onto the tape for a very short distance and may not cut through the foil.

In this circumstance, the foil can tear if you remove it too quickly, ruining the piece.

If you come to a section that has not been cut through, (in most cases these are extremely short sections) you can stop and cut through the foil in that area as you go.

Occasionally, starting and stopping your cut can cause this problem as well as lifting and resetting the blade may not result in the cut being perfectly continuous.

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Once the excess foil has been removed, you can begin the burnishing process.

I start by using the tip of a conical swab and a sharpened tooth pick to be certain that the edge of the foil is set securely into the corners where the trim meets the body.

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Then, using a soft cotton rag, burnish the piece to a high luster.

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The final step is not absolutely necessary, but I like to remove the excess foil from the inside of the body as well by carefully free hand cutting along the center of the inside of the wheel opening.

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I use this exact same "blue tape" technique for virtually all of the foil on my models.

It will help insure that all of your cuts are perfectly straight.

 

 

I hope this tutorial will be useful to some of you.

It has revolutionized my perspective on the foiling process.

I find that using this technique, I get better results than I was ever able to get trying to follow the grooves or free handing trim as I did in the past.

The results can be phenomenal!

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Good luck, and happy modeling!! B)

 

 

 

Steve

 

 

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Absolutely great technique, and a very clear tutorial! Thanks for posting this. It certainly will help me!

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Perfect tutorial, Steve. Explanation, demonstration and practical application.

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Great tutorial! I like the painters tape idea. Now do one on how you do those beautiful scripts!:D

Thanks, Greg.

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Thanks guys.

 

I have to apologize.

I had forgotten that I had posted a similar tutorial about foiling wheel well moldings sometime back! :P

Well, you know what they say........the memory is the second thing to go! ^_^

 

 

 

 

Steve

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Excellent! I use similar technique, but I put the masking tape "guide" on before the foil.  But ether way, the result will be good.

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1 hour ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

I had forgotten that I had posted a similar tutorial about foiling wheel well moldings sometime back!

No need to apologize. We did too. 😜 That's what short attention spans will do. How do you treat short attention span? Invite it for lunch and pick up the tab. :D

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9 hours ago, Bucky said:

Absolutely great technique, and a very clear tutorial! Thanks for posting this. It certainly will help me!

 

8 hours ago, SfanGoch said:

Perfect tutorial, Steve. Explanation, demonstration and practical application.

What they said and thank you!!

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Very helpful tutorial.

For results as good as yours, that perfectly glass-smooth paint under the foil sure adds to the appearance of the finished foil work. Good quality foil helps too, I'm sure. I've had a few sheets of BMF that had a pebbly texture even when applied over paint that was polished to the limit. No amount of buffing would eliminate it either- think the BMF adhesive could have been part of the problem. I've had the opposite problem too, with sheets that wouldn't stick and would come right off clean, unwaxed paint during trimming. I'll have to borrow your tape technique and practice some more.

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I've never foiled before but am building a belvedere at the time that is gonna need some. Now I know the technique to use ! Wish me luck lol

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One of the best tutorials I've ever seen.

This is the kind of hands-on how-to article the best of the printed mags used to publish, for both models and 1:1 cars.

Thanks.

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Great pictures.  Thank you for trying to help others.  The blue tape is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” .  

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 Great tutorial. Thanks Steve!  One thing I'd like to add is I was told by someone at BMF that the stuff does get old, "expire" if you will. I had a sheet that became wrinkly and would rip along where the wrinkles were. So I asked about it as I hadn't had it for long and that was what they told me. I got a fresh sheet from them directly and it made a world of difference. Something to keep in mind if you are having trouble with it. Just thought I'd pass that along.

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48 minutes ago, Nazz said:

 Great tutorial. Thanks Steve!  One thing I'd like to add is I was told by someone at BMF that the stuff does get old, "expire" if you will. I had a sheet that became wrinkly and would rip along where the wrinkles were. So I asked about it as I hadn't had it for long and that was what they told me. I got a fresh sheet from them directly and it made a world of difference. Something to keep in mind if you are having trouble with it. Just thought I'd pass that along.

Absolutely!

 

This technique is a relatively sound one, but the foil itself, on the other hand, can be an issue.

I've had cracking foil as well, and as someone else in this thread had mentioned, occasionally you can get some that has an orange peeled texture from the adhesive, but that's beyond our control of course.

What is within our control is something that I probably should have mentioned again that has been brought up often.

The finish of the foil will only be as good as the substrate that you are applying it over.

If you have a grainy or orange peeled surface, the foil will reflect that.

 

 

 

 

Steve

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Excellent how to!

Foil has always been something I've needed more practice on. And this will definitely help.

 

:)

 

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Your results are excellent!  I have faced this before.

However, this is labor "intensive".

With Molotow chrome pens...in 3 sizes...you can obtain the same results, much faster. If you have a steady hand, you can outline. If not, you can quickly mask around with Tamiya tape, trim, then make a good swipe with a Molotok.

I still use BMF, for long runs of chrome...but the Molotow has made modelling easier.

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1 hour ago, Southern Fried said:

With Molotow chrome pens...in 3 sizes...you can obtain the same results, much faster.

Molotow is great for small items and touch-ups and can look really decent on larger trim if done well...but there is no way you could duplicate the results shown above.  That looks just like real chrome trim on a 1:1!

JMO, Greg.

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49 minutes ago, NOBLNG said:

Molotow is great for small items and touch-ups and can look really decent on larger trim if done well...but there is no way you could duplicate the results shown above.  That looks just like real chrome trim on a 1:1!

JMO, Greg.

Actually on the 1:1 cars those thin  metal moldings are usually either polished aluminum, stainless steel, or a sandwich of both metals.  But still, like you mentioned, BMF provides the "right look" that no silver paint can match.

Edited by peteski

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Thank you, for this tutorial!👍

 

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Excellent how-to!

I've been using pretty much the same technique for a while,and it sure cuts the frustration levels way down!

I used to use Tamiya tape, but was struggling to see the edge, let alone feel it with the blade. A switch to Painter's Tape solved that. 

I also found darkening the tip of the blade with a black or red sharpie helps old eyes, too. 

That Olds is looking sooooo nice. :)

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3 hours ago, Southern Fried said:

Your results are excellent!  I have faced this before.

However, this is labor "intensive".

With Molotow chrome pens...in 3 sizes...you can obtain the same results, much faster. If you have a steady hand, you can outline. If not, you can quickly mask around with Tamiya tape, trim, then make a good swipe with a Molotok.

I still use BMF, for long runs of chrome...but the Molotow has made modelling easier.

You may possibly have good luck with Molotow ink, but the question still remains on durability.

I have models that I built 30 years ago with BMF and they look exactly the same as the day they were finished.

I would be interested to see some done with Molotow 30 years from now to see how well they have held up.

Until then, I will use BMF for everything that is possible to use it on.

 

 

 

Steve

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Posted (edited)
On 2/28/2020 at 3:02 PM, restoman said:

Excellent how-to!

I've been using pretty much the same technique for a while,and it sure cuts the frustration levels way down!

I used to use Tamiya tape, but was struggling to see the edge, let alone feel it with the blade. A switch to Painter's Tape solved that. 

I also found darkening the tip of the blade with a black or red sharpie helps old eyes, too. 

That Olds is looking sooooo nice. :)

I agree. Great job Steven. If this isn't craftsmanship then I don't know what is.

Edited by Pickleboy

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