Making kit chrome look more realistic

14 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Ever notice how kit chrome looks a little too...toyish? I've got news for you B)

All I do is take some acrylic black paint, and pretty much soak all the chrome in it. Then once it dries, I wipe the black paint off.

Here's the difference:

100_1576.jpg

(One on the left is stock chrome, one on the right is after the black wash)

It really tones down the chrome and makes it look more realistic. But, unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to get rid of the sprue attachment points :(:P

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Posted · Report post

Easy, you sand it.

And sand the chrome off along with it? :huh:

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Posted · Report post

You can get the same effect with just a black wash or using the product called " The Detailer ".

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Posted · Report post

I see the rims of a lot of models "chipped" at the sprue point and the best method to me is to use a nail clipper. I got the toenail clipper with the magnifier and light at Big Lots for $2 and it cuts great,and is curved to boot. For chrome I use Tamiya acrylic "smoke".

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Posted · Report post

A lot of people including me use a silver Sharpie to touch up the sanded down sprue points.

Silver_Sharpie.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

You can get the same effect with just a black wash or using the product called " The Detailer ".

I have used the black "Detailer" product, and I notice two probs w/ it... First, it seems to dry with a blue tint, and second, it will peel right off when dry.

I am wondering if anyone else has noticed this, or does this only happen in my alternate universe?

EDIT: oh, btw, I like that "soaked" wheel!

Edited by Jon Cole

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Posted · Report post

A lot of people including me use a silver Sharpie to touch up the sanded down sprue points.

Silver_Sharpie.jpg

The Sharpie is better than nothing, but the color is more aluminum than chrome. I wonder if we treated it like Alclad, and preceded it with a black Sharpie, if that would make a diff? Hmmm? I will have to try that.

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Posted · Report post

I've been using BMF when possible. The sharpie doesn't do it for me.

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Posted · Report post

I have used the black "Detailer" product, and I notice two probs w/ it... First, it seems to dry with a blue tint, and second, it will peel right off when dry.

I am wondering if anyone else has noticed this, or does this only happen in my alternate universe?

EDIT: oh, btw, I like that "soaked" wheel!

I haven't had the peeling problem,but yes on the blue tint,I thought maybe I just bought a bad bottle :huh:

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Posted · Report post

I haven't had the peeling problem,but yes on the blue tint,I thought maybe I just bought a bad bottle :huh:

Yeah, I won't use The Detailer to black out grilles anymore, too much blue hue. Use flat black acrylic such as Tamiya bottle paint, and wipe off the raised parts. If you do that with enamel bottle paint, the chemical effect will, after a few wipes, take the chrome plate off. Been there, done that. <_<

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I've gotten lots of advice from really good modelers about how to use BMF and stick-on chrome, but mine always turns out uneven and sort of lumpy. I can't seem to master Alclad either. I just started a Moebius Hudson, and tried mixing a little black acrylic ink (from an art store) with Future Premium Floor Finish and spraying the kit chrome with it. (Future is an acrylic.With the ink mixed in, it's sort of like Tamiya Smoke, except thinner and a lot cheaper.) It knocks down the toyish brightness, but keeps the gloss and smoothness. It also seems to add depth and brings out the detail.

The first time I tried it I added too much ink to the Future and it looked too dark in the crevices, so I used a toothbrush to clean it off with household ammonia. The ammonia didn't hurt the chorme a bit.

Edited by Ddms

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Posted · Report post

If you put down a coat of Future then thinner based paints should be ok. I use artists oils and Mona Lisa thinner to black out grills, he oils give a good solid black and have a long working time. Without the coat of Future I have had the chrome just wipe off like Jon said. I specifically use the Mona Lisa brand thinner because it is supposed to be very mild as thinners go so less likely to react with underlying paints, chrome etc.

37Ford.jpg

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Posted · Report post

One more thing: If you use the Future method, you don't need to wipe it off after dipping or spraying. When it dries, it leaves a very thin coating that's not the least bit visible. The acrylic ink I used is COM-ART transparent smoke. Only a few drops are needed to darken a good quantity of Future, so it should last for years. Actually, any water-soluble ink ought to work.

Okay, yet another thing. Mixing ink with Future has some interesting possibilities. With Tamiya clear and other transparent acrylics being so expensive, it might be worthwhile to experiment. But if something doesn't work out, a toothbrush soaked with household ammonia will remove it without damage, at least to styrene.

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Posted · Report post

Nice job, Aaron. Great subject! I've always loved those old Ford pickups.

On the subject of blacks, I've tried quite a few, and some blacks aren't all that black. I've settled on Rustoleum "Flat Protective Enamel" in a spray can. It's very flat and very black, much darker than Tamiya and some of the other rattle can blacks.

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