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ALCLAD... AAARRGGGHHHH!

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Why can't I get it to look ANYTHING like chrome. I know it needs the glossiest of black base coat, and needs to be sprayed on lightly at 12-15 lbs psi. So how come it always comes out looking either black (not enough) or metallic gray (too much). Is there a certain technique that I am missing here? I know this topic has been done to death, but I am running out of time for my Christmas deadline and I am getting frustrated.

thanks-epi

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Posted · Report post

Model Cars Magazine has a video on YouTube to assist in getting you up to speed on using Alclad.

Its just a matter of having the glossiest base coat you can achieve and then laying down light coats, hold the airbrush at a angle as shown in the video

[media=]

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Posted · Report post

Gary, haven't you looked at Your latest issue of Model Car Mag. ? If not you need to head to Page 16 and check it out ;)

Now I REALLY need to get my renewel in so I don't miss the next issue.

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Posted · Report post

I am certainly no expert on Alclad. Just like you, I am not happy with my results. I have been researching as much as I can. Here is what I have come with. Sounds right to me:

YOUTUBE has several good vids. just search "ALCLAD" or "USING ALCLAD". Sorry I don't have the link.

Seems from what I have seen: You need as perfect of a shiny black base as possible, Gravity feed bottle, Light-light-light-light mist coats, as close to 10 lb air pressure as possible, hold brush at angle, light light light mist coats (LOL)

One guy sprayed two very light mists and paused to watch it. Maybe a minute or two. Another light mist. Paused. He said you will be able to see it turn to chrome- and he stresses very light coats. Give it a little time to work before you spray another coat. Sounds to me like the keys to good Alclad chrome is preparation and patience.

Like you, my alclad jobs have not satisfied me. I was shooting at too high a pressure and always thought it needed one more coat.

I will be trying the gravity feed very low pressure way in the next few days.

Remember this: Alclad will not fill any imperfections, no matter how slight, but will high-lite it. Just like chroming real parts, they have to polish real parts until they look like chrome before they chrome it - the better the prep-the better the results.

Good luck. Seems both need it!

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Posted · Report post

Answers all my questions except one. Is a gravity feed airbrush mandatory?

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Posted · Report post

I've used gravity and suction airbrushes and haven't been able to see any difference. An internal mix airbrush does make things easier though as it atomizes the paint better allowing you to lay down lighter coats.

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Posted · Report post

Whoot whoot! I spent my sons inheritance on Allclad ( not really ) and I didnt relish the idea of a new airbrush.

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Patience is the best tool for Alclad. Like everyone says - light coats. You need to just continue dusting it on. Do not get it wet with Alclad. I do it all in one session by continuing to apply it until it is chrome!. Someone liked doing a few coats, waiting a few minutes than applying a few more coats. Whatever technique works for you is fine. THE most critical is the light coats from a good distance and the glossy and smooth undercoat.

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I'll add a couple of things that I've learned from using Alclad II, both chrome and polished aluminum. You don't need a gravity feed airbrush, but I get best results with my Paasche VL using the color cup. It just works better with low pressure because it doesn't really have to suction the paint up as it does from a paint bottle. For a long while I found that the best results were achieved shooting over Alclad's own black base. I still think that base is excellent, but I've gotten outstanding chrome shooting on top of Tamiya's TS-14 gloss black and TS-29 semi-gloss black.

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The shoot-at-an-angle trick is what brought it all home for me. That, and patience! Like they said, you have to shoot it and wait long enough to let it flash so you can see where you're at.

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thanks guys... patience... yuck, I am in real trouble here. lol I actually think I figured my main problem. (besides patience)... trying to get such a low psi, I was either getting too low (0 psi) or too much (20 psi) Once I figured that out, I was left with trying to gauge whether or not I was putting on too much or not.

Is it supposed to be a black chrome or should it be a true looking chrome? Otherwise, mine looks like a black chrome, is it safe to add more "light" coats to it or should I stop while I'm ahead?

thanks-epi

Gary, haven't you looked at Your latest issue of Model Car Mag. ? If not you need to head to Page 16 and check it out ;)
Now I REALLY need to get my renewel in so I don't miss the next issue.

oops.... I need to subscribe, don't I?

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Posted · Report post

You can add more light coats to cover the black, it will build to a tone about like brushed aluminium on its own.

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I gave up on Alclad. I send my stuff to LittleMotorKar if I have to have good chrome. Well worth the money and no aggravation.

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Here's some Alclad work I did on my '32 Chrysler,

Alclad4.jpg

it took me some time to get a good finish using the stuff, but I think I have it now, I use about 15 p.s.i, and a Paasche F1 airbrush over Testors gloss black thinned using lacquer thinners, you need to get the black so glossy and go on with the Alclad with real thin coats, leave to dry, back on with the Alclad, ect until you get the shine, then stop, as any further coats it will start to loose it's shine.

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