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Chrome platers and resin - revisited

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I know this has been discussed to some detail before, but I getting requests and need to get a reliable process and vendor.

Anyone been able to get this down and have reliable consistent results? Who are you using as a plating vendor for your resin parts. Same question for the kind of resin you are using. 

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I do some custom casting for a buddy.  He sends my parts to the little motor car company.  I'm in process of purchasing a home with a 800 square foot shop on  two acres of land in Sun city, AZ.   My wife was there yesterday with a electrician to do a bid on some screwy electrical work done by another owner.  The neighborhood wives stopped and of course were curious about us.  Apparently my new rich neighbors and I will be car buddies.  They drink coffee every morning together, can't wait for that.  Anyway, If I could afford the equipment and learned how I would be interested in doing the vacuum metalizing for my resin kits.  Same goes for injection molding the tires like Modelhaus.

Edited by Greg Wann
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Thanks High Octane. Do you happen to have any experience with them and resin parts?


I sent a few resin parts with my last batch, & while they didn't turn out as well as the styrene parts, they looked pretty good.

The reason that they didn't turn out as well was most likely my fault.

Prepping your resin parts for chrome is the key, & that's your responsibility as the customer.

I don't think that there is a plater out there that will guarantee the finish on resin parts.

If you do your job, Kustom Khrome will do theirs.



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Thanks for the responses guys. I have seen some say that they prime their parts with a lacquer primer before sending them off to chrome. If that is the case, I would think that would cure any "pinhole" issues, no? 

Plating hides absolutely nothing, so the quality of the plating is dependent on how clean, smooth, and glossy the material is that is being plated. The parts get a clearcoat applied before plating, but if resin pieces being sent are not as clean, smooth, and glossy as similar injection molded plastic pieces are, then the quality of the plating will suffer. Can the primer be sanded & polished to the same smooth surface finish as injection molded plastic? I spoke w/Bob Dahl (Bob's Paint & Kustom Khrome) in person, if you have any questions he'll give you plenty of input before you send parts to him for plating.

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I have sent thousands of wheels and trim rings to Bob's Paint and Custom Chrome, both chrome and plastic an recommend him highly. I soak all parts in bleche white overnight, then in dawn / water overnight, then rinse and dry.  I had problems in the beginning, but Bob worked with me and this solved my problems. Plus, I like the fact you don't have to mount your parts, he does that for you. Good prices, great turn around. In the past I have dealt with other chrome guys, with mixed results..........Steven Zimmerman

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I was always very satisfied with the service I got from Chrome Tech. I gather that Bob Shebilske is quite an accomplished modeller himself?
Also, that he and I are roughly the same age, means he is not going to retire anywhen soon, which puts me a bit at ease following the Modelhaus shock.

Any idea how the various service providers compare price wise?

It's a shame we can't obtain such services in the UK, despite there are companies that do vacuum plating.

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Who did Modelhaus chrome? Little Motor Kar, or Chrome Tech?

Once the backorders done, they should have capacity for a ton. And their resing plating was pretty good overall. 

I've used Bob/Chrome Tech and was happy. Was huge order, and I hate mounting. Prob 2-3 pieces out of 300 were less than perfect, which is pretty awesome. Not particularly cheap, I forget what it was.  

I'm interested in the new guys too. 

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It's important to remember that neither Chrome Tech nor Kustom Khrome do in house plating.

All of their work is farmed out to other entities.

Bob at Kustom Khrome told me that the gentleman who does their plating is the same outfit that used to do kit chrome for several of the kit manufacturers in years past.

This, along with the results, impressed me because it was obvious the the plater knew what was expected from a modeler & delivered on it.

I have no idea who Chrome Tech has plate their parts, but I believe that I heard somewhere that it was a Canadian company.

Regardless, the last couple of times I received parts back from Chrome Tech, I was not particularly impressed.

I believe their biggest problem is the application of the base coat.

They are applying it way too heavily, hiding detail & creating sags & the like under the chrome.

I had also noticed some minor adhesion problems with the chrome from Chrome Tech.

It only took one shipment of parts to Kustom Khrome to see the difference.

Near perfect in every aspect!

I'm wondering if Chrome Tech changed platers at some point.

I still have some parts that they did for me probably 25 years ago that look every bit as good as the Kustom Khrome parts do today.

But over the past few years, the Chrome Tech parts seemed to be getting more & more inferior every time I received another batch.

I'll be sticking with Kustom Khrome.



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Good to know. I'd not sent parts in a long time, and I have another huge pile. The CT stuff did have some thick/orange-peeled clear. 

I'll try Kustom Khrome. I'll prep parts forever, mounting them to get great coverage and quality isn't my gig.

Can they do copper, brass, or zinc finishes on plastic??  A few projects need some weird stuff. 

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I'm pretty sure that when I talked with Dale from the Little motor Kar Co. (at the NNL East) he said that he did the vacuum metalizing (or as we call it "plating") for Modelhaus. I have not been impressed with Chrome Tech last few times I used their service, but I have not yet tried any alternative company.

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