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Yesterday, as I checked into with the GENERAL DISCUSSION group to introduce myself, I informed the readers that as a newly retired (old person) I bought a Monogram 1/25 '56 Chevy Bel Air as my break-in model. They sent me here for advise, and it didn't take long after looking over the model to hit this group. The kit comes with a large tree of so called "chrome" parts that really look cheap and ugly. Is there anything an inexperienced guy like me can do to make this "chrome" look more "life-like"? I will thank you in advance.

Micahel Grayeagle

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AFAIK, the only way to get plastic auto model bits to look like real-world chrome is to get 'em professionally plated. You will probably have to pay handsomely for this, and maybe need to remove the original 'plating' first (oven cleaner?). However, models treated to this effect look superb.

Another option is chrome metalliser paint like Alclad II, which requires a cue-ball smooth surface and a gloss black undercoat for best effect. Still very second best IMO, and I'm an Alclad fanboy! But then, anything is probably better than what comes in the box...

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If done well Aclad chrome or high polished aluminum (just as shiny) look good but it's all down to surface prep. Smooth sanding and an ultra smooth gloss black.

Or you could use bare metal foil and or kitchen foil and rewrap the parts.

Usually the chrome plated kit supplied parts look like crap so you need to strip and repaint anyway. Alclad is really your best bet and it's super easy to use. Not sure if you have an airbrush though. If no airbrush then you're limited to bare metal foil or using spray can chroming paints which aren't going to look terribly realistic but will still probably look better than the chrome plated plastic.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Household bleach will strip the chrome plateing off. I soak over night and no more chrome.

Been a while since I've done that, but last time I did, it only bleached the chrome and didnt remove the thick clear coat they put over it. I had to go over it with oven cleaner to strip it completely. The Alclad Chrome is really nice looking when applied properly.

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  • 2 years later...

I got lucky the first time I used Alclad Chrome. I found out that there are basically two major procedures to getting a nice Chrome job.

1. Make sure that the part is painted in gloss black and it is as free from blemishes as possible. I have always used Krylon gloss black. It is not an

acrylic product, but it dries fast. I still let the part dry in a dust free plastic container for at least 24 hrs.

2. Airbrush the Alclad Chrome onto the part. This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the procedure. Dial down the pressure so you are misting the lacquer

onto the part. When you start misting the lacquer on, at first, it won't look like anything is happening. Then the magic starts to happen. You

will notice that the part is starting to look metallic in color. When you get to the point where you think, "Wow, that looks like a great Chrome

finish!," STOP!!! You are done. If you add more, the shiny look will start to go backwards. More is NOT better. Good Luck!

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