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1/32 Trumpeter P-38L Lightning- "Kicked Up A Notch"


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks guys. I appreciate your kind comments. This update will let the pictures do all the talking. As mentioned earlier, the Alclad Chrome I plan on using does not take to masking tape very well, so I need to paint all the areas that can be masked first. First, masking tape is applied around those areas that won't be Chrome

Secondpaint1.jpg

To avoid over-spray, I throw a kitchen garbagte bag over the model, then cut out those areas that need to be painted, followed by more masking tape. Tamiya Italian Red lacquer was sprayed first.......

Secondpaint2.jpg

Then I sprayed Tamiya Olive Drab. I just LOVE these paints! So smooth and they dry in seconds. Note the over-spray dust from the red, which would get on the model without the bag.

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Interim results....

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As mentioned earlier, the edges of the Aluminum are not as rough as they look in this pic. What you see is Aluminum in the panel line, which makes it pop. Masking off that red nose was a bear!

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I used Alclad Stainless Steel for the panels around the Turbo/Supercharger.

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And last, I used Tamiya Camel Yellow for the prop tips. Getting the demarcation line that straight without a ridge is tough!

Secondpaint11.jpg

That's it for now boys. I won't have another update until after Xmas, so Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

Edited by chuck540z3
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  • 3 weeks later...

January 5, 2015

Happy New Year boys (and a few girls)! I haven’t done too much modeling lately, because I’ve been busy AND I’ve been terrified to go to the next step. Terrified? I was terrified to apply the final Alclad Chrome to the rest of the model for the following reasons:

1) If any Alclad metallic color will show micro-flaws, Chrome will, since it is by far the shiniest.

2) High shine Alclad finishes like Chrome, Polished Aluminum, Airframe Aluminum, etc. are all alcohol based and very fragile, because they don’t “bite” the primer coat like the other Alclad lacquer products. They rub off fairly easily, especially with masking tape and apparently they don’t like decal solutions either. Nice. Show me a polished aluminum aircraft without decals. This is why I left this painting to the last, so that I would not have to mask it.

3) To fix #2, you need to put a clear coat on the finish, preferably an acrylic one like Alclad’s own Aqua Gloss, ALC 600.

4) I don’t like ALC 600 very much. Although it dries fairly hard after an hour or so, it still takes an hour and you need to spray it at fairly high pressure because you can’t dilute it- or at least not according to the label. This works OK for flat horizontal surfaces, but vertical ones create drips because where you can’t control the drying time like using Future, which takes only minutes.

5) I experimented with Alclad’s other gloss clear coat, ALC 310, which is an enamel based product that produces lots of “dust” due to air turbulence and quick drying times near wing roots etc., creating a rough surface. This was OK on my Mustang build where I did use the product successfully, but it was a weathered bird and I could sand the roughness down with polishing cloths. On this polished Hanger Queen, no way!

6) All clear finishes knock down the shine of the Chrome, some more than others, so I going to experiment on some spare F-4 intakes below with ALC 600, ALC 310 and good ‘ol Future. My gut tells me that if I keep the Future coat thin enough, it will protect the Alclad without taking too much of the shine away and I can still put decal solutions on it. We’ll see.

7) Always wanting to experiment with new ideas, I even bought some automotive Dupli-Color Chrome enamel paint, as shown on the right. If enamel paint still looked nice and shiny I thought, I wouldn’t have to worry about masking the dried paint or clear coating it later. The cap shows what the paint is supposed to look like and, believe it or not, that intake is actually painted with this product! I’ll call this Crash & Burn Experiment # 2, right after my GOOP disaster, but at least this time I didn’t do it directly on my model.

Alclad%20Chrome%2010.jpg

Alclad Chrome also doesn’t like fingerprints- not even a bit and if you have any prints on the black primer surface, it will magnify them. After lots of handling and a bit of overspray from other paint colors, I decide to lightly sand down the old primer surface and apply a new one before the application of the Chrome. Speaking of Alclad Chrome, I even tried the Alclad "Chrome for Lexan" product for laughs. If you think Chrome is fragile, this product is much worse, but then it was never made for outside surfaces.

Alclad%20Chrome%201.jpg

First results. My goodness that surface looks nice and shiny, just like real metal! I'll never try foil if I can continue to produce results like this. The Chrome might be a touch too bright for Polished Aluminum, but after a clear coat, it will knock the shine down a bit (or maybe a lot). I am also VERY pleased with the lack of obvious surface flaws. There’s a few tiny ones, but I can still fix them.

Alclad%20Chrome%202.jpg

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I've also been doing a few small decals on the props. These are from the Pyn-Up set for "Marge", which are much better than anything else I've seen.

Prop%20Decals.jpg

So that’s it for now. After some clear coat experimentation, I’ll pick one and spray all Chrome surfaces with it, then remove the masking tape and check for flaws. It’s gloves only at this stage!

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3
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Chuck,

FALUTLESS, FLAWLESS workmanship..

ABSOLUTELY PERFECTION..

How can anyone compete with your amazing skills and talents NOT ME !!

VERY RESPLENDENT ..and SO SHINY AND GORGEOUS... :wub: :wub: :wub:

KUDOS :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

{AND I LIKE your concise explanations etc thank you }

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Thanks a lot guys!

In my steep learning curve of using Alclad High Shine finishes, I have found that the results depend on a myriad of things, some under my control and some I can't do anything about. Smoothness of the plastic to begin with, micro-scratches and flaws that I can't see without paint, oil from my hands, fumes from CA glue that attach to the plastic in random patterns, etc. and the impossibility of having a totally dust free painting environment all create challenges to having a totally flawless finish, which in my opinion is impossible. All I can do is try to mitigate these factors as much as possible. Also, when I detect one of these flaws at this late stage, the fix is likely going to be worse than the problem. Unlike regular enamel paint where I might have a small glue mark or piece of crap in the paint job, I can't just lightly sand it out and re-paint the repaired area, because it will create an even larger blemish. The color and sheen of the finish needs to be perfectly uniform with High Shine finishes, so the repaired area sticks out like a sore thumb. I hope this all makes sense.

Knowing that any clear finish will knock down the shine, I experimented with 6 different clear coats, 4 of which I show below, including a new one, Tamiya X-22 acrylic as recommended by Kevin at LSP. Future was an obvious choice, since I use it regularly on most of my models as a decal prep coat and I gave the Alclad acrylic ALC 600 Aqua Gloss Clear another try, just in case my past experiences with it were not typical. Finally, I tried Model Master Sealer for Metalizer, since it is made specifically for the same problem as the Alclad Chrome, since Metalizer finishes also tend to rub off.

Clearcoat1.jpg

I applied these clear coats to the F-4 intakes I painted earlier with Alclad Chrome, leaving a middle seam without clear a coat so that you can see the contrast in color and shine before and after. I tried a multitude of angles and light to try and show the differences, but closeups of high shine finishes do not photograph very well, so you'll just have to take my word for it. In all cases the Chrome shine and color were knocked down and became more silver, likely due to the clear coat not allowing the pigment to reflect light as it did before. Note how the middle portion without clear coat has lines from where the masking tape lifted the paint.

There was a clear winner. Kevin's X-22!

Clearcoat2.jpg

Here's why and order of preference.

X-22

Thinned properly with Tamiya lacquer thinner (~50/50), it sprays beautifully, sticks to vertical surfaces without dripping (if you're careful) and is rock hard in 15 minutes. Wow! I am now a big fan and I may never use Future again for decal prep.

Future

If it wasn't for the new X-22, I would have picked my old favorite. I know how it works, what to watch out for and it gave a smooth finish as good as the X-22. It's also a bit soft and takes 3-4 times as long to dry.

MM Sealer for Metalizer

This clear lacquer acts and behaves much like Alclad ALC 310. Unfortunately, it "drifts" quite a bit and creates mini balls of dust, creating a rougher finish. I was also concerned with getting the surface of the Chrome really wet, fearing the lacquer would craze the finish. This is why Alclad only recommends their ALC600 as a clear coat on their High Shine finishes.

Alcad ALC 600

I hate this stuff. It takes twice as long as Future to dry, drips on vertical surfaces easily, can't be thinned and it dried to a slightly cloudy finish. I just tossed it in the garbage, just in case I ever dream of using it again.

Now two quick shots of the model after the application of X-22. Note how the Chrome color is more subdued and those "dark areas" you may have noticed in earlier pics are almost gone everywhere.

Clearcoat3.jpg

Clearcoat4.jpg

Obviously I prefer the Chrome color and shine as it used to be, but I can actually pick this thing up with my hands now without fear of leaving marks and decal solutions won't eat the Chrome.

In closing, a BIG thank you to Kevin at LSP and his X-22 tip.

Edited by chuck540z3
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Nicely done Chuck, great experiment and, very well defined. I think the results speak for themselves. This baby should look awesome once it's unmasked. I guess you can say your on the home stretch now.

Steve

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I assume you know, since you've got quite a few build tricks up your sleeve, but don't put on too much of a clear coat with the masking tape on otherwise and can pull up parts of the gloss coat and underlying paint. (I learned this on a recent canopy

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I assume you know, since you've got quite a few build tricks up your sleeve, but don't put on too much of a clear coat with the masking tape on otherwise and can pull up parts of the gloss coat and underlying paint. (I learned this on a recent canopy

Actually I didn't and now that you mention it, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for the tip!

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Did you over-spray the X-22 with straight Mr. Leveling Thinner? I've been using this trick for a few months now. Glad to see it's making it's way around because it really is the most spectacular gloss I've ever seen. Looks great. I think it will really bring the who aircraft to life for that warbird look you're after.

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Did you over-spray the X-22 with straight Mr. Leveling Thinner? I've been using this trick for a few months now. Glad to see it's making it's way around because it really is the most spectacular gloss I've ever seen. Looks great. I think it will really bring the who aircraft to life for that warbird look you're after.

No, I didn't, but I only have the Tamiya lacquer thinner, which I'm hoping is about the same thing as Mr. Leveling Thinner. Having said that, I'll give it a try on my test F-4 intake and see if I'm brave enough to do the whole model. Thanks Jim.

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No, I didn't, but I only have the Tamiya lacquer thinner, which I'm hoping is about the same thing as Mr. Leveling Thinner. Having said that, I'll give it a try on my test F-4 intake and see if I'm brave enough to do the whole model. Thanks Jim.

Interesting. I would have swore you did because your test looks amazing. I'm pretty sure the Tamiya thinner is pretty similar, but I don't know since I've never tried it, but I've been told it has retarder in it. It's worth testing...but I don't see how you could make it any better than it is in that pic. I was terrified the first time I tried it. I think the point of the thinner over is to just reactivate it and introduce some more leveling. I can say that I've never seen a better gloss personally...but like I say, your test above looks pretty spot on..so it may not be needed in your case.

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Interesting. I would have swore you did because your test looks amazing. I'm pretty sure the Tamiya thinner is pretty similar, but I don't know since I've never tried it, but I've been told it has retarder in it. It's worth testing...but I don't see how you could make it any better than it is in that pic. I was terrified the first time I tried it. I think the point of the thinner over is to just reactivate it and introduce some more leveling. I can say that I've never seen a better gloss personally...but like I say, your test above looks pretty spot on..so it may not be needed in your case.

I used to do the very same thing with straight Windex over Future. The usual guru in the Tools and Tips forum always told me I was nuts, but it works. It "melts" the surface, flattening it out, to help remove any tiny bumps or roughness. Of course if the surface is bumpy to begin with, nothing will work.

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Did you over-spray the X-22 with straight Mr. Leveling Thinner? I've been using this trick for a few months now. Glad to see it's making it's way around because it really is the most spectacular gloss I've ever seen. Looks great. I think it will really bring the who aircraft to life for that warbird look you're after.

Well Jim, I gave it a try. Not good, but thankfully this was on my test piece. While the X-22 may have become a bit more glossy in some spots, where it was a bit thin, the lacquer thinner crazed the Chrome a bit. I am going to try this trick again on a future build where the undercoat isn't this high maintenance Alclad high gloss finish, which is fragile as heck. With the X-22 on as is, it seems to be fairly well protected.

Thanks,

Chuck

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Good to know. I actually used it the method over regular Alclad finishes, but you're right about the high shines..they are much more fragile. That's why we test!

Jim,

I really should have shown a pic, so here it is. The upper portion above the dark band in this pic has been sprayed with X-22, as shown earlier. The lower portion of that, including the dark area, were sprayed with Tamiya lacquer thinner, where you can see a demarcation line mid-way, as fuzzy as it is. You can't see it in this pic (really hard to photograph properly!), but the shine on all of the top is about the same, before and after. However, the thinner seems to have realigned the look of the pigment underneath, making it look a bit more silver, which is not what we want obviously. What is neat, is that the thinner absolutely nuked the Alclad Chrome that used be on the dark band with no clear coat! The thinner pushed all the pigment to the sides, leaving the black primer underneath exposed. It is so "crazed", that it left no pigment behind as a reminder of what used to be there. Surprisingly, because the pigment removal was so thorough, the dark area is quite smooth, as the primer coat used to be, with no affect on the underlying paint. In a nutshell, you can see that if your coat of X-22 was not uniform and thick enough, you will get black blotches here and there. Not good with Alclad High Gloss alcohol based finishes!

Testspray1.jpg

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Chuck, she is flawless, wow! I need to throw on the shades when viewing your posts, that's a beautiful shine even with clear coat B)

I am glad your finally moving to Tamiya acrylics ;)

On a more serious note, have you considered spraying various panels with chrome etc after decalling (ie the panels not featuring any decals)... that would introduce some variation and add back sheen. You could just use hand-held paper to mask, the coats would only need to be very light.

Marcel

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Chuck, she is flawless, wow! I need to throw on the shades when viewing your posts, that's a beautiful shine even with clear coat B)/>

I am glad your finally moving to Tamiya acrylics ;)/>

On a more serious note, have you considered spraying various panels with chrome etc after decalling (ie the panels not featuring any decals)... that would introduce some variation and add back sheen. You could just use hand-held paper to mask, the coats would only need to be very light.

Marcel

Thanks Marcel.

Good idea! I WAS planning on doing that all along, but when I started freaking out about masking off Chrome areas, I completely dismissed the idea and forgot all about it. Damn, this will be fun!- although I will have to continue to be careful of the newly painted areas.

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OK Boys. A quick "reveal" with some of the masking tape pulled off. First off, I cannot emphasize how important a really tight and sharp masking tape job is to multiple paint colors on a model. I can honestly say I only have two tiny over-spray issues less than 1 mm each that I can easily fix. Why? It took me 8 hours to mask this beast before painting. Really- and none of the paint pulled up either.

Anyway, a few teaser pics. The nose and canopy remain masked until after decals, because I want to spray some more gloss coat where the decals will go and I also want to seal them later- and most of the decals are on the nose.

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Now a big decision comes to mind. Do I give this bird the characteristic exhaust stains, or do I leave it as is, just like the real deal in Oshkosh that doesn't fly? I have an opinion of course, but I'd rather hear yours to see if we're on the same page.

Thanks,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3
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