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What base coats do you guys use for natural metal finishes

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Wondering what you guys all use as a base coat for Alclad II. I have had varying success so far. The best was Model Master gloss black but it took forever to cure before I could start with the Alclad. I tried thier own black base but it ended up cracking under the Alclad possibly due to a reaction with the Tamiya fine white primer. I tried an off the shelf black lacquer spray can that cured quickly but the Alclad would not bond to it.

I have been thinking of switching to Vallejo Metal and wondering if Tamiya semi gloss black acrylic would work as a base for it.

Thanks for your input.


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Well I have had great results with Mr Color Gloss Black Laquer, And Tamiya Gloss black Acrylic.... And Stynalrez Black primer.

The key for me is thinning Mr Coler and Tamiya with Mr Color leveling thinner for both types of paint.... The Tamiya Acrylics love this stuff...... And then immidiatly after the final coat of black... Flash spray the entire model with straight Leveling thinner. Gives a great smooth finish.... And both are ready for metals 15 mins to an hour later... Just depends on temp etc....

The STynalrez you can shoot neat and if your looking for a beat down finish right off the bat, then this is the go.... Here are a couple of samples

Tamiya Gloss Black and Vallejo Metal colors



Stynalrez and Vallejo again....



Mr Color and Alclad



Sorry the pics aren't the best...

Hope this helps!


Edited by Tomcat Tweeker
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Which Alclad? They make two chemically separate paint lines - High Shine and Regular - and proscribe different primers for both.

If you're using any of the High Shine shades, like Chrome, Polished Aluminium, Airframe Aluminium or Stainless Steel, Alclad recommend a gloss black enamel. Gloss enamels take a long time to cure, though you can improve the cure time by thinning with lacquer thinners and/or baking in a very(!) low temperature oven or electronic dish dryer - 120F/50C or less - for a few hours. The purpose of the base coat for the high shine paints is to promote adhesion and provide a mirror-like base for the reflective paints to sit on.

If you're using the 'regular' shades, like Magnesium, Steel, Gunmetal, Jet Exhaust, Plain Aluminium or White/Dark/Dull/Semi-Matte/DurAluminium, they recommend a smooth acrylic lacquer base coat - Mr. Surfacer, Tamiya Spray primer, Alclad Primer/Microfiller or Automotive primers, smoothed with a high-grit paper to leave a smooth and less absorbent surface. The purpose of the primer for the regular shades is to provide a barrier to prevent the Alclad from attacking the plastic.

Other techniques can be made to work, but if you're having troubles, I'd suggest going back to the basics.

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Looks like Tomcat Tweaker has it down.

I use and highly recommend Tamiya Gloss Black from the spray can (yea I usually stay clear of any spray can) and Tamiya fine white or grey primer (from the can).

No need to decant and all that other headache others like to put them selves through, just spray and go, you an usually spray your Alclad the same day.




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