Jump to content

Bare Metal Foil on aircraft fuel tanks...

Recommended Posts

I have a number of 1/48 models done with Bare Metal Foil under my belt, and they turned out OK.


However, the one are that I have trouble with is applying BMF to aircraft drop/external tanks. I can't seem to get the foil applied without wrinkles or creases due to the shape. (The foil does not conform to these round shapes well)


My tests subject is going to be the tanks from the 1/48 Trumpeter F-100 kit.


Does anyone have any advice on how to apply BMF to aircraft drop tanks without the foil wrinkling or creasing?






Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never used brand name bare metal foil, but made my own with aluminum foil and metal leaf adhesive. Same concept though. 


When I deal with compound curves I cut out small triangles so when they lay down on the curve the edges match up. Mostly trial and error though. To get rid of the seam the ultra fine steel wool will blend it right out. I also use a lens cleaner micro fiber cloth to burnish it down and that brings out some shine. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Best way to achieve conical shapes to me was to try for trapezoidal cuts first, where the upper and lower cuts of the trapezezoides weren't straigh but more like round.

I try these cuts on paper first to then see how they wrap around the tank - for instance - and then, provided they work okay, I replicate them on the BMF sheet.

Also, you've got to work little by little; piece by piece, as trying to cover for every segment of the surface which is defined by panel lines.

It might not seem like, but a tune which always helps me out while BMFoiling tanks: :punk:



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I have been using Bare Metal Foil for well over a year. It is really difficult to apply BMF to shapes such as drop tanks. I paint the tanks with Testots' Aluminum Plate Metalizer paint. I buff the paint with a paper blending stick then brush the paint bwith steel wool to give it the appearance of 'grain' that is found on aluminum sheets. You can see the blending stick at the far right in the following photo. You can buy these at craft stores where the pastel pencils are located. IN FACT, I use these stick to smooth out Bare Metal Foil. It is the best tool for applying BMF. It is soft so it will not puncture the foil no matter how much pressure is applied. It removes all wrinkles.



 Getting back to the drop tanks. If you look at photos of planes with drop tanks you can see that the tanks appear to be made of a different material than the fuselage. The tanks are not as shinny as the plane's body. I think the tanks are just plane aluminum. The drop tank on the following photo is painted and it matches the BMF pretty well.








I have a question for Scott. How do deal with the carrier film of decals when the decals are applied to BMF. In the photo above the carrier film is very visible. Does this happen to you?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The "visible" carrier film is just on of those things that happens on BMF.


Applying future/clear coat over the model helps a little, but does not remove it completely. Applying a flat coat does. But then you loose that great shine that BMF has.


I have tried trimming the carrier film off, but this did more harm than good in the end.


I have done 6 models in BMF and I still have not been able to completely remove the decal carrier film. I guess I have to live with it then.


Now, my question for you. Do you see any difference in using the blending stick as opposed to using a q-tip for burnishing? What I do is I cut a q-tip at a sharp angle for a pointed end. I then use this "pointed end" to burnish the foil edges into the panel lines before I trim and after.


I am in the process of finishing the wings on my 1/48 F-100 kit. So far they are coming out ok. I have to remember to keep my knife blade SHARP...SHARP..SHARP at all times.




Link to post
Share on other sites



I do the same thing to a blending stick as you do with a Q-tip for burnishing the foil at panel lines. After the foil is applied and burnished I rub the foil once with 0000 steel wool to give it some grain.




I also use Tamiya "Smoke" to weather my BMF planes.



Notice that the carrier film of the decals is not visible. This is a Revell kit and the decals are much thinner and more glossy than the Hasegawa F-104. I added the rivets to the P-47 with a rivet tool. It has small wheels with teeth on them.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...