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Issue with foiling


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I am using kitchen foil to cover a Monogram 1/48 F-80C. I am using cheap, thin foil, not suitable for baking. I am using Microscale Foil adhesive and following the instructions. I am applying the glue to the less shiny side of the foil. I am applying the glue using a dropper and then brushing it with a 1" brush.

 

I am having this problem: the glue is 'fish-eyeing', where after being applied smoothly with a wide brush holes or gaps open up in the glue layer.

 

I have tried the following to alleviate this:

 

1. Thin the glue with a little 100% IPA

2. Thin the glue with a little water.

3. Clean the foil with white spirit (mineral spirits) prior to applying glue

4. Clean the foil with 100% IPA prior to applying glue.

 

None of these make the situation better or worse. Applying glue to large or small pieces makes no difference.

 

Has anyone else had this problem and have any tips on how to solve it?

 

Many thanks

 

Jon

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I have no real input to answer your question, but I do have a question.  

 

 

Why does it matter?  Does the adhesive need to partly cure before you apply it to the model?  

 

Personally, I would think that thinning it may actually make it worse.  Maybe try applying it, waiting a few minutes, and then re-brushing to spread it out again once it has had a chance to dry a little? 

 

Sorry if this is worthless advice.  I've never used this adhesive, or applied foil, but the process seems similar to applying upholstery to a firm medium (like an automotive dashboard)... so maybe a similar technique may work. 

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I have no experience either, but sounds like surface tension is at play here. Applying it to the less shiny side is the right way, but seems not enough. I suspect thinning the glue with water etc. will just make it worse like stated above.

 

But, after you lay down the foil, isn't there the step of burnishing it? I would imagine that, that action will iron out any bumps there might be there, meaning you will have resolved the issue.  My guess is that the glue may need not be uniformly spread on the foil. 

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I have never used these products before, but if the glue is water based, adding a drop or two of dishwashing liquid might overcome the surface tension issue.

 

Geoff M

 

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15 hours ago, BaconRaygun said:

Why does it matter?  Does the adhesive need to partly cure before you apply it to the model?  

 

 

Yes, it does need to completely cure before applying it to the model. If it's still wet when the foil is applied it will not stick properly (I've tried). When it's dry and applied smoothly, it does make a wonderful bond.

 

14 hours ago, Janissary said:

But, after you lay down the foil, isn't there the step of burnishing it? I would imagine that, that action will iron out any bumps there might be there, meaning you will have resolved the issue.  My guess is that the glue may need not be uniformly spread on the foil. 

 

Unfortunately there are two issues here: 1. the bumps don't get ironed out (the foil is very sensitive to any surface imperfections), and 2. I need to be able to mask the foil. Where the glue is, the foil can be masked very safely. Where the gaps are, it creates air bubbles that get worse during masking.

 

13 hours ago, Geoff M said:

I have never used these products before, but if the glue is water based, adding a drop or two of dishwashing liquid might overcome the surface tension issue.

 

 

I might try a little of that. I'll have to see if it interferes with the glue chemistry.

 

7 hours ago, goondman said:

Use Bare Metal Foil instead. https://www.bare-metal.com/#_

 

Too expensive and the sheets I do have are not brilliant (wrinkled). I have used it for some of the more difficult areas (like the canopy frame.)

 

Thanks for the replies

 

Jon

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indeed it does sound like surface tension; have you tried wiping the immediate surface that's going to receive the glue with ipa, or better a non-aggressive lacquer (tamiya yellow cap for ex) before applying the pva, waiting for the thinner to evaporate properly first?

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50 minutes ago, murad said:

indeed it does sound like surface tension; have you tried wiping the immediate surface that's going to receive the glue with ipa, or better a non-aggressive lacquer (tamiya yellow cap for ex) before applying the pva, waiting for the thinner to evaporate properly first?

 

Yes:

 

On 3/20/2019 at 11:40 AM, jonbryon said:

 

 

I have tried the following to alleviate this:

...

3. Clean the foil with white spirit (mineral spirits) prior to applying glue

4. Clean the foil with 100% IPA prior to applying glue.

 

 

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Quoting from Peter Doll.

 

"As an adhesive, I use a not too fast-drying clear coat, which I brush on the side of the film piece facing the model with the brush. As soon as the varnish develops a sticking effect during setting (finger test), I rub the piece of foil on the model with a soft cloth."

 

-Scott

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have you tried a different brush yet? After reading the above it seems like the common item that hasn't been mentioned yet.

Water is the common liquid to dilute it with. Are you using tap water or some from a bottle? If using tap water try some bottled water and see if that makes a difference (assuming nothing else works out as you've tried quite a bit of stuff already).

Your prep work seems correct. Typically 91% IPA works good so 100% must be better 🙂 

 

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26 minutes ago, TheMongoose said:

Have you tried a different brush yet? After reading the above it seems like the common item that hasn't been mentioned yet.

Water is the common liquid to dilute it with. Are you using tap water or some from a bottle? If using tap water try some bottled water and see if that makes a difference (assuming nothing else works out as you've tried quite a bit of stuff already).

Your prep work seems correct. Typically 91% IPA works good so 100% must be better 🙂 

 

 

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm done with the foiling now. Pretty dissatisfied with the process, so I probably won't attempt it again! 

 

Monogram 1/48 F-80C - almost finished:

 

img_0300.jpg

 

img_0299.jpg?w=1200&h=

 

img_0298.jpg?w=1200&h=

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On 4/4/2019 at 3:35 PM, BaconRaygun said:

Great!  Now, to find them in the states. 

 

 

 

Let us know if you find one. I like the look of that jet jig.

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I have only used it once. Part of the problem is your foil, the quality of grocery store foil DOES make a difference. The model does look good, I wouldn’t give up on it yet if that’s the only issue. 

 

Dave

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I've had the same issue with this adhesive. ( Don't you just hate it when guys respond that have not used the stuff and then tell you how to fix the problem? sheesh!    :fight:)

 

I've used this stuff for years and this newer bottle beads up on the household Aluminum foil. I was about to contact the maker and ask them if they've changed the formula. To get it to flow better, I've used Isopropyl Alcohol. Dip the brush ( it doesn't matter what type of brush ... ) in the Alcohol and brush it onto the foil, let it evaporate and the Adhesive goes on smoother. I don't use Mineral Spirits because it's oil based and this adhesive is water based, so to my way of thinking, any residue of the spirits will repel the adhesive.

 

When I first used this Adhesive, about 10 years now, it flowed bee-yoo-tee-fully ... but this new bottle, it's frustrating.

 

And you're the first post I've seen that has had this issue too, so thanx for this thread! Your pix do look good, but I know what you mean about the foil not laying down nice and smooth, because ... I've actually used this adhesive ... :doh:

Pete

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Holy smokes!  What a beautiful looking turn-out!  Do NOT give up on the foiling!  So far, I've covered an AT-6 and a P-47N using a foil.  I've experienced the "fish eye" phenomenon myself.  All I did was keep "scrubbing" the glue on using a wide brush and eventually the fish eyes went away.  It was weird, too, in that I could apply the glue to one piece of foil and it would be 100% fine but the NEXT piece of foil would have those fish eyes suddenly pop up.  It was strange, but nothing that couldn't be overcome.  Like I said, I didn't know any other solution other than to use that scrubbing technique.
 

Don't let this strange experience turn you away from foiling.  It's pretty easy but it definitely is time consuming.  The way my planes turned out, I really can't see myself going back to using regular paint for any of my metalic finishes.  And I still have a B-17, B-29, B-58 AND a B-36 that I'll be getting to next!

 

Eric

 

PS.  Jonbryon's plane turned out looking stunning beyond belief and all people can do is talk about the stand?!?!?!?

Edited by echolmberg
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On 4/19/2019 at 4:16 PM, echolmberg said:

Holy smokes!  What a beautiful looking turn-out!  Do NOT give up on the foiling!  So far, I've covered an AT-6 and a P-47N using a foil.  I've experienced the "fish eye" phenomenon myself.  All I did was keep "scrubbing" the glue on using a wide brush and eventually the fish eyes went away.  It was weird, too, in that I could apply the glue to one piece of foil and it would be 100% fine but the NEXT piece of foil would have those fish eyes suddenly pop up.  It was strange, but nothing that couldn't be overcome.  Like I said, I didn't know any other solution other than to use that scrubbing technique.
 

Don't let this strange experience turn you away from foiling.  It's pretty easy but it definitely is time consuming.  The way my planes turned out, I really can't see myself going back to using regular paint for any of my metalic finishes.  And I still have a B-17, B-29, B-58 AND a B-36 that I'll be getting to next!

 

Eric

 

PS.  Jonbryon's plane turned out looking stunning beyond belief and all people can do is talk about the stand?!?!?!?

 

 

Thanks Eric 🙂

 

I've actually decided to use foil again on my current build: Kitty Hawk's 1/48 F-94C Starfire. However, this time I'm going to try Bare Metal Foil to see if that alleviates some of my metal adhesive woes!

 

Here are some photos of the finished Shooting Star. As you can see, it doesn't look nearly so good close up.  More info and pictures at https://jonbryon.com/monogram-1-48-lockheed-f-80c-shooting-star/

 

Jon

 

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Jon, I have some experience of using metal foil since the late 70's. My favourite foil is that still found on a few chocolate bars here in the UK (twin-finger Kit-Kats) although with modern packaging it is becoming quite rare. Generally I find kitchen foil too thick although as you say the cheaper end stuff can be quite useful. It is good if you want to make a certain panel stand out from the others.

 

When I started foiling I used to use Humbrol gloss varnish straight from the tin, paint it straight on with a brush, give it a little time to become 'tacky', then place on the model with tweezers and rub on with a soft cloth. I started using Microscale Foil adhesive a few years ago and I recognise the fish-eye problem that you describe, although I apply it to the opposite side to yourself. My solution (for want of a better word like blind luck!) is to wait around a minute or so then brush the back of the foil again. It should have started to dry ie the tackiness that I used to get with the gloss varnish and I find that it will then adhere to all of the foil piece. I do have to admit that there is a large amount of luck involved and sometimes you apply the foil to the model and you just know it isn't going to work and it has to come straight off and into the bin. However, when it goes on right then there is no paint that can match it for effect. I see that Peter Doll's name came up in one of the replies to your question and I am just in awe of the results that he gets using kitchen foil.

 

I think that your F-80C has come out really well, there are some quite complex curves on that jet including the air intakes, the top of the jet exhaust and tail plane roots, and even the wing tips and these can be very difficult to foil. Did you foil the drop tanks? If so they would have been a nightmare! Additionally, the 'Shooting Star' was quite a small jet, my experience is that the larger the model generally the easier it is to completely foil (though of course it takes more time). I started out with 1/72nd kits, then up to 1/48th, and my last was a 1/32nd F-104G Starfighter.

 

What I did try on the Starfighter was to foil the main panels but use silver paint on the areas which I knew would be difficult to apply foil to. I used rattle cans of aluminium paint bought from an auto trade retailer as well as hobby paints and they worked well. I hope you will forgive me for posting a photo of her below. She isn't perfect but was a step in the right direction.

 

I hope some of my ramble is helpful ☺️

 

Michael

 

 

IMGP2758small.jpg

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