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Italeri CF-104 Starfighter "Kicked up a Notch": Mar30/21, DONE!


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Hi Chuck,

 

loving the tutorials (even in my 6th decade, I am learning new things, so thank you).

 

I discovered something (by accident) back in 2004 which may help you, but may require more experimentation on your part?

 

As an experiment of my own, I wanted to make a model OOB that could be used to try my first attempts at covering a model in normal kitchen grade metal foil. For this, I chose the Revell 1/72 P-47D Thunderbolt kit - the reasoning being that if I could successfully completely foil that kit, then logically, there should be nothing else in any scale that I could not foil!

 

Anyhow, it was successful, which was good:

 

post-596-1185754180.jpg

 

The (accidental) discovery occurred whilst I was applying the kit decals to the foil. I used Micro-set and Micro-sol to apply the decals, which worked well, but the edges of some of the decal film picked up dirt or looked a bit scruffy. Not knowing any better, I used a cloth damped with white spirit to clean them and found (initially) to my horror that it dissolved and removed the decal film completely! The discovery bit was that it actually left the decal design and colours intact on the model - it only removed the decal varnish film.

 

This now left me with a model which had decals applied that looked like they had been painted on (I think that the Micro-set and Micro-sol helped here) the bare aluminium with no decal carrier film in sight! (I used a mix of acrylic matt and gloss varnish to provide a satin finish to protect the decals).

 

I don't know if this would work with other brands of decal or finish, but I would love to know?

 

Good luck

 

Derek

Edited by Derek B
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Thanks Derek for the tip, but thinking about it, white spirits would eat the Alclad without a clear coat, which what I'm trying to avoid.  BTW, your Thunderbolt is beautiful!

 

I have no fears of using decals on Alclad, but only if they are clear coated with something like X-22.  What they will look like without a clear coat is my concern.

 

FYI, here are some close ups of the decals on the P-38 using X-22, both before and after decals.  You would be hard pressed to see decal film unless you look really hard, like the top of "993" in the second pic:

 

 

rms6HG.jpg

 

 

A6cvsR.jpg

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3
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I think Tigger made the same discovery about white spirit dissolving decal film - in his case it was Tamiya decal film for an F-117.  I tried to do the same on a couple of decals from the Tamiya F-14, and while it removed the decal film after a bit of rubbing, it also removed some of the inks.  Luckily it was an experiment with surplus decals:)

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55 minutes ago, Derek B said:

That looks really nice Chuck.

 

Might be OK with lacquer finishes perhaps? Anyhow, I hope that your finish experiments bear fruit - good luck.

 

Derek

 

Thanks.  The Alclad "lacquers" come in two types.  The "Regular" ones are definitely solvent based and etch into the primer coat, which is why they are tougher, while the "High Shine" ones like Chrome appear to be alcohol based and are more fragile.  I've used solvent on both of them in the past and they come off easily, so solvent on decals is not an option.

 

The key will be how good the decals are.  If they are thick and/or won't settle down without a lot of Microsol, I will be needing a clear coat.  If they are super thin like the ones I used on my P-38, I may be lucky.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

 

 

Edited by chuck540z3
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37 minutes ago, scvrobeson said:

If you really want a clear coat that won't mess with the metal, it might be time to try the 2K clear coat car modelers use.  That should protect it, is polishable, and won't mess up the Chrome shine underneath.

 

Matt 

 

 

I have a theory on why clear coats mess with the shine, so the car clear coats may not help.  Just a theory, with the caveat that I'm wrong at least 50% of the time.  Just ask my wife!

 

Most of the clear coats I tried are actually quite good at what they are meant to do:  Cover the paint with a clear, blemish free and shiny finish, just like the car clear coats.  Most of the Alclad metallic paints look like they have tiny particles of metal floating in them, reflecting light like real metal does.  I have no idea if it's micro-metal bits or pseudo metal bits, but it looks like metal to me floating around in the jar or airbrush.  When I spray Chrome on the black lacquer primer, for instance, it looks a bit dull at first when it is loaded with thinner and other solvents, but as it dries, the shine starts to come through.  The thinner is interfering with the reflectivity of the metallic bits in the paint, but as it evaporates, it no longer impedes this reflectivity.  Clear coats do the very same thing.  The reflective surface is no longer directly on the dried Alclad paint, but above it, so the metallic reflectivity has been diminished, causing a duller looking finish.

 

Getting back to cars, there are many metallic finishes out there and while they can look shiny and beautiful, none of them look like real polished aluminum or stainless steel, due to the clear coats protecting the paint.

 

And then again, maybe I'm full of $&#t!  :P

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3
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Outstanding build thread! Thanks for the in-depth explanation of all your processes, especially in the paint area. Lots of great information. These century series jets are my favorites. I did pick up a Hasegawa F-104G/S on Ebay, it came with the Black Box pit and an Eduard interior etch set for $30. I also got the Daco book from Sprue brothers. Plan on starting it this summer....

 

Are you and Kev going to do a book on this build?

 

Thanks, Dan

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Great discussion on NMF and the preparation that needs to be done BEFORE the metal color goes on.  The clear coat issue is interesting.  Since WW2 is my niche, I really don't have a need to show shiny chrome-like finishes outside of an oleo strut or two.  But I read a build log at The Modeling News website and the builder mentioned Tamiya Lacquer Clear LP-9 as a something he's found to produce "the least visible impact to the metal finish of all the clears".  HIs build  (Kitty Hawk FJ-2) did not sport a shiny metal finish so I'm not sure if his findings apply to a highly reflective metal finish like Alclad Chrome but I thought it was worth a mention.

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14 hours ago, Thunnus said:

Great discussion on NMF and the preparation that needs to be done BEFORE the metal color goes on.  The clear coat issue is interesting.  Since WW2 is my niche, I really don't have a need to show shiny chrome-like finishes outside of an oleo strut or two.  But I read a build log at The Modeling News website and the builder mentioned Tamiya Lacquer Clear LP-9 as a something he's found to produce "the least visible impact to the metal finish of all the clears".  HIs build  (Kitty Hawk FJ-2) did not sport a shiny metal finish so I'm not sure if his findings apply to a highly reflective metal finish like Alclad Chrome but I thought it was worth a mention.

 

Thanks!  This makes sense, so I'll try to find some and give it a test.  The worst clear coats over metal are thick, like Future and the Alclad Aqua Gloss, while the best one I found so far is X-22, which I thinned a lot with Tamiya lacquer thinner.  A clear lacquer, likely thinned even more, should give the thinnest coat and maybe not dull the finish too much.  One key concern is what will it do to the Alclad, which crazes easily with solvents of any kind.  I see another experiment in my future!

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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Hey Chuck here’s another clear you may want to add to your trial, AK Interactive Gauzy. One of the guys over on FSM got his and tried it out. Mine is still in the mail. Here’s what he had to say, although no pics yet - but I know you’d want to try it for yourself anyway if you think it has merit.

Well the Gauzy came in today and I shot it over the Alclad and I'm VERY happy to report no loss of metallic sheen. This stuff levels out like a champ leaving a glass smooth finish. I freaked out at first cause it was a bit gainy in a couple of spots but it just leveled out smooth. No pictures cause believe me, there is no difference in the metallic effect!

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1 hour ago, themongoose said:

Hey Chuck here’s another clear you may want to add to your trial, AK Interactive Gauzy. One of the guys over on FSM got his and tried it out. Mine is still in the mail. Here’s what he had to say, although no pics yet - but I know you’d want to try it for yourself anyway if you think it has merit.

Well the Gauzy came in today and I shot it over the Alclad and I'm VERY happy to report no loss of metallic sheen. This stuff levels out like a champ leaving a glass smooth finish. I freaked out at first cause it was a bit gainy in a couple of spots but it just leveled out smooth. No pictures cause believe me, there is no difference in the metallic effect!

 

Aaaagh!  Another product to try!  I joke- and also thank you for the heads up.  I will give this one a try as well.

 

Meanwhile, back on this model, I haven't touched it for 2 days and by the time I start to put decal rivets on it, it will be 3 days.  I learned from my F-5E (the hard way) that to rush the drying process, even if it feels dry, results in better finger prints than law enforcement can provide.

 

I have also sprayed 11 shades of Alclad metallic paint on test spoons and ordered 4 more shades that I have yet to try, so I will have a full comparison of all of them as soon as the new Alclad lacquers arrive.

 

Stay tuned,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3
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Chuck - I want to try X-22 as a gloss coat for decals but would like to first ask you what ratio tamiya lacquer thinner to X-22 do you use?  I'm also assuming it will work over an acrylic paint job.

 

Am learning a lot from your (and everyone here) builds so thank you for your patience in explaining how you're doing things.

 

Best,


Chris

 

 

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2 hours ago, Chris_B-1B said:

Chuck - I want to try X-22 as a gloss coat for decals but would like to first ask you what ratio tamiya lacquer thinner to X-22 do you use?  I'm also assuming it will work over an acrylic paint job.

 

Am learning a lot from your (and everyone here) builds so thank you for your patience in explaining how you're doing things.

 

Best,


Chris

 

 


Hi Chris!

 

I can’t vouch for X-22 on acrylic finishes, but I bet they will work perfectly.  I use about 1/3 Tamiya Lacquer thinner to 2/3 Tamiya Acrylic X-22, so I have no reason to believe this is risky at all.

 

Happy to help!  My first 3 models had silvered decals that you could park a car underneath, so I’ve learned a lot of modeling tricks the hard way from others here, so I try to give back the same way when I can.

 

Cheers

Chuck
 

 

Edited by chuck540z3
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  • chuck540z3 changed the title to Italeri CF-104 Starfighter "Kicked up a Notch": Mar30/21, DONE!

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