Natural Metal Finishes, Pt. II: Weathered Finishes

AgapeModels.com forum member Pruz- otherwise known as Al- posted some great tips for achieving a natural metal finish (NMF). In this second installment, he outlines steps for a weathered, natural metal finishes.

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18-2Again, start with the surface. As I would use different paint for this one, it’s not as critical to get such a glassy finish, so just use white primer (1 coat), Mr Surfacer 1000 (1 coat) and automotive black spray paint again. This time try something different! Instead of a uniform black finish, mask off several panels to leave a patchwork finish. This will result in contrasting shades of finish with the same paint. If you want to be really clever, lightly dab at some of the panels with the black paint before it dries with a cotton cloth to create a texture surface.

23-3The first pass of paint used is Alclad Airframe Aluminum. It is a shiny finish, but settles on the textured surface to create an uneven, burnished finish. Then mask and spray the remaining panels and wings with Gunze Mr Metal Color Aluminum, a dull metalizer paint which can be buffed to a shine when dry. I just sprayed two thin coats of this to a smooth opaque finish. When dry it can be buffed lightly with a cotton cloth. The important thing about these paints is that you can’t mask them! They must be sealed in with Future or another gloss coat or the paint particles will detach and you can easily leave fingerprints on them!

29-1Seal the whole paint job with Future, then you can do any remaining panels, flaps and leading edges with Matte Aluminum Bare Metal Foil to get a contrast. Then you can decal.

35-1For weathering, I use Promodellers Dark Wash, a very nice commercially available sludge wash. Just slap it all on, then when dry in about 20-30mins, just rub it straight off with a slightly damp cloth, sponge or tissue. The wash settles in the rivets, panel lines and surface details very nicely

39-1I then use Tamiya weathering powders for oil stains, heating effects and footprints. Finish the whole thing off with oil streaks from crushed black and umber pastel chalks at corners of panels, downwind of struts, actuators and moveable surfaces. Then you can flat coat (I use Testors Dullcote thinned 40% with lacquer thinners) till you get the desired flat finish.

Stay tuned for part III – foiling!

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