Bare Metal Variance



These days, we modelers face an embarrassment of riches when it comes to quality metallic finishes. But as good as many of them are, none of them seem up to the challenge of capturing the worn patina found on so many late World War II and Cold War-era bare metal aircraft. I’m not talking about aluminum that’s been battered flat here. The look I’m referring to is still shiny, still reflective, but definitely no longer in pristine condition. Like so…


Republic F-84B in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

So I decided to see if I could us the semi-translucent qualities of Alclad Airframe Aluminum and play with the underlying coats to get something that exhibits that sort of worn variation while still being fearsomely shiny.

And I made some videos about it.

Long story short? It works! At the very least, the potential is there! The key seems to be using a very dark gray as a marble coat – whether it goes down over a prior metallic (like Alclad High Speed Silver) or gloss black.

Nothing like actually trying shit to get a sense for it.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Shawn M says:

    Awesome and well timed too!
    Have you tried the same with Alclad Chrome, I’d assume it would be similar results as it to is semi transparent.
    Thanks Doog!

    1. Doogs says:

      I haven’t – just Airframe Aluminum – but I’m assuming given their similar properties that similar results are likely.

    2. Heinz Johannsen says:

      I use Gunze Sangyo Metall Color Chrome Silver and Aluminium or Stainless. Bringin the Paint on with a normal (a bit larger) Paintingbrush. Wait an Hour, and than I use a soft clothbrush or a soft brush for the Shoes. Soft is importent. You will see, that a nice shiny Comes up. After thet I use a Cloth for polishing. After totalfinish of the Model You will see, that a bit of Silver is on your fingers, thats ok you have to get thelook that the Model does not come out of a factory. Have a look at my Photos : Model Aircraft Photos by Heinz Johannsen

  2. Hi Doogs,
    Very nice experiment dude, my compliments for your effort!!
    2 questions though,
    – How would you compare the final outcome, high speed silver – dark grey – airframe aluminum, with the Mr. Paint Super silver metallic?
    – Ok we finally managed to get a decent BMF, do you think is a good idea to sealed it with a gloss varnish, lets say, for decal preparation? or we will lose everything? Have you tested something like that to see what happens?
    My regards,

  3. Great test Doogs and great results!! Thanks for your effort to provide us with all these info. I have 2 questions for you
    – How would you compare these results with the ones you had with Mr. Paint Super Silver Metallic?
    – Have you tested how and if a gloss varnish affect the above tested outcome?
    My regards,

    P.S. I sent another reply almost 2 hour ago but it did not show up. Dont know if it takes some time to do so. If yes excuse my duplicate replies.

  4. Cemal Değer says:

    I’m dealing with RF-84F Thunderflash right now. This is just the information I’m looking for, thanks a lot!

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