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"painting bare metal" Topic

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1,064 hits since 22 Sep 2010
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jpwalker22 Sep 2010 4:07 p.m. PST

Sorry if this had already been covered. I did do a forum search with no results.
I'm new to painting aircraft and I'm wondering the best brand of paint for doing shiny bare metal. Thanks in advance. K

quidveritas Inactive Member22 Sep 2010 4:13 p.m. PST

Generally your best bet is to 'prime' the bare metal before the application of any paint.

Primer sticks to metal. Paint sticks to Primer.

No doubt you will hear from the Gesso crowd advocating this substance as a substitute for traditional primers.


I wash things with large flat surfaces (like planes) in a detergent bath, let dry, then spray with a sandable automotive spray primer (buy it at any auto parts store -- Walmart sometimes carries stuff like this).

bluewillow22 Sep 2010 4:31 p.m. PST

three options if you after a shiny body aircraft

1. Buff, If the miniature is all metal you actually buff the metal to a brilliant shine. extremely hard to do, look for armour buffing in google.

2. Airbrush. by far the best method, start with a dark base/ undercoat of black or dark brown(allow to dry well, at least a day), find a medium coloured flat metallic, (tamayia, Humbrol, Vallajo) pin wash with black around the rivets with a brush (very thin wash), than highlight the high areas and large surfaces with a bright metallic.

3. Paintbrush: start with a dark base/ undercoat of black or dark brown (allow to dry well, at least a day), a medium coloured flat metallic, pin wash with black around the rivets with a brush, than highlight the high areas and large surfaces with a bright metallic. Always use thinned paint (I use a suface tension breaker such as Windex window cleaner), several thinned coats always looks better and you don't suffer from brush strokes as much.

then weather the aircraft if you wish, have a look around for some military modelling or modelcraft magazines they normally have step by step tutorials.


Top Gun Ace Inactive Member22 Sep 2010 5:15 p.m. PST

Option 1 above, and not too hard to do, unless you are using resin aircraft (impossible then).

Just clean up any mold lines, as usual, and then shine them up with fine steel wool. Wear rubber gloves, a dust mask, and eye protection. Make sure to put down some newspaper on your work area to make cleanup easy.

Works great, and there is nothing like polished real metal for a realistic looking metal finish.

I use a fine mechanical pencil for marking the panel lines, but some people use a paint wash instead.

Seal the miniature(s) after the above with either a gloss, or satin sealer, depending upon the desired effect. You can even use a flat sealer, for an old, unpolished metal look.

miscmini Fezian22 Sep 2010 6:32 p.m. PST

The link is to a 1/200 scale resin F-86. The following is what I did.
Clean up the seam lines.
Wash the mini in warm soapy water and dry.
Prime black with can of aerosol primer.
Paint silver with can of aerosol paint.
Paint the canopy.
Apply Future floor polish.
Apply decals.
Apply Future floor polish.

I did the same thing here picture except after painting the first coat of silver I masked some panels and sprayed a couple of other metallic colors on the model…and I didn't paint the canopy. I painted the belly with a brush. picture

Others done the same way:
P-47s picture
Migs picture picture picture


Timmo uk01 Nov 2010 2:00 a.m. PST

I asked this a while ago:
TMP link

I just buffed mine up as TGA suggested but using a toothbrush and soapy water and then gloss varnished asap so the metal couldn't tarnish. Its dead quick and easy to do and looks right to me.

I thought it would difficult to get a convincing look but its one of those things (just for once) where the easy way is as good as the more complex options, IMHO.

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