C-THREE-PO'S

Mulbin

New Member
These are outstanding! One question, why the silver necks? I've seen quite a few replicas with a silver neck, but they all seem to be gold in the films with the exception of some scenes in New Hope where the gold plating has flaked off the prop in places exposing silver (the neck was one of the few real metal parts, along with the upper arms). Is the silver neck trend to reflect the new hope look, even though it was a prop fault? Don't get me wrong, I really like it and will jump on any canon reason to do mine in silver!

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GEEK1138

Sr Member
Hmmm... my understanding is that the necks are always silver, but of course I could easily be wrong. Easy enough to fix though if needs be. I have a Kotobukiya model that I used for reference and the neck on that is silver so I probably just copied that
 

Mulbin

New Member
Hmmm... my understanding is that the necks are always silver, but of course I could easily be wrong. Easy enough to fix though if needs be. I have a Kotobukiya model that I used for reference and the neck on that is silver so I probably just copied that
Looks to be gold in all three trilogies. Really hoping someone has an original example in silver though as it does look very cool. As an aside, I believe there are a couple of scenes in new hope where he has silver shoulder rings (the ring part, not the bell) which also looks cool. I think it’s the opening scene.

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Mulbin

New Member
For your next build (c'mon, 4 droids isn't enough ;) ) here's the Tantive V suit with the silver shoulder rings, my personal favourite as I love a bit of contrast (hence my keen interest in silver necks!).

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On another subject entirely, have you spotted that his eye lights are oriented differently in various parts or the trilogy? Give quite a different feel to his expression, would be a nice touch if you want to go crazy authentic.
 

GEEK1138

Sr Member
Well I reckon you're right...the neck should be gold. I imagine the eye lights may appear in different rotation from scene to scene as per most droid continuity...but yeah, it could be used to create a subtle change in his expression
 

Hammer3246

Sr Member
So I plan to start chroming soon and from what I've gathered so far is follows.

Finish and Prime
Basecoat (I'm going with a gloss black)
Clearcoat
Chrome
Clearcoat with tint

Is this correct?
 

GEEK1138

Sr Member
So I plan to start chroming soon and from what I've gathered so far is follows.

Finish and Prime
Basecoat (I'm going with a gloss black)
Clearcoat
Chrome
Clearcoat with tint

Is this correct?
OK so there's no Clearcoat between Basecoat and chrome. U want the gloss black base coat to be as hi gloss and perfect as u can get it...this is where the reflectivity in the chrome comes from, i.e. dull base coat=dull chrome. The base coat needs to cure fully before chroming...either baked for a coupla hours or left for a coupla days. What are u chroming 3d printed PLA?
 

Hammer3246

Sr Member
OK so there's no Clearcoat between Basecoat and chrome. U want the gloss black base coat to be as hi gloss and perfect as u can get it...this is where the reflectivity in the chrome comes from, i.e. dull base coat=dull chrome. The base coat needs to cure fully before chroming...either baked for a coupla hours or left for a coupla days. What are u chroming 3d printed PLA?
Yep, PLA+.

If I don't completely get rid of print lines in some of the more difficult areas do they look real obvious through the chroming? I guess what I'm asking is shine more important than texture?

Thanks for your help.
 
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modelcitizen

Sr Member
from what i understand, any print lines and other defects will be amplified and more obvious. get rid of the printlines and get the surface flawless as possible
 

GEEK1138

Sr Member
Yes any imperfections are gonna be more noticeable after chroming. I work my way up to at least 2000 grit wet n dry paper and then 'flat' the primer with 0000 wool before spraying the base coat
 

Lan Jenn

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A slight deviation from what was said about not clear coating the black base coat.

1. Base coat is never glossy. A "base coat" is always flat and must have a clear top coat applied over it. In single stage paints, there is no base coat. The gloss is in the color and it is not considered a base coat. Which kind are you using? That which is only mixed with reducer and requires a clear coat or that which has a hardener and does not require a clear coat?

2. Every chrome system I've seen strongly suggests that the black coat has a clear coat sprayed on top of it. Single stage paints do not have as high of a gloss as clear coats do. The clear adds depth and vibrance to the color.

3. Every chrome system I've seen also strongly suggests wet sanding and polishing to a very high gloss after the clear coat is applied to remove all sand marks and blemishes. A glass-like surface is required to have a blemish-free chrome. If you do not sand the top coat before applying chrome, there will be orange peel texture that the chrome will pick up.

After having said all of that, I have done chroming over black epoxy primer. This type of primer does not harden to a dull finish and the parts I was doing were small and only needed to have the appearance of machined aluminum. For a 3PO, I'd go all out and make it medal ceremony perfect, but that's just me.
 

Hammer3246

Sr Member
A slight deviation from what was said about not clear coating the black base coat.

1. Base coat is never glossy. A "base coat" is always flat and must have a clear top coat applied over it. In single stage paints, there is no base coat. The gloss is in the color and it is not considered a base coat. Which kind are you using? That which is only mixed with reducer and requires a clear coat or that which has a hardener and does not require a clear coat?

2. Every chrome system I've seen strongly suggests that the black coat has a clear coat sprayed on top of it. Single stage paints do not have as high of a gloss as clear coats do. The clear adds depth and vibrance to the color.

3. Every chrome system I've seen also strongly suggests wet sanding and polishing to a very high gloss after the clear coat is applied to remove all sand marks and blemishes. A glass-like surface is required to have a blemish-free chrome. If you do not sand the top coat before applying chrome, there will be orange peel texture that the chrome will pick up.

After having said all of that, I have done chroming over black epoxy primer. This type of primer does not harden to a dull finish and the parts I was doing were small and only needed to have the appearance of machined aluminum. For a 3PO, I'd go all out and make it medal ceremony perfect, but that's just me.

Thanks for the input!

The black the body shop sold me was just mixed with reducer, it is however quite glossy when applied. I'm not well versed in the autobody lingo so maybe I referred to basecoat in the wrong way. What I'm saying is that's what I was planning an using under the spray chrome and then clearcoat with tint on top of that.

So I'm assuming that I would get better results in the chroming if I go over black and a clear coat as opposed to just a gloss black paint? I'm not too concerned about a showroom finish as I plan to weather it some ANH style.
 

Lan Jenn

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for the input!

The black the body shop sold me was just mixed with reducer, it is however quite glossy when applied. I'm not well versed in the autobody lingo so maybe I referred to basecoat in the wrong way. What I'm saying is that's what I was planning an using under the spray chrome and then clearcoat with tint on top of that.

So I'm assuming that I would get better results in the chroming if I go over black and a clear coat as opposed to just a gloss black paint? I'm not too concerned about a showroom finish as I plan to weather it some ANH style.
If the shop only sold you reducer with the color, it's just a base coat. While it will appear glossy when sprayed, it will turn flat. Typically base coats are mixed 1:1 with reducer. They require a clear coat to give them gloss and to protect them from the elements.

I would also definitely do the entire process on a sample panel first to get yourself comfortable with it. :)
 

Hammer3246

Sr Member
If the shop only sold you reducer with the color, it's just a base coat. While it will appear glossy when sprayed, it will turn flat. Typically base coats are mixed 1:1 with reducer. They require a clear coat to give them gloss and to protect them from the elements.

I would also definitely do the entire process on a sample panel first to get yourself comfortable with it. :)

Sample panel for sure, and it was mixed 1:1 in house for me.
 

GEEK1138

Sr Member
Yes I think there is some confusion regarding naming the stages. Basecoat is what my first clearcoat is labelled... So yes you are right. Basecoat is the black/grey/white colour you paint the prop and then comes the clear/chrome/clear+tint. Sorry for any confusion.
I have never polished the first clearcoat layer before chroming so I can't comment on that stage but if you're spraying set up is decent then there should be no orange peel/flubs etc. I might give it a go though
 

Lan Jenn

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yes I think there is some confusion regarding naming the stages. Basecoat is what my first clearcoat is labelled... So yes you are right. Basecoat is the black/grey/white colour you paint the prop and then comes the clear/chrome/clear+tint. Sorry for any confusion.
I have never polished the first clearcoat layer before chroming so I can't comment on that stage but if you're spraying set up is decent then there should be no orange peel/flubs etc. I might give it a go though
Totally agree about orange peel IF it is sprayed right but even seasoned painters always get it. One trick is to add more reducer than the mixing ratios require. Additional time between coats is required to allow the solvents to flash but it will flatten the clear better. There are also flattening agents but with the garage type setup, there are other things that can ruin the finish (dust, etc).

I did paint this in a garage but I wet sanded and polished the clear. A nice flat, glass-like surface makes everything look better.

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