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Oh, and I’m building this...as George Carlin said, I need a place for my stuff!
OdiWan72 Thank you! Detail is the whole point, right?
The Nambu grips were the first time I've really tried "wood". It was not that hard actually...I basically scratched the heck out of it to create some "grain" using scriber/knife/steel brush, etc. I sprayed it brown (rust actually, it was on hand), then added layers of some other brown streaks with cheapo craft paint I stole from the kids. I also used both black and brown shoe polish to build up some layers, scratching and messing it up along the way. I didn't expect it to be so successful honestly. I'm getting better at real wood, so probably won't practice this much.
The metal on the mortar fin, flash hiders, and some other stuff is my super top secret. In digging for ways to paint over patches in Denix/metal parts I came across "cold galvanizing" spray paint. Depending on the brand, it's up to 90$ zinc. Well zinc blackens with Aluminum Black (AB) etc, so...yeah it works! In short, I prime with CRC cold galvanizing spray bomb and dunk it in Birchwood Casey (there are some other brands of this type of paint of course). It's SO COOL to watch plastic parts suddenly take on this black patina! I use this on almost every project - The Cara Dune blaster is all paint using this method.
I've played with this a lot, and found a lot of different effects you can get. First of all, the paint is a trip - it's a bit soft at first, but hardens up and adheres well. I like to bake it at 200F for 15-20 minutes if the parts can take it, it seems to harden it up, or at least speed the cure. Looks like grey primer, but if you polish it up well with a paper towel it starts to turn silver! You can polish before or after blackening.
Since it has such a high metal content, you can just dunk parts in Aluminum Black, or apply with cotton balls, q-tips, brushes, whatever. Take care with little creases, surface tension tends to keep the fluid out of them. I also decanted some into a bottle so I can do brush touch ups, or other weathering fiddles. You can add paint, blacken again, etc to get various looks. You can also dilute and/or re-use the blackening solution for subtler/slower blackening.
Layering is the key for me. I somehow decided that a layer of clear shoe polish would be good for building up layered paint, protecting the base coats, which turned out to be correct. That helps me get to the base coat color (usually silver/something) without going all the way to the plastic.
If I remember correctly , the Muppet DL-44 flash hider was done like this:
If you look closely on the bottom you can see sort of a darker scar/thingie. That's the dark resin showing through, went a little far with the steel wool, but I liked the overall look and nervous to try to touch up that spot!
- - Spray bomb "alumunim" (several coats). I wanted this heavy so I wouldn't polish all the way through when messing with the zinc paint.
- - Kiwi wax, applied per directions
- - CRC Zinc-it (several coats)
- -Polish with paper towels
- -Birchwood Casey Aluminum black dunk
- -More paper towel polish, and #0000 steel wood. I hold the flash hider with the wool and rotate it carefully. This reveals some paint underneath and creates the "lathe marks". You could do brushed metal etc with steel wool.
- -More AB to darken a bit more if I remember, then more "polishing"
- -Final coat of Kiwi wax
The mortar fin on the DL-21 was different - Here it was almost all layering of zinc paint and blackening solutions. I dunked, polished, scratched, streaked/dabbed/flicked with various blackening fluids and a brush or q-tip, brushed on splotches of zinc paint, etc. I just kept fiddling with it and looking at references until I thought it looked authentic. Oh, and this one has some graphite and "chrome" fingernail powder rubbed on as well. Sometimes they act as kind of a resist to the blackening fluids, which gets interesting.
Cara Dune's blaster is mostly straight up CRC dunked in AB. The flash hider was done pretty much like the DL-44, paying attention to keep a lot of the black in the creases/corners.
I dunno, I just fiddle a lot with materials, the parts make themselves I think. I hope some of this is helpful to you folks!
Believe it or not, but I used the Zinc-spray with Alumablack several times before myself...but never with these great results.
Thanks for the tutorial!!!
I’ve looked into electroplating as well but I haven’t tried it yet. Would be interested in following your progress on that as there are quite a few smaller parts that I would like to plate with copper and then nickel. I have heard of the graphite technique but read somewhere that there are better results with mixing the paint with atomized (powdered) aluminum. I purchased some myself but haven’t had time to test.You're welcome, hope people find it useful! I'm actually not too surprised, I kind of assumed that I'm not the first person to think of this. Maybe different brands don't work as well? There's a lot to explore here, I've been thinking about messing with electro plating...apparently you can make graphite rich paint that works for this.
I’ve looked into electroplating as well but I haven’t tried it yet. Would be interested in following your progress on that as there are quite a few smaller parts that I would like to plate with copper and then nickel. I have heard of the graphite technique but read somewhere that there are better results with mixing the paint with atomized (powdered) aluminum. I purchased some myself but haven’t had time to test.
Absolutely! I work with enough terrible stuff, always careful. My mom (a doctor) always gives me dirty looks when I show off some new bottle of horror that I've picked up. I bought the alu dust to see if it would work like graphite or nail powders, rubbed into various finishes. It does nothing lol. I have zinc too. And 32oz aluminum black that terrified my mother!Be careful when using aluminum powder...ALWAYS wear a respirator. This stuff messes up your lungs and will give you long term health issues
Have you tried mixing it in the paint? You can brush it on and sand with 400 grit sandpaper in between coats.Absolutely! I work with enough terrible stuff, always careful. My mom (a doctor) always gives me dirty looks when I show off some new bottle of horror that I've picked up. I bought the alu dust to see if it would work like graphite or nail powders, rubbed into various finishes. It does nothing lol. I have zinc too. And 32oz aluminum black that terrified my mother!
I have not tried mixing it in the paint but I have mixed the aluminum powder into resin to cold cast a part and when buffing the finished part the aluminum shines through nicely. I would imagine if you were going to try to electroplate a printed part, the aluminum in the paint would yield the same result and act as a conductor for the process of bonding the copper to the part. You can then bond nickel to the copper. I have not had the time to try it out yet. Let's see who tackles it first. My money is on you.I haven't, I kind of tossed it in a drawer after fiddling for 10 minutes. Sounds worth a try! Did you get some good results?