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Bungalow_Bill

Some Foil on a Starfighter: Completed

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Hi Everyone,

    A while back I started working on this Italerei Starfighter with grand hope of entering it in a local show.  The grand plan didn't come to fruition, but I hate having unfinished kits lying around.  Even if I know they are lost causes because I can't make my vision come to fruition. 

You all probably know this box shot:

261431-16253-98-pristine.jpg

 

Much of the plastic work is already done, but I started the foil yesterday:

110254.jpg

 

I always start with the hardest areas to foil.  This is usually the cowling of a radial-engined aircraft, or the wing roots.  Being my first jet to be foiled, I automatically assumed the inlets to the engine would be the most difficult.  My decision as to where to start was made easier by the fact that these inlets need to be partially covered before being attached to the fuselage is they were to look correct.

 

I like foil.  It's not difficult, it's inexpensive, and it looks fantastic in real light.  On the down side, it's capricious like a puppy.   Just when you think it's going your way, it tears, wrinkles, or gets a tiny mote of dust in it ruining your work. 

 

Thank you for looking!

 

Gaz

 

Edited by Bungalow_Bill
Completion

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41 minutes ago, 71chally said:

Very nice, what foil do you use?

The cheapest, thinnest bargain brand you can find. 

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I have been using foil to duplicate a natural metal finish for years. I tried kitchen foil, but I could never get the adhesive to be really smooth. I only use Bare Metal Foil. The adhesive is activated by rubbing the foil. The harder the foil is rubbed, the more it sticks. I use a paper blending stick to burnish the foil. The burnishing stick removes all the wrinkles. I am now working on a 1/48 Monogram B-29 that will be finished in BMF. So far I have used eight sheets of BMF.

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Johnny,

    I started foiling the Monogram B-29 last year-or so.  Unfortunately, I wasn't happy with how the canopy turned out and I took another road that left the B-29 sitting in an unfinished condition.  I had to use some BMF on the gun barbettes after I reshaped them.  BMF here is $14 a sheet.   But using a $2 dollar roll of foil and a $5  bottle of Microscale Metal Foil Adhesive, I have covered three (3) 1/48 scale single-seat fighters and much of the aforementioned B-29 with more than half the roll of foil and more than half of the bottle of Microscale Metal Foil Adhesive remain.   And although the BMF stretched further than I could get the kitchen foil, it didn't burnish down as smoothly.  Sortta pebbly.

 

I use coffee stirrers, q-tips, and toothpicks to burnish the foil down.

 

Here is my short update:

I covered the bare minimum required to allow me to get the intakes on.  Foil does not like to be masked.  Sometimes when you want to remove a piece, it will fight you until you give in and use sandpaper.  Other times, the slightest brush will lift a corner.  My main objective always is to leave as few places for a lift as possible.

123238.jpg

The process can make the adjacent bare plastic a little dirty.

 

From above.  The Pilot is AM resin but I can't remember by whom.

135143.jpg

 

The pilot is posed with his head thrust back against the headrest.  I intend to mount the jet in a climbing position.

135159.jpg

 

 

The underside.  Deep louvres like those under the red arrows provide another challenge.

135237.jpg

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Gaz

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An interesting build. 

Always been interested in the NMF process, specifically using foil and an adhesive such as Microscale's. 

Do you apply the adhesive to the pre-trimmed foil or to the model panel?

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Here is my F-104 and F-86 in BMF:

hs0uMkq.jpg?3

 

03AgJcd.jpg

 

Here is one of the wings of the B-29:

IdISG8j.jpg

 

Regarding BMF, you need to strongly burnish it to remove the pebble texture. The only thing that works is a paper burnishing stick. You can find the sticks at craft stores in the colored pencil section. The burnishing sticks are very soft so you can put a lot of pressure on the BMF. After I burnish the foil I lightly brush the foil, only once, with 0000 steel wool. The steel wool adds a subtle grain to the foil. Have you tried buying BMF from the manufacture? I find that they have the lowest price (bare-metal.com).

 

Edited by Johnny_K

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Here is an example of paper blending sticks (paper stumps).

v2mlJcC.jpg?1

 

Q-tips are great tools for initially applying BMF, but nothing works better than paper blending sticks for burnishing BMF. The harder you burnish the smoother the foil becomes.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bigdave22014 said:

An interesting build. 

Always been interested in the NMF process, specifically using foil and an adhesive such as Microscale's. 

Do you apply the adhesive to the pre-trimmed foil or to the model panel?

Dave,

     You paint the dull side of the foil with the cement and give it a few minutes to dry and go misty-looking.  Then you lay the untrimmed piece over the panel you want to cover.  Once burnished down, then you trim the excess foil away from the panel.  A light oil on your blade helps to avoid tearing the foil.

 

Gaz

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Johnny,

    Those are some very handsome looking models.  The cost of BMF here (14$ a sheet) makes using it for anything but the most difficult of panels cost prohibitive.  I'd be more likely to give up NMF models altogether if kitchen foil didn't work so well.

 

Gaz

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2 hours ago, Bungalow_Bill said:

Dave,

     You paint the dull side of the foil with the cement and give it a few minutes to dry and go misty-looking.  Then you lay the untrimmed piece over the panel you want to cover.  Once burnished down, then you trim the excess foil away from the panel.  A light oil on your blade helps to avoid tearing the foil.

 

Gaz

Gaz,

 

I have a few questions regarding your foiling system. What adhesive do you use? Microscale? What kind of brush do you use? I've always had difficulty getting the adhesive to go down really smooth. If I could master using kitchen foil I would abandon BMF.

 

John

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Hi John,

     Yes, I use the Microscale adhesive.  I use a flat brush about 1/2 inch wide that looks like natural hair.  Soft, of course.    There are two things to look for as you spread the adhesive.  One is water tension.  If it looks beady, you have to keep smoothing it until it flattens.  The other is thickness.  If it is too thick you can thin it with a little tap water.  I've thinned the same bottle twice in the last two years and it still works the same.

 

I keep my brush sitting in a cup of water.   Eventually it will start to curl like a seal's flipper.  You can clean it with rubbing alcohol to get it into better shape but you'll never get it clean enough for normal painting.

 

Gaz

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I always use 2000 grit polishing cloth first before i use the adhesive to get my grain. I just rotate the foil to change the direction with different panels.  I use the microscale adhesive and standard cheap kitchen foil. I wet the brush throughout the process and as Bungalow says the brush will never be good for painting. So its a dedicated brush. For burnishing i use two things the first is an old fashioned cardboard straw ( found in baking aisles at craft stores theyre used for cakepops ) they collapse and conform to the curves of an aircraft really good. The 2nd is standard paper kitchen towels they are smooth enough to help polish the foil. I have a few builds in the RFI section if you look for them. 

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good luck BB , it will look awesome when done. you could try small pieces of BMF around the real hard bits as it is slightly more resilient to tearing than kitchen foil.

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BB,

I m sure that your plane will look great when finished. Nothing more beautiful that real metal on an F-104.

 

John

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Hello chaps

 

Cracking work there and interesting discussion.

 

Im keen to try this technique at some point in the future. Can someone tell me, do you put the Decals straight onto the foil and how well do they stick? Also are they sealed in with a varnish or left 'uncovered'?

 

 Thanks 

 

James

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Hello franky boy... ive done a number of models with foil. I use future as a clearcoat. With my kits once the clear coat is on everything like decals go on normally. With future i get a little white film with the micro set/sol but it goes away when i put the second clearcoat on. Hope this helps

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle
Added

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Just bear in mind that every coat of clear you use over the aluminum will dissipate the sheen of the metal.

So, if you want a worn appearance you would alternate different costs of clear finishes.  For instance, working outward from the foil I would start with Future, then switch to a lacquer matte, then back to Future, and so on until the desired amount of oxidized appearance is reached.

Conversely, if you want the most brilliant appearance, you would polish the foil to a brighter sheen, then give it a single coat of Future, then a spot coat over the decals only to seal them.

 

Gaz

Edited by Bungalow_Bill
typo

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I have been putting decals directly onto the foil without using Future. I have had mixed results regarding silvering if the carrier film. See the following photo for an example. The carrier film of the letters USAF is very noticeable on the right wing. Major bummer. I have since started to cutout the individual letters of USAF, that way there is no carrier film to worry about.

 

TWoyvj0.jpg?2

 

 

 

You need to be carful when applying Microsol to Bare Metal Foil. If too much is applied, or if it is rubbed to aggressively, it will darken the foil. Look at the darkened BMF above and below the national symbol on the fuselage.  Since the P-51 was weathered, the discolored panels looked okay. If the plane was not weathered the discolored panels would have been a disaster!  I have since used the Microsol to discolor the BMF on jet plane fuselages in areas that would become discolored from the heat of the jet engines.

 

AU9ryiE.jpg?1

 

I am going to try using Future under the decals on my next BMF project. I can always remove the Future with Windex after the decals are applied. 

 

 

 

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This foiling is just so impressive... Very well done, that Starfighter will be fantastic. I am really impressed. :)

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4 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I like the tip for weathering foil with microsol ... thanks

I use a Q-tip. I dip the Q-tip into the Microsol and then I rub the BMF. The weathering effect is not immediate. The more the foil is rubbed, the darker it gets. However, the darkening is not reversible and it cannot be removed.

 

 

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Its probably because microsol has some ratio of Vinegar i think judging by smell. Vinegar is an acid and would chemically stain the metal. So again thanks for the tip 👍.

    Any chemical experts out here know if theres something similar i could use to avhieve the blueing effect you see on and around jet exhausts ?  

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