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Alclad Adventures

Metal finish
Some of the most eye catching models seen on display are the ones painted with a bare metal finish (BMF), also abbreviated to NMF (Natural Metal Finish).
USAAF fighters and bombers of WW2 are common subjects, and a BMF is also very popular amongst jet modellers.
Silver paint finishes have a reputation of being notoriously hard to achieve good results with, and this has served to put off many modellers from attempting one. Indeed, a comment often seen in the forums on Aeroscale goes along the lines of Ive tried a NMF before but never managed to finish one.
The idea behind this feature began with a PM from a member asking me for advice on natural metal finishes. Rather than replying in the private message domain I decided to turn the answer into a short article.
Over the last couple of years Ive built 5 aircraft with natural metal finishes. Each one has been finished using Alclad2 lacquer.
Alclads website can be found here.
In no way should this feature be considered, and neither is it intended to be, an attempt to be a definitive guide to producing a NMF.
What I hope to do is dispel some of the fear and trepidation that many people acquire at the very mention of modelling a BMF scheme aircraft, and to share what methods and techniques I have found work best for me.
When modelling a subject with a NMF one thing will be immediately apparent. Any seams, glue marks, scratches, sanding marks, finger prints will be magnified many times over when Alclad2 is applied. While many people will see this as a bad thing, I prefer to look at it the other way. I see this as a way of working on and improving basic building skills. If you can get your seams to look good with a NMF over the top of them then they are going to look good every time!
So, as this is an article aimed at explaining how I go about actually painting a model in a BMF, lets assume that all the seams are perfectly finished and sanded smooth. No glue marks remain and the model has been washed (I use Isopropyl alcohol) to remove any grease, oil and fingerprints.
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About Nigel Julian (lampie)

Restarted modelling in late 2005 after a break of over 20 years.Built a lot of armour as a teenager but now concentrating on WW2 aircraft. Some skills are coming straight back to me and Im learning new ones everytime I log on to this site it seems.