Author Topic: Cheap Chrome  (Read 1258 times)

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David Bogard

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Cheap Chrome
« on: October 04, 2019, 10:53:39 AM »
We all know that Chrome is a difficult thing to do. Alclad Chrome came to us modelers and as long as you were patient, were good with an airbrush, and didn't handle the thing much afterwards, you could get a nice chrome finish. Now Molotow has jumped up front as the new hot "go to" chrome. It's even more expensive than Alclad and apparently you have to buy the markers and bust them apart to put the miracle juice in your airbrush. Costly, fiddly, expensive. Sure, you can end up with nice chrome effects with some practice with your airbrush.

How about a cheap and decent alternative? I have had better than expected results with this paint. It is cheap because this can has done quite a bit and I think it will last me a long time. Don't laugh when I show it to you.

That's right. A big ole rattle can from Home Depot (or probably just about any big box or automotive store) So how does it look on our model parts after a little squirt? Well, I used it a lot on my recent Schwinn Stingray and never mentioned what I was using. Nobody jumped my bones about it! The rims, handle bars and all gears and sprockets were all shot with this big ole rattle can of Rustoleum.

As I am moving though my '34 Ford pickup build, I decided I wanted to use one of the white plastic grilles  in the kit (not the chromed one) but thought it would also look pretty good if it was chromed a little bit. Here was my process. I took the grille and shell and I sanded the parts in order to have a nice fit for the grille insert. Next, I shot the grille and shell with Tamiya primer and Tamiya gloss black, waiting about 20 minutes between the paints. After another 20 minutes or so, I shot the grille insert with the Rustoleum chrome. It dries quickly (although leaving overnight is best) enough that I could drop it into the shell a half hour later or so just to take a couple of shots of it for you.

Better lighting would produce a better picture but you at least get the idea. Is it the "best chrome ever!". No. Is it better than Molotow or Alclad? Probably not. Is it super cheap, super easy and pretty darn convincing? Yes, Yes and Yes!

So all you "I wish I could just spray some chrome from a rattle can for super cheap" guys out there, until something better comes along, THIS is my quick and easy chrome paint. I have used it (as evidenced by my photos) and I will use it more and more in the future. I will also update you on further techniques with this paint. I will try coating with various clears and trying a wash or two; things like that.

You want a Ferrari or a Lamborghini; stick with your expensive and somewhat tedious Alclad and Molotow through your airbrush. You want a GMC Yukon Denali; get you a can of this Rustoleum!
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Marty W

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Re: Cheap Chrome
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2019, 11:11:50 AM »
Thanks for the tip! I am always on the lookout for a quick and easy chrome representation.

Brian Conn

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Re: Cheap Chrome
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2019, 11:05:35 PM »
...I might want to add that if your wanting to do Gold Anodized appearing valve covers , air cleaner covers , etc. etc. try using RUST-OLEUM Metallic everything as he described and instead of shooting Chrome shoot the Metallic Gold


Valve covers shot w/ RUST-OLEUM Metallic Gold, fuel tank  (behind grill and ahead of the engine ) shot w/ RUST-OLEUM Chrome ...kind of hard to see , but there is a reflection of the wheels and injector pump, take my word for it.
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Re: Cheap Chrome
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2019, 06:03:52 AM »
I have a can of this and have yet to use it.  Do you have to use the gloss black under it or will it work on any grey/white primer?
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