Best chrome

Hi all;

As Christmas approaches, I’m planning on building Italeri’s 1/32 CF-104D. My question to you enlightened painters is, what paint would give the best mirror finish? I’ve been considering using a refill for a Molotow marker, but I’ve heard that Alclad is good too. I’m looking to paint as mirror a finish as possible. Any recommendations?



I don’t know the answer, but I think this guy might:

I’ve watched a lot of his videos on metallic paint evaluations and he does a pretty good job with them.

Alclad is fantastic stuff. I put down a coat of mrsurfaver 1500 black and then buff it lightly. Then o spray the Alclad over it. They have a color called airframe aluminum that is supposedly very shiny. I just sprayed the interior of my me-262 with duraluminum last night

Here is how it looks on the base of my cockpit tub (this is duraliminim darkened with magnesium):

And the seat is straight duraluminum

Airframe aluminum is two shades shiner than duraluminum. If you Google alclad there are lots of pictures with their different shades side by side

Their Chrome is likely what you are after or maybe polished aluminum


That’s awesome! Can you polish Alclad paints with a polishing compound?

I don’t believe so but I also don’t think you’ll need too, they go on very smooth, so much so you don’t need a clear coat. In fact future dulls them!

I also did the innards of the Me-262 engine with it. Fan blades are straight duraluminum the nozzle and intake cone are duralumin darkened even more with magnesium to simulate heat darkened metal

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One further note, the only “gotcha” with alclad is to make sure there are absolutely no scratches from sanding, sink marks, or surface blemishes especially with the shiniest finished, they make flaws pop right out

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Our club members like to use Tamiya Gloss Black as the base coat for Alcad.

I haven’t experimented too much, though glossier is likely better! Alclad also sells their own primer but I have no ide how it works

Seen a few people online using Alclad and results do look good. Am I right in thinking they’re airbrush ready from the bottle and that Tamiya airbrush cleaner will deal with cleaning after?

Yes and yes, no thinning required, they spray really nice at around 15 PSI, and normal lacquer thinner (so I’m assuming Tamiya airbrush cleaner) will clean them up.

Being metallic though I usually do a very through cleaning to get all metallic particles out. But I can’t recommend them enough. Only metallic I’ve ever been super happy with

Thanks Mead. Think I will look out and pick some up.

No problem.

They are a bit pricey but don’t be scared off by the price tag, they are quite large, 30 ml I believe

My worry is that the oils on my fingers will change the color causing any fingerprints to show over time. It could be I am overly cautious about how I could screw up a paint job.

My LHS carries the full line but never tried them.
My concern is what exactly you’re supposed to clean the airbrush with after.
People talk about lacquer thinner, but what exactly is that? Turpentine or something else entirely? Is it called something different in the UK?
The only thing DIY stores sell here is turps, cellulose thinners or methylated spirits.

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I used Tamiya airbrush cleaner after spraying Alclad, and it worked just fine. But note that it is nasty stuff and you shouldn’t even go near it without direct fume extraction or a P100 chemical respirator.

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Cellulose thinners is the same as lacquer. Alclad sell there own airbrush cleaner too, but cellulose thinner from Halfords will do the job at a fraction of the price, but it’s powerful stuff!

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I use hardware store lacquer thinner to clean alclad. Only thing I have to do is make sure you soak everything and make sure every metallic flake is gone

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As everybody noted, cellulose thinners and lacquer thinners are the same product. When the thinner was first being manufactured it was fermented from biomass (dry plant mass) commonly known as cellulose. Hence the name. Later it turned out to be much cheaper to produce the stuff from petroleum distillates and became known as lacquer thinner in North America and I don’t know where else.
Acetone and Toluene can also be used to clean your airbrush - they’re frequent components of lacquer/cellulose thinners. But they’re just as nasty health-wise.

Good luck,

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Thanks guys, that’s a big help knowing it’s the same stuff.
I tend to keep a bottle of cellulose as it seems to be the only thing that can shift Tamiya in the rare occasions I use it.

Don’t have anything that needs an nmf finish at the moment, but will give Alclad I try in the near future.