Tony Hipp of Alclad has provided us with an FAQ list of most of the frequently asked questions about Alclad II lacquers, yet another fine way to achieve a natural metal finish on your model aircraft. Below, you'll also find images of some models finished in Alclad, and the results are quite stunning! -Ed.
Shades (regular ones)
D-Pale Burnt Metal (Gold Titanium)
Shades (high shine)
E-Highly Polished Aluminium
Must you use a primer?
Yes, for the regular shades use an acrylic primer (*). For Highly Polished Aluminium use gloss black ACRYLIC. For Chrome use gloss black ENAMEL. (*) Grey or white auto primer is fine, or Aeromaster, Floquil acrylic or Tamiya spray primer.
Why do you need primer?
The acrylic primer protects the plastic from the solvents- frequently there are microscopic weaknesses in injected plastic-the solvents will ‘craze’ these areas.
Chrome/Highly Polished Aluminium
High shine finishes work best over black as this traps most of the light falling on it. The Chrome shade will only produce a robust chrome finish when applied over a dark gloss enamel base coat.
Highly Polished Aluminium will produce best results when applied over gloss black acrylic-auto paint or model acrylics e.g Tamiya gloss black.
Can you hand paint Alclad II?
How do you spray it?
Low pressure 12-15 psi, use a fairly narrow spray width, get in close 2-3".
What do you clean up with?
Lacquer thinners or aerosol airbrush cleaner.
Do you need to thin Alclad II?
No, if you try to you will spoil the balance of the ingredients.
How soon is it dry?
Can you mask over it?
Yes,about 10 minutes after spraying.
Do you need to varnish/seal before or after putting decals on?
Chrome and Highly Polished Aluminum NO
Regular shades yes.
Do you need to buff/polish Chrome and Highly Polished Aluminium?
No-get your undercoat smooth and shiny, the lacquer will do the rest.
Can you polish it?
The regular shades can be made shinier using Micromesh or
Blue Magic polishing paste.
Can you paint over it?
Chrome/Highly Polished Aluminium-not advisable. All the regular shades yes-you can use acrylics or enamels.
Will the Chrome come off in your hands?
Can you mix the shades together?
Yes, except Chrome and Highly Polished Aluminum.
Can you tint the shades?
The regular shades can be tinted with small amounts of enamels or auto acrylics-only tint enough for immediate use.
How long is Alclad II’s shelf life?
4-6 years-DO THE LID UP PROPERLY.
Is Alclad II Lacquer connected with the old stuff?
How well does it cover?
1 bottle will be more than enough for a 1/48th B-17.
Can you use aluminum polishing powder on it?
What is the secret to getting a good finish?
Do a good job with the primer. Now is the time to look for filling marks or errors in building examine the quality of the primed surfaces- if you need to give a light rub down with 1000 Grade wet and dry paper. If there are sinks or other blemishes on the model you can mask off the affected panel, build up a couple of coats of primer and sand this level. When you prime for the Chrome shade make sure, that when dry, you wipe the gloss black enamel to remove any finger marks-these will show up in chrome.
Alclad II Lacquers
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Photos and text © by Tony Hipp of Alclad