Skillbuilding – Bare-Metal Foil

I’m a model railroader, that’s the hobby of construction that gets me going and in which my core interest lies.  But, growing up as a child and into my teenage years, I built a lot (hundreds) of Revell, Monogram, AMC and other brands of scale model kits.  Cars, planes, jets, ships, space ships, all manner of models.  Over the years, most have been consigned to the dustbin as they’ve been damaged by house moves, cats, and the passage of time on kits that were never gloss coated or sealed to protect the paint and decals.  I learned a lot of skills building these kits though, many of which are transferable to and have been transferred to my model railroading.  Recently, I’ve been working on the first plastic kit model that isn’t a railroad car or structure that I’ve bought in the past 15 years.  I honestly don’t think I’ve bought a plastic kit since I was on my first co-op work term from university in the summer of 2000.  I’m working on a model of a Boeing 737-200, for a Canadian airline with a really cool one-off promotional paint scheme. I’ll probably post about it at some point when it’s done, but so far so good on the build (its been a slow burn project, bought the decal set in March 2015, eventually picked up the kit, and started building it a couple of months ago between railroad projects).  As part of the project though, I wanted to learn a new technique or skill.  I chose using Bare-Metal Foil to create chrome/silver parts.  There isn’t a lot on a 1/144 scale airliner, but enough to see if I can do it to good effect, and practice some technique.  This isn’t something I’ll need a lot of for model railroading, but, it’s a new skill.

So, after work today I dutifully went off to one of the Hobby Shops that is still in operation in Toronto, Wheels and Wings Hobbies, as the name implies, it’s not a model railroad store.  But, they are a full on hobby shop, which means that for a short walk from the Subway, I can get tools, paints, supplies, and talk general techniques.  I don’t think they get a lot of model railroad business from people like me, and I’m sure my small paint purchases drive them up the wall as I’m not the customer type whose going to keep them in business, but I am nevertheless, a customer!!

IMGP6658Bare-Metal Foil and the wings, tail planes, and one engine cowling for a Boeing 737-200 model in 1/144th scale.  Foil has been applied to the leading edges of the tail planes, and one wing, and I’ve been playing with learning to apply to the complex shape of the engine cowl.  Even as a first attempt though, the look is far better than any I’d achieved before with paint.

The foil comes in a number of colours.  The Real Copper would potentially be quite useful for modellers of British Steam (or at least of the Great Western Railway) to get the copper capped look.  I’m certainly going to think of ways to use it in a model railroad setting now that I’ve experimented on a more traditional use of it.  Now, back to the workbench to keep on applying foil to the engine cowls until I get a nice smooth application around those fiddly curves!

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