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Creating Realistic Metal Finishes


In order to reach the Holy Grail of modelling techniques, one has to find the right way to do things (as I see it). I tried this technique out when building 1/48 model aircraft engines and it seems to work really well.

The Process

1. Paint the "metal" part in the usual Gun-metal or matt black finish by airbrush if possible (but not necessary). Allow to dry completely.

2. Take a 2B or soft graphite artist pencil and scrape the point until you have a suitable "mound" of graphite in the tray/pallette.

3. Take a flat brush and collect a sizeable amount onto the brush, discarding the excess by tapping on a hard surface and "brush" the pre-painted and dried part with the brush. You will see that a "metal" (graphite) finish has been sucessfully reproduced.

4. If you want a "shinier" part, then use the pencil to create "scratches" on the item.

5. Be careful not to touch the part or you will remove the graphite. Worse still, you'll leave fingerprints.

Note: If you can get hold of some, then Fingerprint powder (aluminium powder) should be available from your local fiendly police station for free. Mine was so helpful, I have enough to finish a lifetime's work.

Easy! Cool eh? Happy modelling.

Martin Wilson U.K.

Copyright 2002 - Text by Martin Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

Have you tried this Technique? Or do you have questions about it? Talk about them in the Forum.

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