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FROM THE December 2010 ISSUE

Tarnished chrome

Q: I want to build a slightly weathered “beater” with old, dull chrome side trim.  The model’s trim isn’t plated, so I’ll have to foil it first. Will Testor’s Dullcote tone down Bare-Metal foil and make it look like old chrome?  

I wouldn’t want to go through all that work and have it look awful. Thanks.  

Rob Holcomb
via E-mail


Ken: Good thing you asked first, Rob.  

All Dullcote will do to the BMF is turn it a dark, flat gray that won’t look much like tarnished chrome.  

But you can still use foil for the look you’re after, by using foil and dulling it with pastels (chalk) instead of a spray-coat of flat.  

Back in the old days, modelers were limited to using artist’s-grade pastel sticks for weathering. That technique (which still works and is still popular) involves scraping the pastel stick with the side of a razor blade and applying the resulting powder to a model with a soft brush.  

Now there are several makes of weathering powder (available from Bragdon, Sierra Models, MIG, and Tamiya) that are ready-to-use and will produce great results. A quick Internet search will provide all the contact information you need.

If you don’t want to use foil, you can do what we suggested to Kevin a little earlier: Mask the chrome trim and spray it with an appropriate shade of Metalizer, which can also be suitably aged with a delicate dusting of weathering powder.

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