Help with chrome/gold paints
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Help with chrome/gold paints

Posted in Custom Workstation

Hi, I'm new in this Forum and, recently started to customize my first figures but, I have been looking for a gold paint that really shines. I tried gold leaf with terrible results and also several paints. Did anybody knows about a brand name that have that mirror like chrome finish? Thank you.

Posted by IC Customs International
on Monday, July 30, 2007
User Comments
TPCustomStudio -
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Metallics are such a pain in the arse. Citadel and Game Color make great golds, and the silver with transulant yellow works great too, pick your poison cause everyone is different.
cowboyink -
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
you can use a silver paint with a translucent yellow over it for gold
IC Customs International -
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
WOW!!! Thank you all for the information. I'll try some of the hints and let you know the results. Here are the pictures of before and after my work with Gold leaf Catastrophic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fert666 -
Monday, July 30, 2007
Hi, I'm using citadel colour from games workshop. They have a lot of different metal colours like burnished gold, brazen brass, chainmail and many more...they look very good...paint/prime the parts you want in a metal look with black groundcolour and they'll be look very real and shiny...hope that helps
greymonk -
Monday, July 30, 2007

Most of the actual mirror-like metallics are airbrush paints. Let me first explain how they work and then you can decide if it's what you are after.

Several high end airbrush paint companies have created a "paint" that is really tiny (microscopic if you will) geometric shapes made from the various metals - Gold, Copper, Silver, Chrome, black chrome (a sort of really shiny gun metal look) and various other miscellaneous metallic colors. now these tiny little metal buggers are highly faceted so that there are numerous sides, I think anywhere from 50 - 100 sides on each tiny piece. These metal particles are then suspended in a clear laquer that gets sprayed out of the air brush. What then happens is each particle sticks to the surface and when in mass quantities, what you see are the various faces of each tiny particle shining back at you. The end result is a near flawless chromey shiny metallic finish. When this is sprayed over a gloss black basecoat it really shows off. (Color changing paints work the same way but a certain percentage of the sides will ahve one type of metallic color on it and so on I.e. Purple/green/red color changing paint).

Now for the bad news: These paints do NOT come in acrylic last time I checked and the laquer they come in, will never cure properly on the soft plastic of most action figures. This means that you'll have "tacky" or "Sticky" figures forever. They are also a bear to clean up after but cleanup is a small price to pay for cool airbrush paints. I have about $2,000 in high end airbrush paints that I can't use on figures, I have ALL of the color changing paints, all of the glow in the dark paints (red, yellow, green (two kinds), blue (two shades), orange, purple) and used to have all the clear glow paints that look completely transparent but under a black light or a UV light will glow like flourescent glow - those came in all the cool colors too. But alas, they are not acrylics and wold cause much grief when doing figure modding. Oh I should also mention that these paints are NOT CHEAP!! 7 years ago I was paying roughtly $50 US for a 2 ounce bottle of each. I haven't checked recently but my guess is that since I don't see many people using them on here, chances are they have not managed to get past the laquer barrier on these paints.

Now Humbrol (there are two dots over the U...heh) has paints that you paint on and can buff up with a q-tip or soft cloth, however again, these are not acrylics and would likely be bad juju on an action figure.

there is a company that makes nice matallics that come on a wax based delivery system, and the metallics look very nice, but this stuff is quite messy so you would want to do lots of masking your figure, and while it requires paint thinner to clean up a brush, it's mostly just to cut the wax carrier for the metal. You will also want to spray this with a nice clear coat because the stuff never actually dries (it's wax!) but when it's really thin and covered in clear coat it will stay and handle some minor touching. those run about $5-$10 for a very small (a little goes a long way!) container. you can get straight metallics like this at most Michaels or AC Moore stores, or you can find a product called "Dragonscale" at miniature painting shops - "Dragonscale" uses the same delivery system but comes in a rainbow of colors and all the "pots" are connected in a long tube sort of resembling a roll of quarters. This stuff is gorgeous and worth every penny.

Another thing you can try is called cold casting. You can obtain some very very tiny metal powder from a science supply house or chemistry lab, and mix it with clear 5 minute EPOXY. you then "paint" that onto the area you want metal. after you've done that, sprinkle a bit over the wet EPOXY and wait til it cures, then shake off the excess. Now, you will be able to take a very very fine (ultra fine) steel wool and "polish" the metal that is now embedded in the EPOXY. this will shine up just like metal (because it is metal!) and it will look just like solid metal. This is how baby shoes are "Bronzed".

Finally, you can electroplate it. You can obtain a spray paint that is electrically conductive (this will cost you about $40 for a can about the size of a Krylon can). Wear mask because this stuff is sure to have aluminum and lead particles in it. Once it dries, you can then chrome, silver, gold etc. plate the plastic. This is a long process and expensive to set up initially but it is how figure pieces are "Chromed". Now, this is a toxic process and because of that you'll notice you see far far fewer chromed plastic pieces now a days.

So all that aside, because it is so difficult to obtain that real metal look you seek, most people are quite forgiving when they see a figure that can only get "close" to that look. I'd rather see you use citidel gold than breath in lead fumes trying to elecroplate a plastic piece.

Another hint about using metallic paints: metallic paints do contain metal particles, so if you have a really shiny smooth or glossy under coating the metallic paint will look more like metal when you put it on. So if you are doing a belt buckle with gold, sand it super smooth, paint it with a high gloss paint like black or clear, then after that has COMPLETELY DRIED paint over it with your metallic. You'll see a drastic difference compared to just painting on some metal paint - trust me.

hope this helps and best of luck!
Punstarr -
Monday, July 30, 2007
Shinier than the gold on this fig?

That's Vellejo Game Color #72055 if that's shiny enough for ya. It's called "Polished Gold". Hope that helps.
Gee_jays_Customs -
Monday, July 30, 2007
I've seen great results with rust-o-leum chrome paint/ metallic finish. I've seen it done on kits but it should work on figures as well, just watch out for joint rubs....hope that helps! and don't forget to prime it! ^_^

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