After I have done couple of motorcycle models I learned something about chrome. I tried a lot of paints and combinations, including Molotow, Gunze SM06 and SM08, Testors, Tamiya enamel, Vallejo Metal Color, Alclad and AK Extreme Metal paints. Also I tried a lot of different paints as base color, including Mr Color, Humbrol enamel, 2K auto paint, Tamiya acrylic, etc. And finally I came to my own combination.
This short article is about achieving perfect chrome reflection on scale model surface.
Every picture has comment inside and I hope it helps to get idea of every step.
However I would like to highlight one very important point – getting perfect gloss mirror-shine black base is a key for success. It is not much fun to sand and polish models but it is the only way.
Also it is very important to use enamel base paint for this process, because Kosutte Powder and Alclad Chrome sticks much better to enamel paint. My preference is Alclad Gloss Black Base, because it is easy to apply and to polish.
You can skip Kosutte powder and still get very good result – about 90-95% reflection is also very impressive. I use plastic spoons for all tests and recommend you the same. After many tests my colleagues can’t tell which spoons are from metal and which from plastic. So I can sell those back in the market as polished steel spoons 😀
Two more important comments. Surface does not like clear coat. And I try to avoid decals on chromed surfaces. If you need to clear-coat it , then use Tamiya acylic X22 thinned with Mr Leveling Thinner 1:2.
Good news is that you still can use masking tape. However I always reduce masking tape’s glue by putting given piece of tape on my arms on and off 2-3 times.
And when I apply decals, then I trim it avoid silvering and apply very accurately, by using special setting solutions only on top of the decal.
Good luck and let me know how it goes with your experiments and if you need any more help.
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.