Author Topic: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars  (Read 17633 times)

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One of One-Sixty

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Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« on: September 10, 2010, 07:26:58 PM »
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What is a good paint to use for a stainless steel look and finish?  I have used Testors Model Master Metalizer Stainless Steel in spary can form with unsatisfactory results.

Would would you guys suggest?  I am repainting a bunch of old Amfleets and other passenger cars.
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ArtinCA

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 07:34:54 PM »
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I've been spraying mine with PollyScale Stainless Steel. The only thing I have not tried is the finish described in the May/June 08 N Scale Railroading.  :D He used Tamiya paints to simulate the finish on the Cal Zeph cars.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 07:42:11 PM by ArtinCA »
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DKS

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2010, 09:34:17 PM »
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Although I'm sure there are better ways of doing it, I've had good results using ordinary aluminum spray, then, when it's thoroughly dry, buffing the surface with a polishing cloth. It seems to give the finish a more solid-metal look than plain paint. Sorry I don't have any examples on hand to photograph; perhaps you could try it on some scrap material or an old junkbox car.

up1950s

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2010, 10:03:29 PM »
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It's the unsatisfactory results with decals on any silver that kills me .

CoalPorter

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2010, 10:38:22 PM »
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I think it is called Alcad. It is not a single paint but a series of steeps. Saw it in a magazine a few years ago. The most convincing plastic to metal transformation I have seen.  :)
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jmlaboda

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2010, 01:08:55 AM »
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"I think it is called Alcad. It is not a single paint but a series of steeps."

Its said to be really good, giving a very close finish to stainless steel but dulling a little when clear coated, which is a must since handling the cars will leave finger (or toe, depending on whether Dee and her friends handles the cars) prints.  The work and care required is worth the look that is rendered by this method and it doesn't require polishing like the Metalizer paints.

ArtinCA

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2010, 03:31:30 AM »
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The problem I found with Alclad is they use a black primer and the cars come out dark. Enough to look funny.

Here's a shot of a Bachmann Amfleet in Polly Scale Stainless...



I'm happy with the results so far.
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up1950s

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2010, 10:07:24 AM »
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The GM&O trailer was painted with Metalizer



Black then Alcad Chrome then Metalizer per Mikes S.... " whatever it is now " method .
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 03:55:10 PM by up1950s »

Sokramiketes

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2010, 11:44:23 AM »
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The problem I found with Alclad is they use a black primer and the cars come out dark. Enough to look funny.

Dark?  Could be one of two things, not enough Alclad on top of the black paint, or one of the darker metals was used.  I use Chrome for N scale.  BB prefers the Stainless Steel which is a bit darker.  But, it takes a few light coats either way to cover the black.  I use it to match Kato's newer finish.
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wazzou

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2010, 12:53:51 PM »
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Dark?  Could be one of two things, not enough Alclad on top of the black paint, or one of the darker metals was used.  I use Chrome for N scale.  BB prefers the Stainless Steel which is a bit darker.  But, it takes a few light coats either way to cover the black.  I use it to match Kato's newer finish.

With exceptional results I might add...

I see what's going on w/this Sokramiketes bit.  He's helpful, mellow and restrained w/o all of the Skibbe. ;D ;)
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One of One-Sixty

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2010, 07:36:18 PM »
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Thanks for the tips, I'll experiment some more, and hopefully can find something in a spray can.  Sadly no airbrush system yet :'(  :'(.
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ArtinCA

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2010, 07:47:44 PM »
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Dark?  Could be one of two things, not enough Alclad on top of the black paint, or one of the darker metals was used.  I use Chrome for N scale.  BB prefers the Stainless Steel which is a bit darker.  But, it takes a few light coats either way to cover the black.  I use it to match Kato's newer finish.

I used the Stainless, which may have been the case. I may go back and try it again, but with the Chrome and see how that works. I'm still happy with the PS SS right now. I used Metalizer a couple of times, but the residue was a pain.

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Shipsure

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2010, 11:13:45 PM »
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Back in the 70's when I was into doing aircraft models, we looked long and hard for a good metal finish.  We ended up buying a quart can of Aluminum Lacquer from the local auto paint supply store and had very good results with that. Being a lacquer you had to prime the surface first, but the final finish was very nice, the grain of the pigment was fine and decaling did not change the color of the surface below it. You can usually get this stuff in Touch Up quantities at Walley World or even auto paint stores.  Another good product is the aluminum paint that Pactra does for RC.  This paint is "hot" as well, but with light coats over a primed surface you will get a good finish as well.   I'm lucky here at MTL, we use a silver that is amazing.  It comes from a supplier in California and can be had in Quarts.  this stuff goes over raw styrene without any effect on the surface.  If you see any of our silver paint schemes you know what I mean.  I don't think it's a big secret and will find out who makes it and whre you can get some.  A few guys can pitch in and get a quart and split it up.  Makes a great surface primer if you are doing conversion work and want to see if there are any seams that need fixing...or to cover up different color plastics so you have a single tone to paint over.

Joe
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Sokramiketes

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2010, 11:55:21 PM »
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I think your secret California supplier produces the paint for Accuflex/Modelflex as well, so hobbyist can buy their silver to try.  But, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think MTL has done any finishes that mimic stainless steel like you'd see on Budd passenger cars.  Some of your silver boxcar schemes are meant to be aluminum, so the MTL silvers that I can think of off the top of my head are bright.  I think passenger cars should have a certain deep reflective quality.

Someone mentioned the Tamiya clear overlays that Marlin Cox wrote about in the NSR article (and Mike Danneman mentions in his latest Nightcrawler article).  I've seen those models in person and the finish is outstanding as well.  If you're not painting a whole train, or are trying to match Kato's latest finishes, the Tamiya smoke route is even better than Alclad. You can even use the clear smoke to bring the earlier Kato releases in line with the newer finish in one step, without having to reletter.  That's the beauty of it.  I still need to do it myself, and want to bring one of the Kato 10-6's from the first Budd release up to par with the California Zephyr set to add some variety in car types.  I also want to hit a '53 Concor Budd Coach in ATSF to match up with the Super Chief set. 
Mike

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CoalPorter

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Re: Painting Stainless Steel Passenger Cars
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2010, 01:06:04 AM »
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I think Testors Metalizer is a process too, not just a one coat job (to be done correctly) and then you are supposed to buff it as a final step. I recall the buffing part really makes it change from a paint look to a metalic look. It has been along time since I tried using Metalizer, so this is about all I can remember.
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