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909tomk

model Chrome plating

Ran across this listing on ebay.  Perhaps a good source for chrome detailing.

"chrometechbob"  ebay item #160745846815.  The listing is for a gift certificate for chrome plating.

"Chrome plating service for your model car parts. For sale is a $40 gift certificate for $30. That is a 25% saving. You send me your plastic model car parts and I will chrome plate them. I use the same methods as used by the model car companies. Vacuum metalizing. This is not a paint but actual plating done in a vacuum chamber. I have been in business for 21 years and have plated over 100,000 parts. Parts that are currently plated but faded can be re done or parts that have never had plating can be done. Great for restoring old toys or promotional model cars. Or slot car parts including old Thunder jet bumpers etc. Great for custom building projects. I also restore and detail paint full size auto dash bezels. See my website chrometechusa.com or call 608-274-9811 if you have questions. There is no shipping cost to buy this certificate. althought return shipping of (7.95 in usa) per order will be part of your total. Foreign orders also welcome. Return shipping on foreign orders will be actual shipping cost for 1st class mail. Return shipping cost will not be discounted. Typical turn around time is 2 to 4 weeks plus shipping time. Typical cost is $4 to $5 for 1/25th model car bumpers. Wheels and hub caps are typically $2. each most small parts are about $2 each. see website for complete pricing or call."
talespin

Hi Bob
Over the years I have had lots of parts vacuum metalized. If I'd been paying Chrometechbob's prices he'd now own my house.

I have always used someone local, but of course Toronto is a big place so there is more than one source available. Also I prepped the parts myself (stripping and stringing) and being part of a modelers' club helped a lot. Our combined parts meant we could fill most of a rack with each order. A rack will hold hundreds, if not thousands, of strung parts depending on the chamber size. They used a fixed price per order. If you had only a few parts it would be very expensive. With lots of parts the cost drops to pennies a part.

We always requested "flash only" so they would not apply a clear coating over the parts and bake them. One time I forgot and they clear coated the parts, melting some out of all recognition. Styrene has a low heat tolerance compared to other plastics and resin. The quality of flashed chrome is equal to the parts in a modern kit, provided they have been stripped and strung properly.

I suspect Chrometechbob is doing the prep for you. You mail him the parts "as is" and he mails them back replated. This is scary if the parts are rare and irreplaceable.

Are his prices unreasonable for this service? To tell you the truth I don't know. If all you have is a handful of parts then it will be expensive per part any way you go. I assume by his stated volume he owns his own vacuum chamber. This means renting an industrial unit with upgraded hydro, as a vacuum chamber pulls massive current. Things like this are not cheap.

Today all this is a moot point as I have discovered Alclad II Chrome. If you own an airbrush it's the only way to go.

Ron
mustangman

I found a "Chrome" spray paint that works exceptionally well.



It works well on small items like wire wheels, bumpers, etc at 1/32 scale.  I haven't tried it on larger areas but it has a better look than most of the "chrome" sprays I've tried before (most of those are about the same as silver).

Here's a picture of some wire wheels I sprayed for my XK120 racer.  The picture doesn't do it justice though..... as the chrome look is much better than the picture shows.  But I found out the hard way, that you have to seal the chrome with a clear coat and let it dry fully before painting the tires black, or the chrome mixes with the black!  (Ok if you want silvery black tires.... but not very realistic... ha ha!)



But I still think Alcad chrome is best for bumpers, mirrors, etc. which can be brush painted over a gloss black base coat and really shines when dry.
talespin

Thanks for the tip on the Krylon paint, Tony. I assume you get this at Michaels. At one time Pactra had a chrome paint that was very good. Sadly they are long gone.

For fun I saved a few of the "melted" parts from the old days of vacuum metalizing. Here's a photo. How many of you geniuses can recognize the parts after they were mistakenly "baked"? Ha ha.



Scary, Hu?
Ron
909tomk

Mangled Bumpers...ha ha.....

Good information. His prices for each part does not seem unreasonable but the shipping there and back kills it.

I like the idea of the chrome spray paint!  If it actually works it would have to be outlawed in California.  I will look for it.

We had a good discussion about the alcad before, but I have not tried it yet.
I need to try the alcad brass for most of my projects.
mustangman

I get the Krylon Chrome at Canadian Tire Ron.  About half the price of Michaels, although they do sell it as well.  

In the US it's probably available at most auto parts stores, etc. that sell Krylon products.  I haven't see the Chrome paint at Walmart though.... even though they sell other Krylon paints.

Tony
talespin

Okay, Tony, I will look for it at "The Tire."

Tom, Alclad is a fabulous product. You will not be disappointed.

Ron
1500gp

talespin wrote:
Okay, Tony, I will look for it at "The Tire."

Tom, Alclad is a fabulous product. You will not be disappointed.

Ron


Tom, Ron is right, Alclad is fabulous ! ....  cheers
talespin

A further word about Krylon "Chrome".

I bought a can and decanted some into a styrene cup. Then I loaded it into my finer airbrush and sprayed some resin parts.

The finish is very metallic looking, much better than regular silver paint. To me it looked like a product called Rub-n-buff, without the buffing part. To call it "Chrome" is a bit of a stretch as it does not match Alclad or vacuum metalizing in any way. If you were replicating a nickel-plated radiator on a vintage car it would work fine.

A word of caution. I looked at the styrene cup and noticed a fine etch in the plastic. The label lists Toluene. You need to use a primer for styrene, or spray it on very dry in light coats.

Ron
mustangman

I sprayed those spoked wheels with the chrome spray right out of the can without a primer and it didn't attack the plastic at all.  And it gave a great chomelike shine to the spokes.  But as Ron said, it's definitely not up to the standard of Alcad.  I don't use an airbrush so I can't spray Alcad...... only brush it on.  That's just about impossible with things like wire wheels.  

Although the chrome spray will never achieve to look of real chrome, it's definitely better than the other "chrome" sprays I've tried, and works great for the small delicate parts.

Thanks for the "bench test" Ron..... that really helps to define where and when to use it.

Tony

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