Mustang1.gif (4466 bytes) Metallic finishes
Step III.

ow you're ready for the part where the plastic chrome covering
is transformed into real aluminum. Buy 0000 grade steel wool
from the Hobby Shop or builder's supply - make sure it's at least 000 and preferably 0000. Take a small piece about 2" square & start rubbing the Chrome Monokote
. Sometimes rub in only 1 direction, and when I get tired, I just start rubbing back & forth.
In the end, it doesn't much matter, the scratches eventually all blend in, anyway. As the steel wool gets dull (and it does fairly often) change it around or turn it over, and occasionally, get another piece.

WOW! As you rub, you will watch Chrome Monokote
transform itself into real aluminum like magic. In fact, the more you rub,
the more it looks like real aluminum. You will occasionally lift seams, but a hot iron will soon cure that problem. (if you've not rubbed the adhesive away, if you did, simply use a small brush, apply Balsarite
, let it dry and then iron the seam back down).

Once you've finished the rubbing & have an aluminum airplane, the fun begins. Consulting your three view (you "DO" have an accurate three view with panel lines, rivets, Dzus fastners, etc.
don't you?) apply your panel lines with a flexible plastic ruler
& a soft #2 lead pencil. You'll find the lead pencil will indent
the surface. By leaving a light residue of carbon in a resulting
grove,it will appear to be very realistic panel lines.

Be careful and don't press so hard that you break surface of the Monokote
; it takes a considerable amount of pressure to do so.
As you work, you'll be amazed that the airplane will come alive.
If you mess up a panel line or put it in the wrong place, just use
the iron on it, and it will go away.

Once you're finished applying all your lines, cut a piece of brass tubing the approximate size of the rivets and Dzus fastners you want to duplicate.
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I cut my tubes between 4 or 5 inches long, then wrap masking tape around middle of the tube, approximately 2/3 of the distance from one end. This increases the diameter making it more comfortable to hold. Decide where you want your rivets, fasteners, etc. & gently press end of tube with a rocking motion onto Monokoted surface.

WOW! ! Amazingly, you've just created a realistic surface feature. A little practice & you'll be moving along very quickly. I sharpen  end of my tubes with a counter sink or Xacto
knife for sharper detail. You can add hatches, inspection plates, fuel caps, & other details by using aluminum freezer or duct tape cut to the proper shape and applied to the Monokote.

You can also use a template for circles and your trusty #2 lead pencil to draw them on just like you did your panel lines. In addition, I've used a soldering iron to melt rivets and fastners
into theMonokote
surface. This can get a little tricky because
you must adjust the length of your brass tubing to keep it from getting too hot, melting holes in the Monokote
. The longer a
tube is, the cooler it is. The iron I use requires a tube about 4.5" long to make good, sharp rivets. Yours will vary somewhat from that, so don't be afraid to experiment on scrap pieces to see what effect you can make.

nce you've finished with the lines & other surface details, add decals and stand back to admire your realistic aluminum finish.
It always amazes me how closely it resembles real aluminum. I don't spray clear over the surface to seal decals like I do painted surfaces because it covers & fills in the minute scratches you've
just applied with the steel becomes Chrome Monokote
again. I've had good luck with this method so far. It is quick, cheap, light, & as easy as applying normal Monokote.

Try it, I think you'll like the results. Use your imagination, and you will find other ways to add details. I hope you enjoy this method of aluminum surfacing.