Priming before using a metalizer

I am about to play with the testors metalizers with my airbrush for the first time and I have a few questions.
Do you use a primer coat before spraying the metalizer.
Does the primer coat need to be a gloss, semigloss or a flat? Will using a flat primer "flatten" the finish of the metalizer?
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Jeff Barringer wrote:

    On models, It pays to use some form of primer that will show up any imperfections in the finish so you can fill and sand them. This is because the metal finish will certainly show up any imperfections you don't fix.

    The primer coat finish will alter the finish of the metal put over it. One of the more popular metal finishes recommends using a gloss black primer coat before the metal finish.

    Definitely. I have found that varying the matt to gloss finish of the undercoat will give variations in the sheen of the metal finish. Since most operational natural metal finishes show some differences in panel finish this was a good way to depict the difference on a model. Be warned, most modellers will agree with me that a good natural metal finish is the ultimate medlars challenge.
                            Bill Shuey
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On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 13:22:31 -0600, Jeff Barringer

Testors' Metalizers need to be applied to a perfectly smooth glossy finish, preferably polished bare plastic.
--
Al Superczynski, MFE, IPMS/USA #3795, continuous since 1968

My "From" address is munged - use 'modeleral (at) swbell (dot) net' to respond
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Jeff Barringer wrote:

I never prime them - spray them directly onto the bare plastic so they can bite.
Then polish with a light Scotchbrite - you'll be amazed.
--
- Rufus

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Jeff Barringer wrote:

There are two schools of thought on this topic.
One says to spray onto the bare plastic....highly polished bare plastic; as the metalizer will accentuate *every* surface imperfection, even revealing those that escaped your eyes before. Note that this also means one should put some thought into how one fills the seams, as the texture of most filler putties (even sanded smooth and polished) will render different results under metalizers, than bare plastic.
Others say to prime the surface, to even everything out, and then polish the primed surface to as smooth as finish as possible...and then polish, and polish some more.
I can see it both ways. I have never thought that mirror-perfect "metalizer" finishes look real...no more real than over-hyped foil finishes. Under indoor lighting (as in most contests and exhibition environments), these finishes look completely different than a natural metal finish *outdoors*.
The best natural metal finishes I have ever seen on models, were ones in which the artist did *not* strive for that mirror-smooth surface in the preparation stage. Real aircraft show scratches, scuffs, and even a grain, in their natural metal panels. The better models I have seen, have tried to duplicate this by buffing individual panels on the models surface, *before* adding the metallic paint, using something like 1200 grit (or finer) paper. Buff in one direction...alternating the direction on adjacent panels. One can even apply a thin wash over the metallic, to later bring out this grain (in a subtle way). When combined with slight alterations in the metallic colors used (again, subtlety is the key), realistic results can be approached. The very best model I have ever seen, using this technique, was at an IPMS Nationals years ago; on a B-58 by the legendary Jamie Pye. The model definitely did *not* have a mirror-smooth surface under the metallic paints, as the aforementioned buffed graininess was very apparent....and the model looked a whole lot more realistic than any highly polished model...and definitely far more realistic than *any* foil job you will ever see.
Remember...it is *not* the shininess that matters. Look at any color photo of a natural metal aircraft (or highly-chromed automobile). Study it. And then realize, that in printing that photo...*zero* metallic pigments were used. Look at paintings by your favorite aviation artist. Notice that the artist used *zero* metallic pigments. It is all "tricks". The same philosophy can go into modeling as well.
:o)
--

Greg Heilers
Registered Linux user #328317 - SlackWare 10.1 (2.6.10)
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Ok, thanks for the tip

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