HOW TO USE MMP CHROME AND GLOSS BLACK BASE
Mission Models Chrome and Gloss Black Base are very easy to use. Although they can be thinned to meet your needs, there is no need as both can be used straight from the bottle. The MMP Gloss Black Base is what allows the chrome to “reflect” like a mirror. The smoother and glossier the better the chrome effect will be. Replicating a Chrome finish is not like applying standard MMP paints. There is a method for applying the MMP Chrome and Gloss Black Base that takes practice to perfect. Application is not difficult but “practice makes perfect.” When applied correctly these paints replicate a chromed finish. The more methodical you are when applying these paints, the better your results will be. It is a finish that can’t be rushed. MMP Chrome is made with finely processed 6061 Aluminum and is extremely durable when dry.
The MMP Chrome system works best on smaller detail parts (wheels, trim, exhaust, etc.). We also know that many modelers would like a chrome or bright finish on larger sections and “flat” panels such as on car bodies, aircraft, and Sci-Fi models. Using the appropriate technique, MMP Chrome can be used on such pieces but as with many airbrushing and painting techniques, practice will be rewarded with superior results.
GLOSS BLACK BASE Application:
Always use MMP Gloss Black Base as an undercoat for MMP Chrome. We recommend spraying the Gloss Black Base straight from the bottle at 10-15psi using multiple light semi-wet coats. DO NOT try to cover an area in one pass. Build up the Gloss Black Base slowly using multiple passes until a gloss finish is achieved. Keep the airbrush moving to prevent puddles or runs. Remember, any imperfections in the Gloss Black Base coat will be reflected and magnified when covered with chrome. The Gloss Black Base can be lightly wet sanded between coats if you wish. We recommend 6000 to 12000 Micro Mesh Sheets or Sanding pads. For a super smooth finish, additional coats of Gloss Black Base can be applied after buffing with Micro Mesh. Be sure that each coat is 100% dry and free of lint or dust before spraying the next layer. Any and all imperfections will show in the final chrome finish!!
PSI and Distance:
Shooting the Gloss Black Base is best at low psi, between 10-15psi. If your psi (air pressure) is too high you run the risk of blowing and moving the paint around on the surface and possible beading. Please test and adjust accordingly to your equipment.
Spray distance is also key to delivering a smooth coat of Gloss Black Base. Too far away and the paint will dry in the air before hitting the surface causing a grainy effect in the finish. Too close and the paint can run, dimple, or spider web. One of the easiest ways to determine a good spray distance is to actuate the air trigger on your airbrush (no paint, just air) while moving the brush closer to the model until you can hear the air hitting the surface. A good working distance is the point at which you can just hear the air flow hitting the surface of the model. This can vary based on your PSI (air pressure). Be patient and use smooth even passes with the proper working distance and psi. Remember, the smoother the Gloss Black Base, the better the chrome finish.
Troubleshooting – Gloss Black Base:
- Spraying from too far of a distance. Result, possible poor adhesion and textured surface.
- Spraying too close. Result, possible runs, beading or too much build up which can cause dimples or fisheyes.
- Do not add MMP Polymix to MMP Gloss Black Base or MMP Chrome
As mentioned above, the application of MMP Gloss Black Base and Chrome takes time and practice. Take your time and follow the proper steps.
Once you are satisfied with the preparation of the Gloss Black Base it is time to shoot the MMP Chrome. There is no need to add MMP Thinner. Shake MMP Chrome well and pour it directly into airbrush or epoxy mixing cup. Deliver light even UNIFORM coats using an air pressure of 10-15psi. Dust it on lightly and build it up slowly while keeping the airbrush moving at all times to avoid runs, puddles, or fish eyes. Allow each layer to dry 30 seconds to 1 minute before applying the next. Be methodical and think before you spray. As you build successive layers, you will begin to see the chrome effect. You will go from “Black Chrome” to dark chrome to chrome. As the paint dries, the chrome effect will appear. Use your best judgement and know when to stop as too much chrome will make the finish appear less shiny.
- Distance please see Gloss Black Base PSI and Distance section.
- PSI we prefer (air pressure) of about 10-15 psi.
- Test before you shoot. We always recommend testing on scrap before shooting the final piece.
- Be Methodical. Take your time. Think twice, spray once. Chrome needs to be built up in light layers. As you shoot you will see the transformation.
- When applied properly, MMP Chrome is very durable. It can be wet sanded, polished and clear coated for various effects.
- Do not add MMP Polymix to MMP Gloss Black Base or MMP Chrome
MMP Chrome can be tinted with any standard MMP color of paint for various color effects. Just add a couple drops of any color to the chrome before spraying. We leave this effect up to you to experiment with. We do not have a ratio for tinting. You can add 1 drop or 10 drops to find the level of tint you are seeking. If you start adding drops of MMP paint to your chrome in an epoxy mixing cup, you will notice that the chrome will tint instantly. We feel less is more when starting. If you add less tint to the chrome and build up on the work surface, you will have more control when it comes to color depth and opacity. The more you build up, the darker the finish. Again, we highly recommend testing on scrap or black glossy plastic spoons.
Troubleshooting – Chrome:
If applied too heavy, MMP Chrome can fast become silver paint. This happens due to the fact that the pigment has become so concentrated that all reflection from the Gloss Black Base has been canceled out and the reflection is dead. Be cautious. Know when to stop visually. Again practice makes perfect.
Applied properly, the MMP Chrome system will result in a beautiful durable finish.
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