As has been the case for as long as I have known him, Tony Hipp seems to be on an endless quest to develop and bring to market still more excellent products for the discriminating modeler. For years, we’ve searched for the ultimate natural metal finishes, and when Alclad first came on the market, every other product took a distant place far behind. Tony’s products, my estimation, have become the benchmark to which all standards are measured.
These new offerings are not aluminum paints, but will go a long way to make whatever your modeling project is more realistic.
First, come four different sheens of clear flat finishes that represent the various stages of being out in the elements that range from ALC 311 “Light Sheen” (having nothing to do with Charlie!), which is an eggshell finish, next ALC 312 “semi-matte” (slightly more dull than eggshell), ALC 313 “matte” (flatter still) and ALC 314 “flat” (bordering on but not quite dead flat). These finishes are of the enamel family, are all pre-thinned and very easy to use…certainly a welcome addition for the plastic modeler. It should also be mentioned that any of these are compatible for use over the three main types of hobby paints (water based, water/alcohol acrylics and enamels).
Item number five, also of the enamel family, is ALC 408 “armored glass”, a blue/green tint (see images) that is perfect for tinting clear parts as well as easy to use. These are also pre-thinned and ready to use, a nice addition to his line of transparents. Up to this point, all these five products can be sprayed with 12 to 15 psi with excellent results. With the next product, this will not be the case.
When I first saw the container labeled ALC 600 “Aqua Gloss Clear”, I thought “why would a guy who has been so successful with lacquer and enamel products switch horses in mid stream to a water based product (of which I have never been a fan). The first thing I did was read the label, which tells you NOT to stir, not to shake, not to thin, not to freeze, etc., etc. ad infinitum. In short, this stuff is about as much a departure from all previous Alclad II products as one can get. Further, the instructions call for spraying this at a higher pressure than other clear coats previously marketed. So…was I skeptical??? You bet! I called the master mixer to get the 411 and he managed to convince me that the new stuff is really OK and to try it. The first thing I learned was that all my canopies had taken their last dip in Future. Aqua Gloss is much thinner and easy to manage and dries to an exquisite clear shine as seen in the examples. I also learned that when applied correctly, it can be used as an undercoat for Alclad II, or as a sealer for the high shine colors (AF aluminum, chrome and stainless steel) to prevent any erosion while handling. In addition, it dries in about 20 minutes, will gloss over matte finish paints as a pre-decal finish coat, and can be masked over without problems to add other shades or trim colors. When I tried this, I was sold!! This stuff cures coughs, colds, sore holes and makes childbirth a downright pleasure! I can’t remember the last time someone changed my pre-conceived notions so completely. Also, like Future, the clear parts after dipping are impervious to the fumes from cyano acrylic cements. Just three caveats… clean your airbrush immediately with water after use, make sure there is no mold release agent left on your model of choice and third and most important – Read and follow the directions. You really need to try this stuff, but experiment first on scrap pieces to get the feel. Visit his website at www.alclad2.com to get the rundown on these and other products. Many thanks to Tony Hipp for the review samples. Keep up the great work.
Most highly recommended