New from Darkstar Miniatures comes a range of Molten Metals water-based metallic acrylics. The range is very extensive, comprising the following 21 colours (with 3 more to come) in screw-top 17ml pots that feature a handy dropper-style nozzle that makes dispensing accurate quantities easy:
The Airbrush Company kindly sent a pot each of Grphite and Bright Steel to test, and I was immediately impressed that each pot contains a shaker to ensure the paint is properly mixed before use.
I applied the paint undiluted by brush and used a 10:1 mix with tap water to airbrush with an Iwata TR-0. Both methods worked well.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm no great brush-painter, but the Molten Metal went on easily and gave quite a nice finish without overly prominent brush marks. I think a second coat (possibly thinned a little) would remove even those. The paint has good covering power and gave ample working time before it started to dry. By airbrush, the finish was obviously smoother, and I found the paint easier to use than some acrylics I've tried. I didn't have any problems with the paint drying on the tip and clean-up afterwards was straightforward.
The paint can be buffed once fully dry, so I left it to cure overnight in a warm cabinet, before getting to work with a cotton swab. I have to say the effect of buffing seemed pretty subtle and I didn't notice any dramatic change - although perhaps it did smooth down my brush-painting somewhat. Not much paint came off on the buffer, so the finish is obviously good and robust.
As with many metallic paints, a limiting factor is the particle size of the pigment, and both Graphite and Bright Steel do have a distinct "grainy glitter". For some finishes you can turn that to your advantage, but don't expect mirror-like shine or something like, for instance, Alclad.
Molten Metals score highly on their ease of use and the robust finish they give. They'll be ideal for brush-painting small details and should work well for spot effects like weathering and scratches - but I wouldn't recommend them for a full n/m aircraft finish on account of the particle size.
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Highs: A huge range of useful shades. Very easy to apply with brush-painting or spraying giving a robust finish. No odour. Simple to clean up after use.Lows: The particle size will limit their use in some instances.Verdict: Molten Metals should work very well for detail painting, and their ease of use will make them ideal for beginners. Don't expect the mirror-finish results some lacquer-based paints offer, though.
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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...