1/72 Airfix MiG 15 bis – Build Log

20th February 2014

I thought I’d add a last comment to this post for the sake of completeness, and try to summarise my experience with using Mr Metal Color Buffable Metalizer / Model Master Sealer for an entire fuselage…

Up until now I’ve used Mr Metal Color Buffable Metalizer for small parts such as undercarriages, jet pipes, guns etc… and it’s brilliant stuff. Just paint it on, let it dry, give it a buff and it looks like real metal and doesn’t even need weathering – the bits you buff end up bright, the bits you can’t reach in the recesses and crevices stay dusty and dull.

Using it for an NMF on a whole fuselage changes the game slightly due to the fact that you have to seal the metalizer with a clear coat, and from what I’ve seen, whatever you use to seal the metalizer is going to dull it down and make it look more like silver paint than actual metal.

The Model Master Metalizer Sealer is a good attempt at creating a clear coat that doesn’t dull down the finish *too* much, I know it’s difficult to get a full impression of it from my photos, but the Model Master Sealer does a reasonable job of sealing in the metalizer while still leaving it looking quite metallic. Not perfect, not bad but not great.

For this build I chose to only use Model Master Sealer, and not risk overcoating it with a tough finish like Klear – I really didn’t want to risk destroying the finish after all the work that went into it. However a coat of Klear or other clear coat may well have gone on alright on top of the sealer. That will have to be another experiment for another day.

It’s worth noting that the Model Master Sealer gives a very fragile topcoat. In several places I managed to lift off small spots of sealer along with some of the base coat just by holding the model a bit to tightly when installing the undercarriage. Also I found it very easy to knock off things like the guns (these were CA’d on) and when they came off they took off a patch of sealer and base colour. I guess the MM sealer is just meant to be a sealer and not a resilient top coat – so you need to be very careful handling it as it seems to stay soft and plasticy.

Getting back to the paint, what I like about the Mr Metal Color Buffable Metalizer is the ability to shape its tone after you’ve laid it down by varying how you buff it. It’s very easy to get convincing and realistic metal finishes just by buffing (or not buffing) it. It’s also quite tough too, you can buff it quite vigorously on flat surfaces without rubbing through it, although it wears through to plastic very quickly if you buff too hard on an edge. It’s not very scratchproof so you have to watch you don’t catch it with a fingernail, but then again most paints won’t survive that.

The only downside is the fact that the metalizer needs to be sealed, as this reduces the visual effectiveness of the final finish. From what I’ve read from others online buffable metalizers are bets used on components that you can leave bare (without clear coat) such as engine parts, exhausts, undercarriage etc… If you can leave the part without clear coat then the bare metal finish can shine out in all its glory, if you have to clear coat it (to seal in decals/weathering) then the shine will wear off.

Would I use it again?  Probably… I’m really happy with the MiG though it didn’t turn out quite how I’d imagined it would. I’d hoped for a more polished metal look and it ended up looking quite battle worn. That look started with the sealer dulling down the finish and I must admit I let the ink wash stay on quite heavily which also added to the wear 😉  However I’m very much into the second hand look so I’m happy the way it turned out. When I next do a total NMF I’m probably going to give Alclad a try just to see what kinds of finishes I can achieve with it.

Am I going to use Buffable Metalizer to do an NMF on my upcoming 1/48 Airfix Lightning?  Well for that I’m tending towards the Camo version now as I’m not sure the Mr Metal Color Buffable Metalizer will give me quite what I’m looking for… But never say never – and I might change my mind once I get the primer on 😉


You can see the final reveal photos of the MiG here…


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I write this blog for fun, to share what I've learned, and to share my builds with you. If you like what you see here please leave a comment, and head over to facebook and like my page!

Cheers - Rich

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