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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm sure that most of you by now are aware of the product called Bare Metal Foil and similar products like it. Just as the name implies it is a metal foil. Much like the foil we are all familiar with in the kitchen only this foil is much thinner and with an adhesive applied to the back. BMF can be used for a miriad of applications, from window and drip rail trim to door handles, emblems, side trim, wiper arms, head light and tail light bezels and so on and so on. BMF won't cover everything. It won't really work on wheels do to the complex curves and raidiuses involved, but I have seen some experienced people cover entire bumpers with it quite successfuly.

In the 1/18th and 1/24th scale comunity BMF and products similar to it are the standard method when it comes to triming out models and die cast projects however it has been gaining steady ground in the 1/64th world as of late. Foiling at this scale does bring with it certain chalanges due to the small size, but the rewards can be great and inturn you will be left with a far more realistic project in the end. If you don't like the shiny nature of the chrome foil it is available in many different finishes. There is brushed aluminum, gold and even black. Each manafacturer is different in the finishes it offers.

The two biggest benefits of foiling is one, it looks far more realistic than paint. Two, and probally the most important there is no potential of messing up any existing finish when applying. If you make a mistake simply peal up the foil and reapply. No damage can be done to your project providing you are carefull. The carefull part applys to the blade you'll be using. More about that later. Also there is no hurry like working with paints. Simply take your time and work at your own pace.

Appling foil is also much easier than most would think and with a far smaller learning curve than painting out trim. We have all read the countless numbers of tecniques for painting trim, everybodys got one it seems. The tecnique for foiling on the other hand is pretty straight forward and basic, but just like anything everyone will find what works best for them and practice needless to say does make perfect.

So enough with the hard sell allready bub, lets get started. Okay, the first thing you're going to do before anything else is read the instructions that came with the foil. They were writen for a reason and can be quite helpfull. Next you'll need to gather a few simple tools as pictured below. The foil of course. A straight edge. A good pair of needle tweezers, though any tweezers will work and the most important tool of all an exacto knife with a brand new #11 blade. Other materials needed and not shown in the pic are a toothpick, yes "a" toothpick since one should be more than enough, a soft cloth and some masking tape depending on your needs.


Now we're ready start. Our first challenge will be trimming out the front window of our practice car and I do highly suggest that you do a practice car or two before any serious foiling. Just like any new technique you're gonna want to get a feel for it first, but you'll be surprised how quickly this feeling will come to you even on your first practice car. Any practice car will do weather it has painted trim or not doesn't really matter since it's gonna be covered by the foil, but the car will have to be dissasembled since the removal of the glass is a must. Now back to our foil, using your straight edge and knife make a cut about half way down the foil cutting on the short end of the foil not the long end. For beginners I would suggest making a strip about 3/32" wide. As you get better you will learn to work with foil thats narrower. You don't have to apply any preasure when you make your cut. Just the weight of the knife is pretty enough to cut thru the foil not the paper. Now make a cross cut for the length of the piece you will be needing as shown by the red arrow. Using the tip of your blade carefully peel up a corner of the foil from the paper. Now using the tweezers you can peel up and remove the small strip.


In the picture below we see our foil strip layed down. This is also where the masking tape comes into play. Some cars will have a very pronounced ridge where the window trim should be while on others it might be very faint or just non existent. Using the masking tape will help mark a place for how wide the trim should be. In the case of this car a little under a 16th of an inch. When laying down the foil take your time. You can use the tip of a toothpick to help move around and align the foil to where you want it. You don't want to apply to much preasure at this point just enough to get it to stick on one end and then you can slowly start laying down the foil using the same pressure while gently curving it across the trim. Since most window trim will have a slight arc at the top and bottom be sure to follow the arc. Being that the foil is very thin it will stretch a little to allow for the curvature. Once you're satisfied you got it down where you want it you can apply a bit more preasure evenly across the foil with your finger, or toothpick smoothing it out. If you notice a bad wrinkle developing simply pull up one of the ends and smooth it back down again. Many of the small wrinkles can be worked out in the burnishing and polishing pocsess. Once you're sattisfied with the placemant you can carfully remove the masking tape.


Now using a toothpick apply even pressure across the foil, gently at first as this will allow you to find anymore undersirable large wrinkles. If you are sattisfied begin applying a little more pressure so as to burnish down the foil. Be sure to get the corners and the very top of the A pillars as well, but not to far out beyond the trim of the A pillar since you will be cutting that away later. Now take your knife and make a relief cut at each inside corner starting at the top as shown by the arrows.


Now using the toothpick and starting at the center gently fold in and up the remaining foil into the window opening. As before don't apply to much preassure as your folding it. Just take your time. Be very carefull with those side pieces comeing down the upper A pillars as shown by the arrows. They're vulnerable since they don't have the surface area of the top piece so be carefull folding them in. You don't want to loose an upper A pillar if you can help it. Using the toothpick we also want to start burnishing down the foil where it was folded in. Just rub the side tip of the toothpick across the foil. We just want enough pressure to make a good adhesion not enough to rip the foil up. Burnish down the inside of the upper A pilliar as well, but be carefull not to bring up the foil. Again, just take your time there's no hurry.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here we see the foil tucked under. You can continue to burnish down the foil with the toothpick or you can trim off any excess with a knife before any final burnishing. What ever floats you boat.


This next step is a two for. Looking at the right side of the car we are going to take our knife and cut away the excess foil coming down the A pillar. Remember just the weight of the knife is really enough to cut thru the foil. Once the cut has been made use the tip of the knife to gently peel up a corner and then peel it away using the tweezers. As shown by the red arrows you should now have a corner that looks much like the one shown. Using the toothpick once again burnish down the corner and upper A pillar. Next useing a soft cloth press down all along the foil really well. Once you have pressed down all along the foil you can begin to gently polish it, but as always use common sence when polishing just as when burnishing. You're not looking to get an upper body workout here. Now looking at the left side of the pic we're going to do an A pillar, but we're also gonna assume you blew a corner out while following one of the the above steps. It can happen. It just happend to me, but there is no need to panic we'll just make a new corner with the A pillar strip. Just follow all the steps up to this point, but just with a little more care this time is all ;-)


Here we have the car up to this point. The top trim, an A pillar and three corners. We're over half way there blown out corner and all. Not to shabby.


In this next step we have tackled the remaing A pillar. This part should be far easier since we only had one corner and one cut to make. When you lay down the foil for this peice I suggest you overlap the existing foil at the top of the A pillar by at least an 32nd of an inch. It doesnt have to be exact, but you don't want to little, or to much.


Now we have only the bottom to complete. It should be straight forward since there are no corners and no cuts to be made. but the bottom strip often has it's own set of unique problems. For one it is an inside curve wich can be a bit more difficult to negotiate. The casting is often rougher at this spot and there is often the wiper blades that get in the way. I recomend using the toothpick alot here in gently pushing the foil around to wear you want it to lay down. Because of the roughness of the casting in this area you might find that you are getting more wrinkles than usual, but thats okay since there is visualy more going on this area it won't be as noticable than if you were to run into this problem at the top or the sides of the window. If you find your getting to many creases and wrinkles simply pull it up and start again with a fresh piece.


And here we have it. A completed front window. In part 2 we'll tackle the side window and drip rails
 

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I tried this once and got very upset!! but I"m glad to see someone showing us how to step by step!!!! thanks for the info:} can't wait to try it again. {is it possible to clear over this foil??}
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I tried this once and got very upset!! but I"m glad to see someone showing us how to step by step!!!! thanks for the info:} can't wait to try it again. {is it possible to clear over this foil??}
Yes, BMF can be clear coated over with no problem.
 

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Thank you so much! I have a sheet of BMF laying here for sometime and was just unsure of what to do. I will be willing to use it now and get the hang of this process! Super job.
 

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Thanks again! Its in my customs folder. Looking forward to more helpful info.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Foiling Continued

Just a breif addition untill I get some new batteries for my camera.
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Door handles and most emblems are the easiest to foil. As shown in the photo below apply a small piece of foil and simply press it in place with your finger. For those tight recess and corners use the tip of a toothpick. Carefully trim the excess foil and using the blade tip peel away and remove the waste with tweezers.


Using a toothpick you can readjust any areas that may have come up or ripped do to the small sharp turns made by knife. Foil can be very forgiving in this way. To finish it off press down well with a soft cloth and lightly polish if needed.
 

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I would like to say thank you for the time you put into this post. The gift of inspiration and knowledge is a great thing to pass along. Thanks again!:thumbsup:
 
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