July 14, 2017

TRENCH RUNNER REVIEW: Julian Conde puts Molotow Liquid Chrome & Mask Pens to the Test

Direct  from San Paolo Brazil our very own  Julian Conde takes a look at the Liquid Chrome markers from Molotow in part one of a two part look at this exciting new product line...

After some years trying to replicate mirror-like finish on rear view mirrors and headlights in scale models, I fell in love with bare metal foil. It gave me the best results on mirrors and other chrome parts in 1/35 and 1/16th scale.  But it was tricky to apply, cut and polish without scratching or folding it too much. It’s a self adhesive foil, that you apply in such way as modern car paint protection films. You cut a larger piece, apply where desired, carefully cut out the leftovers, mold it to curves and recesses , and some careful polishing with cotton or similar would do the trick. But the fact you have to cut excess material out with a sharp blade, leaves little margin for error. You can scratch and ruin a finished model which I unfortunately did once. But it was all part of the learning process.

But now I get to try the Molotow Liquid Chrome Pens. They come in 1mm, 2mm and 4mm point sizes, are refillable and they are my new favorite! They work like some traditional Japanese sakura pens. You get a nylon-based round tip (which are replaceable), on a spring tip and liquid paint inside. To use you shake it very well and press gently on the tip until it gets 80% inside the body (you can feel where it stops without damaging the point) and the paint begins to flow and tint the white point.


I decided to try this on a piece of plastic strip, without primer. Directly applied over the plastic. When you touch and paint begins to go on the part, you see a reaction, quite like some metal paints like Mr. Hobby, AK Extreme Metal and Alclad, in a way that seems the paint is “alive”. At first look you can see clearly that the pen-style painting will leave a stroke mark, as with brush painting. It did not. The paint is self leveling, and it did not dry immediately like the other metal paints mentioned. You can pin point some paint where it looks “marked” and the paint comes out very easily, leveling with the below applied paint. The result after a few minutes is quite amazing. You don’t see any stroke marks.


After a few seconds...

After it dried for a few minutes, I placed a small cut of Bare Metal Foil (chrome) on the left side of the same plastic strip, for comparison...

At this point I have not polished either one...

I decide to cover the outer part of the bare metal with the Molotow Paint...

You can see, there’s no indications that it was painted with a pen, or brush. The self leveling is fantastic. The bare metal foil has some artifacts that looks like corrugated paint. It’s going to look better after polishing...

Now I wanted to see how the Molotow would compare to out of the box similar chrome paints. So I painted a plastic strip, without primer, with (left to right) :  Humbrol Metal Cote, Alclad Aluminum, Tamiya Enamel Chrome Silver, Vallejo Liquid Silver, Mr Hobby Super Metallic Chrome, and Molotow Liquid Chrome on the far right...

It looks like this without any polishing...

As we can see, out of the box, the Molotow has impressive reflective properties...

We know, that a well painted Chrome Alclad, with careful polishing will get a mirror-like finish just like real life. But the fact here is, we have a pen, and the pen gets you 80% the way of in a time-consuming effort to replicate a mirror finish in a few minutes. In a great package, safe, odor free, and with replaceable tips and paint. We get some minor artifacts on the painted area, that maybe will be visible in a large painted areas like a whole panel or a car bumper, but not on small parts like my intended use on rear view mirrors, headlights reflector and such. For sure some carefull polishing will clear all that up. 

Below are some pictures of the part with unpolished Molotow and now, polished Bare Metal Foil. We can see the metal foil comes close to the mirror like finish of the pens, but not quite. In my experience, to match this chrome look, it takes time and some processes...

I placed my finger to see the reflection of the Molotow unpolished painted area x polished bare metal foil..
.

My conclusion on these pens is that life gets easier! We now have such great “out of the box” products that offer results that it would take some time and experience to achieve but manufacturers like Molotow are making it easy for us. It’s another great option for chrome paint. You get the same results as the special paints like Extreme Metal, Alclad, or Bare Metal Foil, but without much work, and dangers like Alclad in your lungs. It’s a great product and I will use on my next build to replicate the mirrors, and will post some pictures. They come in three sizes with round points that are replaceable. An added bonus is these are also refillable. I would love to see some sharp pointed pens in the future.
Highly recommended!
JC 7-2017

In my next article I will take a look at the Molotow Liquid Mask pens...

Other uses:
Touch up die-cast cars, Hot Wheels, slot cars, Sci-fi toys & Gundam models, metal on figures (swords, buckets etc). 100s of uses...



DYK?
Released in celebration of Molotow’s 20th anniversary, Liquid Chrome alcohol-based markers are great for creating a mirror finish on smooth, non-absorbent surfaces such as glass or plastic. The paint is highly opaque and permanent with good UV-resistance, and the low-odor formula makes the markers pleasant to use both inside and out. Molotow's patented Flowmaster technology assures consistent paint flow. Made in Germany

The Molotow Liquid Chrome Range:
MLW-101 1mm Liquid Chrome Mirror Effect Marker
MLW-102 2mm Liquid Chrome Mirror Effect Marker
MLW-103 4mm Liquid Chrome Mirror Effect Marker
MLW-80 30ml Liquid Chrome Refill for Markers
MLW-111000 2mm Empty Marker w/Clear Measuring Guide Panel
MLW-211000 4mm Empty Marker w/Clear Measuring Guide Panel
MLW-699008 1mm Tip Replacement for Marker
MLW-699009 2mm Tip Replacement for Marker
MLW-699012 4mm Tip Replacement for Marker
View to Order HERE

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