Bare-Metal Foil was invented in 1970 by Eldred Mason
because of his desire to have a more natural finish on
his model aircraft. Since that time the Bare-Metal Foil
Co. has been providing both amateur and expert
hobbyists with outstanding hobby products. Bare-Metal
Foil is the original detailing foil used to duplicate the
chrome on model cars and natural metal on model
aircraft. Bare-Metal is so thin that a modeler can cover
rocker panels, keyholes, door handles, and nameplates
on model cars and 100% of the detail will still show right
through. On model aircraft Bare-Metal Foil can be used
to cover the entire model, revealing every rivet and
panel line. No other product can produce a more
Bare Metal Foil is self adhesive. If you look closely, the foil has a grain to it. Apply at a
different angle of bordering panel, 90°, 45°, 30° and you get a different look to the panels.
Keep in mind, the panels will look different depending on how light hits them.
Assemble Fuselage and Wings. Do not attach Wings to Fuselage. Easier to do the foil with
them separate. DO NOT DO THE WING ROOT AREA ON THE WINGS OR FUSELAGE!! Do them
after the Wings are attached.
Anything that needs to be painted i.e. Nose, Anti-glare Panel, Wing Tips etc. paint it now.
BMF does not like to be taped when freshly applied. Besides, paint will not stick to it anyway.
You can tape to it just don't leave it on long. When removing the tap, pull it slowly towards
the paint line watching the foil as you pull. It'll probably lift some of the foil but you can
burnish it down.
1- Measure panel.
2- Cut foil a little bigger than the panel.
3- Lightly stick it on the panel. If it looks OK, burnish it down. I use pieces of old T-Shirt.
If not, reposition and burnish down.
6- Trim to panel line with Exacto knife.
There are five versions of BMF
Sheets are 11.625"X6"
I use the Chrome and Matte
Aluminum for aircraft. The Ultra
Bright is great for Car and Truck
trim. I used Black Chrome on the
side molding of a couple of
Thunderbolts that worked great
but a bit trickier to use. It’s a bit
thicker. Copper would be for the
Ship Guys. I never used it.
I measure and mark the foil with a small cut with the Exacto knife. The Clear Triangle I use to
cut the foil from the sheet. It makes it easier for me to see where I'm cutting. Flex Measuring
Tape to measure Fuselage Panels. One Exacto knife has a new blade for cutting the foil on
the sheet. The other, I put a new blade in it and run it across a piece of matte board a few
times to dull the sharp point a bit. Helps the blade stay in the panel line better. Old T-Shirt to
burnish the foil down.
See all the trimmed pieces laying there. Save them! They may cover a small panel elsewhere.
The thin ones too. Good for Canopy Frames.
If you're working with raised panel lines, trim foil to the outside of the raised panel line. Do
the same on adjacent panels. Obviously for recessed panel lines, use a wedge shaped
toothpick to push foil in the panel line and trim foil at the recess. Use it for each side of the
raised panel lines too before trimming foil.
Compound Curves- BMF will stretch but you have to do it gradually. On moderate ones like
the fuselage, use the piece of T-Shirt. Burnish from the center out slowly. Even let it sit for a
while. Extreme like a Wing Root, front and rear, do the bottom first gradually burnishing
with a Toothpick till you get to the center. Then trim it to the edge. Then do the same for the
top overlapping the bottom just enough to cover the lower piece. Then burnish the seam
real hard. Do the same with Wing Tips. You won't see the seam. See photos.
Fuel Tanks are a totally different animal. Impossible to do the Nose and Tail... What I've
done, the flat panels on the tank, mask them and paint the nose/tail with buffing Metalizer.
See my note above about masking the foil. Or, just use Metalizer on the whole tank.
Wingtip Tanks done with Metalizer.
It takes practice doing the Compound Curves but well worth the effort. You will ruin some
BMF but that goes with the learning.
Practice, practice, practice!!!!
That's how I use BMF. Hope I've helped some of you out. It's a tedious and time consuming
process but well worth it if you want a true Bare Metal finish on your aircraft model. You
may find a different way to achieve the same goal. That's fine if your more comfortable with
it. Whatever works best for you and GOOD LUCK!
A side note on Canopy Frames- I see photos posted all the time of great models. Painted
Silver, Camo and maybe done with BMF and you can see the exterior finish through the
Canopy Frame. Paint the Canopy Frames Black before the exterior finish. It may be glossy
but at least it's BLACK.
Some Aircraft I've done with BMF.
The biggest negative with BMF, the clear Decal carrier shows more than on a painted aircraft.
Some like the '70s and '80s that came with the kits are the worst. New kits and Super Scale
not so bad. Many times I do specific a aircraft and markings aren't available so I print my
own which hide nicely.
Click to go to my Website
I've done a number of others in both scales before the days of Digital and have no photos.
They're at locations now that are too far to go to get photos.
The tools I use. Spatula style Toothpicks, 4" Square, small 30°- 60°-90° Clear Triangle,
Flexible Measuring Tape, two Exacto knives and pieces of old T-Shirt. Bevel the Spatula end
of the Toothpicks like in the photo.