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FROM THE June 2009 ISSUE

Tip of the Month: Fineline for better foiling

Use 3M Fineline tape for better foiling
Applying Bare-Metal foil (BMF) can be frustrating, even under ideal circumstances, which include being able to follow existing panel lines in order to get a crisp, sharp edge. But what about trim pieces that have no such edges to guide the trimming blade? Fortunately for us, award winning modeler Steve Hinson is not above using low-tech methods to get good results:

"Here's a way to get a clean edge on Bare-Metal foil in those instances where you don't have a template or panel line to trim against. Without an edge to guide the blade, chances are you'll get a wavy cut, no matter how steady your hand may be.

"To create an edge, I lay down a tape border to cut against. 3M Fineline tape is thick enough to create an edge to cut against, and tough enough to not be cut by the knife. Determine where the edge of the chrome 'molding' will be, and lay out the tape against that line. Fineline is narrow enough to follow most contours - even those with compound curves. Burnish the edge of the tape to make sure all of it is in contact with the surface.

"Apply BMF over the whole section, including the tape. Burnish the foil as you normally would. Trim along the tape edge with a new, sharp cutting blade; and when you're done, carefully lift the BMF and the Fineline tape, to reveal a perfect edge."

Ken: That really is a neat trick, Steve. It may not be news to you, but it is to us. Here's another tidbit to help those of us with unsteady or uncoordinated hands: After laying your Fineline tape, fill in a wider section BEHIND the tape, almost like you're masking out a custom paint job. If the knife gets away from you as you trimming the BMF, it will end up on the tape, and not through your finished paint.


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