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December 2011

Archive for December, 2011

Round 2 Models: Shine On

posted by JamieH 4:03 PM
Thursday, December 1, 2011

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. The holidays come quicker every year, don’t they?

We, at Round 2 Models, continue to see what we can do to improve our product wherever we can and one thing we’ve been keeping an eye on is the appearance of our chrome parts. I don’t usually deal with as many chrome sprues as John does with the car stuff but back when we were working on the Pilgrim Observer, I made sure to pay special attention to the chrome parts in that one. There is a fine balance we need to strike to hold the details and also keep a nice shine on the parts. Compounding our concern is that the nature of applying the chrome and gloss coat is environmentally sensitive. (heat, cold and humidity, etc all have to be carefully controlled) We have done our best to strike that happy medium for keeping detail and also having a nice high gloss shine.

As I compared the old Pilgrim Observer vintage example to the fresh new test shots, I found that the detail wasn’t quite as nice but it was sufficient in that if you didn’t compare the two side by side, the new ones still looked pretty good. The new ones were very shiny though. Actually, they were too shiny for my taste. I think such high gloss on chromed plastic looks a little too “toy-etic”. Besides, the nature of the gloss, itself, hides or at least camouflages details and I really picked up on that. The gloss had greatly lessened with age from the vintage example and I personally found them much more appealing. They looked more scale accurate and I didn’t think any ‘70s era space agency would go through the expense of chroming parts to a high gloss just for the sake of looks. The parts might have looked like bare metal be it stainless steel or aluminum but not chrome plated. In any case I settled for what we had and let it go.

Fast forward a year or so… I’ve begun taking a look at the AMTronic kit and I was wondering if we absolutely HAD to use this high gloss coat on the chrome parts. So, I asked the factory about it this time to see if they could do a semi-gloss or flat finish on the chrome parts. They said “sure” and ran a few examples. I really like the results. The semi-gloss finish looks scale accurate. They look almost like the aged vintage sample we have on hand. The detail is all nice and crisp. The matte finish copy is also very intriguing. It really looks like brushed metal or aluminum at scale. I am very excited by the possibility of using this finish on the retro-futuristic AMTronic.

I passed the idea along to John and showed him the examples. He really liked how they looked. He agreed that the result was more scale accurate and showed detail very well, but he was concerned that if we included what looked like 30 or 40 year old chrome parts in our kits that some modelers might not appreciate it as much as we do. I felt that was a valid concern as well.

In the end we figured we’d show you guys and get your feedback on the idea. By no means would we want to use these finishes in every case but sometimes an aluminum wheel is more desirable than a polished chrome one. So, take a look at the photos and tell us what you think?