Aluminum Cans???

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Oct 24, 2006
Central Arkansas
Have any of you ever experimented with useing aluminum cola cans for modeling material. I cut up a few today, and after a while of messing with it, I could manipulate the thin aluminum pretty well. I may try to skin a model with some in the near future.
Hey, that's intriguing. I have tried using bare metal foil with marginal
success because I am all thumbs. At the two scales I model, 48 and 32,
even thin aluminum cans may prove too thick for the scale. Still, I know
what you are talking about - lay open a clean can and the aluminum
surface is lovely and invites one to try something. Wishing you success!
Try shimstock it comes in various thicknesses and increases from foil to whatever its measured in 1/1000 of an inch talk to any millwright
I know I can buy that stuff, but I was thinking about it from another point of view. I was thinking freebie!!! Besides, I think that a plane skinned with an assortment of different brands of sodas (like a metal patch quilt) would be a one of a kind, or at least I have never seen one.

After I made a couple of tools to work the metal with, I was able to make simple lap joints and made a sheet of metal about a foot long and about 8 or so inches wide in 30 minutes or so. But Twoeagles was right, even the thin cans are pretty heavy. So it would have to be a big plane, with a big motor.

I am going to experiment with forming some aluminum tomorow. I messed with it a little tonight, and made a couple of cones by scribing and breaking the aluminum, like you would sheetmetal. The material had a nice looking industrial look about it. If nothing else, I will make some parts out of old cans when I start my P-51 in a few weeks.
Hi !!!
According to Andrzej Ziober and Ireneusz Mikucki's article in Aeroplan magazine If you want to use metalic foils to cover your model,you should use the adhesive glue EberhadFaber or Micro Metal Foil Adhesive (Microscale product).There is also a glue Mangelsen which is available as the spray.I the article is also stated that the Bare-Metal foil is the best for covering the non-flat areas.For the flat ones you can use aluminium foil (for foodstuffs) or from old electric condensers.As far as the engraved detailing is concerned you should use the tooth-picks to make the engraved details visible.Aluminium foil is a bit elastic (to a certain extent, of course) and it is easy to delicately press in engravering.I hope I was useful.
Food aluminum wrapping (like for cakes or pies for instance), is usually thinner, and easier to work than beverage cans.

And for fabric-covered surfaces, what I do is build the inner ribs from plastic card, then glue rolling papers to simulate fabric; a coat of varnish will tighten the paper and have it look like fabric (a bit clear). A coat of airbrush-applied paint and a few weathering and you have realistic fabric-covered surfaces.
Ah sorry, I've forgotten mention that the article was about plastic kits that we can cover with aluminium foil ( the Sabre for instance).But,DonnieK's idea was to use the aluminium plate from cans for making metal madels,I think.Some years ago,I tested this idea and it was possible to use it.I made the scratch-built fuselage of spitfire.It looked very good.Unfortunately,a digital camera wasn't at my disposal so there aren't any pics of it and the fuselage hasn't existed yet.
Drinks cans can be melted using a blowlamp and with a suitable mould you can produce all sorts of bits for your models. Undercarriage legs that don't break off, props that keep their blades. Be fair, you already have the paterns in the kit.
Yes they work well. I've seen some very large scale models built with cardboard framing and aluminium cans. DC3, Spitfire Mustang, 262 and some ships. Unfortunately I don't have a camera at the time to get some shots.
Interesting ideas guys! Might be worth a try for engine nacelles and props...
I presume aluminium cans would need a coat of spray paint primer for the paint to take, or maybe just a wash with Gunze Sangyo Mr. Metal primer?
I think that these aluminium sheets should be washed,then all paint layers should be removed from them and then washed again..I used for paint removing sandpaper and then a light grey Humbrol enamel as a primer.
On the real thing, Alclad, the primer was called "Yellow Chromate" No idea of its constituents and I don't recall ever having to spray it or thin it so I have no idea of its base. Most probably celulose since spraying anything else on top of celulose results in both layers lifting so if you painted over original paint work was safest to use celulose to avoid the lifting.
Chromate seems to be a clue that it was chrome based but that's not definative.
And 'cause I know someone will ask, "Alclad" is aluminium covered magnezium.
Not certain. That's the problem. It is possible since it was used as an anti corrosion treatment. It was more of a problem to avoid damaging existing paintwork and I have no idea how acrilics will react to some of the more old fashioned paints. Dope shops today can spray two part epoxy but the cleaning agets for the guns is REALY nasty.
There were two "chromates", the yellow one like you see done in the wheel wells of P47s and the green which you see on a bunch of other planes. It was used as an anti corrosive.

I've seen where soda can aluminum was used for really large scale models like the R/C size. For the rivet detail, you can take a length of really thin brass tubing, sharpen the edge of the tubing like an embossing tool to emboss the flush rivet detail. You have to do it before you install the panel onto the frame so you can get a good whack at it.

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