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Tool Review
Molten Metals
Molten Metals
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:

Molten Metals by Darkstar Miniatures is a new range of acrylic metallic paints. They are formulated to dry permanently while remaining glossy and bright with no need for gloss clear coat. They are also designed to accept polishing to improve the sheen.

Darkstar Miniatures is a UK company that makes 54mm and 75mm figures and busts in two series, Historical Figures and Fantasy Range. They also make Reaper paints and Darkstar pigments, ink washes, and now Molten Metals.

Molten Metals
Darkstar packs Molten Metals in 17ml squeeze bottles. At the time of this review, there are 21 Molten Metals in the catalogue. We'll look at two colors provided by Airbrushes.com:
    DM271 Steel
    DM301 Brass

These paints are packaged in soft 17ml squeeze bottles. The bottles are a nice design with a clean but dour appearance, not surprising considering the genre of Darkstar's clientele. The paint is the consistency that reminds me of Vallejo, or white glue for those who haven't used that brand. That makes it easy to control how much one squeezes out.

With a brush I applied the colors directly from the bottle to a variety of objects: metal orc; plastic cannon rounds and items from several manufacturers; resin figure. Only the resin figure was primed, and none of the other pieces were cleaned prior to applying the Molten Metal. (I like to demonstrate paints based on "rookie mistakes.") I tried airbrushing on the figure and expended shell. Let's see how they worked.

DM271 - Steel

This color went on the metal monster's shield and easily covered it completely. I also applied it to a Tamiya wire reel and a piece of sprue. The sprue was about 90% one-stroke-coverage. The wire reel needed the paint to be worked around a bit.

DM271 Steel is a dark shiny hue.

DM301 - Brass

This color is bright! I brushed it onto everything. One-stroke-coverage varied. The metal orc's helmet accepted the paint without any problem, as did the smaller shells. The larger black styrene expended round needed a second coat.

DM301 Brass is a very bright color.

I also brushed it onto an old Tamiya GI. It covered well.

The figure had been primed with a satin paint. You can see that the brass did not cover well by brush.

AirbrushingDarkstar Miniatures states that for airbrushing the paint need only be thinned water-to-paint at 1 to 10. (Water only.) That ratio did not work well through my Aztec black nozzle, even when I upped the pressure to 25psi. I cut the paint to 1-to-4. The paint sprayed great! Even at 12psi it covered the figure and the big spent shell with no problem. Cleaning was good with just water, and complete with a window cleaner.

Darkstar Miniatures claims this paint can be polished to a higher sheen after curing for 24 hours; at the time of this writing only seven hours had passed but later attempts to polish it produced a slightly better and smoother sheen.

These paints are excellent for any modeling category and genre - fantasy, Steampunk, antiquity, classic figures, railroad, military ordnance - anything that needs raw metallics. Molten Metals is another straight sharp arrow in the quiver of modelers hunting for that perfect acrylic paint. Stored in neat bottles, the paint has a good consistency.

Applied to my satin-primed resin figure and unprimed, unwashed metal and styrene subjects, I judge that brushing Molten Metals covers as well (90%) with the first pass as other mainstream acrylic paints I have used. Airbrushing also performed highly satisfactorily, even though it required much more thinning than Darkstar instructions.

Applying Molten Metals over satin resisted coverage by brush painting.

There has been a dearth of quality metallic acrylic colors for too long and I praise Darkstar for bringing us this fine line. Highly recommended.

Please remember to tell vendors and retailers that you saw Molten Metals here - on Model Geek.
Highs: One-pass coverage by brush is generally excellent. Airbrushing also performed highly satisfactorily.
Lows: Applying over satin resists coverage by brush painting.
Verdict: Excellent metallic acrylic paint. Molten Metals is another straight sharp arrow in the quiver of modelers hunting for that perfect acrylic paint.
  Scale: N/A
  Related Link: DarkStar
  PUBLISHED: Jun 17, 2017

Our Thanks to Airbrushes.com!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


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