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Tool Review
Polished Copper
Polished Copper
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

Polished Copper, item 281 from Darkstar Miniatures is a color in a new range of acrylic metallic paints - Molten Metals. I am very impressed with the brand. Molten Metals are water-based paints formulated to dry permanent while remaining glossy and bright with no need for gloss clear coat. They are also designed to accept polishing to improve the sheen. The range currently consists of:
    Polished Copper
    Bronze, Blackened
    Copper, Aged
    Copper, Polished
    Gold, Antique
    Gold, Braid
    Gold, Classic
    Gold, Fine
    Gold, Imperial
    Gold, Pale
    Gold, Regency
    Gold, Renaissance
    Gold, Royal
    Gold, Victorian
    Silver, Old
    Silver Verde
    Steel, Blue
    Steel, Bright

Darkstar Miniatures is a UK company that also 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 Polished Copper
Airbrushes.com carries Molten Metals and kindly sent Polished Copper for review.

These paints are packaged in soft 17ml squeeze bottles. Each bottle has an agitator inside to ensure proper mixing when the bottle is shaken. The bottles are a nice design with a clean but sullen appearance, not surprising considering Darkstar's modeling genre.

This paint is difficult to display. The two chips - one airbrushed and one hand brushed - show up much redder than the actual color cured. The painted dog shows what it really looks like.

The paint consists of fine pigments suspended in a medium the consistency that reminds me of Vallejo, or white glue for those who haven't used that brand. I describe the viscosity as "buttery." That makes it easy to control how much one squeezes out.

I'm coming to love these paints. I applied the color directly from the bottle onto a primed Tamiya dog which was "primed" decades ago with an ancient enamel, and I did not clean it prior to applying Polished Copper. (I like to demonstrate paints based on "rookie mistakes.") I both airbrushed and bristle-brushed the styrene color chip. Let's see how they worked.

Hand Brushing

Brushing it onto the dog demonstrated excellent coverage. Brushing it upon the smooth texture of the styrene required a second coat. Fortunately, the paint dries fairly fast and the second coat was applied after about 15 minutes.

Painting delicate area have been easy with these paints because of their consistency. It stays where I put it and yet does not occlude detail when dry.


Darkstar Miniatures states that for airbrushing the paint need only be thinned water-to-paint at 1 to 10. (Water only.) That ratio has worked well through my Aztec black nozzle. However, for this color, I used Darkstar Molten Metals Thinner and the paint sprayed great. Cleaning was good with just water, and complete with an airbrush cleaner.

Polished Copper dried to a smooth and almost glossy finish. Darkstar Miniatures claims this paint can be polished to a higher sheen after curing for 24 hours; polishing worked with previous reviews although I can't tell a difference after polishing this color.

My previous experience with Molten Metals has been very impressive. I find them to be excellent for any modeling category and genre - antiquity, classic figures, Steampunk, airframes and powerplants, military ordnance, and railroadia. These paints are perfect for anything that needs a raw metallic look. Molten Metals is an excellent product for modelers hunting for that perfect acrylic paint. Stored in neat bottles, the paint has a good consistency.

This Molten Metals did not cover smooth unprimed styrene as well with a brush as other mainstream acrylic paints I have used, although it was perfect over the primed dog. Airbrushing was highly satisfactorily.

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

Please remember to tell vendors and retailers that you saw Molten Metals here - on Historicus Forma.
Highs: Airbrushing is highly satisfactorily. The paint dried to a smooth semi-glossy sheen.
Lows: Brushing by hand over unprepared styrene did not cover as well as other Molten Metals I've used, although it worked perfectly over primed plastic.
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
  Mfg. ID: DM498
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 28, 2019

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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