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Author Topic: Gilding plastic  (Read 5613 times)


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Gilding plastic
« on: January 25, 2016, 07:39:01 pm »

Hi all I've been asked several times how I do my gold leafing.
First the things you will need (Highly specialised stuff)(most can be got at the pound shop (apart from the size and shellac)( or borrowed from your missus)
first is the Size

Other manufacturers are availiable (this is just what I use)
then the Shellac this is to protect the gold as it is very soft and easily rubbed off.

something to clean your brush in if using the make I use

I have run out of gold leaf so will be using copper leaf (the process is exactly the same for gold)(although you should wear cotton gloves if using copper or brass leaf as if not the sweat from your fingers will cause the copper or brass to tarnish)

Now for the tools, a soft cloth, a pair of scissors, your missus blusher brush and a brush for applying the size.

Here's the little lady we will be tormenting.

Your size is a milky colour but dries almost clear

make sure you cover everything you are going to gild

when shes ready she should look slightly shiny and feel a little tacky

cut off a manageable piece of gold

lay on the piece to be gilded

press on with the soft cloth

continue in the same fashion with the rest of the part, when you have done brush off all the excess gold with the soft brush(also on the fine or deeper areas dab with the soft brush (this will help to push the leaf into deeper areas the soft cloth could not get) when you've brushed all the excess off you will find little cracks which will need filling so just cut a small piece of gold from you're leaf and fill (you wont need to re-size.

now its time to use the shellac (I find with my brand as it dries it goes cloudy, DON'T PANIC it will go clear when its dry)

I now use this for a wash (you can use other things,I've used panel line washes to great effect too)

I open the lid then just fill with white spirit give a stir and that seems to be pretty good for a wash.

And finally, whats that you say she was supposed to be flesh coloured I read the instructions wrong. oh well a trusty toothbrush and meths, all sorted


Bob K

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Re: Gilding plastic
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2016, 08:58:28 pm »

Thank you for your very detailed and most informative guide to gilding.  Much appreciated.
I have a couple of ships with wrap-around gold filigree work on the bow and stern.  The bow detail includes a coat of arms crest as well.  Only relatively small areas compared to your excellent work on La Reale plus your latest, but this has definitely given me the impetus to rework my gold painted detail.

 :-))  Ta  !!!
HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)


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Re: Gilding plastic
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2016, 09:05:39 pm »

Thanks Ken, that is a very useful tutorial.
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