NEWS: Latest News from Lake Wobegon

Like the story about Mark Twain’s death ” being greatly exaggerated”, reports of PROTOCRAFT is alive and well. I read several postings on another forum of the demise of the business. For this reason, I am mentioning the subject again.  For the next week, Norm Buckhart is busy taking care of getting his home repaired.  Subsequent to that, he will be resuming operations to process orders and ship Protocraft products.  Yes, there was damage to his buildings.  It will be fixed and business will continue in parallel.

Stay Calm and Buy Protocraft products.



It is not a provocative acronym for some nasty subject.  It stands for Bare Metal Foil.  Any scale automobile modeler know of and have used BMF for years.  Us sheltered model railroaders only have a smidgen of information on modeling worlds outside of trains.  I for one has ignored most other hobbies most of my life.  My own brother is avid plastic modeler and has tried to enlighten me from time-to-time.  Of late, Lee Turner has shown me the light in other universes.  He has adopted many materials and methods from the plastic modeler world to build more realistic railroad models.  Facebook has shown me a lot of new techniques and products using acrylics finishes made in Europe.

One product that I have tried thirty years ago is Bare Metal Foil.  Didn’t use it properly and discarded my sheet.   It has been around a long time and is a staple in the auto modelers.  The foil is extremely thin with an adhesive on the backing.  You cut out the size of material need plus overage to help with the application..  Start lifting the foil off the backing and carefully place it on the model.  Use a toothpick to press the foil to the feature of the model.


The foil is very easy to work onto the model.  Lee told me that you should pull the toothpick toward you and don’t push it away. Use a sharp new #11 blade to outline the feature you want to chrome.








So the resulting BMF treatment looks like this.  It is very easy to do once you get the feel of it.  It can be used to other details like clearance lights on the truck cab like shown below.  I applied the foil of the cast-on light. Cut away the excess foil and add color using a Tamiya Clear Acrylic paint.  The clear acrylic has an orange tint and is thick and is easily applied with a toothpick.  It may require a few practice runs before going for gold. I need to touch up the lights.



Mike Cougill posted a blog on OST Publications  . that is worth reading.  Mike tells a good story and makes a few points that may be overlooked by modelers.  His perspective is likely sharpened by a background in the arts.

Having a focal point to each scene on a layout is of value.  The viewer is likely enjoy the experience more being drawn to this point.  Many modelers tend to overdo their layout to the point that a viewer doesn’t see much of it. Too much clutter creates confusion in what is being said.  Advertisers learned a long time that a simple phrase or picture conveys more information than a page of text.   At any rate, give it a read and learn from Mike.

Thanks for stopping by.




4 thoughts on “NEWS: Latest News from Lake Wobegon

  1. Another tip for using BMF is to use a Q-tip to initially burnish down the foil. There’s less of a chance of tearing it than using a toothpick.

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