Metal Castings

edited December 2015 in Painting Castings
I have the O scale Wood Cutters kit I am beginning. I would like some tips and guidance on metal castings as far as treatment. Jax?


  • Jax works great
  • I have a series of videos that will be posted over the coming months. Several cover painting and weathering metal castings.
  • edited December 2015
    Welcome to the forum John. I'm a newbie and have learned so much from this great group of folks. There are some really talented builders and artists (this is an art form, I think) posting here.

    Go to Tools and Supplies in the Craftsman Kit University area. I did a little comparison of two blackening products - Jax and Novacan.

    I'm working on the HO Wood Cutter's Shack at present,

  • The Jax pointed to by the Supplies section appears to be a black-brown color; the Jax website lists both black-brown and black (though I can't find the straight black on Amazon). Has anyone compared the two and does anyone have thoughts which would be better (i.e. does the presence of brown enhance the effect, perhaps by suggesting a touch of rust if done correctly)?
  • Either the black or the brown-black is suitable for my technique, makes no difference in the end. Chalk powder would be used to create a rust effect on the blackened and buffed casting. I am working on several videos that outline my metal weathering techniques.
  • Mike, why Amazon? I just got mine right from the Jax site. I didn't have to pay a Hazmat fee. That depends on which solution you buy (some are exempt), and sometimes how much you buy (smaller quantities are exempt). I found it a little tricky to figure out which was which on their site, but I bought what was recommended and didn't have to pay any fees.

  • While you are waiting for the Jax and the videos, don't be afraid to experiment and try your own techniques. The "state of the art" on decorating castings, metal or resin, has evolved over the years.

    Some metal castings represent wood (like pallets) and you can spray them lightly with Rustoleum Camo Khaki and weather with chalks. Read this thread a couple of times- hard to beat Kevin's work!

  • edited March 2016
    I usually look on Amazon for three reasons: 1) Living in the Seattle area I sometimes get things very quickly, 2) I do a price comparison just in case and 3) I frequently get free shipping (joined Prime) on even small orders. Sometimes I also will run across products I'm unaware of when doing a site search. This is --not-- a sales pitch, YMMV.
  • Question about the JAX it a one time use or okay to strain back into the bottle and save to re-use for the next batch?
  • I pour my Jax in a small Tupperware container and drop my castings in it. I’ve weathered 100s of castings with the same fluid.
  • Definitely re-use - just try to keep the sludge from going back to the main bottle!
  • A tip that Bill gave a while back is worth repeating here. Put alcohol in the container with the castings first. Pour out alcohol then pour in Jax. It is amazing! No scrubbing and not little silver spots on the castings.
  • Once I pour some of the blackener out and use it, I'll save it in an old water bottle. I keep this around in case I need to blacken a single casting that I forgot or for quick touch-ups (in case I scratch a casting). I usually use an old brush and dip it into the water bottle and dab it onto the casting.
    Also, that orange-ish sludge that Brett mentioned--it settles to the bottom of the water bottle.
  • I just purchase 16oz of Jax from Amazon and it included free shipping. It came Priority Mail.
  • i keep mine in a 3" x 3" x 1" rubbermaid container, and i keep cups of water and alcohol close by. i toss the metal castings in the alcohol for a minute, then drop it in the solution and when blackened, i put it in a cup of water. i first used the jax when i did the woodcutter's shack, and it's been the same since then so i'd say it's almost two years old and i've been using the same stuff the whole time.
  • Jax works great for blackening and buffing the white metal as Brett suggested.
    Now looking for help weathering these metal castings for a rusted old look.
    Not sure if I should use the chalks+Alcohol for metal as suggested for the resin parts in the videos.
    Thanks for any help,
  • start with an acrylic paint and add chalks when dry.
  • For those that might be unfamiliar with my kits, the manual includes detailed instructions for working with both the resin and metal castings. Essentially yes Pappy, use the same techniques on the metal as shown for the resin.
  • Thanks for the info
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