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Thread: Identify this material?

  1. #1
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Identify this material?

    The character Shinzon from the Star Trek: Nemesis movie wears a costume which looks like some kind of metal/plastic armor. It's sort of a blue-black colour and iridescent, but seems to show an unusual range of rainbow tones when he moves through different lighting conditions. Sometimes it almost appears reflective (like a traffic sign). For all I know, it's just cheap blue plastic given a sheen of oil.

    But I'd like to duplicate this appearance on metal sheets. Could Shinzon's iridescent effect be easily duplicated on flat sheet instead of curved surfaces? Can anodizing produce these sorts of iridescent effects? Do adhesive vinyls exist in this particular blue-black-iridescent-reflector colour? Are there any exotic tricks with layering, mixing, or blowtorching paints to mimic this effect? Is it a pearlescent thing, translucent, what?

    The guys at the shop only know basic surfacing techniques, and this is apparently something more akin to professional automotive painting.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  2. #2
    A.B. normal msmrx57's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this material?

    From a quick look at screen shot I'd say the costume is just shiny black vinyl and the color shift/iridescent effect is done with lighting. http://www.startrek.com/legacy_media...12/320x240.jpg in this shot you can see some red and green in the background. That being said I know they make some vinyls for sign making that have some pretty awesome color shift and iridescence. I've been out of the sign business for 11 years and can only imagine that they've gotten better in that time. I'd suggest talking to a sign company and see what they could do. Either that or paint could work as well. A black base with multiple layers or clear with iridescent pearls.
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    I ... fight ... for ... the USERS! f8l_0e's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this material?

    I'm thinking it is some kind of vinyl with metallic flakes inside or has prismatic qualities in the plastic.

    http://www.alsacorp.com/products/fab...eath_show5.htm

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-x9-PURPLE-...-/251096658124

    You could also use DupliColor's chameleon spray paint. It is a two part process, chameleon base coat, and clear coat.
    Last edited by f8l_0e; 01-28-2013 at 12:17 AM. Reason: Paint suggestion.

  4. #4
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this material?

    That purple teal chameleon looks very close, and gave me a colour name to work with, thanx.

    I'm kinda aiming for the edge/tip colours seen here.

    Although this page and this page provide results from anodizing Niobium (which I can obtain in various sheet gauges). I think this is the way to go, because vinyl will not resist wear and tear ... I just gotta figure out which anodizing process they used. I can't afford to experiment on too many batches of Niobium to tune the colour.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  5. #5
    Stupidity feeds my children blueonblack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this material?

    You sir have been sigquoted. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
    I can't afford to experiment on too many batches of Niobium to tune the colour.
    “Do not trust people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible, and when I leave you will finally understand why storms are named after people.”

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    Moderator TLHarrell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this material?

    Niobium colors are based on voltage and time on the anodizing process.

    For paint effects, there are many powdered pigments available for the irridescent effect. Shoot a gloss black, dust on the pigments (literally just like figerprinting, you don't want any visible dust residue), then shoot with clear.
    I have a hammer! I can put things together! I can knock things apart! I can alter my environment at will and make an incredible din all the while! -Calvin

  7. #7
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this material?

    I seek a durable "thick" surfacing which probably needs to endure a lot of scuffing at a ski resort. Do longer anodizing baths allow the dyes to penetrate deeper, and do they tend to make the colour darker?

    I have only a little practical experience with anodizing and electroplating, usually somebody else handles those sorts of tasks while I focus on electronic issues.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  8. #8
    Moderator TLHarrell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this material?

    For aluminum, you can specify "hard coat", which is a thicker anodizing. It costs more to do, obviously, but is much more resistant to wear. It won't be irridescent though.

    What is this application for, and why does it need to be so decorative?
    I have a hammer! I can put things together! I can knock things apart! I can alter my environment at will and make an incredible din all the while! -Calvin

  9. #9
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this material?

    It's basically the utility boxes and various conduit/raceway runs in gondolas, disguised a bit to look like unimportant things. Specifications for appearance were very specific, metal fixtures are required by code, and damage-resistant surfacing seems like a good idea because the usual cargo is large groups of impatient snowboarders. The client is paying premiums to get the best possible quality.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  10. #10
    Moderator TLHarrell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this material?

    Engine turned stainless steel? Some other metal surface that's been patterned somehow? Heavy gauge expanded metal mesh, with a translucent acrylic behind it?
    I have a hammer! I can put things together! I can knock things apart! I can alter my environment at will and make an incredible din all the while! -Calvin

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