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Captain Phasma Conversion Tutorial

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Greetings, Phasma Makers.


I started a pretty Google Slides version as well, if you prefer the most up-to-date version as I slowly build this tutorial.

We also have a discussion group on Facebook which is a fun place for rants and cheers that don't belong here.


This tutorial may appear to be in a non-linear order. This is because I'm writing the tutorials out of order. So read on for what you need, check back if it's missing, or check the Google Slides where it is likely to appear first (and in order, and with links).


As long as I have editing privileges on this thread, I'll keep adding details and photos.


~ Ingrid





(Added 12/26/15)


Part 1. Chroming your armor.

 --> 1A. Prepping your armor - base black.

 --> 1B. Alclad II Chrome 107 technique.

 --> 1C. Chrome stretch vinyl.

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Part 1: Chroming Your Armor
Here I will post different ways to chrome your armor. You do this after all your pieces are trimmed and ready to strap.
Insert final CRL wording here when approved. 
Proposed CRL Wording (as of 12/26/15):


The armor is a highly reflective metallic, silver or chrome-like finish. This finish may include non-colored, non-opaque weathering.


  • The reflectivity is sharp, approaching “mirror finish.” It is not a foggy silver or shiny gray.
  • The weathering is similar to fingerprinting and smudging, not carbon scoring or dirt (as in sandtroopers).
  • The weathering may reduce the base reflectivity, but should generally not be opaque except for scratches and small marks.


  • Vacuum metalizing process (expensive)
  • Professional automotive chrome spray (let the experts do it)
  • 2-Part silvering systems
  • Alclad or related 1-part silvering (see Part 1B)
  • Silver spray paint
  • Chrome stretch vinyl wrap (see Part 1C)
  • Chrome spray paint*

* For whatever reason, chrome spray paints tend to have a “foggy” finish, not reflective.

Part 1A: Prepping the black base.
This section applies to those who will be using a silvering system (Alclad, AngelGilding, or even Vacuum Metalizing) to chrome their armor. You have to do this even if you are Vacuum Metalizing, unless the company you send out to is willing to do the prep-work for you. Note that resin parts gas out and the metalizing vendor may not guarantee a perfect finish on resin parts, or any surface that is not prepared properly. This is also a good step if you use a chrome or silver spray paint, as it provides a black base for your natural weathering, dings, and scratches.
For silvering systems, your preparation is everything. You can't cut corners here, or your final product will show it quite readily.

The goal of the black base is to achieve a “glassy, mirror finish” because whatever the armor looks like under the Alclad, that will appear quite boldly after the Alclad is applied. If your black base is mirror finish, your chrome finish will be a mirror finish. If you shortcut this step, you will get a less crisp reflection and show every flaw in your paint and plastic.

Phasma’s screen-used armor is a “mirror finish” achieved with the vacuum metalizing process. But we can achieve that with Alclad at a micro fraction of the cost, but only if the black base is truly a mirror finish to begin with. This is where 80% of the chroming process happens.

In this section I describe using spraypaint as the base, but you could also use a gloss black airbrush paint or whatever you're comfortable with.


  • Krylon gloss black spraypaint
  • spray trigger
  • polishing compound (Novus 2 works, or Meguiar’s compound - it is not wax, it is a rubbing compound)
  • wet-dry sandpaper - 320, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000
  • soft paper or terrycloth towels
  • microfiber cloth
  • gloves recommended
  • bucket or large bowl
  • a soft rag
  • dish soap

* NOTE: You can use any paint. I find the Krylon has a finer "mist" output which means it goes on more evenly, connects to itself, and does not "drip" or eggshell up as badly as Rustoleum and other spraypaints.


Prep the armor by (1) washing the release agents, residues, grit, and dust off the armor, and (2) sanding softly with 320-600 grit paper (your choice). This is to give the paint something to grip to.

Make sure armor is completely dry, and wipe off any dust or grit from the sanding prep.

Spray 2-3 coats of gloss black on each piece using long, even strokes about 10” from the item. If by some miracle this comes out 100% glass smooth, with no peeling, dripping, or wrinkling of the paint, you’re done. If not, go on to Step 1B for any pieces that are not perfect (which will be most of them).


Fill a large bowl or bucket with warm water and a drop of dish soap. Soak a strip of each grit of microfine sandpaper in the water. Be sure the paint layers have completely dried/cured before sanding.

Using long, soft strokes in one direction (back and forth, not circles), start with the wet 320 and smooth off any peels, wrinkles, or drips. Wipe occasionally to remove grit and excess paint and water. Once completely smooth, switch up to finer grains of sandpaper until milky smooth.

You may have to repeat this process with more paint and more sanding. Thick drips tend to peel off in chunks, leaving you with ridges.


Once your parts are smooth as silk and completely dry, you can polish them. (I like to do this while watching movies.)
Using liberal amounts of compound and a terrycloth or soft paper towel, work the compound in circles, wiping off with a microfiber cloth on occasion. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

You should begin to see sharp reflections in the polish. When you think it’s enough, do it again. It’s amazing when the edges of lights go from slightly fuzzy to absolutely sharp! You’ll thank me for not cutting this corner!

Note: compound doesn’t get rid of visible scratches.


Part 1B: Chroming with Alclad II Chrome 107.
The system I used on my first pass at chroming came out brilliantly. I used the Alclad II Chrome 107 “finish” that you can get at hobby stores for about $9/oz. I used a total of 6 oz. for the entire suit.

Alclad chrome is a silver particulate in substrate (liquid) that you spray on top of a paint base. For Phasma a black base is best. I will describe the entire procedure here, but the short of it is black paint, then airbrush on the Alclad.

After the chroming you can finish it with Alclad Clear Gloss or a similar clear coating (not urethane automotive clearcoat) to hold the particulates in place. The chrome will otherwise “chip off” quite easily.


  • Alclad II 107 Chrome (from a hobby shop) - 6-8 oz per suit.
  • an airbrush (I bought a $10 Central Pneumatic kit from Harbor Freight, came with an adapter for the big compressor)
  • an air compressor (I borrowed a friend’s 6gal compressor which had a pressure regulator, gave me 20-30 min. between refills, which are noisy)
  • cleaning kit, thinner/cleaners, etc.
  • respirator recommended
  • gloves recommended


Set up an area you can spray safely with no wind or dust and plenty of light. Be sure to wear a respirator and long gloves. (I cut open a large box.)


Connect your compressor, airbrush, etc. and pour Alclad into the applicator bottle (or if you bought individual 1oz bottles, connect it if you can).


Your compressor’s output pressure should be 15-20 PSI. (I kept mine around 18. It changes a bit whenever the compressor reloads.)


Spray a few practice sprays on a safe surface (I used my cardboard) so that you can adjust the flow. You want a mist, not anything too thick or too fast.


Alclad is not a paint. It is a slurry of aluminum particles floating in a lacquer base. The “silver” particles are microscopic and settle into the asperities of the paint. So the smoother your base, the more smoothly the particles will lay down.

Alclad dries very fast, within seconds. This allows you to continuously apply many layers at a time. It is also very susceptible to “striping” so you have to pay attention to your layers. If you lay down too much, or if your base is not mirror reflective, you will be seeing a final coat that is foggy. Also, if your pressure is too much or too concentrated, you will see a “foam” that dries slowly and is a bit less mirrored. Be sure to let this dry before touching it!


Spray a few coats/layers onto the pieces. I started with the TD since it will not be seen and it therefore is good practice. As you spray you will see the silvering appear on top of the black. As you add layers, it begins to cover the black entirely. You can work on small areas at a time.

After a few coats in a small area, use a soft paper towel or tissue to lightly buff the silver back and forth. This helps to settle the particles into a single direction and rubs off any loose particles that will cause fogging.
Repeat for all parts until you are satisfied that they are fully covered in chrome and no black is showing. That was easy!


I did not finish my Alclad with a clear coat (such as Alclad Gloss Klear Kote) due to time. However, if you don’t finish it, the silver particles will rub or chip off quite easily. Several of the FOTKs from the World Premiere now have silver streaks all over their biceps and elbows :-)

Before you coat it, however, be sure to give it a final buffing. I found that in some cases, more buffing revealed more black, while other times more buffing revealed more mirror finish. Mirroring was prominent on my chest.

If you put a coat over the Alclad, be sure it is truly clear gloss and not the kind that has a natural “yellow” tint. If you use urethane, get a violet dye for it.

Part 1C: VViViD Chrome Stretch Vinyl.

For some of the smaller parts, like the foot plates, I was unable to get a base coat on my ABS/For-Sale-Sign to stick. So we used stretch vinyl, which we bought for about $20 on Amazon. There are definitely better (and more expensive) quality products out there, but this one was fine for the smaller parts. The VViViD we bought had a strange eggshell texture to it so its reflective quality, while sharp, also retained that eggshell quality. The chrome is also a very blue tint, which was an "ok" match for my Alclad chrome.
Stretch vinyl is easy to apply. Simply cut a piece slightly larger than the part you want to cover, and begin wrapping. We used a hair dryer on a low setting to heat the vinyl to stretch around corners. It is helpful to have a tool like a hard silicone spatula to help you smooth it out, as pressing with my thumb eventually, slowly, tore the skin from the nail. 
Start in the middle and work your way out. Once stretched, it does not want to retract, so if you stretch it incorrectly or too much around a corner, you have to then do a lot more work to get it flat again. It's very tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty efficient. It is equally time consuming and in some ways more effort than chroming.

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If I may ask, what kit will you be using for the "base?"


I happened to have an Anovos FOTK. When I saw the trailer at Celebration I immediately decided to forego any fun times with it and turn it into "that chrome trooper." Little did i know how much work that would be! :D

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Hey Ingrid!


What do you think of the finish on the Anovos Phasma bucket?


Seems like it's a not so "mirror finish". It almost looks brushed in some of the pics. Then again it could just be the lighting in the pics. I'm curious on what process they are using.

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Hey Ingrid!


What do you think of the finish on the Anovos Phasma bucket?


Seems like it's a not so "mirror finish". It almost looks brushed in some of the pics. Then again it could just be the lighting in the pics. I'm curious on what process they are using.

I haven't seen it. Not a fan of Anovos so much I can't bring myself to look


It should get as close to mirror as possible, not a true mirror but absharp reflection. If not, its just another shoddy job for pre-sale profit.


If it's just to put in a display cabinet, is probably fine.


If you get one to wear : strip, prep, and chrome it yourself to match your kit. Just have a backup plan since you'll likely be waiting a year for it.


Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

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