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Looking for good copper foil

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I've used the model shipways copper foil provided in some of there kits and it aged really well over a period of six months or so. 

I've also used some other copper foil I have purchased from hobby lobby and it certainly has a clear coat and does not petina properly.


i used the copper foil in the model shipways  Essex kit, and it worked really well, you can see it in my album of finished builds gallery and would like to find some more similar foil.


can someone help me identify by brand name of any copper foil providers which do not use a clear coat over the copper. 

Model shipways offers some but I have not seen any large rolls for sale.


thanks for any help. A.Jorden 

Edited by greatgalleons
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I found some foil in a roll at Michaels - a craft shop chain in N. America. As you don't show where you live, I don't know if that's of any help to you or not!

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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Another good source for copper foil with no clear coating are Stained Glass supply shops. They also carry the various widths as well.


Current build: Maersk Detroit"
Future builds:  Mamoli HMS Victory 1:90
Completed builds: US Brig Niagara, Dirty Dozen, USS Constitution, 18th Century Armed Longboat


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Look up local Stained Glass businesses as the copper foil is actually designed for their use. Most have a variety of widths and will be able to answer whether they are coated or not. Most also have liquid patina products. 


Jim Rogers


Damn the Torpedoes , Full speed ahead.   Adm David Farragut.

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Take a look at Bare Metal Foil - one of their products is copper.

No idea about the longevity of the adhesive backing.

As a material that can be burnished - the thickness may be

closer to scale  than the usual choices.

I have no hands on experience with it.


As what is now ancient history, I followed the suggestion from

the original Model Shipways, with copper rectangles, flamed treated

to darken and adhered using Weldwood contact cement.  The

combination failed to stick after a few years.  The plates  popped off,

the remaining cement was a copper color, so an explanation may be

a chemical reaction that migrated copper into the adhesive and negated

its bonding capacity.

NRG member 45 years



HMS Centurion 1732 - 60-gun 4th rate - Navall Timber framing

HMS Beagle 1831 refiit  10-gun brig with a small mizzen - Navall (ish) Timber framing

The U.S. Ex. Ex. 1838-1842
Flying Fish 1838  pilot schooner -  framed - ready for stern timbers
Porpose II  1836  brigantine/brig - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers
Vincennes  1825  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers assembled, need shaping
Peacock  1828  Sloop-of -War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Sea Gull  1838  pilot schooner -  timbers ready for assembly
Relief  1835  ship - timbers ready for assembly


Portsmouth  1843  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Le Commerce de Marseilles  1788   118 cannons - framed

La Renommee 1744 Frigate - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers


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Do a search for copper leaf or copper shim stock.  I believe K&S has foil/shim stock from .001 to .005 thickness.  Neither leaf, foil or shim stock has a clear coat and it isn't expensive.  If you go with any of these be sure and get the thicker stuff as it is easier to use for model work.  However the really thin leaf is to delicate for most models although for putting a copper bottom on a really small scale model it is perfect.

My advice and comments are always worth what you paid for them.

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I can second Clare's recommendation for Glass crafters, purchased from them many times though primarily for glass work, you can also get foil in different thicknesses and well as widths.

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  • 1 month later...

I found this one on Amazon and is excellent..


Completed.... Charles W. Morgan,Sea Horse,USS Constitution,Virginia 1819,San Fransisco II, AL HMS Bounty 1:48

L'Herminione 1:96

Spanish Frigate,22 cannons 18th C. 1:35 scale.Scratch-built (Hull only)

Cutter Cheefull 1806 1:48 (with modifications)


Current Project: Orca (This is a 35" replica of the Orca boat from the movie Jaws)

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Varnishes and adhesives can be usually removed with acetone or white spirit, then polish with very fine (0000) steel-wool.


Certain adhesives can be 'poisoned' by heavy metal ions, such as copper. Cu can, for instance, inhibit the polymerisation of cyanoacrylate adhesives, they just don't harden or not sufficiently. A solvent-base contact cement is a better choice, provided the solvent can diffuse out through the hull. It is also a good idea to provide some 'key' on the copper glueing-surface by rubbing it with steel-wool, e.g. 00.


Flame-treating of copper leads to the formation of various types of copper oxides. These oxides can become detached from the metal with time, particularly, when the oxidation progresses through humidity. Glueing an oxidised copper-sheet results sooner or later in a failure of the bond. Remove all oxidation by rubbing with steel-wool and degrease with acetone.



panta rhei - Everything is in flux



M-et-M-72.jpg  Banner-AKHS-72.jpg  Banner-AAMM-72.jpg  ImagoOrbis-72.jpg
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