Re: Main trophy question
Date: March 01, 2011 02:50AM
I tried that stuff once. It works, but its not painted like the aluminum. Instead, it has a thin piece of black vinyl stuck to the metal, and the back is uncoated. If you don't coat the back of the plate with something, you get a nasty black residue on the back of the plate and in your silver bath. Also, over time the vinyl expands and contracts and can cause the collodion/varnish to crack, forming a pattern similar to what mud does when it dries.
I did a test once where I shot a main steel plate, an aluminum plate, and a glass plate, and left them in the back window of my car for a year in the Louisiana heat, down to their mild winter low of around 40 degrees... The aluminum lasted the longest, followed by the glass, and the steel had the wicked crackled surface that I described above.
I've still got some if you want a couple 5x7 pieces. I was using it to back clear glass ambrotypes up until I stopped shooting clear glass as often.