Thank you all for your overwhelming reaction to the Sword of Seals project! I've received many questions about the paint on this one. I felt it's easiest to respond with a post about it.
The final gold and silver used here are Alclad 2 lacquers. Theses lacquers are some of the best looking non-automotive metallics I've seen so far. Lacquer is a thin paint and has very low viscosity when compared to enamels and acrylics.
Due to its low viscosity a proper base under the lacquer top coat is essential to achieve the results you see on this finish. Lacquers are unforgiving and do not cover flaws like the heavier enamels and acrylics do.
This isn't magic paint. Sure the quality and sheen are impressive but it would not look that way without hours or prep in the form of prime, sand, fill repeat. Sound familiar?
I wet sanded the wooden blade on this sword up to 1000 grit. That means starting with 80 grit for shaping, I moved to 120 then 220, started wet sanding at 320 continued with 400, 600, 800 and finally 1000. Between each sanding I also spot filled voids and added a new coat of primer. After all that it's base coated with glossy enamel (left photo) before applying the final lacquer (right photo). If that sounds like a lot of work; it was.
I hope this is informative to you and helps you understand the amount of time needed to achieve similar results.