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SIMULATING LENSES OR HEADLAMP GLASS - ADVICE NEEDED

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6
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SIMULATING LENSES OR HEADLAMP GLASS - ADVICE NEEDED
Posted by 6 on Sunday, July 31, 2005 9:35 AM
What type of glue or other product is best to simulate clear glass lenses on instrument panels or to place over AMT headlights to give the appearance of glass? For example, many AMT kits have headlights molded into the chrome with not clear parts. What's best to give the glass or clear appearance?

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 31, 2005 11:39 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Big Baby

What type of glue or other product is best to simulate clear glass lenses on instrument panels or to place over AMT headlights to give the appearance of glass? For example, many AMT kits have headlights molded into the chrome with not clear parts. What's best to give the glass or clear appearance?


This topic has been covered extensively in a fair number of threads over the past couple of years, the latest thread on it being just within the last week or so. Have you tried searching this one out?

Just a thought.

Biscuitbuilder
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Posted by barker on Sunday, July 31, 2005 11:58 AM
BB...there are a number of things you can try for the clear lenses on dashboards... some like to use two-part epoxy... I've never tried this because I have a hard time mixing it without bubbles in it and I have heard that it yellows over time. Next is a clear gloss acrylic like Future or any other acrylic clear coat. This is may take a couple of coats, so don't put it on too thick. I have use this and the effect is good. As far as the headlights are concerned, I havn't found a meathod that pleases me short of drilling out the bezel and putting in clear lenses. Maybe someone else will have some other ideas for you... Good Luck!!! Big Smile
"'It's Ok to act like a sheep, just as long as you act like a cool sheep." H. MacLeod
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 31, 2005 12:05 PM
BB

Here is a link to the latest, it is under Chrome Headlights
http://www.scaleautomag.com/sca/community/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19756
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 31, 2005 2:03 PM
Big Baby,

I think the best kept secret in modeling is decopauge (or EnviroTex) which is a 2-part clear epoxy that you buy at the craft store. It dries very clear and thick.

here is a simple 3-part dash on a 1:8 '32 Ford. The center section was sprayed with Alclad and then attached to the bottom section. Then the decopauge was poured in.



here is the final result



here the same method was used on another '32



here it is used to cover a piece of birch plywood (the model aircraft kind)



and then later the gauges were poured into individual tube pieces



here it is used for taillights. Tubes are aluminum. Bottom of tube is Bare Metal Foil painted with Tamiya Clear Red. Then pour the decopauge. When light hits them they reflect and shine.



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Posted by papi62596 on Sunday, July 31, 2005 2:36 PM
Future floor wax.Big Smile
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6
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Posted by 6 on Sunday, July 31, 2005 5:40 PM
Baker, vp, disco & papi - thanks for the great feedback, links and pics. Great stuff! I appreicate that it wasn't too much trouble for your guidance! I'll look into these options.

The great thing about these forums is that no matter how extensively a subject has been covered, I can get my own perspective, ask specific questions and go beyond someone else's string in addition to or rather than reading the answers to someone else's question. In other words, I can go down avenues that other strings didn't. Thanks everyone who took the time to share their feedback!!

Thanks again!

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 31, 2005 6:28 PM
Check out the October '04 issue of scale Auto for the " tip of the month " on page 21,,,It deals with making lenses and foiling the reflectors behind them.
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Posted by 6 on Monday, August 01, 2005 4:57 PM
Thanks Steve. I've been pointed to a few back issues that I ended up ordering on other topics. Maybe this will be another.

FOLLOW UP: Has anyone heard of a glue called "Crystal Clear" or "Krystal Kleer" or however they spell it? I understand it's popular with the airliner/armor guys. Any feedback on using that to simulate glass?

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, August 01, 2005 5:32 PM
On my Polar Lights ECTO-1, it featured textured headlamps molded into the chromed grille.

I carefully brushed a few coats of Tamiya Smoke (transparent grey/black), and it seemed to darken it up/give depth to an amount that pleased me.
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Posted by hct728 on Monday, August 01, 2005 5:55 PM
Made my own lenses, just "heat and smash" some take-out food styrene container over a marble, then punch it out with a hole punch
6
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Posted by 6 on Monday, August 01, 2005 8:54 PM
Bob; that's freak'n clever!! I'm going to try that.

How are you heating and covering the marble. Can you give a little more detail?

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Posted by gratch73a on Saturday, August 06, 2005 8:14 AM
Steve your thread has lost it's pics!
6
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Posted by 6 on Sunday, August 07, 2005 6:06 AM
FOLLOW UP: Has anyone heard of a glue called "Crystal Clear" or "Krystal Kleer" or however they spell it? I understand it's popular with the airliner/armor guys. Any feedback on using that to simulate glass?

I tried searches on the forum and maybe the spelling is preventing any decent hits.

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, August 07, 2005 6:42 AM
This is the stuff. It's called Micro Kristal Klear. Available from Squadron and alot of other places.

http://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=MY0009

Mike
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Posted by 6 on Sunday, August 07, 2005 4:44 PM
Thanks ADD; have you used it for replicating glass lenses? Do you like the product?

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, August 07, 2005 10:24 PM
I like it alot. I haven't used it for headlamp glass but I have used it to make gauge and dashboard glass and quarter windows. It works great. I also use it to mount windshields and insignias. I am going to look into using the concave half of those doll google eyes for headlamp glass. It seems like a great idea.

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, August 08, 2005 4:44 AM
i use future period
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Posted by 6 on Saturday, August 13, 2005 2:24 PM
Add; real good idea. I saw a ton of different sizes at Michaels. Only downside is that they may be too flat. Let me know how it goes!

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, August 14, 2005 12:51 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Big Baby

What type of glue or other product is best to simulate clear glass lenses on instrument panels or to place over AMT headlights to give the appearance of glass? For example, many AMT kits have headlights molded into the chrome with not clear parts. What's best to give the glass or clear appearance?


My choice has always been is to replace all head lights regardless if they are molded in or seperate clear plastic lenses. But I do place these behind the clear pastic lenses. You can find them as railroad marker lenses at the model train department at your local hobby shop. Or on-line at model train website. Check em out. I swear you won't use anything else

http://community.webshots.com/album/422279012FbznGj

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Posted by 6 on Monday, September 26, 2005 9:15 PM
ADDmodeler: I got some of those doll eyes and they have the perfect curve. Many sizes. I tried cutting with a #11 blade but trimming is the problem. Have you played around with these?

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Posted by blizzy63 on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 1:12 PM
Great suggestions here!
For those chromed, molded-in headlights, I paint them over using white glue (like Weldbond, LePage's, etc.). Goes on white then dries clear. Not perfect but it differentiates the glass lenses from the chrome metal bezels or grillework. I use white glue for use with all my clear plastic parts (mostly window glass and headlight lenses). I use it occasionally over dashboard instrument dials to simulate the glass or clear plastic facings. I last used it on my AMT '67 Camaro dash. Looks all right. Sets apart the big speedo dials from the semi-gloss black dash.
What I'd like to replicate is the sealed beam headlight lenses from the Revell '41 Chevy Pickup kit. These are absolute beauties! They are the best 1/25 scale representations of 6-1/2"-round sealed beam headlamps I've ever seen. Revell should offer these lens/bezel units separately on their own for general conversion use. I want a set of these for my '36 Ford custom (to represent a sealed beam headlight conversion, common after their introduction in 1940). I should try to create my own mold to replicate the lens detail. I'd hate to buy a whole '41 Chevy Pickup kit just for the headlamps!
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Posted by mustangmuscle on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 8:45 PM
I ha used the doll eyes and they works fine, I use a file to separate the clear lens from the backing. By filing the back edge at a 45 degree angle, they eventually separate.

I glue them into a short length of tube to build the final reflector and glue that part to the back of the drilled-out headlight.

The railroad lenses (made by "M.V products") are nice, but they do not have any grooves so they do not look realistic when used alone (that's why im2yz4cory uses them behind the kit lens!)
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 7:07 PM
I was "playing around" the other nite with my model "junk". I had two rods off acrylic plastic. One in the size of 1/25 and the other 1/16. With a rough piece of sandpaper I sanded the end to the shape ( curvature ) of a headlite lense. Then I took the sandpaper from my polishing kit (3600 to 12,000) and polished the end to a smooth finish. It was just a matter of taking the "razor saw" and cutting of the end. the next step is up to you. I drilled a small hole in the center of the lense and CA'd the head of a pin into it to simulate "flame thrower" headlites that were very popular for customs in the 60's. The alternative would be to carefully scratch into the end a pattern of lines like you will find in a stock headlite lense.
When you have the pattern correct, then cut off the end.Thumbs Up Bob
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Posted by lscrima on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 8:33 PM
How about checking out your transformed geeky four eye friends that switched over to disposeable contact lenses?

Colored headlights? Way cool!
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Posted by 6 on Friday, December 30, 2005 2:10 PM
Just an update. I used Devcon 5 minute epoxy and it worked REAL well. I never thought I could get so much realism out of those crappy AMT molded in headlamps. Thanks again everyone!

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Posted by lastrto on Friday, December 30, 2005 3:37 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Big Baby

Just an update. I used Devcon 5 minute epoxy and it worked REAL well. I never thought I could get so much realism out of those crappy AMT molded in headlamps. Thanks again everyone!


Are you replacing the molded lens with Devcon or are you puting the Devcon over the molded lens?
The only sacred thought is that there are no sacred thoughts..Carl Sagen 173rd Airborne /Nam 67-68 69-70
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Posted by Slabbedask on Saturday, December 31, 2005 4:40 AM
The MPC Chevette I'm currently working on has those dreaded molded in headlights. I decided to try to make these look a bit more realistic. The headlight "buckets" on the Chevette are separate parts, as the grills are in the hood, and those "buckets" are quite deep. So I poured a blob of two-part molding silicone into one of these buckets, to get a mold for the glass. After the silicone had cured, I removed the mold, and using increasing diameter drills, (To have better control...) I drilled out the chromed "glass". Had to glue a piece of sheet styrene to the back of the headlight piece to avoid drilling through it. Used fine sandpaper to smooth out the "reflector" after drilling, and brush painted it with gloss black/Alclad II chrome. With this done, I mixed 5-min epoxy very careful to avoid trapping too many bubbles, and filled the "glass" mold with it. Painted the gray part of the headlight bucket, glued the "glass" on, and hey presto! A much better looking headlight! (Or at least I think so.......Clown )
Sorry for the blurry picture, should have used my tripod. But you get the idea....)


As for instrument glass, I always use 5-min epoxy for this too. Never had any problems, and it looks quite good....
You're never too old to have a happy childhood...! http://public.fotki.com/slabbedask/
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Posted by 6 on Saturday, December 31, 2005 7:16 AM
Saddle; it looks fantastic and certainly more realistic. Can you tell me more about the 2 part molding silicone (where to buy it; brand, etc.)? The drilling clearly is the tense part; no room for screw ups there; unless you have a back up kit.

Is the Cvette a re-release now?

Las: I applied the epoxy over the chrome after doing a white wash. Looks good, but not as good as Saddle's work.

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Posted by Slabbedask on Saturday, December 31, 2005 9:43 AM
You can probably use any brand of casting silicone for this. I bought mine here in Norway, so you probably won't have the same brand over there anyway. I know there's several sources for this in the US, Micromark and The Baremetal Foil co. are two that comes to mind. You could probably use one of those latex mold-making goo's too. One-part liquid rubber that's desinged to make plaster molds by applying several thin coats over a master. These tend to shrink more than the two-part silicones though. I guess a well stocked crafts store have this.
Yes the drilling bit is quite tense. Like I said, starting with a small drill bit makes it easier to centre the reflector, and working your way up through the drill bit sizes gives you better control. Like me with this kit, you may need to add a piece of sheet styrene to the back of the reflector piece to avoid drilling through it.
This kit is a 1978 annual kit, so a back up would be tricky (and expensive .......) to get. Unfortunately there's no plans for a rerelease that I know. If only The Model King could answer the many prayers here on the forum for a "70s classics" series. Vegas, Pintos, Chevettes, Gremlins, Matadors, all with stock building options, the list is endless. Just hope that the molds haven't been destroyed to make those weird looking modifieds. Judging from the interest here, they should sell pretty well......
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