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Clear coating for Instrument clusters?

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  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Seattle area
Clear coating for Instrument clusters?
Posted by Chevy II on Sunday, December 29, 2019 5:09 PM

I know I've seen this topic on the internet, but can't find it now. What can be used to cover the instrument cluster in the dash to represent the glass cover? 

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Sunday, December 29, 2019 8:45 PM

I usually use Tamiya X-22 Clear and a brush for round dials.  I have not attempted any long sweep indicators, although with some patience and a steady hand, it could be done.

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Hamptonville, NC
Posted by TarheelRick on Monday, December 30, 2019 7:32 AM

Some use Testors Clear Window glue.  Put a drop over the gauge or if it is a long gauge put a light covering over it.  It will be white at first but will dry clear, giving the illusion of a factory dash panel cover.

I build models because I can't afford the real thing!

  • Member since
    January 2020
Posted by Ant_Bonvivant on Friday, January 10, 2020 5:13 AM

Very cool info guys. I just recently started to get into car modelling. 

Great resource, can wait to get into it all.

Cheers from Australia.

  • Member since
    December 2019
  • From: New Braunfels,Tx.
Posted by Metalbender on Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:58 AM


 I use Testors Window Maker for the round guages,Or Boyds clear for the long sweep type instruments.

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Friday, January 17, 2020 6:48 AM

For either round gauges or sweepers, I cut a lense from .010" clear sheet styrene. Round lenses are made using a hole punch. For sweepers or odd shaped gauges, I cut the lense using small scissors and shape it with files and sanding sticks. They can be glued on with any of the typical clear glues, though I usually use Future as an adhesive.

.005" clear sheet makes nice lenses too, but due to being quite flimsy, it is more difficult to work with than the .010 sheet.

Before cutting a lense, I will polish the plastic with Tamiya Fine and Finish polishes, and sometimes finish it off with Tamiya wax.

For round gauges, if appropriate for the application, I make a guage bezel from a thin, polished slice aluminum tube.

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy


  • Member since
    May 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 2:30 PM

I use a drop of UV setting glue like Lazer Bond for the lenses.


Like "Bainford", in the circumstance of this '68 Olds 442 dash, I used slices of aluminum tubing, painted black and then polished on the ends for the gauge bezels.








  • Member since
    December 2013
Posted by czech39 on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 8:21 AM

You could also use clear scotch tape

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 1:38 PM

I also use Testors Window Maker.

  • Member since
    May 2017
Posted by Papajohn on Sunday, September 20, 2020 10:40 AM

I use five minute epoxy. When mixed, it may have a lot of bubbles but after application, it settles and the bubbles disappear. It works best if the gages/ areas on the dash have a raised boarder.  I use the thin end of a toothpick to apply it.


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