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Armor/AFV: Techniques
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Removing details from clear windscreens
pbennett
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United Kingdom
Joined: October 14, 2007
KitMaker: 463 posts
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Posted: Monday, June 08, 2020 - 08:47 AM UTC
No doubt aircraft modellers will have the solution to the problem, but I will raise the question here ...

I plan to convert a 1/76-scale diecast Land Rover Defender (from Oxford Diecast) to a left-hand drive version. The windscreen wipers are represented as raised details on the clear plastic screen, and these need to be repositioned for a LHD vehicle. They can be easily scraped away, but this will leave a noticeable blemish on the screen. What is the best way of removing this before adding the new wipers?

Thanks,

Paul
barnslayer
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New York, United States
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Posted: Monday, June 08, 2020 - 08:59 AM UTC
My opinion is you'd need to go through a series of polishing steps. Micro Mark sells a kit. It's tedious but you'd end up with a perfectly clear windscreen.
It's very similar to the steps taken to revive the plastic lenses on auto headlights.

https://www.micromark.com/Micro-Mesh-Finishing-Kit
Armorsmith
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 09, 2015
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Posted: Monday, June 08, 2020 - 09:15 AM UTC
Depending on how badly scraped the clear is there may be an easier solution. As long as there are no deep cuts and the clear appears to be frosted you might be able to just spray a couple of coats of Future to restore it. Worth a shot before going the more labor intensive route. Good luck.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Monday, June 08, 2020 - 09:40 AM UTC
I doubt Future/Kleer/Future-Pledge alone will help hide deep scratch marks, as future has a tendency to self level into deep scratches. You really only have two options: 1) do as recommended above and grind/polish out the projections, followed by a good polishing with Micro-Marks polishing system and perhaps some Novus plastic polish, then coat in Future; 2) replace the entire windshield with a piece of clear acetate found in produce boxes, bakery goods, or in bubble packs.
VR, Russ
salt6
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Oklahoma, United States
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Posted: Monday, June 08, 2020 - 10:27 AM UTC
Go to your local beauty supply store, etc., and look at the nail sanding sticks. They have grits from coarse to super super fine and a lot of these are washable. I just did a couple of canopies and finished with some plastic polish from a plastic supply store. The optional last step is a dip in future.
Armorsmith
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Monday, June 08, 2020 - 10:27 AM UTC
Russ -If you read my post carefully, I specifically say "As long as there are no deep cuts...". Just trying to save Paul some time and money. Nothing to lose by trying it and if it doesn't work then go the polishing regimen route.
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Monday, June 08, 2020 - 10:56 AM UTC
Note: clear styrene (if this windshield is styrene) is notoriously more brittle than colored styrene. Whatever you do, go easy on it or you'll have to replace it.
Grauwolf
#084
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: September 14, 2005
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Posted: Monday, June 08, 2020 - 12:14 PM UTC
If you choose the scraping and polishing route,once finished,dip the windshield
in Future, don"t spray it on, as spraying will affect the transparency of the
clear part.

This has been my experience with spraying Future on clear parts, it creates a
slight fogged effect, which you don"t want. Dipping retains total transparency.

Personally, since that windshield is flat, just replace it as Russ suggested...you
will save yourself lots of headache of scraping, sanding and polishing etc.

Cheers,
jon_a_its
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: April 29, 2004
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Posted: Monday, June 08, 2020 - 11:05 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Personally, since that windshield is flat, just replace it as Russ suggested...you
will save yourself lots of headache of scraping, sanding and polishing etc.
Cheers,



Concur, replace the windshield with clear sheet if possible, and one of the PC companies do replacement windscreen wipers in 1/35th, so something like it may be available in microdot scale.

But check your refs, as conversion between LHD & RHD, didn't always include switching the windscreen wipers.
Bozothenutter
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Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
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Posted: Monday, June 08, 2020 - 11:31 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Personally, since that windshield is flat, just replace it as Russ suggested...you
will save yourself lots of headache of scraping, sanding and polishing etc.
Cheers,



Concur, replace the windshield with clear sheet if possible, and one of the PC companies do replacement windscreen wipers in 1/35th, so something like it may be available in microdot scale.

But check your refs, as conversion between LHD & RHD, didn't always include switching the windscreen wipers.




this, it's a landy, so flat panes allround and a shot at scale thickness.
joepanzer
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: January 21, 2004
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Posted: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 - 03:50 AM UTC
I jacked up the canopy on a P-3 Orion that I was working on-Glue, paint, plasti-weld. Pitted scratched and smeared.

I researched on line and what I finally settled on was gently buff it out with at a minimum of 1200 grit wet/dry sandpaper. A little water will help the process. When you have it down to fairly level, get some rubbing compound-I used Turtle wax, like for a car. take a cotton ball or swab and a dab of water, and polish it out. I am very satisfied with result

It takes some patience, but could be a viable solution. If not now, for a future project
18Bravo
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Colorado, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 - 04:01 AM UTC
You can use non gel toothpaste as well. I was asked to refurbish a couple of old aircraft models and it works well. I've also seen it used on colored plastic at Automotive Model show in Houston. The finish was nothing but polished plastic, and it looked absolutely brilliant
Scarred
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 - 04:50 AM UTC
When I was in the Army I discovered that "Blue Magic" metal polish, which I had to polish my brass, got rid of scratches on clear plastic. I've used it for years, still the the tube I had in the service. A little goes a long way.
panzerbob01
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Louisiana, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 - 11:18 AM UTC
I'm in the replace-the-"glass" school.

In general, replacing the "glass" and adding on the wipers built from scratch (or an AM set if available and desired) is easier then scraping away the wipers and polishing a modded part followed by adding on the new wipers. You will be adding new wipers either way, so I recommend doing the replacement route. Scraping off the old wiper details must be done very carefully so as to avoid creating a sink in the windshield. And while it is possible to fill and "level" such sinks and depressions by coating with "Future" type products, doing that is tedious and takes a lot of time to get right, in my experience. The replacement route also comes out looking better, IMO - having done several such "glass" replacements on various truck kits - in part because the replacement (I use pieces of those thin-sided clear plastic veggie and berry boxes) tends to be a lot thinner then the molded kit parts, and being thinner counts as it brings things closer to being in scale. In fact, I always redo the flat windshields on cars and trucks and discard the kit molded clear pieces! Maybe I'm a convinced masochist, or...

Cheers! Bob
TopSmith
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 - 11:25 AM UTC
You know CD cases have a large piece of clear plastic to work with... Just sayin.
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 03:37 AM UTC
CD case plastic is thick and very brittle - so good luck with that! the best bet is to use clear plastic from blister packs. It is thin and easily cut with scissors. This plastic may look like it has blemishes in it, but a quick dip in Future makes it look like glass! Note: this type of plastic is not styrene, so will have to be CA'ed in place, or glued with clear glue for canopies and windshields.
Hohenstaufen
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Friday, June 12, 2020 - 09:37 AM UTC
I was able to reclaim window parts from a 1/35th truck kit which had been fogged by glue by using Solvol Autosol on them. Use a clean rag and polish off.
RobinNilsson
Staff MemberTOS Moderator
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Stockholm, Sweden
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Posted: Friday, June 12, 2020 - 09:44 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You know CD cases have a large piece of clear plastic to work with... Just sayin.



Somewhat on the thick side, suitable for armourd glass
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Friday, June 12, 2020 - 09:47 AM UTC
Food packaging is also made from styrene sometimes so keep an eye out for the recycling codes 'PS' or simply the number '6'.
Cookies sometimes come in clear plastic blisters.
If all else fails there is also clear plasticard
18Bravo
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Colorado, United States
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Posted: Friday, June 12, 2020 - 10:35 AM UTC
Clear cellophane packing tape.