Years ago, Bob Moore of Liqu-a-plate fame taught me the technique for fairing in clear parts. My original posting on this was lost in the great vet-med server purge, but recently AMD subscriber Paul Stoner made an excellent posting on the subject, that expands on Bob Moore's technique and adds some innovations of his own:
First I file and sand the kit windscreen to get the best fit possible
with the fuselage. (A perfect fit at this point is not necessary). Next,
I apply a thick coat of Future floor wax with a cotton swab to both sides
of the windscreen and all the edges and allow it to dry (about 15 to 20
minutes). Then I glue the windscreen in place. I can use either solvent
type cements or super glue...the Future will protect the clear plastic
from fogging or frosting. I do not use any super glue accelerators. They
can cause bubbles or cracks in the glue or cause it to turn yellow. I
want the glue to set perfectly clear. When the glue has set, I go back
and fill all seams with thick (gap-filling) super glue. I also build up
any low spots with super glue to just above the contour of the fuselage.
Again, I don't use any accelerators. I allow the glue to set over night.
(The glue will be harder to sand at this point but the result is worth
it). Now I file and sand the windscreen until it matches the contour of
the fuselage. I repeat these two steps if any seams or low spots remain.
If I am going to use a decal, I stop at this point. I then paint the
model as normal and get a clean, seamless windscreen area with the proper
contour for the decal.
For a clear windscreen, I polish it at this point. Typically, I use a
triple-grit sanding stick (available from Squadron) and plastic polish.
However, you can use any wet/dry sandpaper starting at 300-400 grit and
working up to 6000- 8000 grit. (This technique was described in Fine Scale
Modeler a couple of years ago). You can wet sand, if you want, without
the fear of liquid getting behind the screen since you've sealed all the
seams. Finally, I apply another coat of Future to the finished
windscreen. I now have a perfectly clear windscreen without seems and
with the proper contour. I then mask and paint as I normally would.
Using this technique, anyone can use the kit windscreen and get good
Webmaster's comments: Excellent posting, Paul, and thank you! I would add that you don't necessarily need to go up to 6000 grit paper on the windshield. I have had good results with wet-sanding up to 2000, then following with a vigorous polish using either Flitz polish or Blue Magic silver polish.
It is more work, but it sure does result in a better looking finished model!
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