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Author Topic: Windows - to fill or not to fill, that is the question.  (Read 240 times)

Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Windows - to fill or not to fill, that is the question.
« on: May 07, 2018, 07:39:20 am »
Hey All,

I am working on an Enterprise-C, which has a ship load of windows. I have drilled them out and they are looking pretty good; IMHO. In my other builds, I have placed thin sheets of styrene inside the model to help diffuse the light. In order not to get paint on the styrene, I have used masking fluid in the windows.

But the process of digging the masking fluid out tends to chip the paint around the windows. So the question is -

Should I paint before I assemble to avoid getting the paint all over the lights and internal surfaces? Or, as I intend to airbrush the paint, will the amount of paint getting through the open windows not be enough to change the light's brightness?

I have seen others paint before assembly, but then spend time sanding, puttying, and repainting a painted project. I have also seen others, me included, paint only after complete assembly.

Or is the issue 6 to 1 and half dozen to the other? Macht nichts?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Steve
"To be honest with you, Picard, a significant number of my crew members have expressed a desire to return even knowing the odds. Some because they can't bear to live without their loved ones, some because they don't like the idea of slipping out in the middle of a fight."

Offline LynnInDenver

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Re: Windows - to fill or not to fill, that is the question.
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 08:02:43 am »
I don't think the paint getting through the windows will be enough to contaminate the LEDs and white coat inside the model, not unless you aim the airbrush straight on a window and leave it there. So assemble, paint, then fill the windows with the clear of your choice.

Offline AlW

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Re: Windows - to fill or not to fill, that is the question.
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 09:00:51 am »
Steve, I usually go with Lynn's process above -- assemble, paint, fill windows.  The only exception is when I'm using the kit-supplied windows where I'll either use the masking fluid or window masks, if they're available.  Also, I prefer using Micro Crystal Clear to fill the windows rather than clear styrene sheet backing them.  I think the MCC provides enough diffusion where you don't get the "bare-bulb" glare coming thru.  That's my two cents;)

Offline Tshark

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Re: Windows - to fill or not to fill, that is the question.
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 09:46:47 am »
I currently am building a 1/650 TOS Enterprise and recently wrestled with filling the windows.  I tried the Crystal Clear with the exterior side of the widows covered by Scotch tape.  The problem I had with this method was that the Crystal Clear shrinks a little, so the window surface is not flush with the exterior, and bubbles easily.  I tried numerous application techniques (using a needle to apply the Crystal Clear and thinning it to various degrees) with only about a 60% success rate for bubble free. 

I then switched to the acrylic nail powder/liquid method.  I found this method gave me a 90% success rate as far as bubbles, did not shrink, and is sand-able so the window surface matches the exterior.  The acrylic nails are slightly more translucent than the Crystal Clear, but I found it helps eliminate light "hot spots" in the windows.  It is also MUCH faster in that the windows are dry within 5 minutes.  Be warned that the acrylic nail liquid will wrinkle paint, so it is best to apply after interior light blocking and before any exterior painting is done.  I am now coming to the stage where I will mask each window then start applying primer to the exterior.

Just another method you might explore.

Offline simi

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Re: Windows - to fill or not to fill, that is the question.
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 05:40:29 pm »
I don't think the paint getting through the windows will be enough to contaminate the LEDs and white coat inside the model, not unless you aim the airbrush straight on a window and leave it there. So assemble, paint, then fill the windows with the clear of your choice.

What Lynn said.  I've done this with "larger" windows on the revell D7 which comes with some larg-ish pre-drilled windows (I didn't use the clear inserts).  I too was a bit wary of paint shooting through the holes, but like Lynn said - it really shouldn't be an issue at all unless you're literally shooting straight at them.  Sooo, you can generally paint the entire model, clear coat it - then at the end apply either canopy glue or krystal clear.  Both should be water soluable and you can wipe away any excess prior to drying.  You might have to touch up a couple of windows after the first round dries, but no big deal.  Good luck!

Cheers!

Simi
As a software architect, I'm pretty darn good.  As someone with knowledge of building things in the real world, well, I'm a software architect.

Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: Windows - to fill or not to fill, that is the question.
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 07:58:49 am »
All,

Thanks for the great responses!

I will press forward with the painting. Still, the Ent-C calls for "at least" four different colors, most of them have a lighter value so I should be fine. It's the dark ones I'm still concerned with. ("...with which I am concerned"?!) eh.

As for filling the windows, scottminium has suggested, and TShark currently suggests, the clear nail acrylic as a filler. I am very familiar with the clear nail acrylic (cf. my NSEA Protector) but that would be very time consuming in execution and I've already sealed the saucer. :/

I will probably use the Micro Crystal Clear, as suggested by AlW and Simi, and as was my original plan.

A brief question though - I don't want the "bare bulb" effect either and, from what I understand, the MCC dries, well, clear. Would Elmer's school glue dry with some opacity so it hides wires and LEDs without hindering the light?

Thanks again for the answers and tips!

Steve
"To be honest with you, Picard, a significant number of my crew members have expressed a desire to return even knowing the odds. Some because they can't bear to live without their loved ones, some because they don't like the idea of slipping out in the middle of a fight."

Offline simi

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Re: Windows - to fill or not to fill, that is the question.
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 08:56:16 am »
Not sure on the elmers glue, but you could also try canopy glue.  It dries more opaque than MCC.  I believe Boyd uses that also to get a more 60's glow effect rather than the stark clear white.  So it will slightly alter the color (for good or bad depending on your tastes) but I think it would prevent you actually seeing the guts of the innards.  Maybe others might have some comments on this too.

Cheers!

Simi
As a software architect, I'm pretty darn good.  As someone with knowledge of building things in the real world, well, I'm a software architect.

Offline scottminium

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Re: Windows - to fill or not to fill, that is the question.
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2018, 01:52:01 pm »
I had pretty nice luck with MKK, but I've only used it once.
"I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment... because they'll never come again."

 




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