Windshields for model cars can cause modelers trouble. These clear plastic parts have a very narrow region, that needs to painted as the metallic frame. This can be done manually if you have a fine-tipped brush and a non-shaking hand; otherwise the clear section can be smeared in paint. Or you can get wavy lines on the frame.
The best procedure is to mask off the windshield, then cut away the mask from the frame portion, followed by painting. Tamiya or other masking tape can be used for this. A couple alternate products: Bare-Metal Foil, and liquid Micro Mask.
Below: 1/24 Porsche Carrera GT windshield, masked with pre-cut Tamiya mask. Another mask will be applied to exterior side.
Below: Mask applied to outside of windshield, and airbrushing started.
Below: Inside of masked windshield airbrushed in black.
Below: After airbrushing the frame black, and masks removed.
To use Micro Mask, brush on a thin layer and let dry overnight. When dry, cut away the film that covers the frame sections with a sharp hobby knife. Rub the edges of the film with a toothpick to make sure that they are sealed. Then paint the windshield. When dry, remove the mask from the clear portions.
The Bare-Metal Foil is very thin aluminum foil, with an adhesive backing. Cut it oversize with scissors. Remove the protective paper backing and place over the windshield. Burnish down with a Q-tip: start at the top, then go down one side, then the other. Next burnish with a toothpick, paying special attention the joint between the frame and the windshield 'glass'. When completed, use a new hobby knife to remove the excess foil.
Then paint the frames, by brush / spray can / airbrush. After the paint is dry, it's helpful to gently run the knife along the edge of the frame, as this will help with the foil removal. Use the knife to carefully peel back an edge of the foil, and remove from the clear portion. Remove any glue residue by gently rubbing with a soft piece of cloth or q-tip.
Windshields can be fixed in place by various types of glue. Ordinary Testors glue will work, as will white glue.
Our favorite glue for attaching windshields is RC56. It is white in color, but dries clear. It's slow-drying, water-soluble, flexible when set, and will not fog the windshield. Apply in a thin line using a pin. Remove excess glue using a toothpick or a cotton swab dipped in water.
Send us your comments below! Login with your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Yahoo account.