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davevw

Looking to step up my canopy game

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Hey guys,

I am looking to step up my canopy game a bit! I am mainly trying to get them to fit tighter and with a less of a gap and more along the edges. I have searched and haven't been able to find very much help. How do you guys do it?

Thanks, Dave.

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My plan starts with -carefully- removing the clear parts and taking care of any stubs or rough spots from that, get those edges perfect so they sit correctly. I then test fit every part (this being on the kit where assembly has progressed to lock in the area we are dealing with), taking care to check every angle for how the part sits: are there gaps, is anything off-angle and will stackable/open pieces indeed stack. I'm working on a TBD Devastator right now and the greenhouse has about six pieces including the windscreen, I plan to have the pilots canopy open along with the middle seat and the gunners section so I have (and no doubt will again) check my refs to see how those pieces moved in real life. Get your sanding stick skills in play and you can correct the majority of problems here (and remember to wet sand).

If its available for your kit (or the kit doesn't come with their own) get the correct Eduard mask set, they are such a time saver and usually a great fit. More and more their sets include a set for the interior (inside of the canopy part), you can use those or what I do is once the outside is masked I spray the interior color first, then come back with whatever the outside should be, this mimics sufficiently in most cases. 5X readers/cheaters and a backlight make sticking the masks on pretty straightforward, and having a low tack they are re-positionable. Avoid vinyl sets, what you want is the yellow paper ones (known as Kabuki tape). Maketar is another good Mfg of mask sets.

Once painting the clear parts is done its time to mount them to the nearly complete model. I've never liked or thought it wise the approach some have of attaching the parts during assembly then masking and painting as one - any overspray inside will likely be there for good. I've already taken care of 90% of the gaps by test-fitting/shaping. About those gaps - they still happen. But through good test-fitting I can work out the majority of gaps, and whats left I leave to Vallejo plastic putty, or Testors clear parts glue, they both fill gaps fine and can be smoothed right away. It'll be shiny after dry, just come back with a good brush and your favorite clear coat as appropriate to restore how it should match the surroundings. Fill, blend, smooth, check, coat - repeat as needed.

I hope some of this proves useful - I didn't even cover things like using Future on the clear parts for added shine, or how to remove scratches or mold seams but you can read Build articles in the IN PROGRESS forum for tips like that. Good luck Dave

Edited by metroman

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As far as wanting to make canopies clearer and using Future on them, it can be worth it, yeah, but I promise you that you will never walk up to, say, a 1:1 F/A-18 and find a spotless, scratchless canopy. In reality, they're fingerprinty, and smoodged up and have little scratches all over from the pilot's and maintainer's gear bouncing off them. They look nice and clear from a distance, but when you really get up there close, you find out that they're not as shiny and spotless as you may think. Also, upon close viewing, the paint on the canopy framing isn't as crisp and sharp as one would think, either.

Edited by TomcatFanatic123

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TomcatFantatic is right, however, we have an issue with what we're actually doing here. If we were to take a carefully built model, and replicated the the canopy "exactly" in 1/48 or what ever scale, I can just hear the judges taking off points for the scratches and poor paint work!

M

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Thaknks a bunch! I have never painted the interior canopy colours, but I like your suggestion and will try that! I do currently use future, and have an understanding of scratch removal, so it will be a case of gout to get some of my first sanding sticks

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