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FROM THE April 2008 ISSUE

Installing clear glass in a model

RELATED TOPICS: GLASS | CLEAR
Q: I consider myself to be a modeler with fair-to-medium building skills, but installing clear glass without having it fog, smudge, or scratch has been a major problem for me.

Do you have any suggestions?

- Roger Campbell
via E-mail

Ken: Installing windshields and other glass in a model is usually one of the last construction steps, and there's nothing worse than botching the job - and potentially ruining the model - so late in the game.

Remember one important tip: this is one instance where less is more. You generally don't need a lot of glue to hold model car glass in place.

Unlike other structural components, where a strong, continuous glue joint is essential, tacking auto glass in just a few spots will usually be sufficient. (Notice that I've said "generally" and "usually," because there are exceptions.)

What's the best glue? Everyone has a favorite, but the best ones certainly are not solvent-based (which melt the glass, and offer a greater potential for disaster) or in the super glue family, which can fog clear plastic. It's probably a good idea to seek out clear adhesives that won't show if they happen to find there way onto visible portions of the glass.

Clear epoxy is a good, strong choice, but be careful when applying it or you could end up with those pesky little "pizza cheese" strings that always end up somewhere they shouldn't.

Clear enamel paint works well, too.

Other choices include products such as Elmer's white glue, Future floor finish, clear RTV silicone, and the canopy glue that's used by RC airplane guys.

Two of my favorites are Microscale (the decal people) Kristal Klear and watch-crystal cement, available through Micro-Mark.

The key, though, is to use any type of windshield or other "glass" adhesive sparingly, and carefully, to ensure good results. Good luck, Roger, and let us know how it works out.


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