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Thin glass for duplicating windows

Q: I've seen several model vehicles that appear to be using real, superthin glass for the windows. It looks great. If it is real glass, where does it come from, and how do you make windows?
Keith Skinner
via E-mail

Ken: We don't know what vehicles you’ve seen, Keith but there is thin glass out there that’s perfect for duplicating windows. In fact, model railroaders have been using it for years; yet another reason to look at other scale modeling hobbies for inspiration and materials!

We’re strong proponents of using building material that’s close to what you’re trying to replicate (wood for truck beds, metal where you can, etc.) and glass is no different. It just looks better than plastic or acetate, and it acts like real glass, because it is real glass.

So what is it, and where do you get it?

These pieces of glass are actually Microscope Slide Cover Slips used in laboratories. They are commonly available in squares measuring 22mm x 22mm (approximately .9 x .9 inches), and rectangular pieces measuring 22mm x 60 mm (.9 x 2.3 inches), which are better suited to our needs.

In official microscopic circles, standard thicknesses are referred to as #1 (.14mm), #1.5 (.175mm) and #2 (.21mm). We want to use the thinnest we can find.

The glass is available on and scientific supply sites such as Fisher Scientific and American Educational Products, but your best bet is to go straight to Clover House ( and click on the Glass page. There you’ll find all you need, including reasonably priced glass – and equally as important, a carbide-tipped glass scriber for cutting these paper-thin sheets of glass (an art in itself).

Good luck, Keith, and thanks for the great question. We think you’ll be pleased with the results.


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