6mmfan's Blog

A journey into the world of making 6mm wargaming pieces

Archive for September, 2009

Making 1/300th aircraft canopies

Posted by 6mmfan on September 7, 2009

This blog is a slight diversion from my sculpting of 6mm (1/300th) terrain. I’ve been thinking about ways to paint/model canopies since a discussion with my air gaming buddies the other week and I still haven’t found a painting technique that I like that much.

An early attempt

An early attempt

I had this crazy idea to cut out the canopy of some of my 1/300th aircraft and replace it with a pilot(s) and a clear canopy. To get some different ideas, I posted on a few groups and forums and then compiled the following list of suggestions:-

  • Carving it out of a solid piece of clear plastic and polishing it to restore the transparency
  • Painting a pilot and cockpit onto the model
  • A technique used by Battletech players called “jewelling the cockpits” I found this article about it http://www.camospecs.com/Article.asp?FictionID=19
  • Plunge mold (similar to vacuum moulding but without the vacuum) the canopy using an old blister pack and a candle.
  • Use Super glue to make the canopy
  • Make a mold from plasticine by tpressing the canopy into it and then pour clear resin into it while suspending the pilot at the top of the mould
  • Make the canopy fromĀ  a two part clear epoxy and file to shape

Most people came to the conclusion that I am mad and they are probably right. I also have enough other projects to do without getting diverted onto a another time consuming project such as this.

The first reasonable canopy

The first reasonable canopy

First I tried using some old blisters to push mould the canopy onto a Me 262 2 seater from CNC. This is a nice model with good definition on the canopy, but after numerous attempts this is the final result. Obviously its hard to see much in the photo so I tried a blue ink wash but that didn’t show up the results any better. You can just make out the ridges on the top of the cockpit butthe side detail isn’t very good.

The canopy with some blue ink to show the details

The canopy with some blue ink to show the details

From what I could tell the results weren’t great so I thought I would try using this as a mold and make a canopy from PVA. I didnt want to spend $50 NZ on some clear resin as this is only an experiment at the moment. After a few days of drying the PVA mold didn’t come out very well as it shrunk a lot during the drying. I should have added some more PVA into the mold, but I forgot at the time, but I will.

The canopy filled with PVA glue

The canopy filled with PVA glue

Next I will try to sculpt a couple of WW2 pilots and make a vacuum forming box.

Cheers.

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