Transparent canopies

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by hpept, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. hpept

    hpept Member

    Can anyone give some goods advices on how to build a transparent canopy with a bubbletop shape, like F-16 or P-51D? Is vacuform the only way to go? I already attempted this technique with some success for plastic model, but i think it's very tedious needing to build a master with correct shape (with plastic models i used the injected canopy itself) and then dealing with irons, heat guns, ovens and so on to melt the plastic sheet.
    If someone knows simpler and effective ways, please speak. Thank you.
  2. shoki2000

    shoki2000 Active Member

  3. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Check out Dave G's build of the P-51D. He made a clear canopy for his that was cut and glued from sheet plastic that looked VERY good.

    If the pics are not there I'm sure Dave would email you some of the canopy.

    It did really look good, I first thought it was a vac-u-formed canopy.

  4. k5083

    k5083 Member

    Rather than vac forming you can usually get away with stretch forming, in which you heat the sheet of plastic and pull it down over the master without using vacuum to suck it down.

    The accepted way to make a master seems to be to build the paper canopy, but putting the connecting strips on the outside rather than the inside; filling the canopy with plaster; letting it harden; and sanding to the desired smooth shape.

    There are a few ready-made vac canopies available for plastic models in 1/32 scale which might fit 1/33 paper models. Squadron Products at makes canopies for about a dozen types in this scale, and more are likely to be issued because 1/32 happens to be enjoying a boom in plastic modeling right now.

  5. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    Daves photos aren't showing up for me. I'm interested in the same problem.
  6. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    OK Dave emailed me some pictures so here ya go. Remeber this IS NOT a vac-u-formed canopy but flat clear plastic that has been cut and shaped. You can still see the joint lines but....... if you did not want to buy or make a vac-u-formed canopy this is what you can achieve. :grin:


    Attached Files:

  7. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    It looks like Dave used darts and made the canopy out of one piece.
    Nice work.


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