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Masking cockpits

4 replies
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  • Member since
    August, 2017
Masking cockpits
Posted by Simon on Friday, August 04, 2017 6:45 AM

Hi Folks, I'm new to the forum and just returning to modeling after a 30 year break. Have to say things have changed a lot since I was a lad!

I have a quick question and I'm hoping you seasoned modelers may be able to help. When masking cockpits, do you dip them in clear and then mask or mask,paint and then dip on clear? I'm not sure if masking will effect the glossy finish.

Thanks in advance for your advice.


Kind regards



  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, August 04, 2017 8:56 AM

I guess I don't understand why you want to gloss the cockpit area.  Do you mean the canopy?  I generally do not gloss that either unless there are flaws and I have to sand and polish the plastic.

Particularly in older canopy materials on full-size aircraft, the materials used did not retain the nice, transparent finish very long, and didn't continue to look like glass.  It weathered rapidlly. So as long as the kit canopy looked reasonable, I just mask off the transparent areas and paint the frame.

In fact, I think it seems odd to see a heavily weathered aircraft model with a super clean, super gloss canopy.



Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Friday, August 04, 2017 9:07 AM


 I get what you mean . Now on my plane , when I bought it . There were only two panes that were crystal clear .

 The guys at Commemorative Air Force back in 1976 , gave me the name of a company that could make new ones . They replaced all but the two I mentioned . The cost back then  , wasn't cheap .

 I think it's okay for a model to reflect this . However if he's talking about anything else , I am confused . 

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Simon on Friday, August 04, 2017 11:06 AM

Hi Chaps,

Thanks for your replies, sorry if it was a little confusing. What I'm trying to establish is, can you apply masks over finished glossy clear parts without damaging the finish? I do apprentice that super glossy cockpit glass is not everyone's cup of tea.

Thanks again


  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Friday, August 04, 2017 11:46 AM

Personally, like Don, I do not gloss the canopy either.

I know there are many who will dip the canopy in "Future", let dry/cure for a day or two, then mask. Many get great results too. I have never had good results using Future (other than under decals, in place of micro-set).

So, I'd answer your question with a YES...gloss/Future...give it a day or two...mask and carry on.


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