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  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 7:43 AM

Hi guys! I have a question for your consideration. I generally seal all of my finished aircraft with something: In this case, a natural metal F-104, I'll be using Vallejo Gloss Metal Varnish. Normally, I'll apply that final coat before removing the canopy masks; but, this time the masks are removed.

Question, is it OK to spray varnish over those clear canopies, or should I mask them in order to avoid screwing them up? Thanks for your thoughts!



On the Bench:

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Kinetic 1/48 YF-104A 5-2957

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch



  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 8:11 AM

I would mask it.  During the time of service of the 104, canopies were not very UV resistent.  Under sunlight, the closs wore out quickly.  Later in the century, canopies were made with good uv protection, and the canopies kept their gloss for a long time.


  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Between LA and OC, SoCal
Posted by oortiz10 on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 8:51 AM


I would mask it... 

I can't say that I know anything about the real canopies on real Starfighters, but I know that clear coats, especially flat coats, can craze or fog clear parts. Just to be safe, I'd mask, too.


-It's Omar, but they call me "O".

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 11:52 AM

Definitely mask your canopies.  Even if the clearcoat itself is safe for polycarbonate and won't craze it, it's still going to be nearly impossible to lay down that clearcoat smoothly enough to not compromise the transparency of the canopy.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 5:57 PM

Definitely safer to mask them

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 8:44 PM

My 2 cents. Mask it! Positively!

Stay safe.

Jim Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench: Artesania Latina  (aka) Artists in the Latrine 1/75 Bluenose II

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 8:07 AM

Mask the canopies.  Your sealer will likely fog the plastic, that is, etch it finely, and make it opaque.

Here is a post in a thread over at the Scale Model Addict forum to illustrate what can happen.  This is a '57 Chevy, nice build, till the modeler sprayed a sealer coat and didn't mask the clear styrene windows:


The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.



  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 9:19 AM

Hi Shipwreck!

 Oh, Good gosh no! Mask that Canopy. I sprayed some plane a while back, It was a Mosquito-Ya know the old REVell 1/32 kit. I didn't mask. My Bad!

 Although the product said,  Right on the can, "Will not craze known plastics, clear or otherwise! It didn't craze the major parts, but did a job on that beautiful Canopy and Nose.I don't remember the product, since it was a while ago and I used it up on car projects.

 it was so bad I had to take them off. Fill the craze with Glazing Putty, sand -"wet"- till they were glass smooth again. Then put new scratch built frames on them. Then, Vac-u-Form them. Mask those Babies or Baby off! Please?      T.B.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 6:07 PM

It depends on what your final seal coat is,  Two that I know are safe are Future (insert current name now) and Alclad II Aqua Gloss.  Some other Gloss finishes may be OK such as Tamiya's Gloss coat.  Certainly never do it with anything that is not a high gloss finish.

The general and best practice is leave the masks on until all painting and weathering is done.


To see build logs for my models:



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