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Installing clear parts on wing leading edges

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  • Member since
    December 2008
Installing clear parts on wing leading edges
Posted by Frank R. on Thursday, February 22, 2018 3:45 PM

I'm working on the Airfix 1/48 MK1 Hurricane. There are two clear lenses that fit over leading edge landing lights on each wing that are supposed to fair into the wing and look as though they are integral to the wing and remain clear. They seem to fit loosely and I don't know how to set them into the wing and still have them look good. I believe that sanding the outside surface of the lense to fair it in will scratch the clear surface and I will loose the transparent look. What have other modelers done regarding this particular issue as there are many airplanes that have this feature? Thanks

Frank R


  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, February 22, 2018 4:27 PM

Hello Frank!

You have several options to do something about it. Some people would probably recommend clear resin here. Another thing to try would be to enlarge the opening for the clear part, then glue a block of transparent plastic in it. Next, you sand it to shape to blend it seamlessly into the wing. Then you polish the part out and treat it with Future, to make the part nice and transparent again. Then you mask the correct, smaller opening and you let the paint hide the seam between the opaque and transparent plastic.

Hope it helps - good luck with your hurricane and have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Thursday, February 22, 2018 6:17 PM

If not oversized, I just paint the opening with silver, the backside of the clear lenses with the appropiate clear red/green. After everthing is dry, I glue them in with either testor's clear parts glue or recently I used the formula 560 from pacer.  Like it alot, but suspect it is a little heavier version of Elmers.  Used it on the Mosquito build I did in the RAF GB.


If they are oversized, then Pawel's right on the money,  Glue them in with elmers, sand to shape with progressively finer grits and polish.  Pop them off, and paint and glue back in as aboveafter you wing paintwork is done.

  • Member since
    August 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Saturday, February 24, 2018 12:43 AM

I saw a technique that included tossing the clear part and using pva glue to fill in the entire cavity and basically making it.  Never tried it, though.

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by fritzthefox on Sunday, February 25, 2018 9:14 PM

I used clear scotch tape (the glossy stuff) cut to size to cover the landing light on a 1/48th Texan and it turned out great. You just need to be very careful about fingerprints. It may not work for every application, but for that particular model, it was very convincing. 

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Wolfman_63 on Sunday, March 4, 2018 6:22 AM

If the clear part is too large and needs to be trimmed or formed, I use 1000 grit sand paper to shape it. Then a final sand with 2000 grit finally painting with a drop of Future will make it clear again. If the entire lens needs to be colored, Tamiya makes clear red, blue, yellow, and green. Once formed and sanded, the Tamiya clear colors or future will bring back the clarity.

You can make your own clear parts by cutting, trimming and forming parts from excess clear sprues. Usung the method above also works very well.

I have also made them (on wings that do not have clear parts) with Liquidtex Acrylic gel. Typically I use the Tamiya clear paints for these.

Finally, For larger clear parts that have scuffs on clear canopies or if the canopy has a seam down the middle. (sanding the seam down with 2000 grit sandpaper) I have used the polish that is used to polish the headlight covers on cars. A small drop of the polish on a dremel tool buffing wheel and low RPM (between 500 and 1000), apply light pressure to polish the surface. If you use this to polish the canopy, you will need to wash it with mild dish soap to remove the polish residue so the frame can be painted.



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