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Best material for diffusing porthole windows?

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  • Member since
    January 2021
Best material for diffusing porthole windows?
Posted by Alterean on Monday, June 21, 2021 12:49 PM

I'm working on the 1/350 scale Lusitania, and drilled out all the portholes for lights. She also has open windows on the walls of her promenade decks. I'm curious what the best material is for filling in those to diffuse the light a bit?

I've heard about Micro Krystal Klear, but I'm not sure if thats best or if there are some better options. 

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Albany, NY
Posted by jeffpez on Monday, June 21, 2021 1:12 PM

When I did my Titanic I used Micro Krystal Klear and it looked great, totally clear like glass. I should add mine wasn't lighted so this doesn't exactly answer your question.

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Monday, June 21, 2021 2:42 PM

I've got the Academy 1/700 Titanic with LED lights, so I've looked at a few sites to see how this is done.  The method used is to diffuse the light before it reaches the portholes i.e. inside the ship's hull, to avoid having brightly lit portholes near where the lights are placed and dimmer ones in between.  I've seen crumpled-up tissue paper used for this, also sections of drinking straws placed over the LEDs themselves.  Fortunately, LEDs don't generate much in the way of heat, so using these materials is quite safe.  I haven't decided what I'm going to use yet, just thought you might be interested in the ideas.

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, June 21, 2021 3:10 PM

White glue works pretty well.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    January 2020
Posted by Space Ranger on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 5:53 PM

Use strips of plastic from a plastic milk jug between the light source and the portholes.

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Cave City, KY
Posted by Watchmann on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 9:43 PM

When I lit the Star Trek Enterprise-D, I used tissue paper glued to the inside of the hull with PVA glue.  Looked really good.

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: NEVER USE PHOTO BUCKET - IT'S A THREAD WRECKER.
Posted by disastermaster on Thursday, June 24, 2021 1:46 PM

Space Ranger

Use strips of plastic from a plastic milk jug between the light source and the portholes.

 

                          Bingo!
                            

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, June 28, 2021 8:14 AM

Hi;

 When I did my Titanic T.V. Lamp years ago( When the first Big one came out. ) I used both a form of Fibre Optics and Onion Skin paper inside certain areas. I had my engineering office running full bore then and we used a LOT of Onionskin!

  • Member since
    April 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Thursday, July 1, 2021 6:51 PM

A friend of mine works for a graphic design company and she recently passed along a package of backlighting film from a company called  Inkpress Media. The individual sheets are the standard 8 1/2" x 11" size, but each has a thin layer of plastic adhered to it. As designed, a graphic designer will print a photo or logo on the paper with an ink jet printer, then run LED strip lights behind it to illuminate the image. It's the same stuff that you might find in airport kiosks or at trade shows to attract customers in for a closer look. The plastic backing picks up the light and "evens it out" for more even, consistent lighting without hot spots. In the right conditions, the printed sheet can pass for a television screen or computer display. 

I've been playing around with it and it's far easier to use than the plastic from a milk jug and it glues in place easily with  white glue. I've only left it in the plain white for starships, but hypothetically, one might be able to print interior scenes onto the film which would illuminate through windows.

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by Alterean on Monday, July 12, 2021 4:58 PM

"A friend of mine works for a graphic design company and she recently passed along a package of backlighting film from a company called  Inkpress Media."


This stuff worked perfectly, makes a huge difference.

https://imgur.com/a/bfw3uRb

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 8:52 AM

I guess I fail to see the reason for the diffusion.  No 350th ship I have built has portholes large enough for my eye to see any detail behind the porthole- same thing with windows, except maybe bridge windows.  I personally flat black the bridge, but don't bother to diffuse the portholes.  I use pvc window material and the shape it dries to does kind of distort the image, but I cannot discern any detail anyway.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by Alterean on Saturday, July 17, 2021 7:59 AM

rocketman2000

I guess I fail to see the reason for the diffusion.  No 350th ship I have built has portholes large enough for my eye to see any detail behind the porthole- same thing with windows, except maybe bridge windows.  I personally flat black the bridge, but don't bother to diffuse the portholes.  I use pvc window material and the shape it dries to does kind of distort the image, but I cannot discern any detail anyway.

 

 

 

It's more to stop the flickering/random rgb of the LED's than to try and hide anything. You can see if the link I posted how well it works, it also evens out the light so random portholes aren't brighter than the others. 

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Saturday, July 17, 2021 8:34 AM

Interesting.  I had never noticed that flicker before.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by Alterean on Saturday, July 17, 2021 11:47 PM

You can also see the difference here now that it's done:

 

https://imgur.com/a/77r1VsO

 

On the top you can see random spots are brighter, and even see a slight color difference where some are slight red or green. 

The bottom is much more uniform. 

  • Member since
    April 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Sunday, July 18, 2021 12:26 AM

Alterean

"A friend of mine works for a graphic design company and she recently passed along a package of backlighting film from a company called  Inkpress Media."


This stuff worked perfectly, makes a huge difference.

Glad to see that it's worked out for you. It's neat stuff to experiment around with and I've gotten a kick out of playing around with it. Thanks for letting us have a peek at your project!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, July 23, 2021 7:35 AM

Hi;

     I looked at your photos.The one on the bottom had less glare and the lighting looked great. As a retired Mariner as well as Engineer I would say you Nailed It!

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