Need some advice regarding clear parts

So i am building a Bronco PZ III that has 8 clear optical devices that mount in the cupola interior. Each device has a small head rest and i assume the exterior body that holds the actual glass. This is all formed together in one clear plastic piece.
What is the best way to actually mount and paint theses items, along with the interior of the cupola?
Any advice appreciated.

I’m not a Pz111 expert, but this google search Pz111 Interior should help.
Mask the ‘clear’ area, paint interior Elfbein (Ivory) or panzer grey, and the headrest padding leather black/brown.
It is usually easier to paint these small parts before fitting.

If you choose to paint the parts before mounting, ensure you don’t use a “hot” glue like Tamiya. They’ll chew through the paint and make a mess of things.

When working with painted bits I like to use 2 part epoxy glue applied with a needle.

Also, white glue works well for non structural bits.

There’s a blue masking fluid that I’ve seen used, I own it myself but haven’t used it. So there’s that option to mask off the clear parts.

I’ve also seen a line of reasoning that ignored clear parts for the vision slots on cupolas and they were painted in a dark grey. One of Night Shifts videos on YouTube talks about his opinions on how to handle vision blocks in cupolas.

This is one of the best options. Another one is Future or whatever it is called today (floor polish).
I usually paint the inner face of the vision ports black or dark grey. I only use the blue for the aiming sights. When this is done, I mask the outer face before paintin the entire vehicle.


I second the use of future/pledge floor polish. For headlights on things like Sherman’s I paint the inside a metallic grey before putting in the clear piece. For periscopes I paint it a grey or black. The future will hold the clear plastic in place, and dry to a nice hard finish without fogging. Just mask the areas you want to keep clear before painting, any over paint can be removed with a tooth pick

I actually love these clear periscope and sighting scope parts on armor models. If they’re finished well, they add a super nice detail for anyone who bothers to look closely.

My general method and sequence of finishing these parts is:

  1. Clean up any molding flaws such as sprue attachment points and mold seams. When doing this, I try very hard to avoid the actual lens surface areas.

  2. I then dunk or hand brush the parts with Future Floor Wax and allow them to dry hard (usually overnight).

  3. I then mask off the lens areas using either strips of painter’s tape cut with an X-acto knife OR FOR ROUND LENSES, I put a piece of painter’s tape on waxed paper, then punch out circles using a punch and die. The waxed paper will peel right off the tape leaving perfect little disks to mask round lenses (or headlights, or dash board dials and gages, etc.),

  4. I then airbrush the parts with the brightest silver paint I have available. Again, allow to dry hard.

  5. I then go over the silver with airbrushed flat black. Once again, allow to dry hard.

  6. At this point, the parts are ready to be detail painted. Alternatively, they can be installed into the model and painted along with the rest of the interior / exterior finish work. (Although I prefer to finish the scopes separately when possible.)

For installation, I use acrylic matt medium as a light duty adhesive. However, any other adhesive (not solvent-type plastic cement) can be used - PVA, CA, epoxy, etc.

I keep the lenses masked until all the other finish work has been completed, to include any airbrushed on flat coats, dust, etc. Once the masks are removed, the silver paint helps light to reflect through the top to bottom of the scopes. If you catch them at the right angle, you’ll be surprised at how realistic they look. They give a depth and transmit light very similar to the real deal!

I’ll dig through my project photo files to see if I can find any good photos of the light transmission effect that you can get with this method.

1 Like

Thanks for all the replies guys. It’ll give me something to think about.
Keep them coming!


Just to show anyone looking what the pieces are.

This is how I did the periscopes on my Takom King Tiger:
First I painted the parts that shouldn’t be clear a brown colour while still on the sprue. The periscopes fitted to the hull had the mirrors mounted in a Bakelite “box”, so this colour looks best. Then, after painting the inside of the cupola with Elfbein, I removed them from the sprue, cleaned them up and glued them in. Revell Contacta seemed to work OK, or you could try their Contacta Clear. The outside of the cupola was then hand painted hull colour (Dunkelgelb in my case) and when dry the holes bunged up with bits of Plasticine prior to spraying the exterior. This seemed to work OK, but of course you can’t see the commanders lenses on the Tiger unless you really look hard (and have young/good eyes!).

Micro Scale Krystal Klear is excellent for sticking clear parts!