So, my Miniart Gaz-AA is almost done. It’s coming together fairly well, and I think I’d like to do another one knowing now what I’ve learned by doing this one.
One thing did not come out well, and it has nothing to do with the kit. The windows, the clear plastic ones, are filthy. And I don’t know how they got that way. Early on I left a fingerprint on one, but cleaned it off and then handled the clear parts with gloves after that. They looked pretty good for awhile and now I notice they don’t. I will try to clean them again with water on a cotton bud, but it makes me wonder if there is something I should do differently? I’ve not had this problem with clear canopies on planes.
I’ve been eyeing the miniart tram which has LOTS of windows.
I use this stuff from AK Interactive called ‘Gauzy Agent Glass Coat’ - it’s a sort of thick, off white goop that you dip the clear parts into. You let the excess drip off and once it dries it protects the clear parts from things likes fingerprints and other blemishes.
Sadly sometimes it can be difficult to get stains or scratches etc off clear parts. They can be sanded but you need very high grit paper- like 5000 and up to get it polished back up to anything like see through again. The Gauzy coat can then be used to kind of finish it off.
A picture will help us assess the issue. I know there are folks that dip “glass” in Future/Kleer/Pledge floor wax to get a hard clear gloss. (Need to research the name for it where you are, as it has been rebranded…) Is the plastic actually dirty? If so you need to clean it off before adding any gloss to it.
Karl, the stuff I use is sold as Pledge Revive It here in the UK - I think I ordered it from that South American river. It’s the old Kleer in a new label, it doesn’t need thinning to spray, dries clear, and is my go-to to seal decals and act as a base for pin-washes. Other formulations are sold under the Kleer and Pledge banners, but are not the same!
The best thing I have found for fixing scratches in clear parts is the NOVUS Plastic Polish Kit, it can be found around various places for sale like amazon. I got my kit about 15 years ago from Micromart. I’ve used it to clean scratches, foggy ish parts and such… It is pretty much liquid sandpaper of a very fine grit… I’ve mostly used the fine scratch remover followed by the clean and shine… I’ve even fixed a scratched watch crystal face with this stuff… and it works much better than sandpaper.
So, you’re considering the MiniArt tram eh? It’s certainly a glazier’s dream, or pane in the whatever. The “glass” provided is good (relatively thin) as long as it hasn’t been scratched by the other 20+ sprues jammed into the box. It’s a few years since I did my conversions (to Prague trams) which rendered all of them redundant, but I’d suggest you may want to snag some sheets of clear acetate or similar as replacements or substitutes anyway, that’s what I used.
Cutting them using the originals as templates is easy enough – in fact you might want to do that with the truck too, maybe a simpler solution than trying to save the clear plastic parts?
I should have added that the perennial problem of using cyano to fix the acetate/equivalent windows needs to be considered. I can’t recall where but somebody/somewhere in these forums came up with the solution to clouding, long after I faced that problem – I just wish I could remember what it was! Instead I just very carefully cut each piece & gently sanded them so they just wedged in the recess without bowing in/out. So much easier to simply push them into place post-painting.
(Remember the 50+ year-old joke about the hooker who confused putty with Vaseline - the windows fell out)
Seal the sensitive styrene sheet with an acrylic clear coat (for instance Future, Pledge Revive or whatever it is called now).
The acrylic (or Future) acts as a barrier.
Another option, not always feasible, is to use LOTS of air to blow the CA-fumes away from the clear plastic.
Wedging into position: Acrylic (Future et.c) clear can also act as a weak glue …
For gluing windows etc I use Gator’s Grip, a resin/PVA “white glue” that grips really well. It’s a bit flimsy while still wet (just like normal PVA) but by next day it’s rock hard. Paint a bead around the opening and gently press in the glass, then let it rest. It dries clear, and while still wet you can clean off any excess with a damp tissue.