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alhenderson

Clouded cockpit transparency..

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I'm (still) in the process of trying to finish off my Gnat for the Trainers group build (I know, it finished in June!).  Having spent months wrestling with crap dayglo gloss paint I have now accepted the paint is going to look ropey but its time to move on.  Whilst getting ready to put the canopy on, I saw there was some silver enamel on it, so went to remove it with kitchen roll dipped in a little turps.  Paint's gone, but the canopy's gone all cloudy as a result ☹️  I've tried cleaning it with soapy water, but to no avail.  

 

Does anyone have any tips to rescue it, or is my Gant doomed to be a complete failure?  Might have to make it a museum piece by painting it over like they sometimes do in hot places...

 

Thanks,

Al.

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Tamiya polishing compound or some automotive polish if you have some on hand. It should buff out with no issues. Toothpaste works too, I've used it in the past (the cheaper it is the more "bite" it has), but it doesn't stack up to Tamiya.

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5 minutes ago, bmwh548 said:

Tamiya polishing compound or some automotive polish if you have some on hand. It should buff out with no issues. Toothpaste works too, I've used it in the past (the cheaper it is the more "bite" it has), but it doesn't stack up to Tamiya.

Fabulous - thanks for the quick response!  I'll give toothpaste a try first - there's not a huge amount gone right with this build, so I'm not inclined to spend a lot of time/money trying to rescue it...

 

Al.

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Never get anything like turps or white spirit on a canopy. Chances are that it's a write off. Several years ago, when polishing a Novo Blenheim canopy with Duraglit which I'd cleverly* brought back to life with a little white spirit, the canopy began to exhibit cracks. Even after stopping and giving the canopy a thorough clean in soapy water, the cracks kept appearing to the point where the whole thing was crazed. This went on for days!

 

I have found that isopropanol and a little effort can remove enamel paint from canopies with no adverse effects, but I wouldn't use anything stronger.

 

I hope you aren't too late with your canopy.

 

 

*not so cleverly

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6 minutes ago, lasermonkey said:

Never get anything like turps or white spirit on a canopy. Chances are that it's a write off. Several years ago, when polishing a Novo Blenheim canopy with Duraglit which I'd cleverly* brought back to life with a little white spirit, the canopy began to exhibit cracks. Even after stopping and giving the canopy a thorough clean in soapy water, the cracks kept appearing to the point where the whole thing was crazed. This went on for days!

 

I have found that isopropanol and a little effort can remove enamel paint from canopies with no adverse effects, but I wouldn't use anything stronger.

 

I hope you aren't too late with your canopy.

 

 

*not so cleverly

Thanks for the reply.  Its been a few days since I did it, so might well be too late.  To an extent it doesn't matter, I'm building the Gnat to get be back in to it before tackling a Phantom so I'd rather make the mistakes on this.  The Gnat is already less than ideal due to having had about 10 coats of gloss orange to try and get decent coverage (which I have not achieved).

 

Put it down to experience...

 

Al.

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Turps will strip out the plasticisers from the plastic and make it very brittle and cloudy, I would suspect that it will continue for a while and not be limited to the surface of the part. 

I would keep any mineral based spirit away from clear parts and use something like IPA as already been recommended.

 

Regards

 

Dan  

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I've never dealt with turpentine or white spirit stains on windows, but I've managed to recover windows stained with lacquer thinner (stained, not rubbed). You might get lucky. Worst case you only recover some of the transparency, maybe a dip in Klear or something similar will give you a bit more  transparency so the final result isn't that bad.

 

As for the orange paint... If you're using an airbrush try finding an automotive paint supplier. The pigment in those is amazing, even with yellow/orange/white. Light coats with the airbrush (careful as it's lacquer and it's a hot product) and you'll get really nice coverage.

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23 minutes ago, bmwh548 said:

As for the orange paint... If you're using an airbrush try finding an automotive paint supplier. The pigment in those is amazing, even with yellow/orange/white. Light coats with the airbrush (careful as it's lacquer and it's a hot product) and you'll get really nice coverage.

I'm not airbrushing, just old skool painting.  The humbrol flourescent orange doesn't seem to take too well to being painted.  Humbrol even sent me replacement tins as they said the ones I had were from a bad batch.  New ones weren't any better 😞

 

Al.

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It probably won't work but dipping canopies in Klear (or equivalent) sometimes fixes, or helps, clouding issues, although, for the reasons the assembled wisdom has said it has probably been burned irrevocably by the turps.  'done it myself.....

my pal exhibited a BEAUTIFUL dayglo finish on a model recently, using Vallejo, although I haven't tried it myself, being predominantly an enamel user.  looked very good though, although not sure if it would brush well.  someone here will know.

if all else fails please send me a PM and i'll see if I can vac-form one for you;  worth a try if nothing else works.  good luck 

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You need to physically remove the marred styrene, and the best way to do this is with micromesh. Start with 3600 or 4000 (always err on the side of too smooth to start, no point in adding extra scratches you don't need to), then work up through the grades to 12000. Finish with tamiya polishing compound.

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Thanks everyone for the hints. I've tried the toothpaste (cos it was easy and available). Made no difference. I'm probably going to leave it there and exhibit this as a "model of shame" 😁

 

Time has come to move on to more important things, like Phantoms and Tornados. Hopefully I've learnt some lessons here, which means it's served its purpose.

 

Thanks @modelmaker for your kind offer of a vacformed canopy, but I won't waste your time and energy when the rest of the build doesn't really deserve it.

 

Al

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