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Michael Morris

Homemade aircraft canopy?

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I recently bought a 1/144 scale resin kit  of the T-38 jet trainer that was advertised as coming with a clear canopy.  To cut a long story short the canopy turned out to be translucent rather than transparent and I'm pretty certain they are actually cast from resin.  The part is only about 3 cm long.  Can anyone suggest a method for making a replacement canopy that is clear(er)?



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Plunge or 'crash' moulding.

A new modelling talent for you to learn.


1. fill the old canopy with blue-tac or milliput. Before the milliput hardens push a bit of cocktail stick or sprue into it.

2. in a piece of thin MDF or hardboard cut a hole roughly the same shape and slightly larger than the canopy, its 'footprint' shape

3. use staples or thumb tacks to attach some thin clear plastic over the hole. the plastic from vac packaging or the side of a cheap cola bottle

4. heat that mounted plastic over a hot toaster - protect your hand from the heat.

5 when the clear plastic goes all floppy quickly shove your mounted old canopy through into the plastic and through the hole

6 you now have a thin clear plastic canopy.

7 it may take a few attempts till you get a good 'un


alternative to 5.

5a  have the mounted canopy supported vertically and pull the floppy plastic down over it


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I can only suggest plunge moulding.  However,  an accurate example would depend on your scratch building skills.  In the photo you can see that I’ve plunged an F4U canopy.  The male mould is polymer clay, which can be smoothly polished.  A wooden mould would probably leave the grain impressions on the clear canopy.  The female mould is balsa.  Cheap and easy to work with. Plunge moulding takes some practice and for a one-off is probably impractical.  Can’t think of any other way.  Sorry, not much in the way of help. 







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Ditto both these replies, it's what I do!


I'm just wondering if there is a friendly BM'er with a vacform machine...

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Unless it’s a very complex profile plunge moulding is generally effectiveness easier. That said It’s not that hard  to make a vacuum box.

50319630201_1b87aca455_c.jpg This is a plunge molded  canopy for a 1/72 ta154 I made last week.


49998519056_6de426b7e4_c.jpgAgain plunge molded canopy for a 1/48 Caproni Campini. It’s a pretty complex shape incorporating the upper fuselage deck but molded easily enough.


49940747681_55d57af368_c.jpg 1/48 scale Ju87a again plunge molded canopy.

Edited by Marklo

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