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How do you put the windows on airliners?


gigi
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To explain my dilemma I need to mention that I am talking about plastic molded windows, not stickers.

 

So my dilemma is that if I put the windows in before I assemble the fuselage I am in for the mother of all masking jobs when it comes time to paint. Just think of a 747 model or something like that. Well, pretty much any passenger airliner.

 

If I paint first (before joining the fuselage halves) I have no idea how to dress the join lines to make them invisible or at least pretty come join time.

 

So what do you do?

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I don't usually build airliners but I have had good experiences using pva wood glue like aquadhere which dries clear for smaller windows on several of my civvie kit builds. 

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Micro Crystal Clear, which is a viscous PVA glue. Apply to aperture with a cocktail stick and dries clear. Easy to punch out and re do if needed. Use it to attach canopies and fill gaps too. Water soluble, so a clear varnish when you have finished.

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For your typical 1/144 airliner cabin windows I leave the plastic glazing out, paint and decal the model, then cut a strip of clear decal film slightly longer than the strip of windows and approx 3-4 times the height of the windows, this is applied as you would normal decals over the open strip of windows. It will dry to give a nice even "glazing" over all the windows without the concave glazing you sometimes get with the likes of krystal klear. If you damage one of the windows it can easily be repaired by trimming the damaged decal film from the opening and applying another bit of decal film over the gap.

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Thank you guys.

 

From the answers it seems to me I have not made myself clear. My dilemma is about kits that come with plastic window moldings.

 

I know I could just leave them out and use one of the methods explained above, but I really like the plastic windows. Could never come up with a satisfactory method to use them.

 

One way out is to not paint the plane, I know that one.

 

Another solution is to paint the plane but not around the windows. This is feasible when the chosen livery helps by not having any paint around the windows or when you have stickers that extend enough above and below the windows like say an Aeroflot type livery or similar. Fortunately there are many airliners like that. That way you can always run a strip of masking tape narrower than the decal over the windows and paint away confident that the decal will overlap the paint edges.

 

The problem is with designs that require full fuselage solid paint so when you have to cover both the shut lines and the windows area in one shot so to speak.

 

I guess I could paint the body in two stages. First stage paint the windows area on both fuselage halves, install the windows then glue the halves. Second stage dress and paint the shut lines whilst masking the window area with some soft edge masking foam or such.

 

Problem is, I am not that confident with my painting skills.

 

Hopefully someone has done this type of thing before.

Edited by gigi
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If the windows are round, I use a punch of the window size to punch out discs of tamiya tape. You can get cheapish sets of these on Amazon - as you're only punching out tape, you don't need the highest quality.

 

For oval windows, or those I don't have a suitable size punch for I use Mr  Masking Sol-R. This is water soluble and can be dilluted. You could either apply drops to the window after masking or - and this has just occurred to me, so not yet tried, apply to the window before installation.

I like to use a bit of tape on the window before applying the mask to make it easier to remove.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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I take it that masking stuff (Mr Masking) is similar to something I have used in the past, a sort of rubbery solution of jelly consistence, also water soluble. Great idea to try applying before installing the windows. Thank you, I had forgotten about that stuff.

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