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Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
Headlights?
TheGame
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United States
Member Since: February 25, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 05:44 AM UTC
I'm building a T34 and it has a big headlight on the side. What do you guys do to make realistic looking headlights?
Kencelot
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Florida, United States
Member Since: December 27, 2001
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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 07:50 AM UTC
My method is to use a drill bit that is just smaller than the diameter of the headlight. I drill out the molded lense just deep enough to insert a circle of aluminum foil. Use just a little drop with a tooth pick of CA glue (super glue) to attach the foil. I than add a drop of Future onto the foil to make the lense and allow to dry. Be sure to keep the headlights laying on the backs long enough for the Future to dry.
Alternativly you could use just about anything that's "shiney silver" instead of the foil. Mylar, a chip of chrome...
Hope this helps.
Ranger74
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Tennessee, United States
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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 08:10 AM UTC
My new technique is similiar to Kencelot's, except I may paint the inside silver, and I use Krystal Klear to build the lens. It is heavy enough to build a convex lens. The Krystal Klear, will as its name implies, dry clear. For IR headlights like those pre-Abrams US armor, I paint the lens black then when dry coat with clear red. This gives, what I feel is an accurate replication of the IR lens that is placed in front of a normal headlight.
Trackjam
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Ontario, Canada
Member Since: April 12, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 09:19 AM UTC
Greif of Mexico makes a wide range of headlight lenses in various colours. I believe 5mm is the largest. These are less expensive than the MV lenses but just as good. Any idea of the size of your headlight?
GunTruck
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California, United States
Member Since: December 01, 2001
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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 11:31 PM UTC
I prefer using MV Products Lenses for this application. Any good railroad shop will carry these...

Gunnie
mj
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Illinois, United States
Member Since: March 16, 2002
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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2002 - 04:42 AM UTC
Okay, Kencelot, this may sound like a stupid question, but what do you use to drill? A dremel, or a hand-drill? I've been thinking I'd like to try your method, but I'm just not sure where to start. Also, how do you secure the headlight while working on it. They seem like pretty slippery critters to me.

Mike

Envar
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Uusimaa, Finland
Member Since: March 07, 2002
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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2002 - 04:48 AM UTC
This may be off the topic, but has anyone tried putting up a light show with light cable, a single led and a battery? I was wondering, would it be too difficult to place the led & battery underneath the wooden display plate and pull a couple of light cables out of small holes, through a vehicle, giving some real light to headlights(or a flashlight )?

Just wondering.

Toni
Kencelot
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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2002 - 06:48 AM UTC
MJ, I either keep em on the sprue (if it's tight enough) or just hold them between my fingers. As for the drill bit, I hand spin it, as I get much better control over it. One important little thing I do, is I use a needle point to mark the center of the lense and as a starter hole for the bit, otherwise it could be difficult to get the bit in the center.
Here's a little pic of them in progress:

mj
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Illinois, United States
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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2002 - 01:01 PM UTC
Thank you, Kencelot, I appreciate that. I'm going to take you up on this tomorrow. I'm just finishing up a Tamiya M3 Stuart. I wanted to try this for the three headlights on the kit, but just wasn't sure where to begin. They are forecasting rainstorms for the Chicago area tomorrow, so the timing is perfect. No lawnwork possible. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Cheers,
Mike

Kencelot
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2002 - 05:29 PM UTC
That's great Mike! Just like with all things modeling - take your time.
Just mark the center with something sharp first (the molded lense is convex and the bit may roll off center) spin the bit slowly, applying light pressure. You only need to drill deep enough to get a piece of foil or whatever in there.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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