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Faking lenses over chromed headlight parts

13 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Here is what I am working with:

yA2nCDo.jpg

There is a clear lens that goes over the headlight portion itself (the middle section) but nothing for the side lenses. They look incredibly fake. I want to give them at least a minor illusion of depth so that it looks like there is a lens over them instead of just being chrome or silver.

My initial plan was to dip it in Future many times and hope that the Future would look like a glass lens over the piece but the Future is way too clear and thin when it dries. I'm thinking of glopping Elmer's glue over the whole piece tonight in a thick layer, don't know how well that is going to work.

Any ideas?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Just glop your Elmer's where you want the lens look, not whole part

Edited by JunkPile

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Posted · Report post

Maybe brush Tamiya acrylic clear with a drop of flat white on there?

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Posted · Report post

My mom is in to Stampin' Up in a big way and part of her arsenal of craftiness is this stuff called Crystal Effects. I snagged a mostly-used up bottle from her and use it to make lenses on grilles that have molded in headlights. It is really thick so it doesn't flow far (if at all). The bottle isn't very helpful, just says "Clear Craft Lacquer" and "Acid free, Nontoxic, Washable". As for the stuff actually is... :unsure:

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I've seen that stuff at Michael's, and I've wondered about using it to cast headlight/taillight lenses from a mold. Does it dry hard enough to use for that?

Edited by ChrisBcritter

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Posted · Report post

A little mix of white and silver brushed on the lens area followed by some clear for shine will represent it pretty well.

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Posted · Report post

you might try some 5 minute epoxy, mix it gently so you don't get air bubbles and flow it on before it starts to set up. it will definitely build up thicker faster than Future, will self level more or less, and will give the same effect. a light coat of Future on top of it will make it sufficiently glossy.

jb

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Posted · Report post

A little mix of white and silver brushed on the lens area followed by some clear for shine will represent it pretty well.

I was going to suggest similar.

I've had fairly good results with brushing some aluminum paint into the buckets, and then attaching with white glue, which gives an ever-so-slightly opaque quality to the lens.

Charlie Larkin

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Posted · Report post

Okay I've never tried this trick on square headlights, but it works with round headlights. Just paint the lenses with gloss white (I've used Revell, Humbrol and Tamiya and they all worked) and wipe off just a little paint from the center so that the chrome can be seen through the white paint. It's very easy trick and works nicely. Here is an example:

P8162431.jpg

So as I said I haven't tried it on square headlights, but it might work? Some people have used white glue for the same thing so I guess that will work fine, too. I've never tried that, though.

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Posted · Report post

I've used Niko's Technique, only with pearl white. You could add clear yellow or orange to it if the lenses are that color in real life. As evidenced by Niko's pic it actually looks pretty good!

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Posted · Report post

thanks Niko, I am going to try that next time I have solid headlights like that. looks very convincing.

jb

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Posted · Report post

As far as headlights go, I've been drilling out the round ones and replacing with the clear part of those googly eyes for the reflectors, then casting clear resin lenses out of acrylic. I've also made tail lights the same way. You could try something like that. Alumilite makes a molding material that's a two component putty that works really well for making molds of small parts.

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Posted · Report post

I've seen that stuff at Michael's, and I've wondered about using it to cast headlight/taillight lenses from a mold. Does it dry hard enough to use for that?

It dries up pretty stiff. My mom uses it for raised domes on crafts and stuff. Pretty high surface tension if you are careful with it and sets up pretty hard.

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