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Well THIS did not go well. Making window panes using Kristal Klear

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  • Member since
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  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Well THIS did not go well. Making window panes using Kristal Klear
Posted by dknelson on Sunday, April 21, 2019 11:16 AM

One of the nice attributes of Microscale's Kristal Klear adhesive, or the similar Testors product "Clear Parts Cement and Window Maker," is that unlike ACC or regular liquid plastic cement it does not fog clear styrene window material in structures.  Our counterparts in the military and finescale modeling worlds discovered the advantages of using what is generically called "canopy glue" for this very reason, and it does a good job of sticking dissimilar materials together.  Moreover the glue is flexible yet remains strong which is also why our RC airplane counterparts like it.

I have the Testors and Microscale products and like both and use it a lot for placing styrene "glass" in structure windows. 

But I had never before used them for their other advantage or feature and that is you can actually create a clear "glass" window by applying a line of the glue and then drawing it over the open portion of the window opening using a toothpick.  Jeff Wilson shows this in his structure modeling books and his results looked good.  I had my doubts but tried it and it works as advertised.  You really can pull it over an open space quite easily even though it is a thick liquid. 

Well ... with just one tiny problem.  The Tichy (or maybe it was Grandt Line) window casting was on a smooth flat surface, I used the product on the back side to make the window glass, and then let it harden.  Which it did.  But because the stuff is also an adhesive the window "glass" was stuck to the work surface.  Removing it even gently destroyed the nice smoothness of the "glass."

So I thought well what if the casting was suspended in air, held by a tweezers.  So I tried again.  Hmm.  Due to gravity the material bulged out as it was hardening so it makes for an odd looking window. 

Then I tried holding the window casting vertically in the tweezers as the product hardened - this time the window was thicker at the bottom as you might expect.  Good 'ol gravity.

Then I tried making the window with the casting on wax paper thinking it would slide right off.  Nope (see above about the stuff doing a good job mating dissimilar materials.  That includes wax paper).

So I am stymied.  Evidently I am doing something wrong, or failing to do something right, but as far as I can tell I am doing what Jeff Wilson said to do and cannot get results.

Help, Mr. Wizard (or even better, Doctor Wayne, if he's listening)!

Dave Nelson

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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, April 21, 2019 11:48 AM

How big are your window panes?  I have been happy with those big factory windows with tiny panes, only a few millimeters on a side, but I use clear plastic for anything larger.

I like the curved surface so I can illuminate the interior but no one can see that the buildings are hollow and have no interior details.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, April 21, 2019 1:00 PM

Sorry Dave, but my experiences with Kristal Klear have been hit and miss, sometimes getting decent results on my first try, and other times multiple efforts fail miserably.

I use it mainly for Williams Bros. and Sylvan vehicles, where either the supplied window material is not adequate or is missing entirely.

Here's a Sylvan vehicle with Kristal Klear windows...

...and another, somewhat clearer photo of a similar vehicle...

The truck (windshield not visible) and the green auto are both from Sylvan and both have windows of Kristal Klear...

...while the grey Jordan Products Essex has windows cut from clear styrene, as do most of my Jordan vehicles.

I've used Kristal Klear on some windows of brass locomotives, especially the small windscreens on the side windows (where even .005" clear styrene would be too thick), but my limited success with it is reflected in the few photos I'm able to show here.

Wayne

 

 

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, April 21, 2019 3:00 PM

I’ve used both products and had very good results with both.  I’ve done the windows on several Cary E7 shells, windshields and side windows.  I applied the window maker with the windows level and like you said they sagged in the middle but as they dried the center pulled up a bit.  I let them sit for at least 24 hours then applied a second layer and reversed the window position so that the low center spot was on top.  The second layer softened the first layer slightly and dropped a bit.  The two layer process comes out very close to perfect and looks very good.  Being thicker they are more durable too.
 
Early on doing a single layer on smaller windows they broke over time and had to be redone.  I’ve never had a dual layer window break or crack.  My E7s have done very well even with a lot of handling.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by wjstix on Sunday, April 21, 2019 10:58 PM

In my (limited) experience, the smaller the window, the better the result. For example on diesel locomotive all-weather window, I'll use clear styrene for the main part of the window, but a liquid product for the small openings on either side of the main window. 

Stix
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Posted by G Paine on Sunday, April 21, 2019 11:06 PM

When I used this method, the key was to use as little of the Micro Klear as possible. A light coat around the edge of the window, then draw it across. If the thin film pops, apply a bit more Klear and draw across again. I have used it mostly on vehicle windows.

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by j. c. on Monday, April 22, 2019 12:08 AM

dupe post 

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Posted by j. c. on Monday, April 22, 2019 12:09 AM

i normaly use the glasing included with tichy windows ,i've never used either product  but for what your trying to do you might try using a hunk of say  smooth finished 3/8 nylon as i never have foung any product that would stick to it.

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 22, 2019 4:53 AM

G Paine
When I used this method, the key was to use as little of the Micro Klear as possible. A light coat around the edge of the window, then draw it across. If the thin film pops, apply a bit more Klear and draw across again.

I had a problem with the glazing ending up too thick around the edge of the frame so the window looked distorted. I think George has the right idea. Use just enough to form the film. There shouldn't be too much around the outside edge of the frame. Like he says, it may take a couple of attempts to get the film to form.

As Mel says, you can apply a second coat to make the glazing more durable.

Dave

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Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, April 22, 2019 7:07 AM

For windows, I have used clear plastic (the type used for report covers) with great success.  You might want to try that and using liquid stryene glue that is applied with a brush.  I also cut a larger piece of plastic than the window.  Doing that avoids getting fingerprints on the window panes. 

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Posted by dknelson on Monday, April 22, 2019 10:01 AM

Well there is food for thought in these responses, thank you all.  I am particularly interested in Wayne's success with vehicle windows because I really see no alternative glass window product for that kind of vehicle kit.

The common theme of using the product with vehicle "windows" or rolling stock "windows" is that the window opening is integral to the model, not a separate casting, so you are not concerned with the other side of the "window" sticking to something like a workbench surface.  That suggests that I should be trying the product when the window casting is already in the structure, not sitting flat on my workbench.  One place to try that would be a DPM structure kit where the windows are cast integral to the walls anyway.  

The idea of a double application with the model turned upside down from the first application so that the effect of gravity is evened out is intriguing.  Another thought is to (carefully) move the model around while the product is still setting.

But I will take very much to heart the advice to use less of the product.  I think it is highly probable that because I had my doubts -- "does this really work?" -- I probably used way too much product.

The windows in question were very small basement window-well type windows, about 1/3 the size of a little finger fingernail.  I usually do use the thin clear plastic that comes free with product packaging for window "glass" but these tiny castings did not give me much space on sides or top to use adhesive.  

In my never ending quest to make lemonade out of lemons (lemonade with a nice additive of sour grapes perhaps) I have convinced myself that the basement windows look like glass block and not clear window glass anyway.  Lacking Doctor Wayne's exquisite skills, that explanation will not work for vehicle windows, so I'd better learn to do this right!

Thanks fellows.

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by hornblower on Monday, April 22, 2019 1:59 PM

Dave

As others have said, it takes a little practice (and patience) to make window glazing using Krystal Klear or Testors Clear Parts Cement but it can be done.  I have made quite a few such window panes with good success.  This technique is especially useful when you want the glass to look like old style "float" glass.  

From your description, it sounds like you are trying to create the window panes while the window frames are laying flat on paper or waxed paper.  You will get far better results if you hold the window frame away from everything when you apply the Krystal Klear.  Rub a little glue around the perimeter of a single window pane then "stretch" the glue across the opening.  Then set the frame aside laying flat but supported so the glue cannot touch anything besides the window frame.  I have achieved the best results when I skip window panes on multipane windows so that the wet glue does not migrate between panes.  Once the first group of window panes dries, I will go back and fill a few more.  This takes a little longer but makes for better and more uniform looking windows.  A second coat of Krystal Klear on the backside of the fully cured first coat will add a lot of strength to the finished windows.

Hornblower

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Posted by RR_Mel on Monday, April 22, 2019 7:17 PM

The Cushman Mailster below has a Testors Window Maker windshield.
 
 
It’s difficult to see the windshield but it’s there.
 
The Mailster is one of two that I kitashed from Cushmans with a pickup body.  Both have a working 1mm bulb in the headlight.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by jjdamnit on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 2:35 PM

Hello All,

I have zero experience with the technique you have written about.

However, I have used clear plastic bubble packaging.

Depending on the thickness is can be bent into many compound shapes and sizes.

It's free- -it comes with the product you have purchased and has been molded with many shapes to conform to the product it protects.

Sorry to get off topic but...

I hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by ndbprr on Thursday, April 25, 2019 4:43 PM

It has been a while since I did any windows but I did develop a method that worked for me. The directions say to swirl some around in the opening until to forms a complete window.  I did some very large windows by placing the material above the window on the inside wall and then squeeging it over and past the window with a flat piece of wood or styrene.  Worked for me.

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