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Armor/AFV: Modern Armor
Modern armor in general.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Build Techniques for Modern Sight Optics
gunnerPhil
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Virginia, United States
Member Since: April 06, 2007
entire network: 25 Posts
KitMaker Network: 3 Posts
Posted: Saturday, December 21, 2019 - 10:53 AM UTC
Hello,
With all the different kinds of coated optics in use today, I was wondering what different techniques everyone uses for making the different kinds of main sights, FLIR Balls, laser designators, sensors and so on...

I am mainly a WW2 modeler and this subject stumps me.
grunt136mike
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Florida, United States
Member Since: November 24, 2012
entire network: 1,817 Posts
KitMaker Network: 38 Posts
Posted: Saturday, December 21, 2019 - 01:19 PM UTC
Hi;
Depending on the origin of manufacture they could be different colors; Some will have A Blue tint while others mite have Red or even pink tint !! Un-coated optics will be just plain Glass, certain optics containing Laser's will have clear glass incorporating A Mirror. Laser's detectors will look like just A mirror like aperture ! Panoramic sites which can be rather large will most often show the coating more color in contrast, The Abrams with its Red coating on its optic's were A rather pain to try and look accurate, Now You can obtain stickers for certain vehicles in 1/35. Some Modeler's will paint there optics Tamiya Clear Blue on the inside during construction; Clear Green thinned works well also.

CHEERS; MIKE.
grunt136mike
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Florida, United States
Member Since: November 24, 2012
entire network: 1,817 Posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 21, 2019 - 01:41 PM UTC
Hi;
Just Thought I mite provide some more tips;
On some of the Older kit's that do not offer clear plastic, the best way is to paint the plastic Silver and let Dry and then give it A thinned coat of either Blue or Green, and then A coat of Gloss Clear !!
When trying to depict A Clear part of plastic its best to use A scrap piece first; Its going to be trial & error to find which you like the Best. A Good source which I like the Most, which works the Best for Me, is to use A Clear cut to size piece of Cellophane; which most Florist use and comes in A wide range of colors.

CHEERS; MIKE.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
Member Since: March 15, 2009
entire network: 3,300 Posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 21, 2019 - 05:47 PM UTC
I don’t build a lot of modern vehicles for myself, but on occasion, I’ve built a few for commission. I discovered a neat way to build modern optics, but I don’t recommend it for everyone. While tearing apart an old computer printer a few years ago (I recycle lots of household electronics for use in model building), I retrieved about 20 cm long X 1mm thick X 3mm wide of prismatic glass from the scanning bar. It has all the reflective qualities of prismatic sight glass. But it has to be cut very carefully with a Dremel diamond cutting tool (while wearing safety glasses and gloves), but once shaped, it looks very convincing, and can be painted either on the front or back with Tamiya smoke, gloss black, gold, copper, silver or clear green, clear red or clear orange to replicate the look you’re after. The effect is striking. But the cutting must be done slowly or you risk fracturing the glass. The printer scanning bars usually come incased in a long plastic tube, backed by a metallic double sided tape. They’re difficult to remove in one piece, but even a 2 cm chunk will give you 2-3 optic sight panels. Additionally, I’ve been using the optic scanners found in CD drives for circular telescopic sights. These are usually tiny and made of hard clear optical plastic (the same as eyeglasses are made from), but are easier to shape than the scanning bars (which are glass). Since they are clear, they do need a tint on the backside. So, before throwing out that old printer, computer or CD player, scavenge and “recycle” it for useable stuff first.

The only other technique I’ve used is much simpler— AFV club makes a selection of “stick-on” “optic glass” appliqués for their line of Stryker vehicles which are sold separately. These can be cut to just about any shape you need and tinted accordingly. They’re not quite as good as true optical glass, but they still look the part.
VR, Russ
white4doc
#429
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Massachusetts, United States
Member Since: October 14, 2003
entire network: 1,051 Posts
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Posted: Monday, December 23, 2019 - 02:36 AM UTC
This company does adhesive window films, their prism film does a pretty decent job of replicating the coatings, you can get a couple 9x12 samples for less than what you'll pay for the AFV Club stickers and have pretty much a lifetime supply of the stuff. I've used their films and they're as easy to work work with as the AFV Club product (probably because they're similar products, but I can't say for certain)
https://www.coloredfilms.com/
Tankrider
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Oklahoma, United States
Member Since: October 07, 2002
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Posted: Monday, December 23, 2019 - 03:04 AM UTC
Phil.
I have had good luck using mylar wrapping paper/film(?) and iridescent ribbon with the ribbon bonded to the warping film bonded together with Future. I also used Future to bond the final product to the applicable sight or vision block. I have had great results using the red mylar but also have green and purple mylar in my stash. Recently, the wife brought home a gift from school in a clear iridescent gift bag that also had possibilities.

FWIW

John
GulfWarrior
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ARMORAMA
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Texas, United States
Member Since: January 05, 2010
entire network: 900 Posts
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Posted: Monday, December 23, 2019 - 03:16 AM UTC
I've used confetti stars like you get from a party supply store. A bag only costs a couple of bucks and will last for hundreds of models.

I just cut rectangles out of the star shapes in the particular bag that I bought. A tiny spot of CA and you're good to go.



gunnerPhil
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Virginia, United States
Member Since: April 06, 2007
entire network: 25 Posts
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Posted: Monday, December 23, 2019 - 07:10 AM UTC
Lots of good ideas to try and put in my "tool bag". I am sure I am not the only one that has scratched my head over this...Thanks guys and Happy Holidays to all!!!