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Tip O' The Day

Using Hot Glue to Simulate Clear, Shaped Lights




Submitted By:

Tom Tate


I really wanted to install a lighting system of some sort on my Masterpiece Models Seaview. But, this rather small 13" model is solid resin. This could be a challenge. Not that I don't enjoy a challenge, but I also have time and budget constraints that force me sometimes to use creativity rather than flash.

At the tip of the nose of the Seaview, where the underside meets the bow section, there is an indentation about as big as the head of a shirt pin. This is where the headlight would be. I bored that as smooth as possible with a dremel with a very small stone, and painted the hole with a blend of about a 10 to 1 ratio of white gloss testors (10) and the same in yellow (1). After that dried completely, I got my wife's trusty hot glue gun. I let the gun get good and hot, so that the glue was real runny. Then, very carefully, I added a dallop of glue into the hole, enough to overflow just a bit, but not run. The key is to let it build up, and not sag or run.

If done with enough patience, the result will be a chrystal clear, slightly conical head light replica that follows the form of the ship's nose perfectly. It took me a few attempts to get this right. But it was worth it. I did the same on the rear fin lights, these were even smaller. This may not work well on larger versions of the Seaview, but it worked beautifully on my small one. This might work in a variety of applications and models. Give it a whirl, but be sure you have a surface that will stand up to the heat and repeated attempts!

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Tips database last updated 21 July 2014

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