AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
Realistic Amber and red lights
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Alabama, United States
Joined: June 04, 2003
KitMaker: 13 posts
Armorama: 8 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 03:26 PM UTC
What are some ways you use to achieve realistic looking lights on AFVs
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: April 02, 2005
KitMaker: 3,608 posts
Armorama: 3,092 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 05:49 PM UTC
Drill out the light, glue in a clear lens, and paint it with Tamiya clear red or yellow. Or, if you can find them anymore, there are amber and red lenses out there....
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: September 15, 2004
KitMaker: 4,728 posts
Armorama: 504 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 08:40 PM UTC
SKP make sets, depends what your looking for.
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 20, 2008
KitMaker: 3,981 posts
Armorama: 3,403 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 10:54 PM UTC
If just painting solid plastic kit parts, I apply a base of black, then some red mixed with clear, and then a top gloss clear coat. Add a black pin-wash around the edge for shadow.

And then add weathering, hiding all that good work!
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: December 11, 2009
KitMaker: 546 posts
Armorama: 316 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 12:04 AM UTC
Ranger Glossy Accents is the best clear I've used. tease it into the lens surround with a toothpick. it will remain domed if you have used enough, or flat if you want it to be. highly recommended.


note: this is a lifetime supply & it stays well in the bottle for ages.
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 3,670 posts
Armorama: 2,052 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 05:37 AM UTC
I have four methods I use—- Metdod #1: Use MV lenses. These are a model railroading product made for the purpose of simulating marker and headlights, and come in various shades of color and size. I also have three ways to make my own lenses with epoxy. Method #2: You’ll need some clear two part epoxy, 5 minute cure or longer, double backed Scotch tape, and appropriate clear red, green amber or orange paint, applied over a small punched out disc of the thinnest sheet styrene you can find. I paint the sheet styrene silver (I normally use Alclad chrome) then spray a thin layer of clear color (Tamiya). I then punch out the disc. Placing several discs at intervals on top of the double backed tape, I apply small drops of epoxy, and let it harden. When dry, these discs can then be peeled off the tape and glued into place. The advantage with this method is uniform size. Method #3: This is done with decal paper, painting the decal paper first, then placing small dots of epoxy directly on the paper. The “reflector” can then be cut out when dry and applied like a regular decal. The trick here is to get uniform dots of epoxy, so I make several dozen at a time, which allows me to pick at least two of similar sizes. The rest go into the “spares” box for use in other projects. Method #4: this is similar to the decal method, but it involves “tinting” the epoxy directly with the clear paint, applying them to wax paper in as uniform drops as possible, and letting them dry. You can simply peel them off for later use. The only issue with this simple method is you won’t have the silver paint under the epoxy drop for the “reflective” quality— for that you can paint the area you apply the “lens” to silver, then stick it on with Future or other clear adhesive. For methods 3 & 4 above, with practice, you can get pretty good at determining the exact amount of epoxy to place for getting uniform “dots”. For all the methods above, If you want “clear” lenses, just skip the painting/tinting with clear colors. If you find the depth of color on reflectors isn’t quite what you want want, you can always apply a bit more “clear tint” directly over the epoxy lens after it’s on the model.
VR, Russ