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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
Mirrors and Lights
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Texas, United States
Joined: January 05, 2010
KitMaker: 647 posts
Armorama: 625 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 02:08 AM UTC
Hey guys!

I just completed my first kit in about four years after taking some time off to pursue other interests. Now I'm looking to improve on things with my second one. So I'm seeking some sage advice!

How do you handle mirrors, headlights and spotlights? Do you paint the back of the lenses silver. On my M1117 Guardian I painted the outside then gave 'em a couple drops of Future. On my side mirrors I also gave them the silver / Future treatment. I was thinking that silver Mylar might work better; but I'd like to hear about what you've done that works.

Thanks all!

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United Kingdom
Joined: September 06, 2013
KitMaker: 960 posts
Armorama: 803 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 02:39 AM UTC
If you can paint the front of the reflector, gloss black enamel under Alclad (or anyone elseís) chrome would work. If you can only paint the rear of the transparency, there are some impressive chrome paint pens that might do the job. Molotow is the manufacturer and they are on Amazon if you canít get them elsewhere. Obviously you canít undercoat it in that circumstance😉
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Colorado, United States
Joined: January 20, 2005
KitMaker: 6,526 posts
Armorama: 5,498 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 02:48 AM UTC
There are several options available to you, depending on how it's represented in the kit. For solid plastic lights, I like to drill them out and simply replace the lights with MV lenses, available through Walthers.
Alternately, you can drill them out as above, then cover with foil in the back - it doesn't have to be bare metal foil, although that works very well. Just burnish plain old foil into the recess, then level the light in clay. Now mix two part clear resin and tease it into the void with a toothpick. Once you have filled it, add a little more. Surface tension will cause it to form a convex surface. Once it sets you'll never have to worry about it falling out as with MV lenses.

For kits with a clear plastic "lens" that represents the sealed beam headlight, you can do the same thing with the foil as mentioned above. You can even add a small piece of stretched clear sprue in the center to represent a filament housing.v

Some companies now sell mirror (and light) kits for specific vehicles. Foil works great for mirrors though, and you probably already have it on hand.
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2005
KitMaker: 4,033 posts
Armorama: 3,865 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 07:29 AM UTC
Echelons Fine Details makes a peel and stick mirror set for the M1117.

SKP Model makes a headlight and taillight set for the M1117.

If the cost is not an issue they are a huge time saver and look great.