Glass effect canopies for profile foamies

by pintokitkat | January 29, 2014 | (5) Posted in Tips

The way I fly, I need a constant supply of new planes, and whereas making full fuze planes is great, I also make a lot of profile planes.  They are quick and easy.

Today I decided to put together a profile Sbach from a plan I'd found on RCGroups. It went together very quickly and so I soon got to the time when I started to think about painting it.  Because they don't last long, I don't tend to spend too much time painting them, I usually make the cockpit obvious and recently have started painting all the plane's rudders yellow.  Other than that - not a lot else.

I usually print out a cockpit picture that is the right size and shape (taken from the plans and drawn around in Photoshop) and glue it to the plane.  They look ok.

But today, with the Sbach looking so sleek and slim with that big glass dome of a canopy, I wondered whether I could do something a bit better.

I'd already posted my technique for making canopy glass from laminate pouches for the Spitfire and it seemed reasonable to use the same idea to create 2d glass cockpits.

I found an image of a Sbach cockpit, including pilot, on Google, pushed and pulled it around in Photoshop until it was as good a fit to the plan cockpit as I could make it.  

Then I copied it and flipped it horizontally so I had mirror images.

I printed it and cut around one image using the plan lines so that I knew it would be the right size and shape for the model, then used this to cut around the second image so they matched back to back.  Glued them together using Pritt Stik or similar (or at least I should have glued them together and then they wouldn't have moved as the pouch went through the laminator - I'll know better for next time).

Then using a sharp scalpel, I cut away the sky leaving just the pilot, a bit of the inside of the plane and a thin strip of paper at the top to represent where the glass appears thicker over the roof of the cockpit.

Popped it into a laminate pouch and laminated it.

I cut around the image closely at the top, but leaving half a centimetre or so of clear laminate at the sides and bottom - this bit gets glued into the foam.

Having cut away the shape of the cockpit from the model I used a fresh blade in the scalpel to slice into the edge of the foam.  This sounds fiddly, but even using 3mm foam, it was actually quite easy.

Pushing the laminate into the slot showed where I needed to slice a bit deeper, but sliding the laminate up and down in the slot seemed to make quite a decent job of 'adjusting' as well.

Then I smeared Uhu Por along the edge of the foam and pushed the laminte in and left it to dry.

I think it looks great.


x3mperformance on February 4, 2014
Brilliant, and light weight.
What a nice touch up.
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rcrich on February 4, 2014
Awesome job...
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Glass effect canopies for profile foamies