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"How do you paint windows on vehicles?" Topic

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AC196327 Oct 2017 2:25 a.m. PST

Have some 15mm vehicles to paint. The glazed area are solid, which I believe is pretty common. On some, they could be opened but I don't plan to do that because it is a lot of work, can't do it on all models, and it would just reveal an empty cab.

So will be painting them and would appreciate your views on what colour looks best for the glazing?


sillypoint27 Oct 2017 3:11 a.m. PST

Light blue with slashes of white, gloss varnish to finish it off.

OldGrenadier at work27 Oct 2017 4:03 a.m. PST

I tend toward dark blue, but it's actually a matter of taste. Sillypoint's suggestion would work just as well.

Durban Gamer27 Oct 2017 4:41 a.m. PST

In 1/300 very dark brown works well for me.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2017 4:48 a.m. PST

In 28 or 20 mm I use the light blue with white slash in the corner approach

PzGeneral27 Oct 2017 4:58 a.m. PST

Light Blue or Grey, highlighted with white

RudyNelson27 Oct 2017 5:57 a.m. PST

I did silver back in the 1970s and still do. Black is an option if you black wash heavy as they tend to be more dark than silver.

haywire27 Oct 2017 7:05 a.m. PST

I like this guide.


freerangeegg27 Oct 2017 7:31 a.m. PST

I paint them a dark blue maybe Prussian blue, give them a light black wash, it just darkens the edges, and then after I have Matt varnished the vehicle, paint any glass bits with gloss varnish.
If you want to have a dusty desert look, just gloss the bit that the windscreen wipers would clear

mwindsorfw27 Oct 2017 9:48 a.m. PST

Look at the type of vehicle in real life. If the window angles toward the sky, you are going to get sky-color (light blue, grey). If it is more vertical (like a side window), then the top will be more sky, but the bottom will be more ground (green, brown grey). Many vehicle windows just look black or dark grey. As suggested, use white for highlights, reflections, and finish with gloss varnish.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2017 10:37 a.m. PST

I like really dark blue or green, and gloss varnished!

mwindsorfw27 Oct 2017 11:19 a.m. PST

If you are talking WWII era vehicles, the glass lacks a lot of the tinting that you see today, and may be more reflective.

Garand27 Oct 2017 2:58 p.m. PST

Dark grey with some gloss. Blue it a little too flashy IMHO & makes it look cartoony…


olicana28 Oct 2017 4:39 a.m. PST

Blue. 15mm is rarely going to look 'real'. A bit of 'pop' to bring out detail is a good thing, IMHO.



BillyNM28 Oct 2017 9:55 a.m. PST

Mine are slightly smaller scale (10mm) but I block them in black and then gloss varnish just windows – but it's all a style thing – go with what works best for you.

andysyk28 Oct 2017 12:44 p.m. PST

Black undercoat then HB Pencil.

leidang29 Oct 2017 8:13 p.m. PST

Light blue/grey with a gloss coat over it.

per ardua03 Jan 2018 3:16 p.m. PST

I have used prussian blue with a bit of reflection in the opposing corners, or a very dark grey with a glossy varnish. The light blue does look good on the truck post above too.

Experiment, see which looks best for you on each camouflage /paint pattern. Mine are 1/300, 1/200 and matchbox cars.

Mark 106 Jan 2018 8:58 p.m. PST

In prior years I used lighter blues for horizontal surfaces, and very dark (navy) blue for vertical surfaces.

For my lighter blue I settles on "metalic blue" or other reflective silver-blues.

But in more recent years, based on what I have seen and read on various fora, I have decided to go with a newer approach. I paint all windows black. Then I dab a metallic blue "splash" in the center. This is my way of achieving affects similar to what we see in olicana's pics.

I much prefer this approach. When you look at vehicles from a distance (try looking down the street next time you are in a high floor of a big building) you will see that most windows appear black. But sunlight (or other lights) reflect. The most common reflection is blue. So a black window with some reflection is reasonably pleasing to the eye and reasonably accurate. The side benefit is that the black surrounding the blue serves to highlight the multi-pain structure and the struts, even if you haven't painted the struts well (always a challenge at this scale).

Then, as others have mentioned, it helps to dab gloss coat on your windows after you've flat coated the model.

(aka: Mk 1)

lou passejaire12 Jan 2018 5:28 p.m. PST


Cacadore s11 Feb 2018 6:25 p.m. PST

If the window is indented in from its frame, then what you could do is paint the window with dark blue or black. And then fit a cut square of thin, tranparent perspex over it. I'm thinking of the very thin, stiff, clear plastic you get on a packet of cut ham, or the product window on a packet containing a child's toy or toothbrush.

It'll reflect the lights in the room and make the model come alive.

ubercommando25 Apr 2018 4:08 a.m. PST

Black with little flecks of silver.

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