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"Advice for painting clear surfaces to be translucent?" Topic

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568 hits since 9 May 2018
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Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2018 3:28 p.m. PST

I've got a project in mind to create "glowing" radioactive craters. My plan is to set cheap battery op "tea lights" under a level of clear packaging plastic, with bits of broken glass and decorative gravel on top, to create a crusty glowing lava effect. My thought was also to put a layer of thick craft glue (dries clear) down to create the lava surface, and maybe tint the glue as well. What I need to know is, how should I best tint the glue and/or paint the plastic and glass to create an orangey-red translucent surface for the light to glow through. Would a thin wash of craft acrylic on the glass and plastic do this? Would mixing a few drops in with the glue work to tint it without making it opaque? Or should I look at water colors, food coloring, or what?

Or maybe I should considered a different approach?

khanscom10 May 2018 4:08 p.m. PST

Tamiya has a series of clear colors designed for tinting transparent "glass" on plastic models-- available in red and orange as well as other colors. This might work.

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member10 May 2018 6:21 p.m. PST

There was (or is) a liquid or gel material made for lenses that are scratched. It gets rid of that frosty look you get when you expose them to an abrasive, and makes them look see through once again.

There's gotta be a miniature terrain application for it somewhere. Maybe it could be used to create added "depth" to an otherwise smooth surface?


Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2018 8:11 p.m. PST

Testors Model Master range also has clear acrylics for plastic car model light lenses, etc.

If you really want to level up your going-cross-eyed skills, paint a tartan with clear paints on a clear figure to make a Scottish ghost!

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP11 May 2018 12:11 p.m. PST

Highlighter ink.

You can use the highlighter to stain the surface with the ink or you can run a very soft bristle brush over the tip, then on the mini, depending on the coverage and effect you want.


This oni has green glow on the rune on the sword and on his hand to simulate light from the green flame. Done with green highlighter.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2018 12:41 p.m. PST

I like the highlighter approach! Cheap and too-hand are a big consideration, especially as I am making 14 "radioactive" craters.* In fact, this puts me in mind of my collection of colored Bic-brand permanent markers (non-Sharpie brand sharpies…), which would probably work…

*(Answer the question "why 14?" for no prize… Hint; they're not for an oni…)

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP12 May 2018 6:22 a.m. PST

(Non-)Sharpies will work on acrylic paint (they're ink application devices, after all), but they have a lot more "color coverage" than highlighters.

Pastel or light colours will work over clear plastics OK. More vibrant colours may have a different effect.



I mostly use regular ink pens to color change metallic paint or with ultrafine tips to put tattoos on flesh.


Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP12 May 2018 7:46 a.m. PST

*(Answer the question "why 14?" for no prize… Hint; they're not for an oni…)

One for each SEC team. I'm not saying they're aliens … but they're aliens.

Pauls Bods13 May 2018 9:34 a.m. PST

Translucent Window paints?

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