I had a spare canopy (left from Academy's Su-27 UB) and a good photo
showing the canopy, so I began to experiment. The key here is to get
the tint mixture that when dry looks like the canopy you are trying to
I start with a base mixture consisting of clear orange
and yellow. I painted the canopy with this mixture and a brush, left it to
dry and placed it near the photo to check the tone. It is important
to experiment till you get the tone of the tinting colour correct. I experimented
with the mixture until the tone of the canopy looked exactly like the tone
on the photo, because of that I cannot provide the exact ratios. You can get
rid of this tinted mixture from the canopy using a cloth soaked in alcohol and try again.
After the correct tone is
achieved, I added 50:50 Tamiya clear. This enables you to gradually build
up the tone using your airbrush in the final stage.
Do not airbrush straight
colours, because this makes the
canopy too dark in the first pass.
Finally, I added a very small amount of
Tamiya gold to give it a little metallic shine. Then airbrushed the canopy
outside, left it dry and buff it using Tamiya compound.
There could be a mistake though, someone told me that the canopy photo I
have used is from a Danish F-16, (It was in the Daco book), and Danish
F-16's have a more intense yellow hue. U.S. F-16's have a lighter colored
canopy, but it was too late to correct :(
Additional info from Steve
One option is to to dip the canopy in 50% thinned
Tamiya clear paints. These clear paints would include Tamiya Smoke
and Tamiya Clear Yellow among others. The colour you chose would
depend on the canopy you are trying to copy. You could use Future or
Tamiya gloss Clear to mix with the clear paints. Problems with
dipping in a coloured mixture of Future would be bubbles and the colour
might not be consistent throughout the canopy. Sometimes the colour
might end up being lighter on the edge areas, because of the surface tension, less paint
would accumulate there, providing a lighter tint compared to the other
areas. When airbrushing the tint it is possible to get a more
consistent coverage. For this reason I would prefer airbrushing the
Other types of tinting
substances you could use for tinting an acrylic clear such as Future or
Tamiya Clear would include food colouring.
Also India Ink could be
used as a tinting agent, but I'm not sure if it would mix well with
Future. This would provide a dark smoke tint. India Ink could
be mixed with gloss clear lacquer and airbrushed onto a canopy very
carefully......but Lacquer is a very strong substance and could destroy
It is best to stick to
acrylic type clears such as Future or Tamiya gloss clear.
That way....if you make a mistake the damage could be undone.....gloss
Lacquer is very unforgiving if you make a mistake.