Building Tips

How To Make a Windshield Pattern

By: Pat Tritle


    When scratch building models, one of the toughest jobs is working up the windshield cutting pattern. The process is really pretty simple once you understand how it works. And the good news is that this method works regardless of how large, or small the model is. Let's get started..........

    The idea is to make up a paper pattern, carefully fit it to the model, then use that pattern to cut out the actual acetate windshield that will be glued onto the model.


    1- Measure the length of the window opening and transfer that dimension to a piece of paper

    2- Cut a piece of paper to the correct length, and more then wide enough to wrap around the fuselage

    3- Determine the cabin width at the top and transfer that dimension to the paper pattern. Then determine where the pattern will begin to roll around the forward-most end of the wing root and cut it to that dimension along the cabin sides

    4- Roll the pattern around the side of the cabin, hold the fuselage up to a light source so you can see through the paper to the underlying frame and mark the outline for trimming

      5- Fold the pattern on the centerline to insure that it will be symmetrical on both sides. Cut along the lines to remove the excess paper and fold the pattern back open.

    6- Tape the pattern back on the fuselage and fine tune the fit. Remove and trim as needed to insure proper fit and alignment

    7- Making a rear window pattern works exactly the same as the front windshield

      8- Once the final shapes are achieved, tape the paper patterns over the appropriate thickness of acetate. Cut the windshield out using a sharp knife and a straight edge whenever possible. A sharp scissors is used to cut the curved lines.

    9- Starting at the top and working downward, glue the windshield into its opening. I use medium Cya very sparingly, and accelerate it to prevent the "frost" from forming around the glue joints.

Building Tips