Thursday, May 26, 2011

Easy Leaded Windows

Chris from Canada wrote:
If you want to have small diamond-shaped leaded panes in a 1:12 window, look no further than the aluminium leaf guards that (supposedly) keep leaves from clogging up the eaves troughs of your house. Mine were trashed when the new troughs went up, but somehow one escaped the recycling bin. It surfaced last winter when I was digging around in the garage, and as I was in the final stages of a small 1:12 roombox representing a Tudor period solar, this piece of junk was actually diamonds in the rough. (groan)

The mesh is heavy aluminum that can be bent with pliers, and the size of the openings equals 4-5" in RL size, just right for Late Mediaeval, Tudor and Elizabethan settings. I had made the casement window frame already, so I simply cut a piece to fit, scrubbed it with dish soap and hot water, then spray painted it very dark grey. Once it was glued into the frame, I added acetate, attaching it to the mesh where the solder points would be with a teeny drop of superglue. It looks so much more real than drawing lines with marker or liquid lead and is definitely easier than fumbling with bits of wood or trying to evenly trim the adhesive 'mini' lead strips into 'real-mini' widths.

You can do the same thing for 1:24 windows using the metal mesh from old analog satellite dishes, in 1:48 scale window screen material works nicely, particularly if you skip the acetate and fill each hole with clear nail polish or gloss acrylic sealer to create the look of hand-made glass. For 144th scale, a fine black tulle, no crinoline material please as the panes would be 12" wide (!), or white tulle painted) can be stiffened and the panes filled using a brush-on or spray acrylic sealer and used as is, or leave the holes clear and sandwich the stiffened window between 2 layers of a good quality clear packing tape if you are worried about rough handling.