Author Topic: Molded windows versus printed windows  (Read 2572 times)

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chicken45

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Molded windows versus printed windows
« on: February 19, 2014, 01:31:41 PM »
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Howdy, all!
I'm looking for opinions. Which looks better?
Printed windows or molded windows?

Lemo did up accurate windows for this station with accurate dimensions to the prototype Gallitzin depot.

I also have these Tichy windows. They aren't the same design, but they're reasonably close.

I'm leaning towards using the printed windows. They have more accurate dimensions. Even through they are flat, I feel like the depth is negligible in N scale.

I ripped out the paper windows for the one side and put in the Tichy windows. That's why the paint's chewed up a bit.




The final product will be buff and brown.
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SkipGear

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 01:56:46 PM »
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I like printed windows myself. Molded windows always seem overthick. I have a window set printed and ready for this station if I can ever get around to finishig it...



The windows in these cabooses are also printed.....

HO - Alum Window Trim



N - Door window

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 02:23:02 PM »
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The 'paradigm shift' I had was visiting the Pithole Museum in Pennsylvania (huh???   well go here...http://www.visitpa.com/pa-museums/pithole-visitors-center
But what I want you to see is this:  http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/images/pa/PAPIThole_6301.jpg )

That's a full-scale model of the entire City - as it existed, building for building, in the 1860's.  IN N SCALE.

We're talking hundreds and hundreds of windows here, all in scratchbuilt buildings of historical structures, all to full detail, with figures, horses and scenery galore.  And ever single window was printed.  I was stunned how good it looked.  So ever since then, I've been open to the idea, wherever it worked.  For me, it's been more about what's been behind the glass that's printed than always the window, although small muntins just look a lot better.  But if I had the choice of scratchbuilding a lot of small windows, or printing, printing wins hands down.

Alwyn Cutmore

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 02:39:33 PM »
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Josh,

What you are trying to replicate in the mullions of the windows is a piece of wood that about 1 inch thick. What you are looking at is something that is .15 of a mm which is pretty darn small. Looking at the photos I would stick with the printed window. The other option is to have the windows screen printed on clear acetate. UK market has been doing it for years.

Regards

Al 
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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 02:54:16 PM »
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I really like the printed ones.

Dave Schneider

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2014, 02:56:13 PM »
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I like the smaller mullions that are possible with this approach. It kinda sets you off on a path of doing this to many models if you want things to be consistent. The need for consistency is more apparent when the models are near each other. I have used a couple of other techniques that utilize my digital cutter. Paint masks and vinyl tape. Here are a couple examples.

Paint mask.




Tape




Best wishes, Dave



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peteski

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 03:59:15 PM »
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I like to detail/illuminate interiors, so to me windows printed on opaque paper are out.  But as suggested, windows printed on clear media would do the trick.  Either silk-screened with opaque paint, or printed on Alps printer (which can print opaque or metallic inks).  Another alternative is photoetched metal windows.  That method results in scale thickness, and robust constructions (while retaining transparency).
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chicken45

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2014, 04:02:09 PM »
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The 'paradigm shift' I had was visiting the Pithole Museum in Pennsylvania (huh???   well go here...http://www.visitpa.com/pa-museums/pithole-visitors-center
But what I want you to see is this:  http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/images/pa/PAPIThole_6301.jpg )

That's a full-scale model of the entire City - as it existed, building for building, in the 1860's.  IN N SCALE.

We're talking hundreds and hundreds of windows here, all in scratchbuilt buildings of historical structures, all to full detail, with figures, horses and scenery galore.  And ever single window was printed.  I was stunned how good it looked.  So ever since then, I've been open to the idea, wherever it worked.  For me, it's been more about what's been behind the glass that's printed than always the window, although small muntins just look a lot better.  But if I had the choice of scratchbuilding a lot of small windows, or printing, printing wins hands down.

That's not too far away from where I'm from. How'd you find that place?
Thanks for the help, all! Yinz helped reinforce my own opinion.
John's gonna say "You just should have listened to me from the start."
Pete- John actually talked about photo etching some brass windows. He wasn't sure how thin they could go.
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peteski

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2014, 04:14:52 PM »
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Pete- John actually talked about photo etching some brass windows. He wasn't sure how thin they could go.

How thick?  It depends on the material you're etching.  I see 0.005" width being feasible (that is 0.8" in N scale).
But making them scale wide might actually look too thin.  With most other things on the building being slightly oversize (like ths brick dimensions, wall thickness or mortar thickness), scale mullions/muntins/transoms might simply look too thin.

This all reminds me of the N Scale Architect Worcester Station kit.  It has photoetched windows, but their mullions/muntins/transoms are WAY too thick!  I don't know why they decided to make them that way, even though the same etching process could have been utilized to make them much thinner.  Duh!
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Scottl

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 04:42:53 PM »
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I was thinking half etching brass as well so you could get a bit of relief and maybe even the latch hardware.  It would be precise, easy to paint, and not expensive.  Easy to do if you have the artwork already made.

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 06:04:25 PM »
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I was thinking half etching brass as well so you could get a bit of relief and maybe even the latch hardware.

Absolutely!
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DKS

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 06:13:09 PM »
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It comes back to the age-old question, How big is a brick? IMO, printed windows--or windows done in any process that yields close-to-scale results--look out of place on buildings with oversize bricks (as Peteski suggested), and even worse when they're recessed from the face of the building a scale foot (or more), as is often the case on models, when in real life they're usually nearly flush with the building face, or at most recessed a few inches. I believe the best modeling process is one that yields windows that fit with the rest of the building's proportions.

For example, in the image below, the printed window and door look better--on their own. However, they're recessed back further than the molded plastic ones which, although they have oversize mullions, are more flush with the building face, and also fit with the rest of the detailing on the structure better.



If you're going to use the printed ones, they'd have to be made nearly flush with the building face; then, some of the detailing, like that horizontal trim strip and the edge of the roof, would need to be sanded down closer to scale thickness. Indeed, you might be better off using styrene, as that wood grain is really coarse. Just sayin'...
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 06:24:36 PM by David K. Smith »
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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2014, 07:15:12 PM »
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You should see the building it represents!  Agree on all counts, but those plastic windows are just huge.

Alwyn Cutmore

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2014, 08:05:06 PM »
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John,

I agree. Etches are also feasible. I do have some here that I bought at a swap meet years ago. Mind you may take a little while to find them.

Regards

Al
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unittrain

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Re: Molded windows versus printed windows
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2014, 08:11:28 PM »
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I just recently built a wooden railroad right of way storage shed and for the windows I cut the opening then cut pieces of 1/32 sq balsa strip to length and glued it in the openings nearly flush with the outside face of the shed then I cut a single piece of electric wire to length for the middle window frame, they look really good. Since this shed is abandoned I made broken windows by cutting pieces of clear .005" styrene sheet in a jagged fashion and attached pieces in the bottoms and corners of the window it looks pretty convincing I made a window or 2 that weren't broken and glued the wire to the window plastic. The model turned out really well.