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On most models the headlights leave a lot to be desired. In a photo of a real vehicle it is obvious that the headlight is clear glass - it shines. You can find several methods to replicate that shine here, all gathered from the 87thScale.info messageboard.

Round headlights (on fender or attached to grille / radiator) / tip from Lee

The only way of copying this shine that I know of is drilling out the headlight and putting in a clear jewel or an 'N'-scale clear resin headlight lens. 

Scratchbuilding round headlights (on fender or attached to grille / radiator) / tip from Lee

Most of the lights that I need are mounted on the top of the fenders. How about drilling cone shaped holes in a piece of hard rubber, mixing a clear resin and forcing it into the holes with a putty knife. When the resin is cured, the pieces can be popped out by flexing the rubber. Drill a very small hole a little ways into the rear to represent the bulb. Then paint it silver leaving the front clear. The only problem that I forsee at the moment is finding the right shaped drill. Maybe a small dremel bit would work. 

Hollow lights (old Wiking or Roco models for instance) / tip from Skunk:

If your model already has a hollow where the light is supposed to be then dabbing Kristal Klear works well. I am making little teardrop taillights for a Mini in a similar way right now. I begin with painting a small silver circle, then dab krystal klear to make the light shape (sometimes several layers). Then you paint the light clear red or orange, leaving a little bit of silver around the edge. The only problem is that Krystal Klear (and others) don't dry perfectly clear, if you use too much it turns yellowish.

Painting headlights / tip from various contributors:

- Paint the lights silver and give them a coat of gloss varnish.
- Paint the lights with a mix of silver and white to get the shine.
- Paint the rear of the inserts silver and give the front a coat of gloss varnish.

Round headlights (on fender or attached to grille / radiator) / tip from Eric

I am using crystals made by Tron which will be glued in the middle of the drilled out headlight (and then painted clear yellow). After that I will add a drop of Kristal-Klear or gloss varnish on top to get the rounded shape of the glass.


Headlights that are part of the glass insert / tip from Skunk

Cut the headlights from the glass insert, round off the backside of the headlights, and then cover this in chrome Bare-Metal foil. 

Lenses (crystals) / available from:

- M.V. Products (available through Walthers.com)
- Tron Models 

The round lights on the back this Johnny Lightning stepvan were also made with Tron crystals