Masking ?

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Nov 10, 2006
Spokane Washington
Greetings Gents,

I'm new to the forum and to modeling as well. Very nice site here and looks like alot of good information!

Working on my second aircraft now and was wondering if masking the windsheilds to airbrush the metal frames was the common practice or no?

I have a Badger 150 airbrush with three tip sizes, have paint full size autos and etc, but wanting to know if airbrushing window frames makes a big difference rather than painting with a brush??

Thanks for your time and infor...

Well, it is the best way I know! Add to that the fact that when you brush a paint on, it is rarely absolutely identical to when you spray it. For Luftwaffe WW2 aircraft, that is not always a problem, as some aircraft, especially Messerschmitts, tended to be fitted with canopies which were painted before being installed, and so did not duplicate the camouflage pattern.

When the kit is nicely engraved, masking with a bit of Sellotape and running a pointed scalpel along the engraved lines is normally not too challenging, although sometimes, you really do get fed up with it! Maskol, a rubber-based masking solution, can also help. When you remove the Maskol, though, sometimes it slips out from under the paint, and leaves paint behind where you do not want it to be. This can be easily removed with a bit of sticky tape.

Do not however leave the masks in place too long, as once the paint has hardened, as opposed to dried, it'll tend to crack and chip along the edges of the tape. Equally, do not varnish over masks you have painted on already, unless you do it soon after painting, and remove the masks quickly enough.
Agree with ndicki, you could also try the various precut mask sets that are available as well I use E-Z masks for most of mine now these are precut vinyl and so far have worked out well for me. Sometimes they are not quite perfect but can carefully be stretched a bit to fit or you just cut out extra from the surrounding vinyl and use. I try not to keep the masks on too long, usually no more than about about a week for paint then gloss and flat coat to get same sheen in finish.

Regards Wayne
Wayne, if you can get all that sort of thing where you live, you're lucky! I live in France, and the accessory supply chain is - let's be positive - haphazard, to sday the least! You can usually get anything you want, except what you're looking for...
Thanks for the reply, not sure you may know this already, but I am using automotive pinstripping tape, very thin and 1/8' to 3/8" plus. I'm new at this but sure works better than normal masking tape!

There are lots of good (and cheaper) alternative products you can find in DIY places!
That's half the fun! It doesn't matter how experienced you are, some things you just have to grit your teeth and DO! :lol:
Well, I'm an advanced modeller and when I speak for myslef, I can say that masking a 1/72 cabin IS CHALLENGE for me!

Especially for you Pisis I made an pictorial instruction how to make own mask! Let's start!
1. Apply a Tamiya tape on your cabine

2. Use a pencil with soft graphite (B4 type) to appear a glass edges (Attention: edges in models with raised lines are darker, but with engraved lines are brighter)


3. Remove the tape and apply her on smooth surface

4. Cut your mask along the dark (or bright if engraved) lines using a sharp knife

5. Apply your cutted mask on the cabin

6. That's all folks!
I've just learnt something! Well explained, mate!
Name that perspex nose bubble? Arado 234?

Yes, as stated in many of these posts it can be time consuming but well worth the effort. I sit and listen to classical on Nation Public Radio(spelled it out for those in other countries) And quite a bit of time Will while away. But the end result is worth it. Ive tried the foil...the thin bare-metal foil and sorry, but that stuff was about useless. I found using something slightly more substantial like Scotch magic tape in small pieces works best. Take an inch off at a time utilize one of its straight edges on a section of canopy, say the straight lenght of the mid-canopy frame on a Stuka or me-110 perhaps, pull across and proceed to cut out the rest. This may sound confusing but it is essentially what has already been explained. If by some stretch paint leaks underneath or over(and its acrylic) it can be gently scraped away. Use multiple coats too. Not one glob or youll have a disaster on your hands. work around the canopy and then come back. Im currently working on my trifexta of battle of Britain German bomber and am using this technique. Im looking forward to finishing them by Adlertag....hopefully!
Best of luck to you,
I haven't modeled for years, partly out of frustration over getting german aircraft canopies to look right. I'll have to try that method out. Thanks
Dear Net Sailor, Wow what a great technique to mask the canopy! So simple, easy and straightforward. This will definitely become my standard method!

Well, I just gotta say it's a good thing I read as many of these things as I can. Coz I have been staring off and on at the canopies of 3 planes here wondering how I'm gonna get some satisfying results on painting the frames. Then I read this one and it's "now why didn't I think of that"? DUH, cheers, bill

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