Masking Techniques
 
Masking Techniques
 
Posted By: Marian Holly <maroalekit@msn.com>
Date: Thursday, 4 January 2001, at 3:20 p.m.
 
Hello all,
I read elsewhere that some people use material called "blue tack" to outline and lift paper mask in order to achieve soft-edged effect. Anyone knows more about this stuff-who produces it, where to get it? Also the first-hand experience with this technique, or any other, will be appreciated. My freehand airbrushing has failed so far. Maybe you could advise on this too-Iím using acrylic exclusively.
Many thanks
Marian
 
Posted By: Bill Turner <wturner@rclco.com>
Date: Friday, 5 January 2001, at 11:48 p.m.
 
In Response To: Masking material question (Marian Holly)
 
Marian,
An excellent method I use to get a soft edge effect is drafting tape. You cut it to the pattern you want to mask (e.g., upper - lower demarcation line), and then lay thread about 1/16 inch from the edge on the inside of the tape. This raises the drafting tape edge from the model surface, and when airbrushing it leaves a soft (feathered) edge. You can use various sizes of thread and vary the angle of the airbrush spray in order to get from very fine to very soft edges. This method works very well in situations where the demarcation line is very distinct and specific (such as the wavy lines in D4Y Judy and early-war TBF Avenger schemes), and which are difficult (at least for me) to achieve by free hand airbrushing.
Hope this helps,
Bill Turner
 
Posted By: Dave Pluth <dave@j-aircraft.com>
Date: Friday, 5 January 2001, at 11:26 a.m.
 
In Response To: Masking material question (Marian Holly)
 
Hi Marian,
I use paper masking, which has worked out quite well. Basically you take the instruction sheet with the layout of the camo, blow it up to actual size. Cut out the lighter color. Spray the overall top surface with the lighter color. Take the cutouts that you made and a paper punch and get ready to rumble. Depending on how soft you want the lines, punch some holes out in the paper. The closer to the edge, the harder the line will be. Lay the masks down and take a piece of tape that will cover the hole over the hole to attach the mask to the aircraft. You may take several punches to hold stuff down correctly. Tape off the edges and you're ready to spray. When you spray, don't get too close and don't spray at angle where overspray can get beneath the masking, basically keep at a 90-degree angle to the paper mask. The method works extremely well in 72nd scale. I've done 3-4 different kits this way and have been very happy. I've got a Spit MkVb in 48th that I'll be testing it on in the next couple weeks and will report back.
-Dave
 
Posted By: Grant Goodale <grant.goodale@sympatico.ca>
Date: Thursday, 4 January 2001, at 3:51 p.m.
 
In Response To: Masking material question (Marian Holly)
 
Marian -
Blue Tack is a kind of elastic plasticene that is intended to stick papers on a wall or some other surfaces without damaging or marking the surface. 3M might make it but I am not absolutely certain. Most office supply places would carry this or its equivalent by other manufacturers. I also believe that Home Depot in North America carries it. Beware of using modeling clay. I read an article that suggested this as a means of holding canopies in different positions while you are masking it. I tried that and it left quite a mess inside the canopy. I have used Blue Tack with no problems to hold canopies and other things with strange shapes for airbrushing or masking. I almost always use it for drop tanks and bombs and it does not cause a problem. One of the best parts of this stuff is that you can use it again and again by just working it with your fingers. Be sure that the paint is dry before you work it. I have never re-used it with lacquers or acrylics since they might do things to the basic chemistry.
HTH
Grant
 
Posted By: Marian Holly <maroalekit@msn.com>
Date: Thursday, 4 January 2001, at 4:06 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Masking material question (Grant Goodale)
 
Hi Grant,
Many thanks for your response. However I did not quite understand what you meant by this: "I have never re-used it with lacquers or acrylics since they might do things to the basic chemistry." Can you kindly explain?
Best regards
marian
 
Posted By: Grant Goodale <grant.goodale@sympatico.ca>
Date: Thursday, 4 January 2001, at 6:25 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Masking material question (Marian Holly)
 
Marian -
I have only re-used it with acrylics. I remember that I was holding some parts together with it and I sprayed some super glue accelerator on it and it became quite gooey. For that reason, I would be wary of enamels or lacquers due to their solvent bases. You could always try it out on s test piece to see what happens.
I forgot to address the problem of soft demarcation lines. What I do is to spray the lighter colour on first and, after it has dried overnight, mask off the light coloured areas with tape. Next, roll the blue tack into long strings, the thinner the better. Lay these strings down along the edge of the masking tape and then spray on the darker colour. One common mistake that I make all too often is to spray on too much paint and it ends up bleeding under these strings! Always use multiple light coats and you should be OK.
I have read that you can use this technique under paper masks. However, using the masking and "string" technique I described above seems like a safer prospect for a klutz like me. HTH Grant
 
Posted By: Dave Pluth <dave@j-aircraft.com>
Date: Thursday, 28 December 2000, at 8:58 p.m.
 
Hi guys,
Ok, first off, I'm very irritated with Hasegawa. I'm working on their Rufe in the all gray/green/j3 color scheme. I'm putting on decals and go figure, no decal for the two white bands around the fuselage. Grrrr! Anyway, I've got to paint these things now and after a couple of really pathetic attempts to mask this, I figured I'd ask for help.
Has anyone got any good tips on masking fuselage bands?
-Dave
 
Posted By: Bill Turner <wturner@rclco.com>
Date: Monday, 1 January 2001, at 11:57 p.m.
 
In Response To: Masking help (Dave Pluth)
 
Dave,
I've seen John Acosta's rubber band masking method on his models, and the results are excellent, especially on his Raiden. Will try this method myself.
Bill
 
Posted By: John Acosta <xmdjna@cs.com>
Date: Sunday, 31 December 2000, at 1:30 a.m.
 
In Response To: Masking help (Dave Pluth)
 
Hi Dave;
I know that my advice is coming a little late, since you have already painted your RUFE, however I found a rather quick and painless method for masking fuselage bands.
I use rubber bands! You need the type that are wider than normal and a straight edge to line them up but I have gotten rather good results.
I attached a photo to e-mail to you to show you how it turned out on a Shoki I built some time ago. Sadly this is one of the few photos I took of some of my models that came out clearly. A friend of mine is going to lend me a macro lens so I can make the attempt again and perhaps get better pictures. I just have to find the time!
Regards,
John Acosta
 
Posted By: The PLASTIC Surgeon <weirstsk@juno.com>
Date: Saturday, 30 December 2000, at 9:11 p.m.
 
In Response To: Masking help (Dave Pluth)
 
Hi Dave,
If you have any Parafilm-M your problem should be over. I use it on canopies, tail bands, cowling rings etc. I've painted bands on many 1/72 German a/c. You can apply beautiful straight edges around compound curves in minutes.
 
Posted By: Dave Pluth <dave@j-aircraft.com>
Date: Friday, 29 December 2000, at 8:35 p.m.
 
In Response To: Masking help (Dave Pluth)
 
Hi guys,
Well, I dug out my 3M fine line tape (1/16") and wrapped it around. Covered enough of the aircraft to not spray white paint all over and sprayed. It worked pretty well.
On the downside, I learned an important lesson about Hasegawa decals. Don't put Microsol down before putting the decals down. I ended up with some soupy decals that ended up with some little folds in them. Oh well, it will still look good in photos.
-Dave
 
Posted By: Jim Fox <jimnfox@net-link.net>
Date: Thursday, 4 January 2001, at 12:14 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Masking help - Thanks! (Dave Pluth)
 
Something to look at on future projects is this Tamiya Tape (kinda a rice paper tape). It fits to curves well, and is very low tack.
I've started using it a lot.
Enjoy....
Jim
 
Posted By: Dave Pluth <dave@j-aircraft.com>
Date: Thursday, 4 January 2001, at 12:18 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Masking help - Thanks! (Jim Fox)
 
Hi Jim,
I use a ton (literally) of Tamiya tape. It could be one of the best inventions for the modeler that I have seen in a long time. The problem with it in this case is that it was just a bit too wide to go around a round surface. I've had great success in 72nd with it however.
Thanks for the suggestion!
-Dave
 
Posted By: John Dillon <john.dillon@wachovia.com>
Date: Friday, 29 December 2000, at 5:43 a.m.
 
In Response To: Masking help (Dave Pluth)
 
Dave,
I'd recommend using the 3M tape that can be found in auto-body supply stores that comes in 1/8" width. It's high quality stuff and easy to work with. I used it for the blue bands on my Rufe.
John
 
Posted By: Clark Hollis <Raidenhollis@cs.com>
Date: Thursday, 28 December 2000, at 9:38 p.m.
 
In Response To: Masking help (Dave Pluth)
 
Hi Dave,
It helps to have a steady hand, good eyesight and a metal straight edge. Cut the masking tape into strips long enough to wind around the fuselage once, but no wider than 1/8 inch. I use a metal ruler and an Exacto knife and cut the strips on the flat back of my paint thinner can. Once you get one strip of tape placed at each edge of the proposed band, burnish it down gently, so that no paint will seep under the edges. You can use wider strips to cover the rest of the area that you want to mask. It usually works best to spray the color of the band first and mask it off, but you can do it the backwards way just as well. Let me know if I didn't explain properly. HTH.
Clark
 
Posted By: Jerry Wesolowski <j.wes@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Thursday, 28 December 2000, at 9:23 p.m.
 
In Response To: Masking help (Dave Pluth)
 

Dave,
Does this qualify as a major oops? Seriously though I had a similar problem some time back. If you have already placed the fuselage Hinomarus, any masking will definitely pull them off. (as you already without a doubt know)If you don't have them on, then I would suggest using a soft plastic style tape. Cut it to width and apply it where you want to have the stripes. Trace the outer edges lightly in pencil. Then when you remove the tape you can see where to mask. The plastic tape such as electrical tape is pliable enough to move around and check your location easily. If you make a mistake with the location, you can simply erase the lines and start over. Without the Hinomarus you should be able to mask the area with friskit and trim very carefully.
An alternative way if the decals are already applied is to get some white decal film. If you can find a set of stripes in another color. You transfer the shapes to the white decal paper, cut them out and simply apply as any other decal.
Neither way is easy, but they both work.
HTH and good luck
Jerry

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