Mask on

It appears I am stuck! Tonight I sent a mail to IPMS Germany to see if they can help me since I saw one of their members made a brilliant version of this kit.

A few weeks ago I saw a blog from JB in which he displayed the effort he had to put into masking.

He is working a pretty sweet F-35 kit, but the masking job looks quite tedious with much jigsaw masking required. So just brainstorming in the comments section I offered the thought of getting some tracing paper and getting the pattern on there, and then transferring the pattern to your masking tape so you could apply it on a bigger part of the model, and do small adjustments with more or less tape. He is going to try that and I am curious if and how it has worked for him.

Obviously I was quite happy to hear he liked the idea, and obviously I didn’t forget about it either. As I pointed out in my last blog there is some challenge in the dark area above the wings. This morning I went to the local discount shop to get some tracing paper.. which they amazingly did not have. So I got myself some oldskool geometry tools!

It looks to get it on the masking tape.
Up until this point I thought the nice little lines in the Humbrol cutting-mat were just there to make the thing look nice and model-y. It does actually have a purpose!
Here is the problem of course.. whether you use tracing paper or oldskool geometry, it just isn’t very applicable to my situation. I have no way of knowing exactly where to mask off.

I cut out the decals and did the best I could to see if it looked correct, and it did. But I can also see the two sides are not symmetrical, and it would have surprised me if they were. I just don’t think it’s possible without a proper masking set.

It looks like everything is set, as best as I can get it.

Hopefully I can get some help from Germany, or I might go for it and paint the red lines myself. It won’t be symmetrical though and that will haunt me forever (or atleast until I wreck my next kit).



9 thoughts on “Mask on”

  1. What I try to do when painting a decal is to apply the color before your final paint. Then I will create a mask of the decal outline and adhere it on. I’m out of ideas for your dilemma though. I’ll keep brainstorming.

    1. That’s awesome AA! I’ve been thinking about it today, and my latest thought would be to cut out the decal outline on a piece of thin carton (a pizza box probably) and to tape that onto the model. That way I have more flexibility on where the mask will end up. Using the tape directly on the model like I’m doing now really makes it impossible to get it just right.

      If I can get the right angle on the above and below sides of the piece of carton, I will also be able to determine if sits exactly right on the model. It should be just like the decal.

      My only concern is that if I don’t get it exactly right I will have to do more painting when the decal is already on, although I could opt to just paint on the red line rather than using the decal.

      This model might not turn out perfect, but I think I will have learned a lot once it is finished!

      1. One of the biggest things I love about building models is the problem solving we have to do sometimes. It’s rewarding to see your own ingenuity at the end. It sounds like you’re figuring it out quite well.

      2. I have a result, but it is probably a good couple of milimeters of from where it should be!

        I am thinking about applying the decal first and then finishing the paint because this will just be guessing until the thing is where it is supposed to end up. I am not sure how to approach that though.

        Should I put on a layer of clear coat since I will be applying decals and can I still do a fairly large amount of painting after that? Or will that show on the end result? Any thoughts perhaps?

      3. I could just get the decal on and finish the paint.. think I’ll do that.

      4. Putting clear on shouldn’t matter much if you clear it in the end. But I will say that if you apply the decal and plan on masking it, you run a likely risk of it sticking to the mask when you remove it. Been there. If you can apply it and paint around it then you should be good. It’s a delicate situation there.

      5. That is the plan now. I can’t mask it like you say. It’s actually already broken. But putting them on atleast gave me absolution over where they will exactly end up

  2. I think I have a solution for you. Grab a metal straight edge and a new xacto blade. Cut out the decal exactly as it needs to appear. Use some low grab tape to get them even and where you want them and then trace them onto the fuselage. You will have the edge for the black and it will match up with the decal. Mask off where you need the black and spray away.

    1. I’ll keep that in mind because I’m sure I’ll need it again. Thanks AA!

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