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Two Questions


Chuckboy44
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Hi Everybody,

 

Question one: I need to make some kind of masking template so I can paint the anti glare panel on the nose of my Tamiya 1/32nd scale P-51. Can anyone give me some suggestions about how to do this neatly and symmetrically?

 

Question two: How to best do the masking and painting of the Windscreen on the same kit? I've done it wrong and now have a new part and mask and want to do it right. First time I cut the mask out with a scissors instead of a scalpel--> raggedy edges. Then I airbrushed too much paint---> gloppy, messy result. What else do I need to know before trying again?

Best regards,

Chuck Byram, DDS

 

P.S. Tamiya Customer Support has been awesome with getting assorted new parts to me that I had messed up.

 

 

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I'll try to answer your questions Chuck.

 

Question one answer: I think most modelers kind of "eyeball" their projects, so using a single piece of masking tape, they apply it on the nose of the model starting at the canopy, moving forward, then wrapping the tape around the nose, and then back along the opposite side of the fuselage. Eyeball from different angles for appearance and symmetry. Repeat again if necessary until satisfied. I suppose the fastidious would take a tape measure or scale ruler to assure the mask is symmetrical. When using tape, try to use tape that is new or has clean edges. Rolls of masking tape tend to accumulate dirt and dust with time on the sticky edges of the roll when left out. I try to purchase tape that comes in handy plastic containers that keep debris away from the edges of the rolls of tape. Examples are Tamiya tape, and Frog Tape for bigger masking jobs.

 

Question two answer: The key to success here is not always in the materials, but the tools and technique Chuck. Using scalpels assures a cleaner cut, but as a general rule, whenever I cut masks or cut decals, I ALWAYS use a brand new scalpel blade to assure me that the blade is the sharpest it can be. That gives you cleaner cuts and sharper edges. If your airbrush is not quite adjusted correctly, next time before spraying onto the model, have a handy "mule" or test model to blow paint on to see if the airbrush is adjusted correctly or not. Another tip to avoid raggedy edges is when painting canopy frames, after masking off the windows, first spray a first coat of clear gloss or Future, let dry, and then spray on your color coat. That will in effect, first seal the edges of your mask to prevent subsequent coats of opaque paint from seeping underneath the edges of the tape randomly, giving raggedy edges.

 

HTH sir! Good luck with your project!

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Your solution is pretty simple, especially if you are working in a larger scale. Whenever I sprayed the anti glare panel on my Mustangs I used Scotch Tape, the dull acetate or "invisible" tape. This will give you a very straight line, just make sure you press the edge down really well, then go over that tape with painter tape as you tape off the rest of the fuselage.You should get a clean line. If you are using "rattle can" flat black you got to make sure you spray from at least a foot away from the kit, sounds like you are spraying too close and that is the problem, so light coats of paint with short duration squirts. If you are using an airbrush, do the same thing, maybe use less air pressure. As for your windscreen just buy masks. The alternative is to place the same dull acetate tape over the various sections, then follow the outline of the framework with a new #11 exacto blade (scalpels just don't work well for modeling, use them for dental surgery where they belong) then gently press down against the frame edges. If you do it right using your steady dental hand you will have nice painted framework. Remember to spray from a distance with short duration spraying so the paint doesn't build up and bleed through. If you do get a little bleed through then after you pull off the tape you can clean off the edge of the framework with the tip of a tooth pick (I know how much you dentists love those things) and you should have a nice looking canopy frame work. Make sure you tape off the inside of the windscreen too. Hope this helps, but it is worth the few extra dollars to buy paint masks for the canopies and wind screens, although Mustangs and T-Bolts have about the easiest canopies to tape off.

Cheers

SD

Edited by Spitfiredude
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For making a symmetrical mask, go back to the technique we learned as kids to make hearts or stars. Make your pattern by folding a piece of paper in half and cut the shape or curve you want away from the fold. Unfold the cut paper and you have a perfectly symmetrical pattern. Align the fold with the fuselage seam line and you have the shape you need to shape against with your masking tape. Remove the paper pattern and spray away.

 

Works for me, anyway.

 

Ed

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I purchased an oval template from Staples or Office Max or some such. I have an Exacto tool that has a small swiveling blade on it. I find an oval that most closely matches, put it over a piece of tape and then use the swiveling blade to cut it out. If it needs to be set out further from the canopy, I just extend it with strips of tape and then fill in the empty space. One piece of masking and it's symmetrical.

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Thanks for the excellent suggestions and comments! I'll be incorporating most if not all of these ideas. Looks like I'll need an Exacto knife though. All these years I thought a surgical scalpel was the hot setup! :-)

Best regards,

Chuck

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Charles, I've read over the all of the comments and can't really add to the answers to question #1. One solution I didn't see mentioned for the question on the canopy is Bare Metal Foil, which is the solution I've used for 20 years. Cut a piece large enough for the clear area, then burnish it down and use something like a toothpick to get it in the edge between the frame and the clear area. After using an x-acto to cut along this line, reburnish the edge you just cut to reaffirm the seal. When the paint has dried, use the x-acto to score along the panel line to break the paint and seperate the BMF from the canopy frame. Add a drop of Goo Gone at a corner and then use the tip of the knife to gently lift the BMF from the canopy. After you are finished, use Goo Gone again to make sure there is no residue remaining on the clear parts, then simply wipe them with a little water on a Q-tip. It probably sounds more complicated than it really is. I've used this method almost exclusively for 20 years and appreciate how the BMF conforms to all of the compound curves which can be present in many canopies. Also, you can piece in another section of BMF very easily without having to start all over again. Oh, I almost forgot, dip the canopy in Future floor polish (or whatever it is called now) to achieve a super clear canopy before you do anything else. Let it dry on a piece of wax paper, then turn it upside down after about 4 hours to let the bottom finish drying. I hope this helps in some small way.

 

Happy Landings,

Rick

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Scalpel blades work just fine, in fact, better than X-Acto blades. i gave up using X-Acto years ago. But if you must use an X-Acto-type blade, try Testors. I'm told they hold an edge better than the competition.

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Thanks Michael! Now I have advice for and against X-Acto knives! As an old Navy buddy of mine says: "Do something! Even if it's wrong!" :-)

Best,

Chuck

Edited by Chuckboy44
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