how to handle complex masking?

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by cayman shen, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    I'm hoping to do some more complex kits, move into some fancier paint work than my usual two good coats and decal :) How does one handle complex masking such as the yellow on Anakin's ROTS starfighter, or the bars on a TIE windshield, etc.

    Also, is there a way to MAKE decals?
     
  2. Darth Detroit

    Darth Detroit Sr Member

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    Automotive pinstriping. It comes in all kinds of widths, and it sticks well enough to take back off, good bend radius's too.
     
  3. WookieeGunner

    WookieeGunner Well-Known Member

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    You can use a vinyl tape like electrical tape to mask areas. As far as decals, depends on what type you want. They do sell waterslide decal paper that you print on your inkjet or laser printer, spray with a sealent and then you're done.
     
  4. superjedi

    superjedi Sr Member

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    For masking, I've had great results with that blue painters' masking tape by 3M. It's not nearly as 'tacky' as regular masking tape, yet it holds really well. I've used it on several models, as well as my 1:1 scale Boba Fett helmet.

    For complex shapes or camofluage (?) patterns, you could also try liquid masking fluid. It's basically thin liquid latex that you can paint onto an area with a brush, spray over when its dry, and then peel it off. Similar to a technique using rubber cement, but much thinner and easier to control.
     
  5. clonesix

    clonesix Sr Member

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    pin striping and electrical tape have more adhesive than a masking tape and can lift paint.

    The best tape for fine masking is Tamiya brand masking tape. It comes in a variety of widths, and leaves the cleanest line of all the masking tapes.

    It is available at you model/hobby shop
     
  6. dijinn

    dijinn Active Member

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    Go with Tamiya... all other masking/electrical tape not only can lift off paint when you peel it off but alot of times you will end up with this sticky residue that is a pain to take off.

    Tamiya masking tape costs a little more but it's definately worth it. In general, I would swear by all of Tamiya's products. There's also a product line put out by a company called Mr. Hobby, harder to find but the quality is just as good as the Tamiya line of hobby materials.

    - J.
     
  7. dijinn

    dijinn Active Member

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    Forgot to answer your question about making your own decals. Yes, you can make your own decals using an inkjet or laser printer. If using an inkjet decal sheet, once it's printed out, you need to spray over with matte varnish to coat the ink or else it will run once you dip it into water or use solvent.

    I would go with the laser printer decal sheets but it's harder to get access to a color laser printer to make the decals. Easier to work with it though.

    Both inkjet and laser decal paper come in white or clear backing so, you need to figure out what you want to do first. Unless you have an ALPS printer, you won't be able to print white with either inkjet or laser.

    You can find both types of paper here:

    White Decal Laser Paper

    Clear Decal Laser Paper

    White Decal Inkjet Paper

    Clear Decal Inkjet Paper


    - J.
     
  8. Aegis159

    Aegis159 Sr Member

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    I use liquid latex for most of my masking needs anymore. Unless I need a super sharp line I just pull out the 'ole jar of the latex and start applying it..
     
  9. BarryZ28

    BarryZ28 Well-Known Member

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    Go to your local Automotive Paint supplier and look for "Fine Line" tape.
    3M and American make some great fine line tape starting at 1/16 X 60 yards and working up to 4” X 60 yards.
    You will notice rite away that it looks like Tamiya tape but with a great deal more on the roll.
    I've used the 3M brand and a couple of rolls have lasted me about 4 years.
    I finally went out and grabbed a couple more rolls but tried "American Fine Line Vinyl Tape" this time.
    The tape leaves beautiful crisp lines and has never lifted the paint below on me.
    Look at it this way, itÂ’s going to be a little more expensive but it will last years.

    Later, Barry.
     
  10. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the responses. I've obvously used tape to mask simple areas, like square shapes, but to do odder shapes (again, I'm thinking of the pattern on a jedi fighter, for instance) would you cut the tape to shape, or mask a small, easy section, spray, dry, then mask another small section, adding simple shape to simple shape (does that make sense?) Also, can you use a straight edge or masking tape to get a crisp line on the masking fluid? The more I hear about that stuff, the more intrigued I am.

    Will check out the Tamiya tape and do some tests with the pinstriping and blue stuff (which I have)--thanks.
     
  11. spcglider@aol.com

    spcglider@aol.com Sr Member

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    There is a product called "SLIME". It is an air-dry masking film available at your automotive detail store. You can layer it on much like liquid latex and cut your hold-out from that. We use it alot here at Minnefex.

    -G
     
  12. Jedi Dade

    Jedi Dade Sr Member

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    you can get the blue vinyl tape at an autobody supply store fairly cheap. I've never ahd it lift any paint on me. I usually get it in 1/16th inch thickness and then if I need to mask soemthing larger then that I take paper and regular masking tape and tape it to the vinyl ;)

    Another good thing is to plan ahead on the construction of the model. It is sometimes very difficult to mask and paint after the model is completely constructed where it would've been easy to mask and spray the sub assemblies.

    Good Luck.

    Jedi Dade
     
  13. Aegis159

    Aegis159 Sr Member

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    Sorry I was quick with my response about using liquid latex. I can get a super sharp line with the LL as well. I can definately paint it on in a straight line, but if for some reason I needed to trim an extra bit off I just score it with a sharp blade and pull off the area I don't need. It will give you just as sharp a line as any of the masking tapes out there, plus it handles compound curves, insets, pretty much any kind of shape with ease. It's really the best way to mask when painting figures...
     
  14. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    I think I have the answer to several of my dilemmas. Thanks everyone.
     
  15. Axlotl

    Axlotl Master Member

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    For quick and cheap, I picked up a roll of painter's tape at Wally World that's made for going around curves. I can't remember what it's called right now, but it's yellow and looks like crepe paper. I'm completely sold on the stuff. It's right next to the blue 3M - you can't miss it.
     

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