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compressorman

Favorite masking method for camouflage schemes?

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I have heard a lot about using blu tac for use in masking soft edge camouflage schemes. I bought some recently and tried it for the first time. First I tried to form it into flat thin sheets and lay it on the wing thereby using it for the actual masking. It did not want to adhere to the model at all. Then I tried another method I have heard about, forming the blu tac into little balls and using those to adhere a paper mask to the model. The small 'lift' the paper gets from the balls giving the soft effect. I had a pretty hard time getting the balls to stick to anything except my fingers. Can anyone share their favorite method of soft edge masking? I dont really like to do it free hand because it gives a little too fuzzy of a demarcation line between colors for my tastes. I have also heard that silly putty works well but havent tried it because I cant find any in a store.

Chris

Edited by compressorman

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try silly putty at any hobby lobby stores. it works. got this tip from steve stohr back in 1998.

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I use Plasti-Tak (I think it's the Hobby Lobby version of Blu-tak).

Instead of smooshing it into flat masks, I roll it into "snakes". The rolled edge gives a soft demarcation line.

batttle6.jpg

batttle5.jpg

batttle7.jpg

batttle8.jpg

:cheers:

Mike

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I do the paper masks and use rolled up balls or snakes of cheap masking tape to lift a little off the surface.

Concerning blue-tak: I find you really need to "knead the dough" with blue tak to activate it well. Cold blue tak doesn't work very good.

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You may need to try several differing brands of 'poster tack' before you find one with the stickiness (or lack of it) that you like. I have had some blue blue tack (don't know the brand) that is horribly sticky, especially after being left for a bit on the model surface...it's quite a chore to get all of it removed sometimes, especially on matte surfaces.

The most recent variety I've tried was the one Mike mentioned above, from Hobby Lobby. It has a "medium" stick to it, and what residue it leaves behind is fairly easy to remove. Another white poster tack that I picked up from (I think) Office Depot a year or two ago has just about ZERO adhesion to it. I now use it more as a medium to plug openings with, as it does what you described (i.e. sticks to fingers but nothing else haha).

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I do the paper masks and use rolled up balls or snakes of cheap masking tape to lift a little off the surface.

Concerning blue-tak: I find you really need to "knead the dough" with blue tak to activate it well. Cold blue tak doesn't work very good.

What he said... I prefer the paper mask too with back rolled masking tape. It takes some time to cut the masks to shape and fix them, but this gives the best results for a soft camouflage edge.

Just use a little thick paper (not cardboard, but some heavy weight paper) this way it won't flex under airbrush pressure amd keep its shape against fuselage curves and so on.

Edited by Yuri

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Thanks for all the tips guys. Havent tried the rolled up masking tape yet but I did get some silly putty. I rolled it into little snakes and elevated my paper mask with them. It worked really well but there is something to watch out for. If you tear the putty off the model fast you are fine but if you do it slowly then the putty stretches into long strings (think cheese while biting a piece of pizza). These strings can be as small as a hair and virtually invisible, at least until you spray the next color and you see the paint build up around that little hair-like piece of silly putty that you didnt know was there. Ask me how I know this :whistle:

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I have a similar question. How you guys mask for sharp edged schemes? In particular complex, convoluted (no straight lines) schemes often seen on aggressor planes.

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Basically, it is just using thin strips of tape instead of the above shown blue-tak method.

I usually stick my tape to a clean area of my cutting mat and cut the masking tape into very thin strips with the hobby knive and a steel ruler. The thin strips can be laid around curves and I just do the pattern with it. Then, just use larger patches of tape to close up the little odd shaped areas until I can use normal tape or other methods of masking.

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I have a similar question. How you guys mask for sharp edged schemes? In particular complex, convoluted (no straight lines) schemes often seen on aggressor planes.

3M Nexcare Waterproof Tap shown here:

http://www.3m.com/product/information/Nexcare-Absolute-Waterproof-Premium-First-Aid-Tape.html

I get it at WalMart. It's very flexible and conforms to compound curves amazingly.

RightSide-1.jpg

I cut a strip, place it on my pants leg to reduce some of he tackiness, place it on a piece of glass from a borderless picture frame (snap frame), cut strips with a straight edge and Exacto knife and place the strips on the model as I wish. I then mask the areas I don't want painted with paper and tape.

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Now there is something I am going to try on my Kinetic CF-5AR. Thanks AX!!!

:cheers:

Emil

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I use the orange tack from Elmers brand. It's tacky enough to get the job done but releases easy and leaves no residue at all.

I have heard Horror stories of silly putty leaving a Nasty oil behind. So if you are going to try it do it on a test piece before ruining a model.

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I've had much success with the blue tac!

Rolling into to snake-like strips and then tape to cover the rest.

Only thing to mindful of is to try and aim your airbrush at a consistent angle in order to keep a uniform edge.

DSC05664lr.jpg

DSC05443lr.jpg

The blue tac works great especially conforming around uneven/rough surfaces.

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I blow up drawings to 1/72 scale in photoshop, print them out, and cut out the camo patterns to use as paper masks.

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A little trick:silly putty-blue tack-pata fix(in italy) work better onto gloss surfaces....they adhere better and don't let down any type of debris......Ciao from Italy,Enrico :woot.gif:

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