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Dutch

Anyone Ever Use "AeroMasks" for Aircraft Camo Schemes?

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Anyone ever use "AeroMasks" for aircraft camouflage schemes?  I'd like to know if they are worth the money or if I can paint the camouflage schemes for (let's say) 1:48 Mirage 2000 (Taiwan), Phantom IIs (SEA), Jaguar (Oman), Tornado (RAF), Mirage F1 (Iraq) by hand with an airbrush?  I can't find a review anywhere on the net. If I were to paint one of the splinter or Aggressor schemes, I might spring for them without another thought. Anyone used them and care to comment?

R/ Dutch

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Yeah, the ones from Advanced Modeling Products. Absolutely.  Just finishing up a Navy F-16B splinter. I have no idea how I would have cut the tape otherwise, the time necessary would be overwhelming. At $12, it's worth the price.  So far I have mainly got them for splinter schemes,- for schemes with 2 or 3 colors over large areas it may not be as cost effective, it all depends on how quickly you want to work.  They work great - stick them on and they come off leaving clean lines. I just had to do a color repaint, so I even got them to work a second time, although I'm not sure how many reapplications they would last through.

 

IMG_8447-012.thumb.JPG.52900bc17fb24905ec93a87861ce1abb.JPG

Edited by Camus272

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Just to add a few caveats: Jim puts out a great product, but check your references, on each one I have found areas that are different shapes to the real ones (you can see the tape above where I have to add a section).  Secondly, he gives instructions for the which masks to apply between which color coats.  For complex schemes this can get a bit involved, alternating coats of one color, another, and then the first one again.  I sometimes try to modify the procedure to limit the amount of paint being applied, as I'm afraid five or so sprays over the entire model might build up too thick (at least the way I paint).

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@Camus272,

Thank you for those remarks.  Yes, I agree that they are very useful for the splinter schemes.  I wonder if I would need them, say for a 1/48 F-4C/D/E in SEA camo?  Last time I did one (~20 years ago), I airbrushed most of it and added small areas and touch-ups with a brush.  You could tell.  Your F-16N looks gereat, BTW!

R/ Dutch 

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One thing that I found a concern is that Jim usually has one start painting with the darkest color first. I have always tried to do the lightest color first to make paint coverage easier. I bought his masks for the 1/48 Su-33 which are for Bort red 80, which has a sharp edge camo scheme. I didn't end up using them because they we're very accurate. He told me he used drawings from a Russian modeler for Bort 81. They were close to Bort 80, but very off in some areas.

On the other hand, I asked if Jim could create masks for the Japanese F-15J Volcanic scheme. A VERY wild red, dark brown and white scheme that will be a true pain to paint even with masks. He did a bag up job of those. He freely admits it won't be an easy job to paint that camo, but I don't think I would want to try it with out his masks.

I will say this, Jim's masks are very high quality. He provides detailed instructions. His is a quality product.

 

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10 hours ago, Dutch said:

I wonder if I would need them, say for a 1/48 F-4C/D/E in SEA camo? 

It's kind  of a judgment call on your part. If you don't mind spending the $12 to make your life easier, it will definitely help. I try to keep the cost per kit down, so for schemes like that I go for the blu tack method. But, I'm considering expanding my use of masks along with lacquer paint so that I can knock out paint jobs in two nights and actually start finishing projects. 

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One thing to remember is that masks, like Jim's and other companies, leave a sharp edge between colors. If you need a soft edge you will need to resort to some sort of method for lifting the edge of the mask off of the surface of the model. I use blu tack for soft edge camo, sometimes with the mask to fill in the covered areas. Most of the time, though, I just use tape with the blu tack.

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1 hour ago, Mstor said:

One thing to remember is that masks, like Jim's and other companies, leave a sharp edge between colors. If you need a soft edge you will need to resort to some sort of method for lifting the edge of the mask off of the surface of the model. I use blu tack for soft edge camo, sometimes with the mask to fill in the covered areas. Most of the time, though, I just use tape with the blu tack.

Mstor,

Yes I agree that most tape or vinyl masks leave "hard edges."  When I was painting my previous F-4 Phantoms in SEA, I copied the line diagram pages from one of Bert Kinzey's Detail and Scale books on the Phantom, resized them to fit the scale and traced out the SEA camo pattern with pencil, before cutting them out.  The problem arose trying to translate a two-dimensional image onto a three dimensional object.  Wings, stabs and vertical tail all worked okay, but it took mutliple tries to get the fuselage patterns to work.  I can't remember if I used double sided tape or some kind of tacky putty placed on the underside to hold them in place, but I do remember that the edges were raised a little from the surface, thus achieving "soft edges" to the camo scheme.  I used plain copier paper, so after two or three uses, I had to cut new ones for the remaining jets.  I think I built six or eight altogether, "production line" style.  Anyway, something to keep in mind.  Thanks for the comments, all!

R/ Dutch

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A nice bonus with the Tamiya kits I have built is that they come with a same scale 4 side drawing of the aircraft.  I  have made copies of those and then cut out the camouflage patterns.  You can then use elmers glue diluted to tack them into place.  If you require a soft edge the edges of the patterns can be folded up a bit to allow some paint to get underneath.  I wouldn't recommend the glue on acrylics but it will wash off with a damp paper towel.  And since you didn't cut up the original you can make copies the next time you need that camouflage scheme.

 

Geoff M

Edited by Geoff M

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I have done essentially the same thing. Cut out paper masks. Used rolls of tape to distance them from the model and get soft edges when airbrushed. It would be cool if the guys making masks would come up with some way of doing the same thing but built into the mask. Come one guys, we put a man on the moon, certainly someone can come up with a peel off and place masking system for soft edges.

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I've used Aeromasks for a couple of adversary builds. I like them for hard edged schemes like these. I wouldn't use them for something like a SEA scheme.

 

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Edited by picknpluck

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38 minutes ago, Dutch said:

@picknpluck  Wow!  Those are stunners!  Just beautiful! 

+1 !!!

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