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Paint Mask Review

Maketar Paint Masks, 1/32 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Maketar Paint Masks Item Nos.:

MM32053 F4U-1 Corsair ‘Birdcage’

MM32075 Meteor F.4

MM32078 Mosquito FB Mk.VI

MM32081 Dornier Do-335 B-2

Scale:

1/32

Contents & Media

All sets contain 3-4 sheets of pre-cut yellow Kabuki tape masks and a fold out instruction sheet.  Sets are also available in vinyl at a slightly cheaper price.

Price:

MM32053  £9.99 (vinyl £7.99)

 

MM32075  £9.99 (vinyl £7.99)

 

MM32078  £8.99 (vinyl £7.99)

 

MM32081 £7.99) (vinyl £6.99)

 

Available online from Maketar Paint Masks

 

Review Type:

First Look.

Advantages:

Well produced and appear to be accurate.

Disadvantages:

Usage instructions would be helpful.

Conclusions:

These masking sets from Maketar are well done and look easy to use.  I’ll be trying them out on a project in the near future – highly recommended!


Reviewed by Brad Fallen


Eduard's 1/48 BRASSIN Spitfire Vb Gun Bays are available online from Squadron.com

FirstLook

 

I wasn’t familiar with Maketar Paint Masks before looking at these review samples, and on browsing the company website was pleasantly surprised by the range of products on offer.  These include aircraft and canopy masks in 1/72, 1/48, 1/32 and 1/24 scales, AFV insignia and markings in 1/72, 1/48, 1/35 and 1/16, and custom masking options in various scales.  There is also a small but useful range of ‘utility masks’ that include generic canopy, wheel hub and nose cone masking sets, as well as sheets of masking strips of varying widths.  I find strips like this are invaluable – I use them mainly for masking biplane wing rib tapes – but not always easy to track down, so am delighted to have found this new source.

 

 

Aircraft paint masks are, however, the core of Maketar’s range.  Four 1/32 scale sets have been provided for review:  HK Models’ Do 335 B-2 and Meteor F.4, and Tamiya’s F4U-1 ‘Birdcage’ Corsair and Mosquito FB Mk VI.

The sets come in a ziplock bag that is just big enough to allow the sheets inside to be easily slid in and out.  Full marks to Maketar for this – struggling to get decals in and out of their protective sleeves without damage is a pet hate of mine.

 

 

Each set consists of three or four sheets of yellow Kabuki tape masks wrapped in a cover sheet that illustrates the mask layout on each sheet.  I haven’t included any photos of the masking sheets themselves (beyond a single contents shot of the Corsair set) because they just scan as yellow pages without revealing any of the mask details.

However, a close examine of the sheets reveals that the mask patterns have been cut perfectly through the tape, and are easily lifted with the edge of a scalpel blade.  If you have ever used Eduard’s Kabuki canopy masks you will be in familiar territory.  I find this kind of tape easy to manipulate and burnish down (I use a round-ended embroidery burnishing tool for this), although some of the mask shapes will require care to avoid deformation during this process.  Fortunately, Maketar provides spares for all of the masks should you make a mistake during application.

For modellers who don’t like using tape masks, Maketar produces all of its sets in vinyl as well – at a slightly cheaper price than the tape product.

The mask sets include all major national markings, along with those unit and stencil markings that can be easily replicated by this technique.  This means that decals will still need to be used to replicate most of the smaller airframe stencils.

In terms of accuracy, the dimensions of national markings – crosses, roundels and stars – look reasonable, although it’s hard to tell exactly with the masks attached to their sheets.  What I did notice was that in at least one case – the fuselage codes for the Luftwaffe Do 335 – while the kit decals feature cut outs to help place the decal around the exhaust stacks, the masks don’t replicate this so you’ll need to do some careful slicing.

 

  • Maketar Paint Masks Review by Brad Fallen: Image
  • Maketar Paint Masks Review by Brad Fallen: Image
  • Maketar Paint Masks Review by Brad Fallen: Image
  • Maketar Paint Masks Review by Brad Fallen: Image
  • Maketar Paint Masks Review by Brad Fallen: Image
  • Maketar Paint Masks Review by Brad Fallen: Image
  • Maketar Paint Masks Review by Brad Fallen: Image
  • Maketar Paint Masks Review by Brad Fallen: Image
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I’ve crosschecked with the kits for which these sets are intended, and can confirm they replicate the markings provided on the kit decals – apart from the Corsair set, which includes a sheet of spare number and letter codes that significantly increases your options.  For the most part, however, if you’re looking for an alternative scheme in which to finish your model, you’ll need to search elsewhere.

One thing I would’ve liked to see included is some instructions for using the masks.  As things stand, you’re left to your own devices, and I don’t find paint masks particularly straightforward to use, in terms of either placement or the order in which paint should be applied.  I accept that I might be in a minority here – and it’s possible generic instructions are available on the Maketar website and I’ve missed them.

 

 

Conclusion

 

These sets are well produced and look easy to use.  I’ll certainly be trying them out on a project in the near future.  Highly recommended!

Thanks to Maketar Masks for the samples


Review Text and Images Copyright 2017 by Brad Fallen
Page Created 11 December, 2017
Last updated 11 December, 2017

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