Masking 2

After doing the first half of the white armour pieces on the DM Strike kits, I realized that some of the techniques I used would make for a great set of tutorials.DSC01031The starting point is to use Alclad grey primer on all the pieces. Not only is this going to ensure the rest of the paint sticks well to the piece (and thus not be pulled off by the masking tape), I’m using the grey primer as one of the colours on the pieces. DSC01032 These pieces go on the arms. My goal is to leave the edge trim grey, paint the rest white, but have the grille area in aluminum.DSC01033 Even the 5mm masking tape is too wide for the narrow trim, so I stuck some to my work area cutting mat and sliced them down to size.DSC01034 Lifting the tape off the mat with the scalpel, I carefully placed the tape on the sides of the trim. I did the sides first so that when I put the middle on, it would overlap and hold the sides in place better.DSC01035 Now with the middle on, all is good.DSC01036 Just press firmly and wrap the edge over to hold the tape on tight.DSC01037 The tape I trimmed is too thin to cover the top, but no worries. DSC01039 A bit of left over tape from earlier can just roughly cover the gap. Don’t be afraid to re-use masking tape like this.DSC01040 Now to airbrush on the aluminum. There’s four pieces that need it.DSC01041 Alclad aluminium in place, it’s time to let these pieces dry before the next layer of masking.DSC01042 Aluminium on these pieces too. While they dry lets do some more masking!DSC01043 For these small pieces the mask edge is a straight line so we can just cut tape and fold around.DSC01044  That left a gap though.DSC01046So a recycled piece of tape finishes off the masking. I don’t tend to use recycled pieces for tricky masking or fine edges, but I find it works well to roughly fill gaps.  DSC01048 Now to try and do that piece better – try a wider piece of masking tape. The 10mm tape works great.DSC01049Wrap around the edges and you’re good to go!DSC01050 For this section we’re going to have to cut the tape while it’s on the part. First get the tape stuck firmly to the part covering the detail you want masked. DSC01052 Now trace the edge with your pencil. This will show you clearly where you have to cut and also ensure the tape is firmly stuck at the cut edge.DSC01053 Now you can cut along your lines and remove the excess.DSC01054 For this part I decided to use the same technique as above. But I soon realized that was wrong.DSC01055 Masking tape is cheap so don’t be afraid to start over if you see a better way. I changed my mind and used one long piece wrapping over so that I could mask the top edge better. Outline the detail with your pencil so you can see clearly where to cut.DSC01056 Make sure your scalpel or craft knife is really sharp for this kind of work. You don’t want to be hacking at the tape and thus distressing the plastic underneath.DSC01057 And don’t worry if the edge isn’t quite perfect. You can also cut some more tape to refine an edge as I did here.DSC01058 Now one of the pieces I removed from my first go can cover the back. DSC01060 These skirt sections are tricky. First I took the 5mm tape around the edge in sections.DSC01061 Then I marked up the panel lines with my pencil.DSC01062 Then you can see clearly where to cut with your knife.DSC01063 I added more strips along the back, pressed down into the crevice to ensure they stuck well. I really should have done this first so the sides would hold these pieces on better. DSC01065 A 10mm piece of tape fit nicely over the top. I used my side-cutters to trim off the excess before pressing the edges down.DSC01066 It’s worth checking around the edges to ensure no flaps have lifted or that you’ve inadvertently left some tape in place you shouldn’t have.DSC01067 Now the aluminium from before is nice and dry it can be masked. The technique here is simple – use the pieces of tape I cut for the same part on the other half of the kit. Don’t make life harder than it has to be! DSC01069 I saved the tape from these parts also.DSC01070And here’s all the parts masked and ready to be sprayed with white paint.

6 thoughts on “Masking 2”

  1. Hi,just wanted to say thanks for those masking guides,really helpful, all the more considering it’s an effect I really want to do for my current build.
    Still rather new to all those gunpla technics but seeing some of those explained is so nice.
    I hope I’ll get that effect done nicely,just like for your two strikes which I find awesome.

    Keep the good work up and have fun building!

  2. One thing I’ve found with masking is that as long as it’s well stuck down, and you use good tape that won’t pull the paint off, it just tends to work. What gets better over time is you ability to get the masking on faster for trickier shapes. When I started, the shapes above would have taken me a fair bit of time, but by now I see them as much more simple and they go pretty fast.

  3. Yeah, this is something I sort of feared, seeing a layer of paint just get under the masking tape and ruining the paint.
    Hopefully It’ll get as easy as it seems when reading your tutorial with time, but that’s good base to start with.
    Using them Tamiya masking tapes as well, and seeing how they work for you is kind of a relief, even though I’m pretty sure I’ll have to jump in an try totally new things on my own.

    A quick question though, the panel lines between the different colors are panels you scribed and washed right?

  4. I find the Tamiya masking tape works very well. If you’re using a pencil to press down into a panel line and cut with the knife that will also help to avoid paint leaking under. If you’re using really thin paint just go easy and do light coats and all should work well. Even if there is a leak (I got the odd one with the big PG Unicorn) I was able to fix without having to repaint just by scraping or sanding off the unwanted paint. That won’t work with all paint types, but it can save a complete re-paint.

    On the DM Strike I didn’t make any panel lines myself. The armour is quite detailed in the moulding.

  5. I see, good to know it can be fixed that way too,
    Yeah, I will try this pencil trick to get that extra safety

    Oh ok, didn’t know this kit was so nicely detailed indeed^^

    thx again for the answers!

  6. On the PG Unicorn, the paints I used were Alclad grey primer and white primer. Both sand really well. If you tried this with typical acrylics, it would be disastrous, but with those paints, minor fixes worked just fine.

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