Camouflage Mask Set Defiant Mk.I Pat. B
Top Notch - Masks for Models, 1/72 scale
Reviewed by Simon Wolff
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Masking camouflaged scale model aircraft has to be one of the most odious chores when building a scale model aircraft, especially one with a complex camouflage scheme. Of course there are various applications you can use, such as masking tape, Humbrol’s Maskol, or Silly Putty, but still you need to create the sometimes complex patterns which can take quite a while to produce, however now there is (for some aircraft at least) pre made camouflage masks. A British company called Top Notch produces pre shaped camouflage masks made from thin vinyl for a number of aircraft kits in 1:72, 1:48 (and I believe 1:32 scale aircraft kits).
I have not as yet used any of the examples provided by Top Notch, but was shown examples of 1:72 kits with these masks applied to them prior to painting. I think they are very similar to the masks used to mask canopies with; well it certainly seems to be the same principle. What you do once you have picked your mask set is to follow the instructions and use the shaped mask pieces, which have a sticky back to them, spray the relevant colour, allow the paint to dry of course, and then remove the mask pieces which it says are reusable.
The collection of camouflage shapes are attached to a backing sheet and the instructions say the mask needs care when removing from the backing sheet; as to the camouflage scheme application the instruction sheet gives each vinyl piece a separate number which is then shown on the colour illustration of the next page of the instruction sheet. The whole sequence looks quite easy to follow, pick your scheme, and follow the instructions on where to place the masks, using this you will probably get a hard edge however apparently you can replicate feathered or soft edges by using blue tack to lift the edges.
In the case of the example presented here, the aircraft mask set chosen is for the Boulton Paul Defiant in 1:72 scale (mask is also available in 1:48 scale). The set comes with a two page instructions sheet, a page showing the number for each piece and on the second page colour scheme and positioning of the vinyl masks, they give you camouflage patterns for Type A and Type B day camouflage scheme. The vinyl pieces come on two sheets, ready to be used, the instructions appear easy to use, note the masks are for the upper camouflage pattern and the wheels (no mask is provided for the clear parts, serial numbers, code letters these of course will come with your kit). With the instructions they suggest downloading the ‘free manual for step by step instructions and photos on how to use masks’. I downloaded this manual and it is quite informative.
You can find a list of their complete range on their web site, prices vary but the three examples I received are priced at £6.00 each, being that they will fit in to an envelope for posting, costs for us overseas modellers might not be too bad.
The masks look easy to use; the instructions appear straightforward and easy to follow. It’s got to make masking aircraft models a lot easier!! Especially those WWII types!
Thanks to Top Notch for the samples
Thanks to Top Notch for the images and information
Text and Images Copyright © 2019 by Simon Wolff
This Page Created on 14 November, 2019
14 November, 2019
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