Masking for stripes, etc.

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by TR-Flyer, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    How do you mask when you are painting stripes on engines or rolling stock? My past experience with masking tape showed that it let some paint flow under the tape at "cracks" and "bumps" in the plastic surface where the tape could not conform to the small details. Things like cast-in door outlines, radiator grills, and stock car board siding, etc.

    Getting ready to repaint a SW1200 and would like to get it right the first time.

  2. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    I read on another post (another forum) that a trick to try is this:

    Put your tape where you want to mask... then, airbrush your model with the base color again (The color you want to keep under the tape) This puts the correct color into any gaps the tape might not seal. Then, after it dries, paint your other color over the top. You should get a crisp line.

    I've never tried it, but the source is one talented modelor, so I would believe her! :D :D
  3. Blake

    Blake Member

    Arlaghan is absolutely correct, this is the best way to do it. Also, a trip to the hobby shop is in order. Get youself some Tamiya masking tape. It comes in a little plastic case (that keeps the edges from getting fuzy). It may seem a little pricey, but it is worth every penny. It is low tack so it won't remove the paint underneath, it is thin and plyable, which allows it to conform to most details, and the edges are very clean cut and straight. Get the wider 10mm stuff as you can cut it to size.

    Another thought, how wide are the stripes and what color are they? Microscale has a large variety of stripe decals in various colors as well as sheets of decals that are solid colors. You may find the stripes you need. If they have the color stripes in the right color but not in the right size you may be able to use the color sheets and cut your own.
  4. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    After reading Blake's post, I just remembered what else she said about masking:

    If you use the Tamiya tape, then you're good, but if you still go with regular old masking tape, never use the factory cut edge... Instead, put the tape down on a piece of glass or something, and cut your own straight edge with an Exacto knife. You get a much smoother edge.
  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I used decals on a recent critter project. LHS guy dug them out for me when I asked if he had "pin stripe" tape. He didn't have the tape, but these decals will do 2 or 3 switchers. It's a microscale set and I can find the number/roadname if you want to go that route.

    After I bought the decals, I found some narrow tape at Hobby Lobby that's used for drafting or industrial graphics of some sort. It's a plastic tape and I'm not sure how well it will mask, but it shouldn't have any wrinkles. I think I'll try it next time and just dry brush the stripes on, or lightly brush, depending how "old" the paint job will be. Should look good after a "dark wash."

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