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Mike

F-35A Die-Cut Flexible Mask (D48003 for Meng)

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F-35A Die-Cut Flexible Mask (for Meng)

1:48 Galaxy Model

 

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 If you read my review of the new tooling from Meng here, you'll have seen me mention it a couple of times.  My reason for this is simple.  It is an almost mandatory purchase if you value your sanity, or dislike complex masking jobs of any shape or form.  Due to the different types of RAM applied to the F-35's skin, there are two distinct shades of grey, with a lighter shade around many of the raised areas, and a lot of the flush panel edges too.  Without pre-cut masks it makes for a rather tiresome an long-winded masking session encompassing almost every part of the airframe.

 

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This set of pre-cut flexible masks endeavours to make that job much easier for you, with a large sheet of yellow Kabuki tape that has been cut and numbered up to 221 in red print, and a detailed photographic instruction sheet that shows you exactly where each mask goes.  It's still a fairly large task, but infinitely easier than creating each mask by hand as you must otherwise do.  The masks go onto the model after the application of the darker of the two greys, and when the set has been applied completely, you need to complete the wings and empennage with straight masking jobs.  This has been done to reduce the amount of masking material needed and thereby the cost of the set.  Even I can mask straight lines myself!  The tricky shapes on the fin roots and at the tips of the wings have been provided for you however, so your work shouldn't take you too long.  You also need to mask up all the areas between the detailed sections to prevent overspray.  There is a sheet of clear acetate supplied that can be used as a transfer sheet as per the accompanying photograph too, which will assist in preventing any stretching of the masks due to mishandling.

 

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With everything completed, the lighter grey is sprayed over the entirety of the exposed airframe, assuming you have the presence of mind to mask any open bays and the clear parts yourself… you did, didn't you?  Masks have even been included for the tyre sidewalls, the tips of the exhaust, the chin-mounted EOTS targeting system and two small lenses in front of the canopy.

 

Kabuki tape is famous for its flexibility and its clean removal, so as long as you have prepared your model properly before painting, the dangers of paint lifting should be minimal, but always remember to pull tape at an acute angle to the surface, to reduce the forces on the paint finish and further reduce the likelihood of any paint lifting.

 

Galaxy Model are in the process of facilitating easier ordering, as well as re-vamping their website, but you can presently buy the masks on what I assume is the Chinese equivalent of eBay, TaoBao!  Hopefully, we'll see them take on a European distributor soon, and make it much easier to get hold of their products.  They already have a new batch heading our way, so expect to see those reviewed in due course.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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Review updated with a new website link to a temporary Wordpress page until some issues with the main site are resolved.  We'll be getting some more samples from the guys at Galaxy Model shortly, so watch out for those popping up soon :)

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