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Canopy masking - again

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Probably it's down to my being ham-fisted and a crap modeller, but I have a 'plane on the go that I haven't touched for 3-4 weeks. Sure, I've been busy with work, travelling, and a bit poorly, but I came to a dead end over the canopy. It's a Hasegawa A-4B and the canopy is lovely like the rest of the kit: but the detail is so finely moulded, so delicate, that when I overlay the whole thing with Tamiya tape or with that graphic-arts stuff on a big roll that I've forgotten the name of, I can't make out the edges to cut along with a scalpel! I have some Halfords liquid mask - the mauve stuff like blancmange mixed with glue, stinks worse than gangrene - but I hate it, dries so quickly it's unuseable. I'm thinking I might dig out a magnifying glass, and attempt to lay the thinnest masking tape I have (1mm?) along the edges of the clear canopy parts, but AFAIC this is like being a watchmaker and it tries my patience. What techniques do others use with such fine canopy parts? I'd really like to know...

Thanks, Tony

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I use the technique you are considering. I cut a very thin strip of Tamiya masking tape and apply it along the canopy edges. It takes ages and I hate masking canopies.

If there is an Eduard mask set available, I'll usually buy it simply because they are easy to apply and they take away all the heartache.

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Why not try parafilm?

Here's a guide I knocked up

I've had a few questions asked about Parafilm and how to use it. So I've put together this little guide.

First of, you need to get some Parafilm M not ordinary Parafilm used by flower arrangers. I get mine in small strips from ebay, but you can find other on line sources sadly all in the USA. I believe little cars sell small amounts of it?

DSCF3320.jpg

Next take the backing paper of the 'waxed' side of the Parafilm and stretch the film to reduce it's thickness.

DSCF3321.jpg

Then lay it over your canopy 'wax' side down

DSCF3322.jpg

Using the heat from your fingers mould the film to your canopy and then trim off the excess film

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Next using the point of a very sharp blade, use the frame of the canopy as a guide and trace the frame through the film. then carefully peal away the film covering the frame leaving the film over the glazed parts.

DSCF3324.jpg

And after all that you have one masked canopy.

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I was using the art film or "frisket" that you talk about but since seeing Mish's article on parafilm some time back i've been using that, its a total revelation and as a fellow canopy masking hater it couldn't be more simple, bought mine from ebay.

Nick

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These days I tend to opt for the Eduard mask solution (the modern ones, not the old plasticy type things.) But in the past I have used Bare Metal adhesive foil. Once this stuff is down, it's down, and will fall perfectly into the most minute detail, trim with a sharp knife and remove excess. These is a problem wit hthe stuff occasionally ripping, this is mainly down to incomplete cuts and using a knife that isn't particularly sharp, and the bigget bugbear is getting all the foil off the model afterwards, I would think this is the way to go, and maybe a good idea to practice retrieval mwthods on an old canopy before you use it on the Scooter.

Funnily enough, I have a 2/3 built A-4B in the stash, only unfinished becasue of the fact this kit is an utter pain in the arseto assemble, and the ...

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If you are having trouble making out the canopy frames look at it through a light that should give you a line to cut against

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Thanks gentlemen, very helpful. Mish, I neglected to mention that I've tried Parafilm (recommended by someone else here - thanks Troy) but my first attempts weren't successful, didn't get it to adhere very well. But it probably needs more patience to get the technique right, and maybe I should stretch it more too.

Re Bare Metal Foil, I've tried this and it works pretty well, but I did indeed experience great difficulty getting the stuff off afterwards! It's very fine, easy to tuck down tight against the canopy frame - maybe my mistake was leaving it on too long, and it would make sense to paint canopies with acrylic for quicker drying, speed up the whole process. I don't get on with acrylics, though...

I would have taken the easier/more expensive route and used an Eduard mask, if they did one for the A-4B but they don't.

Your collective advice has cheered me somewhat and i'll try again with Parafilm, or failing that Bare Metal Foil.

Regards, Tony

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If the frames don't show up under tape, just cut some lengths of 0.5mm tape (bought or DIY from wider Tamiya), and follow the curves around. Once done, just fill in with chunks of tape. Shouldn't take you long at all :)

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I use tamiya tape but on occaision I have used a fine brush free-hand with acrylic paint -

future the canopy

paint the frame

once it is dry you can use a toothpick to scrape off any overruns

I have seen someone use clear decal sheets

spray clear decal paper with the colour of the frames then cut sections the width and breath required and apply decal to frame. see here

http://www.clubhyper.com/forums/groupbuildframe.htm

post is titled " Allan's framing methoud for canopies" on March 29 2009

Edited by delta7

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Parafilm is nice, a la Mish. it does require a very sharp blade, as in NEW, to cut properly.

And I like Mikes idea of defining the ribbing with tape - and then masking in around that.

Back in the day others might have painted the top color on clear decal film or cellophane tape, cut that into strips when cured and applied those to the ribbing. Ive done that also with lead tape, but one must use enamel for this as it has a bit of conformal ability. But neither method has proven totally satisfactory, as far as Im concerned. The paint inevitably flakes off as the strips are put down

What Ive hit on in the past is to create the ribbing with lead tape, leaving that on to represent the structure. Then, mask in around it, so the tape takes the top paint. It looks very convincing. Ive worried about the lead oxidizing beneath the paint, but it never really happened.

But that was long time ago, before the Ex Wife Model Smash-up and Destruction Derby occurred. Today I believe I would either try that or Mikes suggestion.

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I use the decal method too, it avoids bringing knives near canopies which I'm too clumsy to survive regularly !

I have stocks of decal already brush painted with interior frame colours and just put the camo over it as required then trim slices off to size as required.

The canopy needs future to make decals stick.

Tony

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A significant way in which this site is so helpful is that people encourage each other to keep trying, rather than getting downcast about some technical holdup. Spurred on by some of the advice above, I've just been in the garage having another go on this canopy with Parafilm, and I've made some progress. I stretched it a lot more than before - and this makes it work better, more transparent so you can follow lines to cut, and it sticks better too. It needs to be pressed into place with warm fingers, and the edges next to canopy frame mouldings pressed down with a cocktail stick, but then I find a hand-held Swann Morton #11 blade will cut readily with care. As gcn said, backlighting helps: I have one of those circular-fluorescent magnifying work lamps from Maplin, and by putting that down close to the bench and bouncing the light off a white foam round mat that pizzas come on (excellent disposable items for fine work) I get a nice even backlit effect.

So things are looking up. Thanks again chaps.

Tony

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