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Masking a two-tone paint job

RELATED TOPICS: MASKING
Q: I’m having trouble masking a model for an intricate two-tone paint job.   

I’m using thin tape, but I can’t seem to avoid “underspray” when I apply the second color along the tape edge – especially around tight curves.  

Is there anything else I can use for masking?            

Victor Young
via E-mail


Ken: This is another problem that has more than one solution, Victor. We’re going to list two, but since most modelers have a favorite painting technique, I’m sure there are more.

For masking intricate designs on a car model, you might want to try Bare-Metal foil.  Apply a sheet of foil to your car as outlined in the previous question, then lightly draw your design on the foil with a soft-tip marker. Be careful not to be too heavy-handed, or the marker tip might leave a mark in the paint below.  

Lightly cut along your guide line with a #11 blade (just the blade – not the knife handle). Using just the blade will provide more control while you zip along the line, almost like a pinstriper.  

Peel off the excess foil, and there’s our mask.

You can actually do the same thing with liquid masking, such as Micro-Mark’s Mask-It Easy.   

This stuff works really well in small crevices and other tight places that tape and foil can’t reach, and is water-soluble for quick-and-easy cleanup.  

With a steady hand you can paint a sharp edge for the second color, but I’d recommend painting beyond your proposed color-separation line, drawing out your design on the dried mask, and cutting off the excess as outlined above.

The secret to success in both of these trimming techniques is to use a light hand, so the blade is simply cutting through the mask layer and not the paint.

Practice on some scrap material before trying this on your future-contest-winning model.

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