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Any tips for masking canopies?
Virginia, United States
Joined: May 01, 2007
KitMaker: 275 posts
AeroScale: 19 posts
Posted: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 - 06:04 AM UTC
Hey all,

Im still fairly new to the aircraft scale modeling universe and Im having some trouble with making off the clear glazing on my kits especially in 1/72 scale! Ive played around with Tamiya making tape but with very mixed results so far

Can anyone share tips or techniques etc? should I be using another material etc?

Thanks in advance,

Staff MemberAssociate Editor
Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 6,246 posts
AeroScale: 3,486 posts
Posted: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 - 08:41 AM UTC
G'day Noah,

I use Tamiya tape all the time. The way I do it is to cut some very thin strips and place these around the edges of the masked areas first. The thin strips are much easier to get in nice and tight and to burnish down with a toothpick. Then I fill in the area with a larger piece or maybe two, which don't have to be cut exactly to shape, they just have to ovelap the edge pieces.

You can see it in this shot af a P-47 where there's multiple small pieces in each square of glass.

If you want to certain that there is no paint getting under the tape you can give the canopy a thin coat of clear AFTER you mask but BEFORE you paint, this seals the edges, then you go around with a sharp knife and cut along the edge of the tape before you peel it off.

Hope this helps.

Cheers, D
Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: February 07, 2008
KitMaker: 1,699 posts
AeroScale: 1,384 posts
Posted: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 - 08:51 AM UTC
For me it's gotta be Bare Metal Foil.
Just cover the whole canopy and cut away the framing. Simple and quick
BMF is about 5 for a A5 sheet but that'll do loads of canopies.

This is OK for kit canopies but for a vac formed canopy you;ll
could end up cutting through it. In this case I fall back to tamiya tape strips cut fine or I don't mask at all and use thin strips of decal film painted the right colour to make the framing.

The thin strips of tape method is great it is just time consuming compared to the BMF trick.
Another variation on a theme is outline the framing with strips of tape and use masking fluid to complete the mask. Beware using this with laquers though as it can eat through the masking fluid.

All the best.
Florida, United States
Joined: January 14, 2009
KitMaker: 2,798 posts
AeroScale: 2,443 posts
Posted: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 - 10:25 AM UTC
I use BMF and dip my canopies in Klear before i do.after if you have any residue left over after removing mask just remove with a ear bud and some rubbing alcohol,then just brush back on some Klesr snd wawlaw,CANOPIE perfecto every time.

Build On,
Justin and welcome
Attica, Greece / Ελλάδα
Joined: May 01, 2008
KitMaker: 1,437 posts
AeroScale: 1,241 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 03, 2009 - 09:30 AM UTC
For the easy way, there are also some express mask (e.t.c. eduard)

Cheers Nick
Florida, United States
Joined: January 26, 2002
KitMaker: 1,560 posts
AeroScale: 750 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 03, 2009 - 12:36 PM UTC
I do mine the same as Noah but I use the blue painter's tape instead. I recommend a new or newly sharpened blade to really make it easy to get the tape cut to the exact size/angle for a better fit/mask.
Idaho, United States
Joined: July 07, 2007
KitMaker: 241 posts
AeroScale: 150 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 12:22 PM UTC
I like that idea about express masks,I find it really frustrating thus far with all methods tried, aftermarket canopies are easier to work with I assume.
Illinois, United States
Joined: March 16, 2002
KitMaker: 1,331 posts
AeroScale: 325 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 04:33 PM UTC
Express masks are indeed the easiest way to go...I've certainly gone that route, especially for larger 1/72 scale projects, such as an He-111 - too many windows .

However, 99% of my builds are done using Damian's method, of thin strips of Tamiya Tape. It takes a while to get used to it, but when you finally get comfortable, you'll actually prefer to use this method over express masks. I've actually masked off 1/144 scale canopies using Tamiya Tape...my eyesight was shot to ribbons, but I did it.


European Union
Joined: September 28, 2004
KitMaker: 2,149 posts
AeroScale: 1,581 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 09:17 PM UTC
For me it is tamiya tape as well, using the same technique as Damian explained.

But how are you folks doing camouflage patterns?

I am more or less doing the same as for canopies:

The edges are done with a thin stripe of tamiya tape, then I cut a piece of thick paper more or less to the corect shape and use cheap painterstape to stick it to the tamiya tape
Idaho, United States
Joined: July 07, 2007
KitMaker: 241 posts
AeroScale: 150 posts
Posted: Friday, December 18, 2009 - 01:12 PM UTC
I am masking off a raiden jack canopy with jammy dog's ultrathin tape, this is first attempt and am hoping for the best since if I trash it then what? this tamiya model probably does not have th best quality canopy.I bought four raiden jacks and hope to get at least one of the canopys right?
Florida, United States
Joined: March 01, 2008
KitMaker: 529 posts
AeroScale: 340 posts
Posted: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 01:01 PM UTC
Express masks for me. I'm terrible when it comes to using tape and just plain lazy. Before I apply the mask, I dip the canopy in Future which beside protecting the canopy, it prevents foggy when gluing and gives it a nice shine.

Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2008
KitMaker: 6,739 posts
AeroScale: 6,147 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 02:12 AM UTC
I have never used any masking for painting canopies . Always do it free hand . However though the guy's have some great tips on this . Eduard mask are great to use , just make sure you bruish down the edges very well before painting . Tamiya tape is also great if you don't mind the time it takes to mask .
Idaho, United States
Joined: July 07, 2007
KitMaker: 241 posts
AeroScale: 150 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 01:11 PM UTC
does anyone use jammy dog 1mm tape? I have finally produced a good looking canopy tried bare metal foil and trashed the glass repro parts of canopy, I have a steady hand howewver I still slipped away form the canopy frame pre cut tape is so cool in ultra thin widths
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 6,246 posts
AeroScale: 3,486 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 07:33 PM UTC

Quoted Text

For me it is tamiya tape as well, using the same technique as Damian explained.

But how are you folks doing camouflage patterns?

I WASusing a combination of Blue-Tac, to give a slight overspray effect along the edges, and Tamiya tape to prevent too much overspray, but after having a couple of practice runs on hack kits I just freehand now with the airbrush. I use the finest tip and the lowest pressure with quite thin paint. I mainly use Tamiya Acrylics at about 50/50.

This is a 1/48 Fiat G50 that was my first real go at freehand and I don't think I'll ever go back.

Cheers, D
Ontario, Canada
Joined: February 04, 2009
KitMaker: 726 posts
AeroScale: 147 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2010 - 03:31 AM UTC
Hi Guys, I am an armour modeler getting back into airplanes. On the armour side of things some of us use micro mask from Microscale. You paint it on the areas you don't want covered then spray or paint the areas you do want covered. Aftwards you just peel it off and your done. I would think it would work for canopies.


Wisconsin, United States
Joined: March 30, 2011
KitMaker: 199 posts
AeroScale: 150 posts
Posted: Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 05:47 AM UTC
If you can obtain it from your local provider, Parafilm works great. It takes some practice, but after using Tamiya masking tape, I am beginning to prefer parafilm, only because it is clear, and a bit easier to see where to cut.
England - North East, United Kingdom
Joined: May 22, 2008
KitMaker: 649 posts
AeroScale: 434 posts
Posted: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 10:19 AM UTC
I use Eduard masks on anything with a fair amount of glazing wherever I can. On WW2 fighters (and modern jets) I tend to just use Tamiya masking tape, as they don't tend to have too much framing to worry about.
Eduard mask saves you loads of time and effort on things like HEIII's and the Beaufort I'm currently building.

England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: March 07, 2005
KitMaker: 860 posts
AeroScale: 682 posts
Posted: Sunday, May 01, 2011 - 01:58 AM UTC

just done my first canopy with Humbrol Maskol. Read some terrible reviews about this stuff, but if your frames are engraved you just let it flow up to and along the edges, apply with a toothpick or similar, let it harden, apply paint and just peel off..
North Carolina, United States
Joined: December 28, 2002
KitMaker: 1,166 posts
AeroScale: 45 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 09:01 AM UTC
Daft question related to canopies: after dipping in Future (drying) and masking, I'm assuming the paint wont attack the Future? Do I have to be careful what paint I use on Future (enamel vs. say, lacquer)?
England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: December 23, 2005
KitMaker: 6,224 posts
AeroScale: 3,269 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 09:45 AM UTC
I've used acrylics, enamels and Alclad over Future/Klear without problems.
Hope this helps,
Uusimaa, Finland
Joined: March 30, 2004
KitMaker: 2,845 posts
AeroScale: 1,564 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 12:24 AM UTC
The only problem I had with future-dipped canopies was when scoring along the edges of the frames with a hobby knife. I had read several articles that mentioned it helped prevent paint lifting. After a while I noticed it did nothing but cause just that, at least for me.
Imagine, you're removing masks and then off comes a plate-like piece of future with all the paint applied over that... Fun times touching-up...
No more cutting along the canopy frames for me.

I guess cutting around the frames before removing masks could be of help if the coat of paint was thicker, the paints harder or something, but personally I haven't had any issues with just peeling the masks off.