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How To

Many modellers still are afraid to use paint masks instead of decals. You might think you are not good enough with your airbrush, maybe it is the thought of having to mask up and paint over a model that has already been painted. But rest assured, painting markings on your aircraft is really not a big deal! So here's a quick tutorial on how to work with Raikisan paint masks.

For our example the upper wing section of a Sopwith Camel bi-plane in 1/48 scale was used. The model will be finished in its US Navy livery from 1920. Paints are Gunze Sangyo and Tamiya acrylics.

1. We start off with the painted upper wing. It does not need to be clear coated, just follow your usual painting procedure. In this case, the wing was pre-shaded, painted and post-shaded.

2. First, we apply the mask for the insignia's outline. As always with masking paper, it is a good idea to stick it to the palm of your hand first to reduce its tackyness.

3. Next step is to apply the lightest color, white in this instance. It is always preferable to start with Gunze's light gray H311 - it is basically an off-white color that covers very well and prevents that "in your face"-look that a pure white has.
Note how the rest of the wing has been masked off with post-it notes to prevent overspray from getting onto the paintjob.

4. The star masks have been applied and their centers sprayed red. Again, if you wish you can cover the surrounding area with post-it notes, but is not really neccessary as it will be painted in a different color anyway.

5. After covering the red areas with the circle masks provided on the sheet, Insignia Blue was sprayed on. Paintwork is now finished!

6. There you go! Painted insignia, just like the original. Of course, with this method it is very easy to apply weathering effects like chipping and fading - but that's stuff for another tutorial!