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American Spitfire VB Trop
Marking Masks

 

 

Plastic Model Club Montex

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue No.,   Description and Price K48002 - American Spitfire VB Trop Marking Masks
Available online from Karaya
Contents and Media: Black flexible, self-adhesive vinyl masks for canopies, wheels, national markings, codes and serials
Scale: 1/48 (also available in other scales)
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Precise matching to reference; strong adhesive; no seepage or leakage under masks; well thought-out design; different thickness masks for different functions.
Disadvantages: Extra time and effort required
Recommendation: Recommended

 

Reviewed by Rodger Kelly


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FirstLook

 

Here is something different! 

Plastic Model Club Montex is a new company out of Poland.  They produce a bewildering and ever expanding array of masking products including Maxi Mask, Mini Mask and now, Super Mask. 

So, what are Super Masks and how do you use them?  Well quite simply, it is a system of die-cut vinyl masks that you use in a "negative image" method.  For example, to reproduce a black serial number on the side of the fuselage you first spray the area where the serial is black.  You then apply the individual letter and numeral masks.  Once the masks are applied, you spray the airframe in the camouflage scheme the aircraft wore.  When the paint is touch dry, you then remove the masks to reveal the black painted serial.  

Simple?  Yes in theory but in practice you will have to contend with compound curves and ensuring that the mask is burnished down over surface detail to ensure that the camouflage scheme paint does not bleed under the mask. 

Advantages?   The final effect will truly be the "painted on markings effect" that we all want, there is no decal film surrounding the markings, and no chance of "silvering". 

Disadvantages?  You will have to mix the paint for the national markings yourself or buy them off the shelf.  The extra steps involved and hence the increased time that you will spend on each model whilst this is not a problem for some it is a definite disadvantage if you are trying to get through your stash!  Another disadvantage is that there is no room for error.  If you fail to place the mask correctly, your marking will be "out of register". 

Well, having expounded on the method, advantages and disadvantages of this method, what does the set provide? 

Super Mask K 48002 provides masks for the national insignia and squadron markings for two reverse lend-lease Mk VB spitfires of the USAAF's 31st Fighter Group USAAF.

EN784 of the 308th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group.  The markings depict it when it was based at Gozo, (a small island situated about two miles off Malta and about eighty miles from Sicily) in 1943  The machine is finished in dark earth and middle stone upper surfaces with azure blue undersides and a black spinner.  Masks are provided for: 

EN784 serial (you get four of these). 

HL squadron and individual aircraft U code letters. 

The other option is aircraft flown by the 31st Fighter Group's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel F (Frank) M Dean and no serial is given.  This option is also finished in mid stone, dark earth and azure blue and it sports a white spinner.  Masks are provided for: 

FM and D codes these are the CO's initials as it was his privilege to have his aircraft painted in this manner. 

A single set of US yellow ringed national insignias for the fuselage and upper port wing and RAF type D roundels (for the under sides of both wings on the first option) are also provided to share between both machines.  An errata sheet is provided and it holds a set of HL and U codes as well as two sets of RAF type D roundels.  This last one was a tad puzzling as I didn't have an "incorrect" sheet in my sample. 

There are also two sets of canopy masks included in the set.  One set is specifically for a Mk 1 whilst the other is for a Mk V.  These are very complete and include a mask for the navigation/identity light in the belly of the Mk V.  Curiously, there is only one set for the transparency on the spine behind the sliding hood. 

The masks themselves look to be of the same material that Eduard uses in their mask sets (the older green ones, not the newer tan ones) whilst the canopy masks are black. 

The placement guide is a small double sided affair that shows four-view colour plans for each machine.  The rear of the header card carries a "parts layout" to help you in identifying each mask. 

Packaging is the ubiquitous clear plastic zip-loc bag into which the masks, placement guide and header sheet are placed.  A piece of stiff cardboard is also included to save you masks from being bent and creased. 

The recommended kit is the Tamiya one. 

Recommended for anyone with plenty of time and patience. 


Footnote 

I have found that it helps to use warm soapy water to assist in placing vinyl masks of this type.  Simply paint the area where the mask is to be affixed first with the water and place the mask, and then adjust the mask to where you want it to sit.  The water seems to take the edge off the "stickiness" of the mask and lets you slide it around.  Once it is where you want it to be simply burnish the mask down by rolling it from the centre outwards.  This both removes the water and burnishes the mask to prevent from bleeding underneath.

Thanks to Dariusz Korczynski from Plastic Model Club for the review sample


Maxi Mask is available online from Karaya


Model, Text and Images Copyright 2005 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 06 February, 2005
Last updated 06 February, 2005

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