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aerial attachments, and canopy masking

3 replies
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  • Member since
    November, 2005
aerial attachments, and canopy masking
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 8:36 AM
Wow, have things changed in the last 60 years, from the time i was making solid balsa models. I am having a problem in two areas of my new to make realistic looking aerials, and proper masking of cockpit canopies. I have tried black thread, and most recently, Stren 6 lb. test fishing line. I have a problem getting the line taut and how the heck do you fasten it? I have ruined a couple of models with really lousy painting of the canopy...HELP
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by weebles on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 11:02 AM
Are you next door to me over there in Nebraska? If so we have some snow we would like to send you from Colorado. Smile [:)] I'm looking out my window at 2 1/2 feet with drifts up to 5 feet and growing! I digress.

Okay, the best way I know of to mask a clear plastic canopy is as follows....
1. Coat the canopy with Future brand acrylic floor wax. This will improve the plastic surface and provide a protective base for the next step. If you do a search on this site for "Future" you will find numerous articles about how to use it.
2. Use a product called Bare Metal Foil to do the actual masking. This is a very thin foil with a light adhesive backing. Apply it as smoothly as you can then burnish it into the corners with a cotton swab. Use a number 11 hobby knife blade and trace around the frame work and remove the excess foil. Some people use scotch tape and like it too. I prefer the Bare Metal Foil product though.
3. Paint and try and remove the foil within a few days of drying. You can use something like a toothpick to lift the corner and pull the rest back with tweezers. If by chance you put a blemish on the clear plastic, just add some more Future as appropriate. You can clean off any excess glue with alcohol. But if you're using acrylic paint be careful because alcohol will take your paint off too.

Okay, aerials.... 6 lb test is much to heavy. Depending on scale, I would use something like a 5x or 6x tippet material. Use super glue to attach it. Say you were attaching a line from the verticle stabilizer to a mast. I would first attach the tippet to the tail section in a manner that works best for the subject. As an example in the P-40 that I made I drilled a very small hole in the stabilizer, inserted the line, and then added a tiny bit of super glue. Once it was dry I atached the other end to a connector at the top of the fuselage behind the cockpit. I simply put a tiny bit of glue on the connecting point and secured it in place until the glue dried. Then I trim off the excess. Note that the lie doesn't have to be taught at this point. Get it as close as you can, but don't worry about it being tight. Now that it's in place all you do is strike a kitchen match, blow it out, and quickly pass it under the line. The heat will pull the line taught like magic.

I would also suggest picking up a good general modeling resource book. Kalmbach has some good ones as does Squadron Publications. Try and find one based on the subject you're interested in.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions.
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 27, 2003 8:57 PM
David, i dont live in Nebraska...went to school there back during the Civil War, and am a devoted Husker Football fan. I appreciate the comments and suggestions on the canopy painting, and the aerials. I just got an Avenger kit, and it has a BUNCH of canopy to paint. Hope i dont ruin it, cuz the kit is one of the most detailed i have seen...Accurate Miniature.
  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Iowa- USA
Posted by toadwbg on Thursday, March 27, 2003 9:56 PM
hey huskerguy, I just read your TBM story in another forum topic. I recently ordered fast-frames for a Stuka kit I'm doing. I havn't used it before but for $2 I figured I couldn't go wrong. I don't know if they have one for the Accurate Miniatures TBM kit.

I ordered this (and my TBM decals) from the Great Models Webstore online. Check it out.
"I love modeling- it keeps me in the cool, dark, and damp basement where I belong" Current Projects: 1/48th Hasegawa F-14D- 25% 1/48th Tamiya Spitfire- 25%


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