Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Painting Canopies

9 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2002
Painting Canopies
Posted by thelittleguy on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 10:04 AM
I usually liquid mask canopies and airbrush them. When I remove the masking it pulls away the paint. What alternatives are available? Is there a primer that can be applied to clear plastic after masking, etc?

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Lyons Colorado, USA
Posted by Ray Marotta on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 10:20 AM
My way is probably the hard way but, I paint canopy frames freehand and then
make a chisel out of clear sprue and clean it up. Also, I usually paint the canopy
frame zinc chromate, interior green or flat black first and then go over it with the
fuselage color.




  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 10:22 AM
The only alternative I can suggest is using something like scotch tape or self adhesive foil to sover the clear sections, leaving the frames exposed for painting. The only thing is that I've heard of people using this method and having the same problem as you are. The thing is that the paint forms a "bridge" so to speak from the masked sections onto the frames. When the mask is lifted the paint on the mask- and the frame- goes with it. You might try lightly scoring around the framework to your canopy with a new No. 11 hobby knife blade before removing the mask. That should keep all the paint from pulling up. This should work for all masking agents. Good luck, and I hope it helps!
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by nsclcctl on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 11:06 AM
Canopies are a bear. I try to mask with tape but I get bored doing that, especially when there are a lot of curves like this F18 I am working on. The true bear is this ME109 I am building, or how about a birdcage corsair? I wish companies would help us out. They are brutal! But, a well done canopy adds a ton to the final product.
  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by eaglecentral on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 1:30 PM
There must be a zillion approaches to masking canopies. Try the link below for one idea:

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 2:10 PM
I like using Bare-Metal foil to mask my canopies..Cut out a piece large enough to cover the entire canopy..Lay it down over the canopy and burnish it down ..All the demarcation lines show up clearly.. carefully cut along the lines with a new #11 blade.Then remove the foil from the areas to be painted..Try not to leave the foil on too long though as the longer you leave it on the tougher it can be to remove.(I once masked all the windows on a B-17 and ended up not finishing it until 2 years later! I had to use Goof Off to remove the residue.).Afterwards use a round toothpick to remove the foil from the canopy
I've been using this method for years.. It's easy and it has always worked well for me.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Pominville, NY
Posted by BlackWolf3945 on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 2:25 PM
Even after all these years, masking canopies is still my greatest obstacle in aircraft modeling.

I've used many different things, liquid masks, Parafilm, regular 'ole masking tape, Scotch tape, surgical tape, Bare-Metal foil... the list goes on.

Nowadays I try to see if there's an EZ mask available for what I'm building. There are several companies making EZ masks, Eduard and Cutting Edge (Black Magic Masks) being the two most prominent. I've had some good luck with them, but I admit that I haven't used them enough times to give a final verdict.

Basically, EZ Masks are made of a masking material cut to shape(s) in order to fit a specific kit. They're used for canopies, wheels and other complex or tedious masking jobs.

Cutting Edge offers several Black Magic camouflage masks, and many of the Eduard kits contain EZ Masks for some of the more complicated paint schemes.

There's also FastFrames, which are just the opposite of EZ Masks. Made of the same basic material, these are intended to be painted and applied to the model to give a nice clean line as well as a bit of realistic physical relief.

I used three of the FastFrames sets from a few years back and had mixed results. One was GREAT. One was okay, a few small problems and one was worthless.

I'm sure that not all of the EZ Masks will be perfect either. The last set I used was for an A-4 Skyhawk. Had a few small problems with it. Nothing major.

Another technique that I've used in the past is to mask all the vertical lines, then all the horizontal with plain 'ole masking tape, or whatever happened to be on the bench at the time. Then for curved or more complex areas I'd mask with a bit of liquid stuff. I've managed to elevate masking in general to an art, and whenever I mask sumthin' it becomes a minor project in and of itself! Tongue [:P]

This last technique I've described can be tedious and time consuming, but it works for me, especially if there aren't any EZ Masks around!!

Fade to Black...
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:59 PM
I free hand my canopies. I use a good detail brush with light paint. When I goof, I take a small amount of brush cleaner while the paint is wet & lightly wipe off the excess. I have had pretty good results with this method. I have tried just about everything above & the paint almost always came off.
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Warwick, RI
Posted by paulnchamp on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 9:40 PM
I've done a couple of 1/72 canopies (an SBD Dauntless and a JU-87 Stuka) with 1/32" Letraline tape (available in art supply stores). It's tedious work, but once the tape is on it's raised enough to CAREFULLY paint it with a #0 brush. They look great; the tape's been on for about ten years and shows no sign of peeling.
Paul "A man's GOT to know his limitations."
  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by TEISE on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 3:07 PM
I do the same as Merlin1650 except I use Frisket paper. This is the easiest way in my humble opinion.Leaves NO residue.Easy to see the frame lines thru the frisket. BUT! It sure is boring & tedious.

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.