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Any tips for removing canopy masks?

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  • Member since
    October 2019
Any tips for removing canopy masks?
Posted by KenK01 on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 2:45 PM

I am not sure this is the right forum for this question, so my apology if it is not.

I finished up the paint on my helicopter model this morning, and now I'm trying to remove the masks on the canopy and side windows. They are not being cooperative, to say the least. Thus far I've managed to remove a few of them, but it was not easy. And the risk of damaging the model seemed high using the method I normally have used, that being to lift an edge of the mask with tweezers and then peel it off. These edges seem to be well stuck down. 

For some background info, the masks are from Flying Leatherneck, and they are made of some form of blue plastic. I was very pleased with them, as they fit well and were relatively easy to remove from the backing paper and apply. The directions said that they should be removed as soon as possible after painting was done. So thats what I'm trying to do. But note that the painting process took about a week, starting with Tamiya Fine white primer, followed by a coat of Vallejo acrylic, then a coat of Testors Gloss, then a final coat of Testors Dullcote. 

Do you folks have any suggestions or tips on how I should go about removing the masks? Would using a hair dryer to warm the masks up a bit help. They seem pretty stiff to me, especially compared to other masks I've used in the past.  

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 2:55 PM

KenK01
made of some form of blue plastic.

I often use "P-Mask" canopy masks, which may be made of a similar type of material.  I usually tease up one corner of each panel with the tip of a No. 11 blade, to make the tweezers' work a bit easier.  If you don't want to risk that, maybe a sharpened cocktail stick/toothpick might be worth trying?  Softening the mask with a hairdryer sounds like it might help, too.

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 2:55 PM

Try using a toothpick to lift a corner up enough to get a portion that your tweezers can get a solid hold upon.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 2:58 PM

I prefer paper masks, not keen on the vinyl ones. But eitehr way, i use a fresh scalpel blade and pul up one corner. If need be, run the blade around the edhe of the panel to seperate the paint.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 6:44 PM

I've always done the tip of a #11 as well. You just have to be really careful is all.

That said, I think the sharpened toothpick idea is pretty neat and I hope to remember to try it.

-Greg

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 7:38 PM

Yup.  Sharpened toothpick here as well.  Also works extremely well for peeling liquid masking fluid out of really tiny places, without the risks of not knowing that you're having an off day until its too late.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    October 2019
Posted by KenK01 on Thursday, October 15, 2020 12:22 AM

Thanks for the suggestions and advice folks. I'm happy to report that with your help, I just finished removing the masks without any damage to the canopy. Phew!!

The method that worked best for me was using a #11 blade to lift the edge of the mask at a point I had lightly scribed along the edge with the blade. Then I used the tweezers to carefully remove it. And for these plastic masks, warming them up with a hair dryer seemed to really help getting them to come loose without leaving any sticky residue. They became more flexible when warm, and it seemed to lessen their adhesion to the canopy. So there was no tearing or breakiing of the mask into smaller pieces, which was a problem I had prior to warming them up.

Thanks again for your help!

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, October 15, 2020 10:36 AM

I have a good set of tweezers that has a pair of needle-sharp points. They have been discussed in the tools forum.  Ten tweezers to the set, I think, and at reasonable prices from Amazon.  I have never found a mask or masking tape I could not get under with those.  I forget the brand name but will look at them in a day or two unless someone else has the name.

I got them after the recommendation in the tools forum and were delighted.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, October 15, 2020 12:10 PM

Yeah, I use a toothpick when removing masking, whether tape or masks.  I've found that no matter how careful I am with a metal tool, it'll scratch the clear.  I use the toothpick to lift, then a tweezer to pull the mask away.  I use a toothpick to remove any paint that bled, too.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    July 2013
  • From: Chicago area
Posted by modelmaker66 on Thursday, October 15, 2020 3:43 PM

the Baron

Yeah, I use a toothpick when removing masking, whether tape or masks.  I've found that no matter how careful I am with a metal tool, it'll scratch the clear.  I use the toothpick to lift, then a tweezer to pull the mask away.  I use a toothpick to remove any paint that bled, too.

 

Yes you sre spot on! Toothpick doesn't scratch and if there is any paint seepage you can scrape it away easily.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, October 15, 2020 5:25 PM

I failed to mention I don't try to stick the #11 between the mask and the canopy. I poke the blade into the masking material at a slight angle and raise it. Tape comes up, blade never touches the clear styrene.

Rest is done with a quality tweezer.

-Greg

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:17 AM

Pixnor is the brand of that tweezer set I got from Amazon.  One of the set has needle sharp points.  Amazon has several sets, I got the cheapest seven piece set, eight bucks.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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