Custom Masks – the New Trend in Scale Modelingadmin
Custom made masks are one of the items on very high demand last couple of years. Modelers prefer to bet on the closest-to-reality approach, substituting decals and avoiding all of the problems related to them. In the same time, masks gives unmatched possibility for weathering, since painted areas can be chipped and worn exactly like on a real vehicle. No matter is it a plane or a tank. Most of the models built nowadays are replicas of the Second World War objects. On many videos around the web, stencil application can be found, proving the grounds for using masks. With some exceptions, like invasion stripes for example, most of the colored items you see painted on the vehicles were made by using masks. Especially on the mass used items like roundels, crosses, numbers and such. That goes for modern vehicles too. Practically, this is the best way to transfer equally looking objects made from paint, to the surface that wears them for recognition.
On the pictures you can see a Custom Made masks for one of the best modelers we work with, a guy from Belgium, who loves building large scale aircraft and made this Spitfire for another fan of the legendary plane. The appearance replicates a newly painted, freshly restored Spitfire in 32nd scale, which demanded a brand new roundels and markings to go along with it. The set was made especially for that project, which demanded the use of specific numbers and roundels size.
Even not the strongest part of masking usage to be replicating new insignia, it is still far better compared to decals. There is no silvering, no color mismatch, no need of additional varnish layers. It is true, that the best way to chip and wear the insignia is to use masks, paint and then abuse the results with various methods. However, using this approach, even on a newly painted insignia as in this case, you can grasp the advantages easily.
Another interesting thing with the particular project here is the approach that the master modeler took in marking the masks with pencil, just to keep the alignment proper. In roundels’ case that is not exactly necessary, nevertheless is great practice and an insurance policy that no unwanted results will appear in the end. In real life, many aircraft roundels are painted exactly that way, some even bearing the alignment mark even after being painted on the real aircraft.
DN Models gets to job done for most of the Custom Masks requests, especially for large scale applications easily. We have made several different masks for scales unusually large as well. Varying from 1/18th to even 1/6th. However, the best known and most widely used Custom Orders we get from airplane modelers working in 1/24th and 1/32nd scales and armor modelers that work in 1/16th.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that we refuse to take custom orders for smaller applications. If the Custom Order can be done by re-scaling or modifying the original product, that is an option for DN Models as well. Too complex and some smaller projects are not doable, often due to the limitations of the machines used for cutting the masks. However, normal insignia, numbers and letters are usually easy job and are used by many to recreate something specific that is not included in the set of decals that comes with the kit.
So in conclusion, Custom Masks are the new wave in scale modeling. Not only Custom projects, but masks in general. They work just like the metal tracks for armor – recreate the perfect reality in scale. In other words – there is nothing closer to the original, thus there is no better way to recreate the specific insignia that you need using anything other than masks and paint. Just like in real life. So if you are in doubt, send us an email. We might be able to help with your Custom Mask project!