Masking tape

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Kittyhawk

Established Member
Joined
30 Apr 2021
Messages
284
Reaction score
558
Location
New Zealand
In the wooden aeroplane modelling business there are some small areas of black paint (cockpit canopy) that need to be very clearly defined by masking tape. This presents a couple of difficulties the first being that there are a lot of sharp curves and masking tape doesn't like to bend much edgeways and the second is paint creep under the tape.
With regard to the first, tape can bend a little edgeways but too much and the edge puckers up allowing the paint to channel under. My solution was to use lots of little bits of tape to work around the curve but this of course makes lots of overlaps which also allows channelling. The fix was so simple that instead of feeling pleased with myself I feel kind of stupid. All that was necessary was to get a wider tape 25 - 30ml, tear of a bit and stick it down on a piece of flat plastic. Then make a template of the curve on a piece of paper, lay it on the masking tape and cut out the curve with a craft knife and you have a piece of tape that you lift off the plastic and lay it on the work, job done. Yes, I know.. everybody knows that but I didn't.
Secondly, paint creep. In the past I tried every tape known to man from budget handyman stuff up to high end detailing tape and I could not see much difference in any of them. To be fair the results would be acceptable on big jobs but because my stuff is so small anything other than a razor sharp line sticks out like a dogs appendages. A toothpick is a handy tool for ensuring the tape edge is tightly down especially where one bit of tape overlaps another but the only way to eliminate paint creep is to spray over the masking tape with a clear coating to seal the edge. This works well but brings another little problem, the clear coat and paint curve upward against the tape and leaves quite a pronounced raised edge when the tape is removed. This can be mainly overcome by using the thinnest tape you can buy which fortunately is also the cheapest. The stuff I'm using is .11ml thick. From what I see different brands of masking tape vary from .11ml up to .18ml and to .24ml for some of the car painters pin stripe tape. Doesn't sound like much but it makes a difference. And the only other thing I've discovered is to removed the tape just before the paint is dry and it won't muck up the edge.
 

Gordon Tarling

Established Member
Joined
25 Apr 2021
Messages
230
Reaction score
121
Location
S. Lincs
Most of the Tamiya masking tapes that I've previously recommended are of thin paper-like material and work very well, with little creep under the edge. However, they don't accommodate curves very well (as you've found) and for this, I use the Tamiya masking tape for curves - it's available in different widths and I've found that the narrowest version will go round quite tight curves. Alternatively, you may find that the frisket masking film which airbrush users employ works better for you - give it a try!

G.
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
5,578
Reaction score
2,535
Location
Edinburgh
I always used "Mascol" it is a liquid mask that you brush on and then you can use a scalpel to carefully cut out and peel away what you need to remove. Never ever had a problem with paint creep of fuzzy edges using it.
vid how to use it


where to buy it

 

Cabinetman

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
2,704
Reaction score
1,525
Location
lincolnshire Wolds
I always used "Mascol" it is a liquid mask that you brush on and then you can use a scalpel to carefully cut out and peel away what you need to remove. Never ever had a problem with paint creep of fuzzy edges using it.
vid how to use it


where to buy it


That’s good, I was thinking masking tape the same shape as the cockpit canopy then wax on the wood surround, remove tape and paint. Ian
 

Fergie 307

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
28 Dec 2019
Messages
1,309
Reaction score
687
Location
Sandy Bedfordshire
Presumably your wood model is eventually coated with varnish or some other finish? If so I would have thought a coat of the finish to seal the wood first, then mask on top of it would cure any creep issues. Regarding a raised edge where the paint meets the tape, how are you applying the paint? If you are going to lawyer the whole thing afterwards then I would apply the paint with an airbrush. It only needs to be thick enough to be opaque, if you unmask more or less immediately you shouldn't get any lip as the paint will be very thin, it's just for colour, it will be protected by the subsequent layer of lacquer. This is how artwork is done on bikes etc, very thin layers of paint covered in multiple coats of lacquer, then rubbed down with very fine wet and dry so the surface is completely even, with no raised area where the painted artwork is. And if you want a really thin tape to cut masks from, try ordinary brown parcel tape. If you stick it gently to a textured plastic chopping board then you can cut it and it will peel off, just takes some care as it tears very easily, but it's very thin. Or the 3M invisible sellotape type tape is also good and has a slightly Matt finish which makes it easier to see where you are cutting.
 

Kittyhawk

Established Member
Joined
30 Apr 2021
Messages
284
Reaction score
558
Location
New Zealand
What I am doing now gives me good results.

The timber is prepped with sanding sealer and sanded with 400 grit.
The canopy area of the aircraft model is masked up, canopy edges plus all the fine lines 1mm wide that are the various joints, struts etc.
The area is then sprayed with a clear coat from a rattle can to seal the tape edges.
The area is then sprayed with black paint, also from a rattle can.
The tape is removed and it looks ok.

What I want to do is eliminate the need for a sealing spray and I want to apply some sort of black by brush and not by spray. I do not have an airbrush and I doubt the Keeper of the Purse would approve the release of funds for one.
The one step that I haven't mentioned in the above, and the principal reason why I want to do things differently is that rattle cans mean that I have to spend forever swathing the entire model in tape and newspaper because of the overspray. It really gets up my nose that it takes an hour or more to wrap the thing up for 30 seconds of spraying. At the moment my assembly room is littered with little text pieces and black artists water colour looks like it could be promising.
Some of the products mentioned in preceeding posts look pretty good but I live in a small village 100kms from the nearest decent town; our local hardware store is pretty basic - that it's called Bunnings but known locally as Bumblings will give you some idea, and the people on line who are supposed to stock the products don't. So I'm looking for some low tech DIY type solution.
 

Ollie78

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2011
Messages
1,447
Reaction score
671
Location
Wiltshire
Car paint suppliers should have fine line masking tapes. It's for doing pinstripes and detailed work. Very thin and can curve easily for following lines. Probably the same as the Tamiya stuff someone mentions above, probably cheaper.
Ollie
 

Kittyhawk

Established Member
Joined
30 Apr 2021
Messages
284
Reaction score
558
Location
New Zealand
I pass this on for what it's worth.

If you've read this far then you will know that I have two difficulties - paint creep under masking tape and a desire to use something other than black spray paint.

Concerning tape, I prefer a low tack one because it is also very thin. I mentioned previously that it was applied to timber with sanding sealer on it and then sanded with 400 grit. It turns out that this is not fine enough and a rub over with 0000 steel wool before the tape was put on was all that was needed. There is no paint creep on the test pieces now.

And I have been experimenting with spirit based sharpies again. I tried water based ones and also artists water colour but the finish is too soft and rubs off. The trouble with spirit based ones is that teak oil makes the ink run if applied directly over it. I have a very small hand held hair drier in my workshop. Sometimes you need a heat source a lot more gentle than what a hot air gun provides. I got mine by convincing the child bride that she needed a new one... so I don't know why I thought of it but I applied the sharpie to a test piece, warmed it up for a couple of minutes with the hair drier, overcoated it with teak oil and the ink didn't run. Who knows, perhaps warming the timber a bit caused the solvents in the teak oil to evaporate before they could interfere with the ink. But it works for me.
So I'm going yo repeat the experiment before I commit to a couple of Mk.1V Wellingtons. They were difficult models and I don't want to mess them up.
 

stuart little

Established Member
Joined
17 Apr 2021
Messages
688
Reaction score
360
Location
Herefordshire
Presumably your wood model is eventually coated with varnish or some other finish? If so I would have thought a coat of the finish to seal the wood first, then mask on top of it would cure any creep issues. Regarding a raised edge where the paint meets the tape, how are you applying the paint? If you are going to lawyer the whole thing afterwards then I would apply the paint with an airbrush. It only needs to be thick enough to be opaque, if you unmask more or less immediately you shouldn't get any lip as the paint will be very thin, it's just for colour, it will be protected by the subsequent layer of lacquer. This is how artwork is done on bikes etc, very thin layers of paint covered in multiple coats of lacquer, then rubbed down with very fine wet and dry so the surface is completely even, with no raised area where the painted artwork is. And if you want a really thin tape to cut masks from, try ordinary brown parcel tape. If you stick it gently to a textured plastic chopping board then you can cut it and it will peel off, just takes some care as it tears very easily, but it's very thin. Or the 3M invisible sellotape type tape is also good and has a slightly Matt finish which makes it easier to see where you are cutting.
A piece of glass is the best surface to cut tape on.
 

Kittyhawk

Established Member
Joined
30 Apr 2021
Messages
284
Reaction score
558
Location
New Zealand
A piece of glass is the best surface to cut tape on.
Yes, I thought glass might be pretty good if I had some, but I do have an endless roll of 0.4mm stiff plastic sheet. The tape lifts easily off it and I reasoned that it could be a bit kinder on the point of the craft knife.
 

stuart little

Established Member
Joined
17 Apr 2021
Messages
688
Reaction score
360
Location
Herefordshire
I use a scalpel with #11 blades or single edge razor blades, bought by the 100 at very low cost, and glass from old cabinet doors or picture frames. With plastic, which does not resist cutting, one would not get as clean a cut as with glass.

My mate is over here from NZ - I'll send a piece of glass with him :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: !!! Sorry - I don't get out much!
 

Fergie 307

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
28 Dec 2019
Messages
1,309
Reaction score
687
Location
Sandy Bedfordshire
What I am doing now gives me good results.

The timber is prepped with sanding sealer and sanded with 400 grit.
The canopy area of the aircraft model is masked up, canopy edges plus all the fine lines 1mm wide that are the various joints, struts etc.
The area is then sprayed with a clear coat from a rattle can to seal the tape edges.
The area is then sprayed with black paint, also from a rattle can.
The tape is removed and it looks ok.

What I want to do is eliminate the need for a sealing spray and I want to apply some sort of black by brush and not by spray. I do not have an airbrush and I doubt the Keeper of the Purse would approve the release of funds for one.
The one step that I haven't mentioned in the above, and the principal reason why I want to do things differently is that rattle cans mean that I have to spend forever swathing the entire model in tape and newspaper because of the overspray. It really gets up my nose that it takes an hour or more to wrap the thing up for 30 seconds of spraying. At the moment my assembly room is littered with little text pieces and black artists water colour looks like it could be promising.
Some of the products mentioned in preceeding posts look pretty good but I live in a small village 100kms from the nearest decent town; our local hardware store is pretty basic - that it's called Bunnings but known locally as Bumblings will give you some idea, and the people on line who are supposed to stock the products don't. So I'm looking for some low tech DIY type solution.
I was going to say 400 grit is actually pretty coarse for this. Your fine wool is good, especially for curves. Might not be appropriate for you but for things like gunstocks a trick I was shown was to rub it down as smooth as you can in the normal way, then run a water dampened rag over the surface to raise the grain. Then with the wood damp rub down with something like 1500 grit wet and dry. You need to keep rinsing the paper to avoid it clogging, and keep the surface dampened. Once the wood has dried the finish is incredibly smooth. Thinking of alternatives to spraying, for touching up figures on clock dials I use the Humbrol model enamels, not the acrylic type this sets too quickly. The type in the tiny tin cans can be thinned if need be with white spirit. Goes on a treat with a good quality soft brush, and takes long enough to dry that any brush marks will settle out. Might be worth a try.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
22,931
Reaction score
2,785
Location
Derbyshire

Kittyhawk

Established Member
Joined
30 Apr 2021
Messages
284
Reaction score
558
Location
New Zealand
I use a scalpel with #11 blades or single edge razor blades, bought by the 100 at very low cost, and glass from old cabinet doors or picture frames. With plastic, which does not resist cutting, one would not get as clean a cut as with glass.

My mate is over here from NZ - I'll send a piece of glass with him :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: !!! Sorry - I don't get out much!
I tried cutting tape on glass and you're right, the cut is hugely better. Thanks for the offer of the glass via your kiwi friend:love: but as it turns out I did have a few pieces around the walls of my workshop, otherwise known as windows...:) and cutting tape works well on a vertical surface and the back-light is also quite helpful.
 

clogs

just can't decide
Joined
24 Jul 2020
Messages
1,618
Reaction score
905
Location
Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
out of interest....
modern paper masking tape doesn't last very long once opened.....
lost count of how many rolls I have thrown away......
so now I find that if the 1/2 roll is placed in a plastic bag and kept in the cool/dark it last indef....
just trying to save money that's all and I hate unecc waste.....
 

Kittyhawk

Established Member
Joined
30 Apr 2021
Messages
284
Reaction score
558
Location
New Zealand
out of interest....
modern paper masking tape doesn't last very long once opened.....
lost count of how many rolls I have thrown away......
so now I find that if the 1/2 roll is placed in a plastic bag and kept in the cool/dark it last indef....
just trying to save money that's all and I hate unecc waste.....
Good tip and I'll have to try it. Rolls of tape last me a long time and I notice that by the time I get half way through the tape starts sticking to itself on the roll so much its hard to pull off without tearing..
 

clogs

just can't decide
Joined
24 Jul 2020
Messages
1,618
Reaction score
905
Location
Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
Kittyhawk,
here the problem is heat....never much below 30c except winter where it could get down as much as 10.....hahaha....
so my rolls of tape just used to dry up.....like u use a few meters then is stuck fast in no time....
been doing the bag thing for a couple of years now and never a bad one....
my storage place is a walk in cupboard under the concrete stairs, the room stays a reg temp all year round....
I have to decorate every winter the whole house inside n out...(it's a holiday rental, needs to look smart).....then hardly ever use the tape...but again everytime I go to it it's fresh....
 

Inspector

Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!
Joined
18 Jun 2006
Messages
3,258
Reaction score
1,323
Location
Saskatoon, SK., Canada
I try to keep tape in a ziplock bag so it lasts longer. I buddy can get a little more use out of a roll of masking tape by tossing it in the microwave for a few minutes until warmed. I have no idea how often it can be done but if it gets you the rest of the roll for a job then it might be worth a try.

Pete
 
Top