Wheel, Tire, and Canopy Mask Set

Published: May 19th, 2016     
Product Image
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Price: $6.99
Product / Stock #: FMS 023
Product provided by: Furball Aero-Design

First up, a "Heavy duty" THANK YOU to the Furball Aero Design team for this Mask set, and thanks also to IPMS USA leadership for sending it to me to use and review.... As always we appreciate the generous support of our smaller companies who provide us great things we never knew we needed or could use, but now find harder to do without!

Masking of canopies before airbrushing is one thing I still do the hard way; apply tape, burnish down with a toothpick, and cut around the canopy. Either kabuki paper tape or Scotch magic frosted tape have been my standard mask for years. I have tried masks from vinyl from other companies, and have had limited success, mostly because they tend to be in flexible, too stiff, aggressively stick to the plastic when I don't want, and don't when I do, or just don't fit. You know...

Enter Furball Aero Designs. They are known for fantastic decals, and now they continue to branch out in masks and canopy seal decals. In this masking set, not only do they provide excellent masks for the canopy, but the wheels and tires as well. Both are areas of kits just about everyone has problems with, so I approached this set with great anticipation. I was not disappointed...

First up, the Canopy masks. Very simple, and the die cutting was spot on. More importantly, the masks stayed in place, were easy to adjust, and cut readily if required without detaching from the model parts. My biggest problem is masking that lifts at the edges; I didn't notice this issue any on these, and they burnished into the complex curves with ease.

This kit provides two separate canopies; one "single-part" with windscreen and cockpit covers closed as per flight or shut down after servicing, and a separate set for the "Open" look. I have been closing canopies more and more, as I get tired of cleaning out spider webs from our indigenous Oklahoma "Brown Widows", (brown, very small relatives of the black, highly venomous black widow... the brown widow is not a threat to humans but has an annoying habit of building webs in model openings). I used the single piece canopy, cemented it in place, and masked away.

First event was to spray the interior color over the masked canopy, then a black primer coat to prevent light bleed-through. Final job was the external aircraft color, followed by gloss for decals, then flat-coat for finishing. Using a #11 Xacto blade, I removed the masking from the finished model, and only noted a few bleed-under areas due to my paint application techniquest (Spray cans), which were carefully removed/cleaned up with lighter fluid (Naptha). Very impressive! These masks worked as advertised and designed, and were not affected by lacquer primer, Tamiya spray color, or the final Testors Gloss and dull coats.

Next up were wheels and tires. You can use the center of the mask with the circle to cover the previously-painted wheel hubs, and then shoot the whole thing in dark gray or black.

I found the center circles did not want to conform so well to the lumps and bumps inherent in the wheel hubs. They DID stick well to the backside wheel hubs, which were flat without detail.

The problem was I had overspray on the hubs. Not good; but they worked well enough that I was able to do touch up work with satisfactory results.

The next set, was to spray the tires black first, then use the outer masking areas from around the hub circle to mask the tires. These stuck to the tire surfaces well, and use of a toothpick or cocktail stick pushed them into the rim areas. Shoot a base gray color on the rims and hubs, then shoot with the dark green. This worked better... at least, for me. (Your mileage may vary, tax, title, license not included, see sales rep for details)

Overall, at the end of the build, this set earned an easy 10 of 10 rating. Thanks again to Furball Aero Designs for taking care of this modeling niche and IPMS USA for the forum to review such items...

  • Tires Masked
    Tires Masked
  • Nose Gear Tires Painted
    Nose Gear Tires Painted
  • Main Gear Tires Painted
    Main Gear Tires Painted
  • Front Canopy Mask in Place
    Front Canopy Mask in Place
  • Rear & Central Canopy Masks in Place
    Rear & Central Canopy Masks in Place
  • Masks in Place, Painted
    Masks in Place, Painted
  • Finished Canopy, Masks Removed
    Finished Canopy, Masks Removed

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