Circles, Squares, and Dots? Simple, Easy, and Handy!

Introduction:

About a year ago I finished the 1/72 Fujimi Spitfire Mk. XIVe in a polished natural metal scheme using Mission Metallics. The model was part of a group build by the NorthWest Scale Modelers for a display in Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

 

 

 

 

The scheme required the small, circular access panels be a different metallic finish than the rest of the airframe. This necessitated the many (many) circular panels to be masked, both over and around, during the multi-step painting process.

 

 

 

 

My old approach for such a situation was to grab a glass cutting-surface, Tamiya tape, and my assortment of photo-etch stencils and scribing guides. A sufficiently large selection of stencils/guides often permits an exact match to be found, as was the case with the Spit. All of the masks for the round access panels were cut by hand: doable but a little laborious.

Moreover, circle masks cut with a stencil, especially small ones, aren’t always as crisp and correctly shaped as I’d like: at least not in my hands.

 

With this experience in mind, I was quick to test these new die-cut Circle/Dot Masks at the painting bench. They definitely made the Model Paint Solutions cut.

What an awesome masking tool!  These Circle/Dot Masks are made of thin (0.02mm), adhesive-backed, paper masking material similar in density and adhesivity to yellow Tamiya tape.

 

 

The circle and dot masks are stamped within square-shaped masks and all are crisply and cleanly cut.

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike similar die-cut masks, the backing material on these masks is made of clear plastic permitting you to find the appropriately sized Dot or Circle by laying the sheet over the part or area that’s to be masked and  lining it up with the appropriately sized Dot or Circle: Awesome!

The utility of these Circle, Dot and yes, even the Square masks is universal: across modeling genre’ and scales.

 

Here are a few quick examples for their use: 🙂

Tires and Wheels:

Whether you paint wheels then tires or tires then wheels, the appropriately sized Dot or Circle Mask will make the job quicker, easier and most importantly provide a clean, crisp line when removed.

Pictured: Roden 1/144th C-133 Wheels

 

 

 

Canopies and Windshields:

Masking the rounded corners of canopies is a breeze with a selection of Circle/Dot Masks. Note the multiple sized dots used to outline this Tucano canopy.

When combined with Aizu Micron Masking Tape, the job of masking the rounded corners of canopies and windshields is made easier and the result after painting, will be clean and crisp. Pictured:Hobby Boss 1/48 Tucano canopy.

Corners: Squared and Rounded

After a little slicing and dicing, The corners of the Circle Masks are ideal for easily masking crisp, 90-degree angles. The inner radius can also be used for masking around rounded corners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circle/Dot Masks are available in three size ranges as follows:

Large: 4.8 to 6.0mm

Medium: 3.0 to 4.6mm

Small: 1.0 to 2.8

 

For those with a lot of circles to paint consider the Circle/Dot Mask Combo with all three sheets at a reduced price.

 

Now go paint something!

–John

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