Canopies. If you build aircraft, there’s no way around them. And if you’re at all like me, you probably hate the tedious process of masking them.
In the past I’ve used Eduard masks to varying degrees of success. I love the things for the acute angles and weird curves of windscreens, but find them less useful for the square panes of canopy glass that you find on so many World War II aircraft. In those cases, I’ve often resorted to either Bare Metal Foil, or the “many strips of thin-cut tape” method. Neither is ideal, but they get the job done.
When I read about Montex masks, I hoped against hope. Canopy masks – and for not just the outside, but the inside of the clear parts? And for dirt cheap (I’d estimate probably half of what Eduard masks run)? Yes. Hell yes.
Unfortunately, if something seems too good to be true…
The masks are made of a black, vinyl-like material. First sign of trouble, since Eduard abandoned this same stuff years ago due to a propensity to lift, especially around weird curves. The black is also so stark against the clear of the canopy that I found it hard to distinguish where the framing ran.
All of that would have been forgiven if the masks worked well. But they didn’t. At all. I tried them on the canopy of Pacific Coast Models’ Fiat G.55, and every single piece was out of size. Generally too small.
What the hell?
Masking the gaping center of a canopy is easy. It’s the border between the “glass” and the frame that’s the challenge. And a mask that’s too small to reach more than two of four sides at a time is more than useless.
Perhaps the Fiat G.55 mask is an aberration. But I have a sinking feeling it is not.
As much as I’d love to say I’ve found the definitive solution to masking canopies, I cannot recommend Montex Masks.
SAVE YOUR MONEY AND AVOID