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Create camouflage pattern with slight overspray

Too hard, too soft, just right
The camouflage pattern on the Hawker Hunter is a defined pattern with a slight amount of overspray at the edges. To replicate this, I first enlarge the kit painting diagram to the full size of the model. I then trace the outlines onto a piece of (ancient) frisket film and adhere it over the base color. Although I tried to keep the edges loose to allow for overspray (or underspray here), the pressure from the airbrush burnished the film, resulting in a razor-sharp edge — not what I wanted.

I then scored the back side of the film (cutting through the backing paper, but not the film itself), so that when I removed the film’s backing paper, the paper remained in place for ¼ inch around the pattern’s edges. This was so the edges of the mask wouldn’t adhere to the model, letting a bit of spray under the film and creating the desired soft edge.

Well, the theory was good, but ¼ inch was too much. There was a lot of underspray, making the edge too soft.

I tried again, this time with 1/8 inch of backing paper around the pattern masks’ edges. The result was just right. This technique worked flawlessly around the whole model. The only difficulty was learning just how much pressure to apply on the knife so that the backing paper, but not the frisket film, would be cut.

I’m happy with the result. (Note: The demarcation line was painted intentionally sharp, just as it was on the actual Hunter.)

Tip submitted by:
Greg Kolasa
Wantage, N.J.


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