Ouh yes I was. I never bought them. They are just for that one vehicle or for that one aircraft. At least as long as they come as a Vinyl or Kabuki (yellow tape) mask. I only need them once, so why paying like €3.00-4.00 (Thats $6.20USD !!!!!!) I mean really? Are you serious?
There are some other types of wheel masks as well. These come on rubber sheets or photo etch or what ever. Even if they have more than one diameter they mostly have a very limited selection. Some of them are for one vehicle only and come for some $12.00-15.00USD. So whats the deal with these ones, please? I buy a set of stencils on plastic, only usable on wheels for a StuGII and then I need another set for my Sherman? C´MON b***h, please! That makes quite a "nice" product range and a complete rip off. Whats next? One for a Tamiya and one for a Dragon Sherman? Nah...that needs a change brother.
Uschi´s approach to the subject is that a masking set with standard forms and shapes should
- offer a broad application spectrum
- be of great help on permanently recurring situations (generic)
- make new painting methods possible (during pre-shading for instance)
- be re-usable
- be sustainable
Lets have a look on the products now and let´s see if we are in compliance with the said requirements. We have two versions, a large one and a small one, both coming with more than 190 stencils. Yes, you have read this right, its more than 190 circles and disks on one of the products.
It comes as
- Small: 2mm-15.5mm in 0.5mm increments
- Large: 6mm-20mm in 0.5mm increments
Some tests. Do we really have a generic product?
I took a trip through my stash of kits and and I always found a diameter that fits the wheels of these. Here we hava a 1/32 Salamander, a 1/48th Devastator, a 1/48 Skyrocket as well as a 35th scale StuGIII. I also made tests with a 72nd scale Horten and a 48th scale Mirage. The result was that our scope of delivery covers those kits.
Its called "Wheels and Hatches", why is that?
Because you can make details pop with it. Thats where I came to the idea actually. I had a wooden fuselage but there were some hatches made of metal and I was like "C´MON, not again...." So I took my trusty punch pliers and some masking tape and did the ol´drill, only to find out that the pliers has 1mm increments and that again doesn´t fit the hatch which was of course Three POINT FIVE mil. My pliers dont do point five increments so..."that wont fit, buddy." Time to call my mate Mal Mayfield and to discuss what could be done about it. We need to solve that frequently occuring problem.
During the development process I found out that we have a nice product for wheels too. I started to understand the potential of the product. Quite late, hugh? Well.....:D
Step by Step: Making details pop
Sometimes we want to emphasize details by giving them a nice surrounding preshading or we need them in a different color. That sounds like a masking job, doesn´t it? Here is how to use the product on a small section of a 48th scale Mirage CIII.
Another test. This time with wheels AND hatches.
At the time as I wrote these lines I had the idea to conduct another live fire test.
A live fire exercise or LFX is any exercise in which a realistic scenario for the use of specific equipment is simulated. In our case the question behind the test was: Does the scope of delivery cover the requirements of a random kit?
Again I went to the stash and grabbed a kit. I picked Dragon´s Me 163S-1 in the 48th scale and checked all sprues. Here comes the results:
Oval hatches type A, main fuselage part 1: 4.50mm Check!
Oval hatches type B, main fuselage part 1: 2.00mm Check!
Circular hatch, forward main fuselage part 1: 3.50mm Check!
Main landing gear wheels, part 4: 9.00mm Check!
Tail wheel, part 6: 3.00mm Check!
Oval hatches on the upper wings: 2.00mm Check!
Circular hatches on the lower wings: 3.00mm Check!
Oval hatches type A, main fuselage part 1: 3.00mm Check!
Oval hatches type B, main fuselage part 1: 2.50mm Check!
Circular hatch, main fuselage part 1: 2.00mm Check
Result: The scope of delivery of the "Small" set (2.00mm-15.5mm)
covers all wheels and hatches of that kit.
- We now have a product that solves the issue of cutting clean circles which we can use on wheels and hatches of many, many kits because we have more than 190 stencils on one sheet.
- We can use it for preshading, for emphasizing details in a different color tone and we can use it for masking the wheels of the kits in our stash.
- We can cut the discs and the circles in sections (quarters) in order to mask off square and rectangular hatches with rounded edges.
- It is re-usable
- It is flexible for easy access to hard-to-reach places
- Its is transparent for easy positioning and perfect fit
I think thats quite an achievement for one product, isnt it?
Thanks for reading. :-) Uschi & Alex :D