In-Box Review
F-18D ATARS mask set
Masking set for F-18D ATARS, 1/48 scale
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by: Milan Mitev [ THE-F-PLANES ]

What`s in the pack
The big and thick pack of this set holds 3 big masking sheets, accompanied by a rather smaller rectangular sheet with masks.
The transparent packing lets you see what`s inside and the basic instructions on the cover pages. This is a really great touch, because there is plenty to see even on the instruction sheets.
There are 2 folded pages for these instructions. The first page shows the location of every single piece of mask, which is also numbered and the different masking sheets are numbered too, so it`s almost impossible to confuse which mask goes where.
The second instructional page showcases the profiles of the F-18D ATARS and respectively where is the exact place of every single mask. This step is again numbered and it looks like a typical instruction for the decal attachment of a model, let`s say a model with a rather larger quantity of decals, such as the F-4.
But following the numbers it should be easily done. To be honest, when I first saw the instructions I was pretty frustrated, but the applying of the masks becomes much easier and quicker after applying the first 5-10 masks.
Just FYI - the numbers continue until 120 and even more.

They are really soft and fine, and are quite different from just about any other type of masking tape that I use.
Unlike the pre-cut yellow Tamiya masks, these DN Model masks are actually with some kind of a dark grey color, which even has some nuances from the brown register.
The contours of the masks are not so easily visible, yet they are more easily distinguishable than the Tamia pre-cut masks.
This is due to the contrast in the colors, because the carrier sheet underneath these dark masks, is white.
Next, when you lift off a mask from the sheet, you will notice that it is quite transparent.
This allows for much more precise attachment and alignment over the small details. You basically can keep track on the reference points by seeing through the masks.
Next, these DN Model masks are not paper type masks! They are from some sort of a vinyl, poly-, plastic material, and are not so flexible than the paper material, but because are so thin they really get close to the paper masks in terms of flexibility.

What else this masking set offers
SAVING TIME is one of the many advantages, because it is important when you have to put over a 100 masks.
The beauty of F-18D ATARS is in its Tiger camo pattern, which is very contrasting and is very difficult to reproduce in 1/48 scale.
Well, with these pre-cut masking set you have all the masks literally ready for application.

ACCURACY is another advantageous point to consider.
These masks offer a very great imitation of the shapes and patterns of the camo of the real plane.
Some Tiger patterns are longer, others are very small.
The masks that go onto the curved areas require more attention, but these are only a few areas such as the nodes on both sides of the nose, and the nodes on both vertical fins.

They are to replace the biggest special markings, letters and numbers.
Always a great touch, because instead of using decals you just mask these objects once you paint the entire model with its main dark color.
When you lift off the masks you get these letters, numbers and markings with the exact same color as the rest of the Tiger patterns just like the real plane.

One can come across plenty of texts with tips and tricks, for example in order to see clearly every single masks, it is recommended to lift off the outer layer of the masks and expose only the real masks that are to be used.

The only CON
Well, it is a minor, but important con - it comes to the flexibility of the masks, which results in some extra cares.
Overall, these DN Model masks are very flexible, but they are not as flexible as the paper tape masks.
For instance let`s take the masks on both sides of the nose section and above the leading edge extensions: there is nearly 90 degree angle where have to be attached a series of single-piece masks. The only possible way to do it is to attach the mask and force it into the edge, then press it with the edge of a knife so to basically split it until it attaches without void spaces.
I come across other common issues with the one-piece masks that continue from the fuselage to the wings, as well as between the rear of the fuselage and the inner sides of the vertical stabilizers.
The masks onto these areas simply require extra cares in order to set them properly without void spaces along the edged surfaces.
Highs: These masks offer the best and easiest way to make a 1/48 ATARS conversion of your F-18D model. The so complex Tiger pattern is just about impossible for recreation if you try with DIY masks.
Lows: These masks lack the flexibility of the paper masks, and exactly this F-18D model will challenge you with some high-degree curves.
Verdict: Indispensable masking set if you make the F-18D ATARS conversion. Plus, the masking set features masks for 2 fuel tanks and masks for the biggest insignia.
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: #48/827-025
  PUBLISHED: May 17, 2017
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Milan Mitev (the-F-planes)

I like the US planes and mostly the F planes, well, with a few exceptions of course, such as the B-2 and the Space Shuttle, but they are from another dimension. And I like them in plastic models too. I recently discovered this great place to share my journey/reviews about the planes and the modeling...

Copyright 2021 text by Milan Mitev [ THE-F-PLANES ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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