July 19, 2014

MaskFX: First Try

I mentioned in a blog post on 7/12 that I had purchased a 15mm mask for doing digital camo called MaskFX. (pictured above) I finally got all my Vallejo Model Air paints and I gave it a whirl. So here's my review and test run with the mask.

 I decided to use it to do an urban camouflage on my UCM minis from the Dropzone Commander Starter Set.  Since you primarily play on an urban landscape it seemed more fitting than a straight army green. So the Paints I used were: Army Painter Black Primer, Vallejo Model Air US Gray, Vallejo Model Air US Light Gray, and Vallejo Model Air USAF Dark Gray. In that order. I was trying to pattern it after the 5.11 TACPATT camo pattern.

For this test I used the extra Bear APC that comes in the starter set. So first step was to prime it.

After that dried, it was time to apply the first layer of masking. The videos on YouTube make it look so effortless, but in reality, the pattern is only scored, so you have to run over the edges with your hobby knife or they will try to peel up in one giant mass. So after getting some off an applying them, it looks like this:

Unfortunately the masking sheet got washed out in the light when I took the picture. Next, I sprayed it with the US Gray paint.

And once that dried, more masking...

Next it was sprayed with US Light Gray.

Once that dried, more masking...

And finally, a layer of USAF Dark Gray paint.

And FINALLY... once that dries it's a matter of carefully peeling off the masking using your hobby knife. And the final results:

Voila! Practice will likely make perfect with this product. This model in particular had a lot of areas with deep details, as such some of the masks had paint seep under it from another color with affected the overall crispness of the pattern. So these will be better on models with more flat area. Also, the US Gray and the USAF Dark Gray weren't dissimilar enough and it's difficult to distinguish between the two. Future painting will likely only go with three colors for this urban scheme.

All in all, not bad. It will likely improve when I paint out the details (wheels, guns, window, etc.) and give it an ink wash to make the deep detail stand out. I could probably go with more masking than I did on this test piece to improve the density of color differences. It's a little time consuming, but it makes it easy to do the digital camo pattern.

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