Cost from $4.99 on up depending on how complex
Reviewed: set for DML Ju-188 $4.99
Review by: Scott Van Aken
Over the years, there have been a number of different methods for masking canopies. By far the most used is good old tape. In some cases masking tape and in others, Scotch tape, my favourite being the flat, transparent type. I have tried several other solutions including various masking mediums like that produced by Microscale and Gunze Sangyo. I truly love the Gunze making material, but it is extremely difficult to obtain. The Microscale masking fluid has poor sticking ability and is easily torn or removed when cutting it or spraying the model. For flat panels, Scotch 811 low tack tape is great and Parafilm M is also a superb masker, especially over convoluted surfaces. However, tape leaves a residue that has to be removed, and while the Parafilm M does not, it generally has to be chipped away with a toothpick. In addition, if you are the least bit shaky or have a bad day, your canopy can be irrepairably scratched by your hobby knife while cutting these materials.
Into the market a few years ago, came a precut product by Squadron called Fast Frames. It is an adhesive material that can be painted canopy color and then put on to the canopy. This eliminates the need to mask the canopy. However, it must be precisely placed and I am left to wonder how long the adhesive will hold. I thought, "Why not do it the other way around and have precut panels that you place on the the canopy and then paint as usual?"
About a year ago, from the Canadian North came E-Z Masks. They do just that and are great for multiple framed canopies of WWII aircraft. This particular one is for the DML Ju-188, a particularly nasty canopy to mask due to the many compound curved panels. As you can see, the material is colored vinyl that has some stretch to it. As a result, it is a one shot material. It leaves no residue and the leftovers can be used on more simple canopies like that of a Bf-109 or Mustang. In addition to the mask, there is a template showing what each one looks like. The mask is from front to rear, in this case front is on the left.
If you hate multiple framed aircraft canopies as much as I do, then E-Z Masks are a real boon. I highly recommend them. Check out E-Z Masks website