Eduard CX096: Ki-46-III 'Dinah' Canopy Mask
|$10.00 or so plus shipping|
|Hasegawa 1/72 Ki-46-III|
An extremely popular aftermarket item has been canopy masks. These have been produced by a number of manufacturers over the years, but the ones that seem to be the most popular are those by Eduard.
Masks have been made from a variety of products including thick and thin vinyl as well as from kabuki paper (basically the same stuff as Tamiya tape, but not quite a thick). Some masks only cover the outlines of the clear part. This is very much the case when it comes to bits with large compound curves such as you see on F-86s and MiG-29s as no material will properly stick to convoluted surfaces like that. In those cases, you fill in the rest with your favorite tape or with liquid masking solutions.
I am not a major mask user, but when it comes to kits that have a zillion fairly small panes and especially those where the frame lines are not super prominent (as we find with many Hasegawa kits), They are well worth the price. Interestingly, the amount of time it takes to apply these as opposed to putting down some tape, holding the transparency to the light, and cutting the tape is about the same. I guess this is because one does several panes at once with the cut method while with the mask they are one at a time.
This set is for the Hasegawa Ki-46-III and can only be used on the smooth nosed version. Some -III aircraft did have the stepped nose, but using this set on that variant will leave you having to mask the windscreens yourself as this set does not include those. The set also includes wheel masks, which allow you to either mask the hub or the wheel portion next to the hub; the rest of the tire should be masked with liquid mask.
For bubble canopies and such, things like these sorts of things are really not needed by most modelers, but for multi-pane 'greenhouse' canopies, they can be very useful, especially if the frame lines are indistinct.
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