Zvezda's Yak-3 is generally excellent, but the decals in my example weren't quite up to the quality of the rest of the kit, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to review a set of masks for alternative markings from Montex. In fact, the Yak is almost a perfect subject, in that it has relatively few markings, but at the same time they are very striking and demonstrate the potential advantages of masks over decals.
Set #48225 includes the following:
2 x sheets of grey vinyl masks for the main markings
1 x sheet of black masks for the canopy and wheels
All the masks are die-cut very neatly, and a few quick tests on random items show they separate from the backing paper perfectly. The adhesive is quite low-tack and should keep the masks in place very well without risking lifting the underlying paint.
The black canopy masks include interior patterns to allow you to paint the frames inside and overcome the "seen through glass" look that you get when painting the interior colour as an undercoat on the outside of the canopy.
Markings for two colour schemes are provided, each illlustrated with an excellent 4-view full-colour painting guide:
Both schemes feature spectacular fuselage ligtning bolts which would normally require multiple layers of decals to avoid potential registration problems. Instead, Montex rather cleverly tackle the markings as a single integrated group of masks, thus ensuring perfect alignment and, of course, no chance of trouble with layers of carrier film causing silvering.
The pack includes full step-by-step instructions for applying and painting one set of markings to make sure you apply each colour in the correct order for the best results. These are well illustrated and straightforward to follow, and I really hope Montex provide similar instructions in all their future sets because they really are a boost to the confidence of anyone new to working with painting masks.
This is an excellent masking set that is simple enough to give newcomers a good chance of achieving spectacular results and so encourage them to attempt more ambitious subjects.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Well produced, straightforward to use with step-by-step instructions. Full colour painting guide.Lows: None that I can foresee.Verdict: This should make a very good introduction to painting markings, being relatively simple to use while offering spectacular results.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...