It can be discouraging to see all of these beautiful, finished kits in the magazines and on the internet when you are desperately trying to make your kit look as good. I have been in the middle of many-o-paint jobs where I have shaken my head and loudly proclaimed, "This is never going to work!" That is when I usually hunker down and spend hours in my room going over detail after detail until the kit looks presentable. Laura helps me out many times by telling me it looks great or it needs more work. Below is a little exercise in masking. Don't be fooled into thinking that masking is an easy process. You may want to cry after peeling off a latex mask which takes half of the paint with it. However, if you are careful and take your time, it's really not that hard.

I'll demonstrate using the Alex Ross Superman that came out a few years ago.

The first step is to spray the fleshtones. Since most of my fleshtone is airbrushed, it will be hard to touch up later due to mask-lifting. That is why flesh comes first.

Latex contains ammonia and can be harsh on paint. That is why you should seal any paint to be masked with a good dullcoat. Apply the latex with a brush and get as close to the edge of his costume as you can without going over the edge. Notice that I have overlaped on his left arm. This is ok because I am spraying the red first. Since the red needs to be sealed before spraying the blue, it will need to be sealed with dullcoat. Dullcoat should not be sprayed on top of latex. It could potentially have a bad reaction and ruin the paint underneath. Therefore, I must spray the red, peel off the mask, seal the red, and reapply the mask to the skin area AND the red area. Whew!

This is the latex mold builder that I use. Don't be afraid to glop this stuff on. The thicker, the better. A thick mask will be less likely to tear or let paint bleed through it.

When areas with straight lines need to be masked, you can use masking tape. I opted to do this on his S emblem because it will lift cleaner than the latex would. This photo shows it masked off with tape after I have sprayed the red.

Now the fun begins. The blue has been sprayed and I am lifting the mask from the red boot. You can see that there is blue on the red and the lines are not clean at all. To correct this, first put some Polly-S airbrush thinner on a q-tip and swab off the blue paint. Since it is airbrushed, it should lift easily. This demonstrates the importance of sealing the paint underneath. You will wipe off the blue without disturbing the red paint if you previously sealed the red.

The same thing has happened here. If there is no paint to wipe off, you must add paint by taking a fine tipped brush and, in this case, touch up the blue area with some dark blue paint. Sometimes I can use the paint that I airbrushed with, but most of the time it is too thin to brush paint. Here is a picture of the finished kit: Superman

Any questions can be directed to: me

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