Apart from its elegant proportions (itís one of those aircraft that somehow just look ďrightĒ), one of the obvious attractions of the Siebel Si 204D is its classic "greenhouse" canopy.
Of course, that cuts both ways, because it means plenty of masking for modellers, so Eduard have produced a set of die-cut washi-tape painting masks for Special Hobby's recent 1:48 new-tool kit to save the chore of cutting what are some quite complex shapes by hand.
In fact, they've released two sets - a standard one that provides masks for the exterior of the canopy, the fuselage windows and the wheels, plus a "TFace" set that includes all those and adds a set of interior masks for the canopy.
Why would you want to mask the inside of a closed canopy? The simple fact is, if you donít and you look closely, you can see where the inner surface of a kit's canopy reflects light unrealistically where the framework should be.
Masking the inside obviously means roughly twice the work - but it is worthwhile on a subject where the effort will show - and the extensive glazing on the Si 204 makes it a classic candidate.
Obviously, the TFACE set is more expensive than its simpler counterpart, but it's actually only a modest price increase over the standard set:
EX660 - Standard Set - £7.55
EX661 - TFace Set - £9.90
For the extra couple of quid, I'd personally recommend the full set as very good value if you want to go the proverbial "extra mile".
The set's instructions are clearly produced and leave no doubt as to which mask goes where, so it's really just a question of patience. The washi tape that Eduard is the ideal medium for following complex contours and allows easy re-positioning - and it peels of cleanly without leaving any residue - but you'll also need some liquid mask (not supplied) for the centre of some of the panels.
Die-cut painting masks are arguably something of a modelling luxury, because you can obviously cut your own, but they are undoubtedly a huge time-saver on a subject like this - youíre looking at the better part of 40 masks for the exterior glazing alone.
If youíre well-organised and careful, you could use the masks on more than one model - and while the Si 204 isnít perhaps something that many of us will be more than one of, it could be a handy factor if youíre a member of a modelling club.
Iíd definitely recommend these - if only as a sanity saver.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE
Highs: Excellent quality die-cut washi tape masks that will be a huge time-saver over cutting individual masks by hand.Lows: None noted.Verdict: Of the two sets, I'd recommend the TFace. It's marginally more expensive but, while it's more work to use, you will notice the difference if you look at the finished model closely.
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...