Painting tail stripes in aircraft

Defiant911

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This might seem like a simple one but I’ve found it quite difficult to paint the single strips that are often on the rear of most ww2 planes.
Because the fuselage is oval and not round when you try to apply tape straight it ended up not joining at the ends. Ive cut tape at angles etc but there must be a simpler solution to what would appear a simple application of paint.
any ideas welcomed.
 

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dave

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Tail bands I tend to do with multiple pieces of tape for each side. I use one around 5 or 6mm that forms the edge, because this is thinner you can bend slightly to keep straight with the curve of the fuselage, I do one half and then a second piece to do the other half. Then repeat for the other side of the band. Finally some wider tape to protect the rest of the aircraft.
 

rtfoe

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I'd do the same as Dave except I start with even thinner tape around 2mm from both sides and progressively work inwards with thicker tape or just coat that area with white glue or masking fluid. My preference is to paint the band first, mask then paint the body color after that.

Cheers,
Richard
 

Dave Ward

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Jakko

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Cut thin strips, maybe 1 mm wide or so, to make the edges, then fill in the rest with normal-width tape.
 

Defiant911

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Thanks for all the comments. This is one of those small Areas that Can be hit and miss for me. I’ll give a few of these ideas a go. Thanks for the feedback.
 

AlanG

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@Paintguy might be able to give you the correct name for this but. I use a painters tape that is used for making curves. Something like pin-striping or something like that. Anyway the one i have is 2mm wide and is fantastic for going around things. You'd be surprised just how tight you can make the curves.
 

Paintguy

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The most common name is Fine Line Tape.

My favourite is the 3M blue, but be aware that there are some inflexible types out there, designed for masking arrow straight fine lines instead of curves.

By the way, I tried posting this reply earlier but I think I broke the Matrix by trying to quote a post that hadn't been made yet:



Definitely some gremlins in the machine today.
 

Defiant911

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I presume the site has had problems as I tried several times to post and they kept failing. Gremlins indeed.
 

Del640

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I had the same issues, I was bought a Beaufighter as a present from 'her who shall be obeyed' and masked up the wings quite easily then got to the tail....lordy.
It was here there and everywhere...in the end I used Tamiya 'bendy' masking tape...I was able to apply and reapply until the line was respectable.... Started at the beginning slowly took it round the fuselage until the desired finish.... Hope this helps!
 

stona

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I'm with those who suggest using a thin strip of tape to mask the outside edges of the stripe before filling in with something thicker.

You need to be extra careful where the ends of the masking meet, I always make this on the bottom of the fuselage just in case, but the worst case scenario might be a little touch up.
 
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