The Zoukei Mura Kit
Refer to Part 1 for the base construction of this fine model kit. New Ware masks are part NWAM0332 and cost $8.62
Aftemarket Accessories Used
Several months ago I had the opportunity to review the New Ware Expert Kabuki canopy mask set that I had originally planned to use on a Zoukei Mura F-4S Phantom sometime later. However with the opportunity to build and review the "J" version I decided now is the time to utilize this set. Since the Zoukei Mura Phantom have had their fair share of reviews I will focus my efforts on describing the use of the New Ware canopy masks.
Masking and Painting
This mask set comes in two small sheets and a single page instruction sheet showing the individual masks locations on the two backer sheets included. There are placement guides for the interior and exterior masks with the each mask numbered. The EXPERT set allows the modeler to mask the clear parts to represent the canopy seals, interior and exterior colors. There are also masks for the various exterior lights and the landing gears wheels. This is a very comprehensive set of masks.
The use of the New Ware Expert Kabuki masks were further complicated by the use of the Hypersonic Models canopy upgrade resin and PE set. See part 2 of this multi-part review for the Zoukei Mura F-4J Phanton.
Each mask was removed from the backer sheets using first a Number 11 blade to lift a corner, then a pair of needle nose tweezers was used to remove the mask and place onto the clear parts. I used an inexpensive burnishing tool found at a local craft shop to burnish each mask in place to limit the risk of paint creeping under the mask edges.
- Windscreen: Here, nine (9) separate masks are used here. Three for the interior, the next three for the exterior allowing the modeler to paint the seals color, and the last three to mask the previously painted seal with the appropriate exterior color.
- Forward Canopy: Six masks are provided for this section. The center portions of the canopy must be filled it with masking fluid or tape as the New Ware set provides only perimeter masking.
- Center Section: Six masks are provided for this section.
- Rear Canopy: Six masks are provided for this section. The center portions of the canopy must be filled it with masking fluid or tape as the New Ware set provides only perimeter masking.
I did not use the wheel masks for the main wheels as the Zoukei Mura wheel hubs are separate from the tires, and those parts could be painted white and rubber black respectively. I did use the masks on the nose gear wheels and they worked just fine.
With the use of the Hypersonic Models canopy upgrade set I was concerned about the painting sequence and the possibiliy of damaging the resin and PE parts previously glued in place. I decided to first painting the exterior surfaces and once the exterior colors had cured I the masked the exosed painted surfaces with Tamiya tape then painted the interior surfaces.
- Masking and Painting: Once the masks were placed I supplemented the New Ware masks with Tamiya masking tape and coated the masks with masking fluid to seal any gaps I may have left.
In reviewing reference images of Phantom canopies the canopy sealant seemed to be the same color as the exterior top color. I decided to paint the sealant a slightly lighter color and used FS 35231. Once this color was applied and cured I carefully placed the second set of masks to conceal the sealant color. The final exterior color was then applied.
Since the interiors of the main canopies was busy with resin and PE parts I painted that last. I masked the exterior surfaces of the clear parts and airbrushed flat black onto the surfaces.
The New Ware Expert Canopy masks made a potentially challenging job of masking the canopies a whole lot easier. Rather than attempt to cut masking tape into the appropriately size and shape of masks, the precut masks do the job and save the time and frustration. New Ware offer three options for the Phantom canopy masks on heir website: Basic (canopy, other clear parts, wheels), Advanced (canopy including window seals, other clear parts, wheels), and Expert (canopy including window seals and inner side masks, other clear parts, wheels).
Placing the masks for the canopy seals is a bit challenging to obtain proper alignment, but with patience it can be done. Fitting the interior masks is a bit difficult with working inside the curved canopy innner surfaces, but with cae it can be done. The surplus masking material is perfect for filling in the center areas of the front and rear canopies. Nothing is wasted!
I truly appreciated the quaility of this product. The fit of each mask was perfect, and I found the placement of each mask to be generally easy. They burnished in place nicely. It made the job of masking the clear parts quite easy. I plan to use the New Ware masks on other projects in the future. I will purchase another Expert set for the F-4S.
I wish to thank Volks Zoukei Mura, New Ware and IPMS USA for the opportunity to build and review this kit with the New Ware mask set. The kit and masking set are both highly recommended.