Mottling the paint scheme on a model by hand can be difficult and rather time consuming. Keeping the paint at a consistent density, avoiding a semblance of a “pattern” in the layout of the mottling, and paying attention to panel lines are all issue that need attention when applying a “mottled” finish.
Masterpiece has addressed these issues with an easy-to-use set of templates. The templates are sturdy pieces of a cardboard-type paper. Each template contains a multitude of holes and openings that are of a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some of the “knock-out” panels that make up the openings in the template are still in place. Removing them will bring about a diverse pattern each time you use the template. Also, reversing which side of the template you use (top or bottom) as the surface in contact with the model, will provide additional diversity.
The templates are rather flexible and can be gently bent to conform of the curved surface of a wing or fuselage, a car body, or a piece of armor. In some cases, the paint job might require alignment to a panel line. The application of a piece of a Post-It Note will block off the ‘knock-outs” through which the painter would not want pint to pass through. This simple procedure means that panel lines can be maintained without masking them in the traditional fashion prior to painting.
You will notice in the images that accompany this review that the mottling templates have a thick “Frame” surrounding them. That frame can be removed and doing so will make the application of mottling around or on panel line quite easy. Removing that frame will also allow the template to be fitted into some rather tight spaces.
To test the template, the top half of a 1/48th wing, unpainted and not primed, was selected as a test subject. A piece of 3M Acyrl Blue painter’s tape was applied on the template to mark a panel on the wing to prevent mottling on one side of the panel line but allowing mottling on the other. Using some Tamiya paint, after 10 to 15 seconds of airbrushing, I was impressed with the result. It is an easy and quick way to apply mottling.
This product is highly recommended for its reasonable price, remarkable crisp “knock-out” openings, and ease of use. Thanks to Masterpiece Models for making this product available for review by IPMS/USA.