Sunday, 23 March 2014

Review: Tamiya Masking Tape

Before I disappear into the ether on my quest to fix my beloved PC (or secure a new one, whichever comes first) I thought I'd leave you all with a product review.

On my last visitation to my local Hobbycraft store, I picked up some Tamiya masking tape to aid me in painting my first Ultramarines Drop Pod, mostly for neatness but partially for laziness. One thing to bare in mind if you want to pick one of these dispensers up is that the tape comes in 3 widths: 6mm, 10mm and 18mm. It's a good idea to pre-measure your miniatures to know in advance which width you need. As a rule of thumb I would suggest 6mm for infantry, 10mm for tanks and vehicles and 18mm for your apocalypse sized gribblies. For this review I am using the 10mm tape.

The first thing I will say about the dispenser itself is that, regardless of being a suitable holder for your masking tape it is very difficult to use. Unlike most tape dispensers the Tamiya ones have only the tiniest indent between the tape and the plastic of the dispenser which caused me much frustration when it came to actually rolling the tape itself out (I ended up using my scultping tool to lift the tape off). Also, the teeth that cuts the tape are only made of plastic and does a crude job of tearing it, but it does works. I found ripping the tape and placing it on the miniature by hand works better than directly from the dispenser. I found the whole thing very crude and disappointingly basic.

That being said the masking tape does a great job of doing what it is meant to do; shielding areas from paint. The first test I did with the tape was to cordon off my drop pod walkways (Image A) so I could literally attack the model with paint, starting with an Abaddon Black base (Image B), followed by Leadbelcher layer (Image C), Nuln Oil wash and 3 drybrush layers of Leadbelcher, Ironbreaker and finally Runefang Steel.

Image A
Image B
Image C
The second test I did was for the icononic hazard stripes on the sides of the doors. I started by wrapping strips of masking tape side by side all along the edge of the doors following a basecoat of Abaddon Black. I then stripped off every other piece of masking tape, painted the showing areas with Averland Sunset before removing all the masking tape, shading the centre parting with Agrax Earthshade and highlighting the black and yellow with Dawnstone Grey and Flash Gitz Yellow respectively (Image D/E).

Image D
Image E
The results really speak for themselves. Although I found the dispenser an utter headache, the masking tape really did it's job well and I really recommend it for jobs like these. I will say however that you will need to do a little bit of a tidy up job at the end. The masking tape doesn't let much past it but little bits of paint are likely to bypass it from time to time but it's minor at best. Although not perfect I highly recommend this product.

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