If you are building models you will use masking tape. Usually it doesn’t need to be anything too special, for example when you want to hold two fuselage halves together while the glue dries. The requirement for higher quality masking tape is demanded when you reach the painting stage. Sometimes fairly regular tape can be used, for some applications. The best type of tape to use when you require complicated masking is the paper type. This is because it isn’t as rigid as the celluloid type, which doesn’t like doing anything but straight lines. Celluloid tape can be cut into thin strips, which will follow compound curves, a little better, but not as easily as paper tape, which has been cut thinly. The best type of paper tape is the “Kabuki” type, it has just the right level of “tackiness” so that it adheres well but can be removed without leaving any residue. This type of tape is quite expensive but is indispensable for achieving the best masking. The best know of the marketers of this type of tape supply it in rolls of 10mm up to about 40mm. These are good sizes for general masking but when used on compound curves they need to be cut down to smaller widths. Also, because of the cost, I use cheaper, low tack, tape of the cellulose verity to fill in and use the Kabuki tape for the “masked” edge.
The best way to get a thin strip of tape is to secure 2 scalpel blades together (side by side) and, with the use of a straight edge you can get evenly cut tape at about 0.5mm. This is great but there is one problem with this method, you are limited by the length of your steel ruler as to the length of the tape that you can cut. Also you can only make one pass because subsequent passes will not be in the same place. So if you don’t cut your tape during the first pass you have to try again, wasting expensive tape. The problem would be solved if it were possible for some manufacturer to be able to cut Kabuki type tape off a roll and supply it in various thicknesses, from say 0.5mm to 10mm with various sizes in between. Well of course this is impossible, or it was until now.
Cammett Ltd, who are suppliers of all the tools gizmos and products that modellers can’t readily find elsewhere, and who specialise in finishing products, have come up with exactly that. When I first saw this product I was simply amazed, not believing what I saw. I have the 0.5mm and the 1.5mm rolls and they work wonderfully well, as you will see from my little experiment on my FW 190D-9 wing. The tape readily bends on the flat, actually easier than Tamiya tape, which tends to crease more and requires coaxing. I used the 1.5mm tape for this, which required very little coaxing and the edge adheres nicely to the surface. The only, possible, disadvantage that I can envisage, is that the edge of the tape, while on the roll, could pick up fluff. However if the tape is kept in its plastic zip lock bag this won’t be a problem. This tape is also ideal for making hose connections and the like. I am completely sold.
Cammett’s Micro Tape comes in the following sizes:
My thanks to Robin Carpenter of Cammett for supplying the Micro Tape.
Highs: Tape supplied as thin as this, on a roll, should be all but impossible but Cammet achieves it very well.Lows: There is a possibility of fluff adhering to the edges of the tape while on the roll, but keeping the roll in the zip lock bag, in which it is supplied, shoud prevent this.Verdict: An excellent product, which will save time and effort, allowing more time for modelling
About Mal Mayfield (Holdfast) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
Hi, my name is Mal Mayfield and I have been modelling seriously for about 25 years. My main interest is 1/48 scale second world war. I build all types and all combatants. I have built 1/35 scale "targets" and 1/72 scale modern aircraft, plus a couple of cars. I have also dabbled with figure painting...