Why I don't build a lot of airplanes - a cry for help

I don’t build a lot of airplanes and I’m pretty sure I know why. I recently found a couple of old Airfix 1:72 Ju87’s tucked away in a drawer and I thought ‘quick build!’ I cleaned them up and put them together in a few hours (simple kits) thinking I’d maybe experiment with winter camo schemes.
Then I got to the **#*! canopies. How in God’s name do you aircraft guys paint these?? In 1:48th I struggle to mask and tape but eventually get it done to a reasonable outcome. 1:72 scale is a whole new nightmare, especially on a busy canopy like the Ju87B. So somebody please tell me, do you mask the tiny window areas, do you hand paint the tiny frame lines? What method garners the best results and roughly how long does it take you? I have patience and a reasonably steady hand but ‘staying inside the lines’ painting or trying to mask such tiny areas just isn’t working out



It is always a challenge.

I have two suggestions:

  • buy an Eduard mask for it if they make one. They are pretty easy to use. But they try my patience with needing to position exactly correctly.
  • Dip it in future first. After that has thoroughly dried paint it freehand then run a dull toothpick (cocktail stick) along the clear edge of the canopy. It will peel off paint that has strayed onto the clear. The results of this sound better than you expect, at least they came out better for me than I expected.

Firstly some have called me mad, but in 1/144 I hand paint the canopies.
A steady hand plus water based acrylic paint like Lifecolor or Vallejo, if you make a mistake have a second brush and a clean tissue ready. First wipe with the tissue then wipe with the brush that’s wet but not loaded with clean water and your canopy is clean again ready for another go.
If the paint is dry no problem, use a wooden toothpick or trimmed down matchstick (minus strike head) slowly and carefully scrape the offending paint away.


Go with the biplanes … no canopy at all !! … :laughing:


Ha! Their even smaller…

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I generally use BareMetal Foil . Self adhesive , burnish down with cotton swab and chase around frames with a wooden toothpick ( soften the point so it does not tear the foil ) then carefully cut around the frames with a new # 11 blade and remove the foil from the areas that will be paint . The foil stays on until all painting operations are done - gloss coat before and after decals , flat coats , dust coats etc.
Remove the foil carefully with a toothpick sharpened to a chisel point . Excess adhesive from the foil can be removed with a cotton swab dampened with mineral spirits . HTH - Richard


If there is reasonable relief between the frame and the perspex, then I apply Washi tape, use a cocktail stick to press it into the corners and then cut it out carefully with a new scalpel blade. Some prefer self-adhesive foil for the same purpose.

If not (and some of those old Airfix kits certainly don’t), you could try spraying some decal paper the appropriate colour, cutting it into strips and applying those as the frames.


While not much of an airplane modeler, my best results with canopies were always obtained using Bare Metal Foil as described above.

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In addition to using Bare Metal Foil (or one of the other similar products), doing the canopy frames with strips of clear decal painted with the appropriate color is another option. Spray the color on the decal paper, then cut out strips the width of the frame members and apply like normal.

Another option is to print colored stripes on clear decal paper, apply them, then hand paint over them. Start with black strips and any black around the edges of the frames looks like waterproofing mastic. Another variation is to start with the frame interior color, then over paint the decal stripes with the exterior color. What shows through on the inside is the interior color. Yet another variation of this technique is to layer several different color painted decal stripes. This works well for aircraft that have contrasting colored “safety” or inspection strips around the canopy framework. Vary the width of the cut strips to create the different colored steps.

I’ve used both methods successfully. However, for quickness and ease, masking with Bare Metal Foil is what I usually go with. Start painting with the interior frame color then follow with the exterior colors.

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@SdAufKla Michael that’s outstanding!

I’ve painted decal film and painted clear tape before then cut it for canopy frame:)

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