Airfield Models - Painting Scale Wheels

Scale Painting Techniques

May 05, 2015

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Airfield Models ( the Wheels for Paint

What you mask depends not only on what needs to be protected but also in what order you plan to paint.

I generally paint an entire object in its base color and only mask areas that won't be painted at all.  If there are large areas to be painted a color other than the base then you may want to mask them to save paint and weight.


Make and Apply the Mask

Be sure you have thoroughly cleaned and degreased the wheel before you apply the mask.  From here on keep the wheel sterile because going back becomes a bigger chore as we move forward.

Cut wheel masks slightly smaller than the rim using a compass or freehand with a sharp razor knife.

Begin by measuring the diameter of the outer hub.  Cut paper masks approximately 1/8" smaller in diameter using a compass with a razor.

You could also draw a circle and cut freehand with a hobby knife.  The mask doesn't need to be super accurate.

Cut an opening in the mask as shown at the top of the photo.

Press the wheel away from the rim and insert the mask underneath. Center the mask over the wheel.  Press the tire away from the hub allowing the mask to slip between the two.  Try to keep the mask centered as you work your way around the wheel.

Be sure the mask is actually under the hub.  Avoid wrinkling the mask next to the hub because it will make it more difficult to paint those areas.

Work your way around the wheel until the entire mask is applied.

If the two ends of the mask don't meet then use a scrap of paper to fill in the mask.

Trim off excess mask material.  Complete the mask using tape. Trim the edge of the mask more or less flush with the outside of the tire after the masking is completely applied.

Repeat the above steps for the other side of the wheel.  Use masking tape to cover the rest of the exposed tire.

You may want to stuff some bath tissue inside the hub to prevent paint from fouling it.



Preparing to Paint
Painting the Wheels

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Copyright 2005 Paul K. Johnson