Montex | Spray Masking System
Reviewed by Chris Sherland
While some folks have great skill with decals others are more adept at airbrushing and masking. For years the method of painting national insignias and various unit markings has been seen as a tricky affair for most. Recently that has begun to change with a few companies starting to offer pre-cut full spray mask sets.
Montex is a small company out of Poland founded in 2003 by local modeling club members with a mission to perfect the spray mask medium in the hobby market. They remain an open and eager outfit looking for new ways to refine and perfect their products. Crisply cut spray masks are the basis for the spray masks sets. Montex offers simpler sets for just canopies/wheels ("MINI MASKS"), and sets with complete markings (MAXI MASKS") for a single aircraft but this review covers their "SUPER MASKS" sets, which are simply some of the most comprehensive and high quality masking solutions on the market today.The "SUPER MASKS" sets include all markings needed to replicate 2 or 3 different aircraft, a full canopy and wheel mask set, and in some of the offerings high quality decals are included for the smaller or more intricate markings that cannot me replicated with the masking system. With the exception of the decals included, all masks can be reused at least a few times if handled carefully. So, unlike the standard decal sets on the market today, that means no waste or missing markings to complete all the aircraft covered in the set. How many "partial" decal sets are in your spares box simply because the national insignias were used on the first aircraft, and now the set is scrap?The quality of these sets is state of the art. The masking material is thin and has a low tack adhesive that will not disturb the paint below, and yet can be reused if handled carefully. The cuts are extremely accurate and well done. Clearly plotted from well-researched and accurate artwork. The canopy masks include full sets for the interior and exterior, eliminating the tedious job of cutting hobby tape into little bits, or risking cutting tape directly on the clear plastic! The wheel masks insure perfect round and also represent more of a time save than a "better mouse trap." But the national and unit markings are the shining centerpiece of the sets. With good color selection and mixing, as well as careful airbrush use, results can be achieved that are nothing less than stunning. Not only eliminating the need to manage that pesky decal carrier film boarder, but virtually eliminating any possible chance of the dreaded and model-ruining "silvering" effect that can be so difficult to avoid with water slide decals on poorly prepared surfaces.
Each set includes accurate full color profiles of each aircraft from top, bottom, port and starboard views. Basic info for each aircraft is also supplied, along with a color guide that uses the appropriate standards (ie RLM for the Luftwaffe and ANA for the US etc).
While use of these masks is more challenging than applying water slide decals, the potential results cannot be argued. Look at some of these markings done exclusively with Montex Masking Sets. Some of the more advanced results here are the product of patient and focused work. Paint to thinner mixes as well as airbrush air pressure are elements that can make or break the basic method here. Spray masks are not difficult to use, but require that extra focus that comes from good planning and patience. I could not put forward a recommendation that would accurately convey my excitement about this product without coming across like a madman. Simply put it is one of the best marking solutions in our hobby today. Wherever possible choosing spray masks over decals will bring stunning results with the caveat that they require a marked increase in attention to detail and process over water-slide decaling systems. But with results like these, how could you not justify a little hard work?
Careful attention to colors, paint and thinner ratios, with the same care applied to air pressure and painting method (coats, drying time etc) is all you need to get the most out of these sets. Highly recommended. A full "How To" use masks page can be found here:
In compiling this review the following sets were examined:
K 32029 F6F-3/5 Hellcats
K 32015 Bf109F-4 "Franz"s
K 32013 Fw190A-5 "Anton"s
Thanks to Montex Masksfor the review samples.A full list of Montex product distributors can be found here:
© Chris Sherland 2005
This review was published on Friday, September 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016