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accooper

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I have really come to love the blue painters tape. I guess you know, the tape that doesn't take the paint off with it.

But in my neck of the woods, the narrowest I can find is one inch. Anyone know where I can get narrower tape? Like maybe half inch?

Andrew From Texas
 

slogfilet

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Check an auto parts store, or even the automotive section of WalMart. Most hobby shops should have masking tape in varying thicknesses. Michael's or another craft store would be a good bet, too.

I'm not sure if the blue Scotch painters tape comes in smaller widths, but there are several other brands, some of which are much higher quality.

EDIT: Has anyone tried scoring a roll of the 1" blue tape with a hobby knife? You could cut through as many layers as you wanted, and could get 1/2" and 1/4" from one roll... I dunno, could work in a pinch, if you're able to get a reasonably straight cut.
 
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MarkII

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EDIT: Has anyone tried scoring a roll of the 1" blue tape with a hobby knife? You could cut through as many layers as you wanted, and could get 1/2" and 1/4" from one roll... I dunno, could work in a pinch, if you're able to get a reasonably straight cut.
It might be hard to get a straight cut around the perimeter of the roll, though. (I think that's what you are talking about doing, isn't it?)

One brand of masking tape that is a favorite of modelers (including me) is Tamiya brand tape. You can get it in most hobby shops and online in several places. It comes in three widths: 6mm (1/4"), 10mm (~3/8") and 18mm (0.7"). It is a bit more expensive than some other tapes, so I use it just for mask lines mainly. It is really great stuff and I recommend that you give it a try.

Another favorite of mine for general masking is Delicate Release masking tape by Duck Brand. It is a light purple in color and you can find it at Walmart and in hardware and home improvement stores. It adheres well but peels off very easily. I have never seen either this or the Tamiya tape peel off any fully-cured paint that I have placed it on. The Blue Scotch brand painters tape is also really good, but it has a firmer adhesion than the purple duck Brand tape. Tamiya's tape resembles this tape, but is yellow in color.

MarkII
 

luke strawwalker

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I have really come to love the blue painters tape. I guess you know, the tape that doesn't take the paint off with it.

But in my neck of the woods, the narrowest I can find is one inch. Anyone know where I can get narrower tape? Like maybe half inch?

Andrew From Texas
Maybe check the yellow pages or internet for any automotive paint supply shops nearby (PPG, etc) as they usually have a pretty good selection of masking tapes and supplies such as that... thin masking tape like that used to mask off flames for paintjobs works well.

no more thin tape than I regularly need, I usually just tear a 4-6 inch piece of 1 inch wide tape off the roll, stick it on the building mat, and use my steel ruler and hobby knife to cut a strip in whatever width I need for whatever it is I'm trying to mask off... works pretty well and doesn't require having several different rolls of tape around. Add in that the narrower tape is usually more expensive, and it can save you a little money that way too. For most stuff the 1 inch width works fine for me... :)

Good luck! OL JR :)
 

NjCo

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One brand of masking tape that is a favorite of modelers (including me) is Tamiya brand tape. You can get it in most hobby shops and online in several places. It comes in three widths: 6mm (1/4"), 10mm (~3/8") and 18mm (0.7"). It is a bit more expensive than some other tapes, so I use it just for mask lines mainly. It is really great stuff and I recommend that you give it a try.
I'll 2nd that this stuff is really great. It's expensive but it always works. I only use it to mask off lines and stick to painters tape to cover areas etc. Another bonus is that you can reuse it. I generally put down a line of Tamiya and then mask the area behind it with blue painters tape and overlap the Tamiya. When I peal off the tape I'm careful with the Tamiya and stick it to a clean cutting mat. I then reuse the tape since it now has one side without any paint (the side that was under the painters tape). It has worked great so far. The only problem I've come across is that sometimes the blue tape doesn't stick well to the Tamiya.

As far as the 3M blue tape goes, keep in mind that their are two kinds of blue tape. One is standard painters tape and the other is a painters tape for delicate surfaces. Both are low tack with the delicate surfaces type being the less tacky of the two. The other advantage is that the delicate surface type is much thinner and handles better than that other type. I think this type is comparable to the purple Duck brand while the other is closer to the green Frog tape.

And speaking of tape, I've heard of people advocating the use of Scotch brand removable tape. This is the clear tape that comes with the blue label.
While it is removable and thin it really is crap. It doesn't have much flexibility so while it might work well on a flat surface like a fin it's a major pain in the butt when you get to the edge of the fin or try to use it on a body tube. Stay away from this type of tape.
 

hcmbanjo

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To accooper,
You can trim masking tape to width by sticking it on a glass window pane and cutting thinner strips with your knife or razor blade. Open the blinds and stick it right to the glass.
Test your blade on a corner of the glass. If it's glass, it won't scratch or cut it at all.

In regards to the Scotch Removable tape -
I've had great luck using it for masking. I've also used regular Scotch tape. The surface you want to mask must be smooth and clean and the undercoat color must be dry. Or, you will get bleeding no matter what you use to mask.
 

blackjack2564

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I have really come to love the blue painters tape. I guess you know, the tape that doesn't take the paint off with it.

But in my neck of the woods, the narrowest I can find is one inch. Anyone know where I can get narrower tape? Like maybe half inch?

Andrew From Texas


I got 1/4 in blue from Mac-Car as shown from the link on post 5. The only place I've seen it.

It is narrow enough and flexible enough to do some pretty fancy curves without breaking.
 

NjCo

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In regards to the Scotch Removable tape -
I've had great luck using it for masking. I've also used regular Scotch tape. The surface you want to mask must be smooth and clean and the undercoat color must be dry. Or, you will get bleeding no matter what you use to mask.
In my experience, surface prep is critical for all clear Scotch brand type tapes. If your surface is not REALLY smooth you will get bleeding. This is because you can't burnish this type of tape very well. Burnishing pushes the tape down into all the little cracks and holes on a surface. With a masking tape, which are generally paper based, there is enough give in the structure of the tape to allow the tape to stick across a relatively uneven surface and be burnished. Most transparent tapes have a polymer backing and are more ridged. When burnished, the adhesive is generally not strong enough to resist the desire of the polymer to spring back so the tape doesn't seal all the little cracks and crevices as well. A thin masking tape is almost always a better tool for the type of painting done with rockets.
 

MarkII

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I need to correct something that I said earlier. In my previous post, I mentioned a Scotch Brand blue tape. What I was actually referring to was the 3M delicate release blue painter's tape that somewhat resembles Tamiya masking tape.

MarkII
 

MarkII

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To accooper,
You can trim masking tape to width by sticking it on a glass window pane and cutting thinner strips with your knife or razor blade. Open the blinds and stick it right to the glass.
I'm sure that works, but from now until April or May the glass in the windows, at least in my house, will usually be too cold for the tape to stick. :roll:

Not that I can do much spray painting now anyway. :( :bang:

MarkII
 

accooper

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Does anyone know the difference between the Blue Painters Tape and the Green Painters Tape?

Andrew
 

NjCo

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Does anyone know the difference between the Blue Painters Tape and the Green Painters Tape?

Andrew
I think green tape is Frog tape. That's just another brand. 3M has blue painters tape, Frog has green and Duck has something else. I have never used all of them so I can't compare directly but from what I've heard the green Frog tape is similar to 3M blue delicate release tape.
 

luke strawwalker

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IIRC the green is less 'tacky' than the blue-- meaning the adhesive peels off easier. OL JR :)
 

MarkII

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I have some Frog tape (but I haven't even tried it yet) and I also have a roll of green painter's tape from another brand (either 3M or Duck). This other green tape has a much stronger tack than my 3M blue painter's tape. But none of them have the super-light tack of the Duck Brand "Perfect Release Plus" Painter's Tape (the purple one); I have never come across another masking tape like it. The tack is somewhat stronger than a Post-It note, but much longer lasting, yet it is nowhere near as strong as even other tapes that are labeled "delicate release." Despite that, it stays securely in place and masks well. I don't use it for all of my masking, but it comes in real handy in many situations. So much so that I have to keep buying more because I go through a roll so quickly.



MarkII
 
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standardrockets

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I'm sure that works, but from now until April or May the glass in the windows, at least in my house, will usually be too cold for the tape to stick. :roll:

Not that I can do much spray painting now anyway. :( :bang:

MarkII

I picked up a scratch and dent picture frame with glass from Target for $2. I pulled the glass out and pitched the frame into a bonfire I had where I retired some really really beat up and not safe to fly any more rockets.

I not have a nice 3X5 tape cutting surface.
 

Pat_B

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I will just guide my Xacto knife by hand down the middle of the tape to cut it in half. While that line won't be perfectly straight, the two outside edges will still be the factory edges and those are the edges that get lined up on your rocket.
 

rocketsmith

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3M makes a 1/8" vinyl tape that sells at auto parts stores. I use it to mask off the borders then use the green or purple tape to fill in areas to be masked.
The 1/8" stuff is stretchy and flexible enough to freehand flames. Always gives beautiful crisp lines.
 

redsox15

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when is the optimal time to take the tape off? :confused2: I know taking it off right after painting is bad but do you wait for a full dry or somewhere in the middle? I have yet to find the ideal tear off time.

Matt
 

NjCo

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when is the optimal time to take the tape off? :confused2: I know taking it off right after painting is bad but do you wait for a full dry or somewhere in the middle? I have yet to find the ideal tear off time.

Matt
I have not had problems with Krylon or Rustoleum spray paint up to several days after painting. I always get clean lines. I have had some problems with Testors Model Masters lacquer based paint after 24 hours of dry time.

I've heard the ideal time is maybe an hour or so after painting. At this point the paint isn't liquid enough to run but still hasn't hardened completely. Never tried it though.

A lot of this might also be surface prep. If you don't put down a good primer then the paint has nothing to grip on to and it will pull off easier when you remove the tape.
 

luke strawwalker

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when is the optimal time to take the tape off? :confused2: I know taking it off right after painting is bad but do you wait for a full dry or somewhere in the middle? I have yet to find the ideal tear off time.

Matt
Ideally, when the paint has 'tacked up' enough that it won't run or anything like that, but still 'soft' enough that you'd probably leave a fingerprint in the paint. The reason for pulling the tape off then, is that if you wait until the paint is fully dry, with some paints you CAN get 'chipping' along the edge instead of a clean line. Pulling the tape off while it's still 'soft' allows the tape to 'cut' the edge of the paint and leaves a clean, sharp line...

BUT, it kinda depends on the paint-- peel the tape too early with some paints and the paint want's to peel off with the tape due to poor adhesion...

Running the tip of a X-acto around the tape edges can avoid that, but it's a lot of work. Besides, it's fairly rare for paint to want to do that... most paint sticks better than that.

SO I guess the best answer is 'it depends'... :roll: OL JR :)
 

MarkII

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I have not quite worked out the best time to remove the masking tape, but I'm leaning toward sooner rather than later. One problem that I have gotten is that if I wait until the paint is in the "gummy" stage, when I pull up the tape, it leaves little spikes and a raised ridge along the mask line. If the paint is a bit "wetter" when you pull up the tape, that ridge will settle down and level out on its own. Also, some paints go through a phase during the cure when they actually lose a bit of their bond with the base layer (or at least they seem to, anyway) before reestablishing it later on in the cure process. If you try to pull up the tape then, you run the risk of pulling up chunks of the new paint that is still curing. But if you wait until the paint is fully dry, you will often have this distinct lip at the mask line. Even if it isn't all that visible, you will be able to feel it with the tip of your finger.

I suspect that the ultimate answer is to apply your second color in a very light coat, adding just enough to get an even, opaque coat, but no more. Doing this solves a whole lot of problems. If there is less paint on top of the masking tape, there will be much less of a chance of getting a bleed under the edge. Bleeds occur because a mass of wet paint sits at the edge of the mask line, and eventually starts to break down the tape's adhesive along the edge and then work its way under the tape. A light coat, on the other hand, will dry before it can start to do that. You don't need to use tape that has as much tack to it if you spray just a light coat of the second color, so pulling off the tape will be less traumatic. In fact, if you look at where your overspray goes in your work area, you will find that you can get effective masking without using an adhesive mask at all. The edge of a sheet of newsprint can leave a clean mask line in your spray area or booth because it doesn't get flooded with paint in the first place. Now, I wouldn't recommend masking off areas of your model by just laying newsprint over them, but this phenomenon does illustrate the fact that you can get an even coat and a clean line without needing to apply heavy duty masking if you just go a bit easier on the paint.

A light coat of the second color will be less likely to run, so it allows you to pull up the masking tape sooner. A light coat of the second color will also leave much less of a lip or ridge at the mask line, if it even leaves any at all. A few coats of primer and paint can add significant weight as well, so going easy on the coats will give you a lighter rocket in the end, too.

Finally, darker colors and metallics cover really well. Since you are masking off light colors in order to apply darker colors or metallics, you can create solid, even and opaque sections on your model with a lot less of the darker colors than you needed to use when you applied the lighter colors (especially white).

The whole issue of masking suddenly becomes much less of a headache if you just remember this one principle. I learned it after making all of the mistakes that I mentioned above. Multiple times.

MarkII
 

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