Wednesday, April 25

J's Work camo Masks for the IDF F-16 in 1/48th review

Ever had trouble painting camouflage on a model? What about a tank or even and aircraft? Well they started with Hetzer masks in 1/32 but now the latest in the line of new products from J's work is a masking set to transform your F-16 "Sufa” from the Israeli Airforce fighter into a precisely painted show stopper - lets look at three of them in the flesh right now…

Israel has a total of 362 F-16's in the fleet of the Cheil Ha'avir (the Israel Defence Force/Air Force) these aircraft a amongst the most well known F-16's in the world and are popular with modellers because of their colourful camouflage of sand/brown and green colours and often large and colourful markings on their tails.

Often these are amongst the hardest paint schemes to get right as the colours intermingle and often needed you to make a mask from scratch from Kabuki or vinyl tape. One wrong step and all of a sudden you have a green on top of a green and you are re-doing your camo again.

 When it comes to aircraft custom made masks are now pretty common in the way of masking but the actual camouflage scheme of an aircraft hasn't really been tackled by a mainstream producer yet - the only other company that use masks on this scale are Uschi who do mostly WWI aircraft. Enter the innovative guys at  J's work who have been hard at work in making their own much anticipated kabuki masking for the Israeli  air force F-16 fleet.

Covered in this release from J's range called "Modelling Solutions" which is a range which includes their tricoloured Hetzer and now their latest King Tiger masks - these are different for the reason that they are for aircraft modellers. It is about time we has some more sets for aircraft - the sets covered in this set are sets PPA5003-PPA5006 - we get to look at three here in this review

 Airbrush Camo-Mask for 1/48 IDF F-16 Camo Scheme PPA5003 + PPA5005 + PPA5006

This scheme "covers" the F-16A model of the IDF -  it comes in a neat little pack of two sheets of Kabuki masks and an A4 cover instruction packaged in a clear bag which holds it all together very neatly in carriage. Mine arrived in top order from the distributor from Asia.

Just like the earlier masks for the Hetzer these masks for the 1/48th scale F-16 in Israeli service the  A, C D and I models come with a great coloured instruction sheet to show you the steps to successful application of these masks. I am sorry I do not have a 1/48th F-16 to hand otherwise I would apply it for you. We will have to follow the instructions in this case and show and explain as much of the process as possible.
Steps to applying the camo masks...

1. J's Work have made it simple to apply these masks by putting “B” “S” and “G” for the brown, sand and green colours so you don’t get them mixed up (I wrote these on a mask set I used recently actually for just the same reason!) This usually starts with a lighter shade as your base colour, in this case the lighter sand colour first - spray this all over the model. It is easier to apply darker colours over light colours and not the reverse.

2.The first mask application -  in the instructions it is clear you are advised that you apply the masking with the colour marked with a star emblem first. This is the mask that applies over the sand colour to hide it from the next colour laid down - the brown colour

3. apply the second mask the "G" mask on to that only the areas exposed are to be painted green. -  then spray the green on the model

Extra tips - To make sure you don't have any overspray apply some liquid masking if there are gaps between the camo layers.

4. Simply gently peel off the masks and there you have a perfectly demarcated camouflage F-16.
 I almost got a little confused at the instructions - but if you follow them as i have laid them down you will do just fine.

Lets look at the masks I got -  
The sets - complete with two sheets of masking for the whole upper airframe

 Tail & upper fuselage masks

 The upper wing masks - all laser cut

The sets - complete with two sheets of masking for the whole upper airframe

 Tail & upper fuselage masks
  The upper wing masks - all laser cut

The sets - complete with two sheets of masking for the whole upper airframe

 Tail & upper nose section masks

  The upper wing masks

Here is a close up of a Sufa I have found from the "T'internets" the camouflage for these aircraft is only slightly feathered, the lines left by these masks would be rather sharp - but in 48th scale you may just be able to get away with it.
This mask system if followed will work quite well with no real risk. One thing I would say is to have a simple system of 1,2,3 on the masks to make as easy as those numbers to not get wrong. It may help people with learning disabilities as well that have problems with letters and find it easier to use numbers - all in all I really do appreciate that J's Model have put the letters on there in the first place. These things are a minor alteration i would make and not at all effect on 99%  of modellers  end results I would think

Great work on some excellent new ideas and breaking these into the aircraft sector and away from the grasp of the armour guys. We cant wait to see the next set of "Modelling Solutions" That J's Work come up with

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to J’s Work for these masks -