Tuesday, June 30

Mask Review: 1/72nd scale Su-57 Color Separation Mask from Galaxy Models

Galaxy model has some simple solutions to some of your modelling needs, and first amongst them are some pretty handy masks to help paints some of your kits. Today Gary Wickham looks at the new 72nd scale masks solution for the Zvezda Su-57 kit. See what he thought about them in his review...
Mask Review: Su-57 Color Separation Mask for Zvezda
Kit no: #D72002
1:72nd scale
Price: US$15 with free shipping
Manufacturer: Galaxy Models (www.galaxy-models.com)
Galaxy Models continue their steady release schedule of new masking sets designed to work with recent kits. This time they have provided a set designed for the Zvezda 2019 tooling of the Su-57 'Felon' in 1:72.
The Su-57 is a stealth, single-seat, twin-engine multirole fifth-generation jet fighter under development since 2002 for air superiority and attack operations. The aircraft is the product of the PAK FA, a fifth-generation fighter programme of the Russian Air Force. Sukhoi's internal name for the aircraft is T-50. The Su-57 is planned to be the first aircraft in Russian military service to use stealth technology. Its maiden flight took place on 29 January 2010 and the first production aircraft are planned to be delivered in 2020. [source: wikipedia.org]

As usual, the Galaxy set includes full-colour instructions, two sheets containing the actual masks and a handy sheet of clear transfer tape (for transferring complex masks from the backing paper to the model).
All Galaxy masking sets are die-cut from the popular "Kabuki" (or Washi) paper tape which most modellers will recognize from their use of Tamiya masking tape. Unlike vinyl, the paper-based Kabuki tape does not suffer from shrinkage and therefore has a very long shelf life. It's also reusable (if treated carefully).

This set is designed specifically to fit the new 2019 1:72 kit from Zvezda (7319) and provides the following masks items:

  • digital camouflage scheme
  • canopy (inside and out)
  • wheels
  • exhaust nozzle petals
  • assorted airframe sensors

The set comprises around 80 separate masking pieces over two A5 sheets, each of which is clearly labelled with printed red lettering.

The main focus of this masking set is of course to reduce the amount of effort needed by the modeller in reproducing the digital camouflage scheme used on the Su-57. The Zvezda kit includes markings for three different aircraft, each of which uses the same two-tone paint scheme as seen here.
As you might expect, well over half the set is dedicated to the camo masking. Some of these mask pieces are quite large and this is where the use of the clear 'transfer tape' will come in handy. Use the clear tape to 'pickup' each mask piece from the sheet and then transfer it over to the model intact. Burnish the mask onto the model surface and then peel back the transfer tape and re-use it for the next mask. This technique ensures the mask pieces hold their shape and are not damaged when you peel them from the sheet.
Not many masks are needed for the lower surface of this particular Su-57 scheme with the main focus here being on sensors and the unpainted metal areas adjacent to the exhaust.
Whilst not catered for in either the Zvezda kit or the Galaxy mask set, some demonstration Su-57 aircraft have the digital scheme applied to both the top and bottom as seen here. It certainly is very eye-catching.
No modeller (that I know) enjoys masking canopies, so a pre-cut set like this one is always welcome. Likewise fiddly jobs like masking wheels and exhaust petals are time-consuming and having masks help ease this job as well.
The remainder of the sheet is focused on engine vents and various sensors across the airframe.
The actual masking sheets are well labelled and logically laid out on two A5 sized sheets of yellow kabuki tape. I have found when using Galaxy's masks that the cuts are clean which means no issues when removing the masking parts from the sheet. As mentioned earlier I would encourage the use of the provided 'transfer tape' when placing each mask from the sheet.
As an example of how the finished model looks here is a photo from the Galaxy Models website.
CONCLUSION - Galaxy Models 1:72 Su-57 Color Separation Mask for Zvezda (D72002)
As with all paint masking sets, these are designed for convenience and time savers for modellers who would rather spend time painting than cutting out masks. Given the quality of the masking material and the accuracy of the size/shape of each mask I certainly have no hesitation recommending them.

Gary Wickham

Many thanks to Galaxy Model for the review sets.
Galaxy Model products can be readily purchased on eBay or foreign (non-Chinese) customers can also buy Galaxy products directly using PayPal. For more details contact Galaxy via email at galaxymodel@outlook.com