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JeroenPeters

DN Models Lancaster Paint Mask set (Numbers and Insignia)

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1/32 Paint Mask Set for
Avro Lancaster  B Mk.I
(Numbers and Insignia)
DN Models
Catalogue #32/827-027
Available from DN Modelsfor $21,99

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Introduction
Today we take a look at a ‘complete’ mask set for the HK Models Lancaster, which ofcourse will also be applicable for the future Wingnut Wings Lancaster. The brand behind this mask set is new to me, but as the logo states has been around since 2013. Founder and owner Mitko Nikitov sent us these masks after we came into contact through his HK Models Lancaster review. His website shows an extensive range of mask sets for all scales. We being Large Scale Modeller ofcourse only look at the 1/32 and 1/35 sets, which include masks for the B-24, Do-335, Me-262B, A-4 Skyhawk, Starfighter, etc… The branding, look and feel and product looks very professional. Therefor we’d like to welcome Mitko with his DN Models product range to Large Scale Modeller!

The set
When comparing the quality of this product to other suppliers of masks sets, I’m tempted to look at Montex or Maketar, because the same kind of material is used. There are people that prefer the Kabuki paper (like is almost always used by Eduard and is also offered by Masketar) and there are people that prefer this rubbery, plastic adhesive like we have here. To me it definitely depends on the type of curved surface we’re working with. Plastic tends to have a sharper edge but is more difficult to work with on rounded and strongly curved areas. In this case, the case of the Lancaster, I would definitely prefer this material over Kabuki. 

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The complete set:

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When people ask me whether I have started my Lancaster build I answer with a strong ‘No’. The reason is that I think using decals for the roundels on a kit this size is a no go. No matter how good you are in getting rid of silvering with setting solution, you will always see a decal was used. Besides: on roundels this big I love to play with contrast and shade insides the large red and blue areas. Fading, chipping… all things that are near impossible with decals. 

Here's my recent finished Wellington (48th scale) on which I used only masks. The roundels bland in with the model and are sprayed very thinly. 

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Alongside this full mask set for the numbers and insignia DN Models has released a canopy mask set for the Lancaster, which we will look at in a separate review. This is a first for them in this scale and we’ve seen them do the same for the B-24 kit.

The mask set includes three sheets with all insignia and numbers to build any of the three options included in the HK Models kit:

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AR-G

B.MkI, W4783, No.460 Squadron, RAAF, Binbrook, United Kingdom, May 1944

The ‘G’ for George is a WW2 survivor with 90 operational flights and can be seen today at the Australian War Memorial in the Anzac Hall.

What I like is that the serial number W4783 in reality shows small interuptions in the letter W and numbers 4 and 8. This is because masks were used in reality as well. These small interuptions are also present in the paint mask.

 AWM-Lancaster-4.gif

 

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PO-S
B Mk.I, R5868, No.467 Squadron, RAAF, Waddington, United Kingdom, May 1944
‘S’ for Sugar. When looking at reference photo’s of this aircraft (I’m talking about photo’s of the RAF Museum in Hendon) you’ll things like a large ‘S’ above the flash on the tail. This ‘S’ does not show up in earlier wartime photographs. Make sure you use wartime photographs of this plane and be sure to pick a certain time period, since this plane was altered in many areas. Think of needle props vs. paddle props for instance. 

The Cookie bomb carried by PO-S features hand written text: 100 NOT OUT. Even this artwork is included in the mask set. This hand chalked marking was done to indicate the 100thmission of this plane.

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OL-Q
B Mk.I, R5868, No. 83 Squadron. RAF, Wyton, United Kingdom, June 1943
‘Q’ for Queen. You might notice the same serial number on this plane. This is because this plane started out as OL-Q where it flew with the RAF, and was transferred in September 1943 to the Australian RAAF and received codes PO-S. 

This set does not replace all the decals provided with the HK Models kit. Only the larger ones’ you really want to spray. The mission nose art of PO-S, ground crew instructions, etc.. are not included. The large square you’ll find on one of the sheets is not mentioned in the instructions. This is ofcourse the marking for the life raft on the top side of the right wing.

 

Verdict
This set is (in my eyes) a must have for anyone building a large scale Lancaster. It’s complete, easy to use (easier than Kabuki in my honest opinion. Especially in this large size), and it’s well produced. No small corner inaccuracies that can cause masks to tear were spotted. Mitko was quite critical on the absence of colours in the HK Models kit instructions. We can say that he makes up for this in his own way by adding colour in his own instruction sheet. Well done Mitko!

The only thing that I would have maybe added is an instruction on how to use these kind of masks. Many modelers lack experience in this craft. Make sure you use a marker to draw a large X over the roundels. This makes it easier to reposition the removed sections. And use masking tape to holy the letters, roundels and numerals in place while transferring them to your model. When in doubt: ask a fellow modeler on the forum!

Highly recommended.

 

Our sincere thanks to DN Modelsproviding this mask set for review.

Jeroen Peters

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What a great looking set. A model this size cries out for masks, so if I built one again, I'd go with these. 

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Mitko has sent me a set of these masks for review on my channel.

I look forward to using them on my Lanc and will review them as soon as they arrive.

Just one point regarding the B-24. If the decals in the HB Spitfire MkVb are anything to go by, DO NOT USE THE KIT DECALS ON YOUR B-24. They are the worst decals I have ever used.. they make Tamiya decals seem like Cartograf in comparison.

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I also think the decals in the Lanc aren't up there with the best, even though Cartograf. It's up the company (HK in this case) what the decal specification is, and I think they are a little thicker than I'm used to. They were reasonably good on the fuse, but on the wing, those huge roundels didn't like the surface detail, despite using Mr Mark Setter Neo, which is fairly aggressive.

I really do think the answer is masks for something this size with the real fine surface detail there is. 

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