I am currently aiming to finish this model for the Scale Modelworld show, held in the Telford International centre every year in November. This year it is on the 10th/11th November and this show is probably the largest model show in the world.
I'm actually getting 5 1/48 models ready for the show, 4 Airfix P-40B, Spitfire, Hurricane and BP Defiant and 1 Tamiya Bf109E. The markings on all of them are painted on.
The P-40B AVG has the "Flying Tiger" and "Hell's Angel" motifs and I figured that I could paint these, along with the code number, kill markings, shark mouth and Chinese National markings. The Tiger was going to be the hardest, because of the multi coloured aspect of it. Paint masks such as these have to be aproached differently to say, RAF Roundels, or Luftwaffe Balkencruez. But I have a method that works really well. I also use a high end plotter and precision ground drag knives (the blades in the plotter cutting head). This set up along with a vinyl masking material, which is a closely gaurded secret, enable me to cut these very intricate masks. They are drawn using Corel Draw and, with good references are not difficult to do. The difficult part is designing the masks so that they will work. The shark mouth was by far the most difficult has it has to conform to the complicated compound curves of the nose, just in front of the intakes!
So a few pictures of the masking and painting process. each mask is transferred to the model using "transfer tape" which is just blanks cut in the same material, this keeps the design together while it is positioned. The first mask is transferred along with a "positioning box" which is then left in situe, to locate subsequent masks.The same method was used for the kill markings, the "Hell's Angel" and the Chinese national insignia, although these markings ar just 2 colours. The number is a simple one piece masks and the shark mouth is a 3 part conventional negative mask.
A word about the Chinese national markings on the decal sheet. They only have 11 pointed stars when they should be 12. The 1/72 scale kit has the correct amount of points but the colour of them is wrong.
I also created maks for the camouflage.
The model is currently having weathering applied after a gloss coat over everything, after the minor decals were applied.
I'll try and remember to post some pictures of the finished model, soon.