Green Strawberry painting masks

Don’t know if you guys have tried them, but I ordered 2 sets of painting masks from Czech company Green Strawberry (the guys that do photoetch of Bandai kits). These were for the FO and Imp TIE Fighters. These came in about a week, and I LOVE them.

You get two sets of canopy masks made out of the same stuff as Tamiya tape. Plus you get thicker stickers to mask the solar panels, should you wish to. The canopy masks fit perfectly. I had to fiddle a bit with some (remove and reattach), but the masks didn’t fall apart or lose adhesion. And you always have extras should you need them.

I masked this guy in 20 minutes. I love this company.

green-strawberry-masks

Slicing thin styrene strips

Something I have had trouble with is cutting the super-thin styrene sheets (.13 mm). You can’t buy strips this thin, and using a scoring blade tends to just bend the sheets. So, I used a paper-cutter. The trick was having something that held the entire sheet down so it doesn’t move. I was able to create several dozen strips of various sizes. Now, I can put them in my chopper and create super-thin raised panels for any project I’m working on.

thin-styrene-strips

Building a better styrene “Chopper”

modified NWSL The Chopper

So my latest project wasn’t actually a model, but a modification of Northwest Short Line’s The Chopper. I had had problems with The Chopper being able to cut really thin styrene. I also had a problem with the blade chipping away at the pressed wood base. In talking with someone at Keeper of the Force, he showed me a similar modification he did, which I copied.

In rebuilding it, I used a solid piece of wood instead of the cheap cardboard like base. I used a Dremel to router away a small square inlay where I could glue a piece of glass. I used a cheap mirror, so I had to sand the mirror finish off the back. Then I painted it black for easier visibility against white styrene. The glass gives the blade a hard surface to cut against instead of chipping away at the wood.

I then used a stainless steel ruler with metric markings, and mounted it in place with the 15cm mark where the blade comes down. I had to glue down the brass grommets, but everything seems to work well for now.