Next day I was ready for the first layer of Alclad. I very much like the “bright” range of Alclads and in particular my favourite is “Airframe Aluminium” ALC119. Most of the original Alclad range can be directly masked over with no adverse affects. However, the “bright” range are not as durable and I have learnt to treat them with respect. To this end, my first step after leaving the paint to dry was a thin coat of Future.
With the Future dry, I was confident to begin the masking of selected panels to allow me to break up the NMF finish with other shades. Here you can see I have selected two panels on the spine to get a coat of Dark Aluminium (a less bright shade). Other panels on the tail received the same treatment.
The wing roots on most Mustangs I have seen are quite shiny, for this I wanted to use Alclad Highly Polished Aluminium. Masking was applied and rather than apply a black undercoat (which is normal for this color), I simply sprayed over top of the Airframe Aluminium. As a result there is only a very subtle difference between the two (so subtle in fact it was probably not worth the effort).
One thing I had learnt whilst masking and painting the Hasegawa Ki-44 Tojo was that even Tamiya tape can be too tacky for Alclad. Having had a bad experience on the Tojo with paint lifting very late in the build, I wanted to do everything I could to avoid this on the Mustang. One easy way to make the Tamiya tape “less tacky” is to stick to your hand a few times. The oils in your skin etc remove some of the glue from the tape. This means the tape still does it job for masking, but holds on the paint just that little bit less.