Masking Tapes for painting

Masking tape is one of the essential tools used in modeling - but not just any cheap tape you pick up at the big box stores.  Here's a rundown of the types I've find most useful for paint masking.

 

Tamiya 'Kabuki' Masking Tape

TamiyaTape Yellow

Tamiya 'Kabuki' tape is pretty much my go-to tape for painting.  It comes in the following widths - 6mm, 10mm, 18mm, and even 40mm.  They come with dispensers or you can get a refill roll - which is cheaper of course.  The stick well, gives clean edges, and lifts easily.  They aren't cheap, but at the same time a roll will last you a good while.

 

Tamiya Curved Masking Tape

 TamiyaTape Curve 

This is a relatively new line - at least for me.  The tape comes in 2mm, 3mm, and 5mm widths - no dispensers as far the texture wouldn't work well there.  These type are made with a 'vinyl' type texture - and the key to fame as you can see in the picture above is their ability to make curves.  I don't mean bend around curves, but actually be distorted so that you create curves on the same plane. The thinner the roll, the more curvy it can get.  This is a fantastic tape for masking over compound curvers, like the nose cone of a jet or a tapering fuselage.  Or that ww2 Luftwaffe spiral prop cone. 

 

FrogTape

frogtape

This tape you can get at your local hardware store and is forumlated specifically for acrylic paint - it claims to create a barrier to prevent bleed through.  I've tested it and it works well, and it's an economical alternative to Tamiya tape.  However, its a thicker tape both in depth and in width, so it's more limited in it's application unless you are willing to cut it.  For the small extra cost, I stick with Tamiya for most masking need, but for big broad surfaced, I will bring this one out.

3M Painters Tape

3mpainters

Finally we have good old dependible 3M Blue Painters Tape - the main advantage of this tape is the low tack so it is still fairly easy to lift.  I just this to fill in the spaces after I have masked edges with Tamiya tape - as this tape is sigificantly cheaper and comes in very wide widths.