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Old 08-10-2013, 02:15 PM
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Default Orbital Drydock's 1/350th Refit Enterprise Aztec Paint Masks

Well the set is finally in my hands so here we go and for the purposes of this, i'll be using pics from the masking set, the studio model and Trekmodelers painting guide.

What you get:
For $57.00, not including shipping, is a rather comrehensive set of paint masks comprising 13 sheets of masking for the primary and secondary hulls, strongback, deflector housing, pylons and warp nacelles.

There is also what appears to be one sheet of almost a masking tape like material which is also cut for pinstriping masking and all the windows.

Along with that is about 8 sheets of transfer tape and a handy dandy application tool.

All the cutting lines appear to be extremely fine and the material is about 2/3rds to 1/2 the tack of Aztek Dummies masking material which is not a bad thing I must be honest.

The instructions comprise four double sided A4 sheets.

To the accuracy question, it's about 50% there. The saucer aztecs are as proper as can be though the area between the B/C decks and the saucer grid pattern will take a bit of working with to get closer to a more accurate pattern but nothing unusual there.

The strongback and deflector housing are all there and with a bit more masking, a decent pattern can be done so not a complete loss by any means.

The masking for the aztec on the secondary/engineering hull and pylons is another matter, for the 1701-A, it's usable to a degree.
For the TMP refit, it's not even close so that's out the window.

As an example, here's the engineering hull from the studio model in B/W shot just after TMP was finished.

You can pretty much see the pattern for the pearl paint there, these are the masks on the set, pic taken from the instructions.

This however is a sort of decent starting point for the Enterprise -A but still a bit of a poor show that you'll have to do all the masking there yourself. The neck aztec templates aren't much better for the Refit but passable for the -A in a manner of speaking.

That manner being that you are not that bothered about being to accurate in the paint scheme

The Trekmodeler paint guide gives a decent layout more in keeping with how it should be TMP fashion.

In a way I can understand why this was done the way it was in this masking set. You will end up with a lot of unused masking should you opt for either the Refit or Ent -A if the producer decided to do all the possible masking permutations.

That said, I think a dedicated set for either one would be the only way around this other than as it seems to be, leaving the modeler the chore of having to custom mask what is in essence, half the ship

The pylon maks only have a sort of attempt at the lighting bolt pattern. Although it may be passable if one is not that picky.

The pattern as per the instructions.

As per the studio model.

The Trekmodeler guide showing the blue, green and gold pearl.

So not the best for the masking set but not the worst.

Now the mask material is one i'm not familiar with but seems more than up to the task. As a sloght bonus, it's almost trasnparent when laid over a strong contrasting colour.

I also did a tack test with a strip from this set and a strip from the Aztek Dummy Vesion 2 set I have.
Like so...

I left these on for one hour then did a pull off. The Aztek Dummy material grabbed fairly strongly to the smoothed surface, the new stuff came away with less effort and no residue so one up for that.

Now I did mention the transfer tape and that's a brilliant idea from the producer. For an idea of how that works in masking something like this, I refer you to a youtube vid of some fella (not the producer of this set I hasten to add even though he has some vids on the tube) going through the motions of the transfer thing and it starts to happen at about 3:15 in.

Works well with a bit of practice and will certainly be a time saver which is all good.

So how does this stack up to the Aztek Dummy set?
Well no firm idea as the current one out is Version 3 and I only have an old Version 2 to work from so I can't say for certain what it's like.

As a final reckoning, for about $10 more, you get about double the set of masking stuff, inaccuracies aside and if the builder is not picky about the sort of aztec they have on thier 350th refit then this is the set for them as there is less work in this than the AD set.

In Lou's defence however, I must point out that as he says in the instructions "These templates are meant to give you a two-tone pattern. Should you want additional levels of detail to your aztec-ing, they will provide a great base to add more variations, and: These templates are only the beginning.There will still be much left to be painted after you're done with these."

So can't argue with the this is what you get kinda deal so no complaints.

All in all, i would say the Irbital Drydock templates are decent value in comparison to what else is available in terms of what you get for your money.
The only downside is people thinking that they are getting all they need in one package if they are after doing a 'proper' aztec without doing some research first. Those types are likely to be dissapointed.

Quality wise, the vynil seems to be a better grade of material than the black stuff. Thinner and less tacky so seems easier to remove and less prone to ruined paintjobs.

Speaking of paintjobs, that's for next and we'll see what happens when I get around to that!

Questions or comments? fire away and i'll do me best to answer 'em

Take care gang!
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