Masking with Kapton Tape

Many fellow modelers have asked why I use Kapton tape for masking. First kapton tape is a Polyimide high temperature tape with a silicone adhesive mostly used in electronics for masking circuit cards for soldering. The tape trims easily with a hobby knife blade, has a little stretch to it which allows it to form around uneven surfaces and curves, and the silicone adhesive seals the edges which prevents anything (like paint) to bleed thru without leaving any residue on the surface. Another good point is the polyimide is not affected by paints, thinners or glues.

I typically place one or two pieces over a canopy. Since the tape is transparent you can see where the canopy frame is located. Using a #11 blade in a hobby knife I poke at a corner and lightly score along the frame. Once I have trimmed around the canopy panel the next step is to burnish the tape down along the edges using a toothpick. Once all the panels have been trimmed and burnished you just peel the rest off and are left with a canopy fully masked for painting. You can even place in on the inside so the canopy can be sprayed easily. It works very well when the canopy assembly has to be mounted to the fuselage for painting.

Once you have finished painting and the paint has dried, carefully lift a corner with the tip of the hobby knife or toothpick then just peel it off with tweezers. You are left with a sharp clean lines,

I even like use it for masking off landing gear bays and edges on the aircraft. With a toothpick it can be pressed into panel lines so once painted there is no bleeding along them.

UPDATE: I have added a brief video at the bottom of the page on how easy I do it.

The kapton tape comes in a variety of widths to make masking at various scales easy.

Here are some sample photos of some on the models I have masked:

The kapton tape can be ordered from Amazon at:

High Temp Tape, ELEGOO 4 Pack Polyimide High Temperature Resistant Tape Multi-Sized Value Bundle 1/8’’, 1/4’’, 1/2’’, 1’’ with Silicone Adhesive

UPDATE: A fellow modeler on FaceBook also used it for making windows using clear resin.

“Something to add to the list of Kapton uses for modelling, I use it for applying clear resin windows. For example a 1/144 airliner, where the holes for the windows sit I apply the kapton tape to the outside of the fuselage then apply a few drops into the window cavity from the inside of the fuselage.

The adhesive on the kapton comes away from the resin leaving a perfectly smooth and flush row of windows.”

1 thought on “Masking with Kapton Tape

  1. Terrific, thank you! I got hold of some and can’t wait to try it.

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