If you have early war 1/32 Spitfire or Hurricane builds planned, the pre-cut masks from 1 Man Army will help achieve that proper painted look.
The best decals in the world will never compete with real paint when it comes to the markings on any aircraft model. After all, stencilling, codes, serials and national insignia were all sprayed with the aid of templates. Thanks to Belgian firm 1 Man Army, anyone contemplating builds of the Spitfire Mk.I/II and/or Hurricane Mk.II can now employ the company’s bespoke masks.
Set 32DET002 Hurricane MK.II (£23.80) offers markings for Hurricane Z2491/HA-D. Note, though, that 1 Man Army does not provide any artwork of the aircraft. It is, however, a 126 Squadron machine flown by Sgt Bill Greenhalgh in 1941; most references state it’s a Mk.IIa, but others go with Mk.IIb so it’s recommended that you do your own research to ensure accuracy.
Item 32DET013 Spitfire Mk.I/II (£25.50) provides identities of two Spitfires. One option is P7966/D-B, which was a Mk.IIa flown at one stage by Wg Cdr Douglas Bader in 1941. This was a presentation Spitfire named Manxman, but the moniker is not included among the masks. The other machine is P7895/RN-N, a Mk.IIa of 72 Squadron in 1941.
The sharpness of the pre-cutting is impressive and so is the level of detail. The instructions provide by 1 Man Army show all the stencil placement, but stop short of doing the same for the national insignia/codes/serials, so again, make sure you have plenty of imagery of the aircraft you wish to portray. Further information on using these masks, and the latest tricks and tips, can be found on the company website. Thoughtfully, the firm also offers spares of selected masks so you can get a feel for the product. Note, though, that the masks should not be left on the model for more than two days, but the sooner they are removed, the better, for optimum results. Both sets, plus many more masks by 1 Man Army, are available via UK importer Hannants.