Custom Size Masks – Explained

Maketar Custom Size Masks – The Idea

It is well known fact that many air forces used non-standard marking sizes in various occasions throughout the years making it harder for scale modelers to have a standard to follow. Custom size masks have been developed and introduced to help overcome this problem and as perfect tool for everyone to achieve realistic look and paint finish on their scale models, regardless of size, type and scale – from static scale model to full size flying replicas! Another highlight of our new ‘Custom Size Mask’ system is that you do not have to order entire set of roundels to paint one model, instead you would order the exact number of masks you need in exact size, cheaper and more convenient. Some masks would, however, remain available as sets only, such as German WWII Swastika markings, Shevrons, etc., while all the other markings we have would be available for custom size order plus many more we intend to introduce over time. Apart from insignia masking elements, we have also introduced ‘Custom Size Utility Masks’ to help you manage all those odds and bits like wheels, rims, windows, walking surfaces, invasion stripes and many more!

Measuring – Getting the right dimension for your markings

When measuring insignia elements ALWAYS measure HEIGHT ONLY, no matter if you measure roundel, letter, shevron, star…
We have a couple of ways to get correct size for custom masks:

– To reference real life insignia element size, for example, let’s take USAF Stars & Bars 40 Inch roundel to get the exact size in millimeters we need to order. Math is simple here: 40 Inch * 25.4mm = 1016mm. Now let’s say we need this roundel for 1:32 scale model, all we have to do now is to divide the size we got with 32, that is, 1016mm/32 = 31.75mm
– To simply measure decal sheet of the kit featuring insignia elements we want replacement masks for.
– To calculate insignia element size based on a scale drawing or colour profile art from the book, magazine or any other source. This one requires a bit more math but nothing too serious. Let’s take Bf-109E-4 trop S9+IS for example. We have a book with profile art of this aircraft and want to get the correct size of insignia elements, letters and roundels.


First we would measure model fuselage section where the letter ‘S’ would be placed and we try to measure it where the center of letter ‘S’ would be. Let’s say we measured 22mm for fuselage section of our model. Now we measure the same fuselage section on the profile art and we get 17mm. Next thing to do is to measure letter ‘S’ on the profile art – 12mm. Ok, now we have to get the size of letter ‘S’ that would suit our model. First we need to set the equation: 22:17=X:12 where ‘X’ is the size of letter ‘S’ we need to get so here goes: 22:17=1.294 then from this 1.294=X:12 and from this X=1.294*12=15.528mm is the size of our letter ‘S’.
All the other element sizes can be worked out the same way! You can do this with photographs as well but the size you get may not be as accurate as when side view profile art is used. It is worth mentioning that profile arts are not always 100% accurate representation of the real subject markings.

Ordering Custom Size Masks

Now when we have our measurements sorted out it’s just a matter of choosing correct insignia and the size. Remember that we are always referencing HEIGHT of the masking element, regardless of the element type – Roundel, Shevron, Letter, Star… In this case, we are ordering letters for our Bf-109E-4 trop S9+IS and as we need these markings on both sides of the aircraft, we would order each letter and number twice as seen on example order form bellow – we would type s9iss9is in the letters & numbers order form. We can rearrange these letters and numbers any way and not necessarily as depicted on the form bellow, instead we could use SSSSII99, no matter caps or lower case letters, no matter of the order as long as you have correct numbers of characters you need. We would also recommend ordering spare masking elements just in case anything goes wrong during the masking process. PLEASE NOTE the rounding up of the size we need… our system is set to display 0.25mm increments and so for 15.528mm we would order 15.5mm mask size. This is to keep things simple and having in mind the fact that you can not in any case see the difference between 15.528mm and 15.5mm considering deviation of only 0.028mm from original measure. In case you get a number like 10.15mm you can choose either 10mm or 10.25mm which would be obvious choice as 0.1mm is less than 0.15mm difference.


Quick recap

A couple of important things you should be aware of:
– We always reference HEIGHT of insignia/masking elements and that’s what you should measure
– Some custom mask images show more than one masking element, that’s for reference purposes only to show various combination that can be painted with masking element in question. Italian markings are exception to this and you do get 2 masking elements, left and right, where depicted.
– We recommend ordering spare masking elements just in case anything goes wrong during the masking process.
– Double check you have typed in correct letters and numbers where needed.
– Some masking elements with outline, if smaller than certain size would be cut as two different masking elements for convenience. You would need to overlay those two masks to get the outline painted.
– There is a MINIMUM mask size set for all the custom size masks based on mask type, for some roundels minimum size is 15mm, for some it’s 10mm while for mosta letters and numbers minimum mask size is 5mm.
– Our list of custom size masks is not final and is yet to be extended to many more national insignia over time.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to    CONTACT US!

Many thanks,

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