Advanced Techniques – Curved Mask Template

By tristanmitchell

I ran into an interesting problem with my Saim Hann army – I need to make a curved mask (relatively easy with a sharp knife and some masking tape), however I have 42 models that need this mask and that would take FOREVER to do with tape. So – I thought of another idea – I made a cast of the hull using some blue stuff, and then cut the masked shape into that cast. This created a mask that could be placed on the hull and locked into place in the exact same spot so it could be reused over several models.
Here are some photos showing the process:

Line up the mask on a new model

Airbrush the shade lines along the mask

Finished effect

Using this process, I was able to paint all 42 hulls in about 40 minutes.


  1. tever November 14, 2013, 11:57 pm

    HI! great website!
    I’m new to 40k and trying to build a saim hann army too.

    Can you explain more in depth how to make this mold?
    And how did you cut the pattern into the mold to make it so straight?

    would using another jetbike canopy work as a stencil? of course that particular one would be ruined.


    • tristanmitchell November 15, 2013, 1:07 am

      No, you can’t use another jetbike canopy, you need an inverse copy of a canopy to stencil – That’s why I make a mold of one. I used blue stuff, and spread it over the jetbike hull thinly but making sure to get a good amount over the edge (because if I didn’t, my cut would slice the mold in half which we don’t want).
      Once the mold dries (real fast, like 3 mins) you can take it off and I just use an exacto knife to cut the stencils – Getting it straight is tricky, it took a lot of cutting and refining to get it straight. A sharp knife really helps.

  2. Steve November 16, 2013, 2:17 am

    Thanks Tristan!

    I would love to see the other stencils you used for your other jetbikes as well.

    Also can u recommend a good air compressor for air brushing on a budget? What do u use? Thanks!

    Love ur website!!! I’m totally crushing!

    • tristanmitchell November 16, 2013, 2:35 am

      Honestly, my compressor was a super Christmas sale at Canadian tire. It’s super loud, but it was only 40$ and had a 30 foot hose so I just put it in another room when I’m painting so the noise isn’t too bad.

  3. stever November 20, 2013, 9:00 pm

    Hi tristan!

    Did you use the blu stuff putty or the more expensive blu stuff rubber?

    also, do you think this technique will still work if i’m not airbrushing?

    i would love to see some posts on tactics you employ with your different units etc.


    • tristanmitchell November 21, 2013, 6:29 am

      I used the more expensive blue-stuff, but it’s not the liquid one, it’s the press-mold one.
      It won’t work very well without an airbrush, as the mask is not a very tight one and so wet paint will run under it easily. Airbrushed paint dries almost instantly and there is no running paint to worry about.
      I definitely plan on posting some tactics, or better yet, battle reports with my Saim Hann army – Stay tuned!


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