Model Airplane Graphics Using Vinyl Stencils

Adding detail and personalization to your model airplanes with the use of vinyl stencils or masking techniques can really make your project soar. You can create layers of colors and details when you pair it with your airbrush.

First, plan out what designs and graphics make sense for your model depending on authenticity and personal preference. Trim out your designs carefully with your X-ACTO knife from self-adhesive vinyl. For letters or numbers, you can use pre-cut vinyl sets as well.

To use your vinyl shape as a mask, first airbrush the color you wish your number or shape to be onto your model airplane. Then place the vinyl on top of the dried paint color. Make sure to adhere thoroughly, so as to prevent any bleedthrough. Airbrush the color you wish your model airplane to be over the vinyl. When the paint is completely dry again, carefully peel back the vinyl to reveal the color beneath. The tip of your X-ACTO knife can be helpful to grab a corner and peel back from.

If you want to get really fancy, you can create double masks with vinyl templates by planning out the different layers and masks needed for each effect. For instance, use the above technique for the main color of your graphic. Then, use a vinyl window that is larger than your first shape over the second layer of paint. Mask off the surrounding area of your model, and airbrush a third color, like a black to create an outline around your original graphic. When you peel back both vinyl masks, you reveal not only the first paint color, but also an outline around it.