Lozenge-mosaic method

Jose Valenciano (joeyval@pusit.admu.edu.ph)
Fri, 12 Jan 1996 14:10:51 +0800 (GMT+0800)

So, here it is folks as promised. I hope you don't find the instructions=20
too wordy, but you know how text instructions can get:

** Painting Lozenge Patterns - The Mosaic Method ** =20
I came up with this method of applying lozenge patterns to my 1/48th WWI
aircraft because of various reasons:

1) I can mix my own colors =20
2) Lozenge decal products are not readily available here =20
3) I don't apply decals well (usually paint markings on) =20
This process can be divided into four major steps which are, making a=20
template of the masking tape, making masking tape patterns, applying these =
the surface to be painted, the painting of the surface, and finally, painti=
rib tapes on. =20
1) Making a template for the masking tape =20
Lozenge patterns were printed on a bolt of cloth, the pattern repeating eve=
so many number of inches. First decide on the longest single piece of lozen=
material you will ever need to apply for any of your models. The wingspan o=
f a=20
or fuselage length of a 2 seater would be a good guide. Let's say you decid=
on making a template of 26cm, which makes up a lozenge pattern that repeats
about 13 times. =20
Now you need to make a 1/48th scale lozenge pattern of this length. What I =
was to draw them up (both 5 & 4 color lozenge) in AUTOCAD and print them ou=
t in=20
the right scale. Otherwise you could manually draw this in a larger scale a=
scale it down on a photocopying machine, cutting and pasting the pattern to=
the needed length. =20
I lay this 26cm paper pattern onto a stiff piece of cardboard and tape it s=
o it=20
won't move. Then with a needle in a pin-vise, prick through the cardboard a=
all the corners of each individual lozenge. Be thorough, it might be a good=
idea to mark each prick in red so that you don't miss any. =20
Remove the paper pattern. Place the piece of cardboard on your work area, t=
repeating pattern running sideways. Determine the demarcation line for each=
individual pattern. With a pencil, join the dots along the demarcation line=
from top to bottom. Your cardboard template is now divided into 13 equal pa=
Put a number (1-13) above each section. With another pencil, preferably of=
another color, join the dots horizontally, starting from the demarcation li=
ending on the last dot just before the next demarcation line. Unlike your=
demarcation lines, these lines do not have to follow the actual shape of th=
individual lozenges and can actually cut across a lozenge. You should now h=
a piece of cardboard with 14 crooked vertical lines with a number between a=
above each. And several crooked horizontal lines that are connected to one=
demarcation line, but not connected to the next. Your template is now finis=
Take care of it, it will serve you in many projects.

2) Making the masking tape patterns

We now move on to actually putting these patterns onto a surface. Let's say=
, we
start by painting the left side of a Fokker D.VII fuselage. Determine how m=
lozenge patterns are needed to cover the length of the fuselage (let's say =

Get some wide (as in 2 inches or more) masking tape and apply it on a piece=
glass. The tape on the glass must be longer than the fuselage and it must b=
THREE LAYERS THICK! Burnish it down hard so the layers stick to each other=

Place your template on the masking tape, taping it onto the glass to keep i=
stationary. Now with your pin, prick all the dots within 5 lozenge patterns=
Work section by section and use your crooked horizontal lines to guide you =
no dot is left unpricked.

Remove your cardboard template. You have now transferred the lozenge patter=
onto the 3-layer thick masking tape. Guided by a drawing of a lozenge patte=
join the dots with your hobby knife. Your lozenge mosaic of masking tape is=

3) Applying the masking tape to the surface =20

Paint the fuselage with the lightest color of your lozenge pattern. Place t=
individual tape bits onto your fuselage side, making sure the pieces are=20
aligned, fitting snugly against each other. It is not necessary to burnish =
down real hard, a light tamping down is sufficient.=20

4) Painting the surface =20

Decide on which color goes on next. With a hobby knife, lift up one corner =
each lozenge to be removed. Peel them off with your tweezers and place them=
a sheet of glass, making sure that they are oriented to each other, as they=
on the fuselage.

Airbrush the fuselage. Use light passes making sure that the surface it dry=
before spraying again to avoid having the color creep beneath the tape. I=
usually have a hair dryer handy, I can work faster.=20

Replace the lozenge bits from the glass onto the fuselage. For optimum fit,=
make sure that the tape bits are placed back in their original positions.=
Repeat this process for the rest of the colors.

These mosaic masks are quite durable and can be used several times. I have =
a single set on 4 different panels (top, bottom, and sides of a fuselage, f=
example) before I decided to make a new set.

An attractive feature of this process is that there is no paint buildup alo=
the edges of each lozenge. It may be due to the paint I use (I've tried Hum=
& Tamiya-acrylic) but I think it's more due to the airbrush method (light

When bolts of cloth are sewn side by side as seen in most wings, I mask (on=
one layer thick) the edge where the cloth join will appear, to get a nice,=
straight join line.

5) Painting rib tapes =20

This portion on applying rib tapes does not necessarily apply only to lozen=
wings. I use it to simulate tapes on clear doped wings (like the Fokker E3)=
with pleasing results. I don=92t use it for colored dope surfaces.

The first thing I do for this process it to prepare a sliver of tape with a=
the same width as a rib tape. This is done by applying 3 layers of masking =
on a sheet of glass. With a ruler and a hobby knife, cut away one side of t=
tape so all the layers are aligned on that edge. Lay a ruler against this e=
Lay another ruler on top of the masking tape and against the first ruler.=

Use the thickness of a blade or two, thin plastic card (I actually use 2=20
thicknesses of DML=92s photo etch [the thicker of the 2 provided]) as a spa=
between the 2 rulers, keeping the first ruler stationary and positioning th=
second one snugly against the spacers. Then, press down firmly on the secon=
ruler. Remove the spacers and the first ruler and carefully cut the sliver =
exposed tape.

Remove the top layer of the sliver of masking tape and lay it on a wing rib=
Use a T-square to make sure it is parallel to the center line. Lay a straig=
piece of masking tape on either side of the sliver. Carefully remove the sl=
and position it on the next wing rib. And repeat the process.

After you=92re done masking up the whole wing, paint it in either bright bl=
ue or=20
pink. Or if you want to simulate rib tapes of lozenge material, apply light=
color first, and imitate the process used above. You don=92t have to be too=
accurate here, no need for multi-layered masks or your mosaic mask (that wo=
be a bit too, too much!)

Remove all the masking tape and admire your work. Your rib tapes will have =
very, very slight ridge on either side (nice!).


For those who care to try the above process, let me know how it goes.
There was a fellow (sorry I forgot your name) who painted up his Viggen in =
similar manner. To him: Is this how you did it too?

One last thing. It was only last December that I joined the mailing list. I=
grrreat! You guys don=92t know ho dull it is out here as the only WWI model=
around. Thank you to all who have shared their tips and ideas with me and t=
others. It's fun to contribute as well.


Joey Valenciano=09=09=09WW1 modeller, teacher, jazz musician, sitarist
joeyval@pusit.admu.edu.ph=09Metro-Manila, Philippines

=09"The more you know, the more you don't know."