One of the most painful parts of the Tamiya kits, especially older ones, is the windshield surrounds that need to be painted directly on the glass. You need a real steady hand with the older kits; if you screw up, it's forever. The newer ones have a mask of the right shape and so are much easier.
So without a mask, and given the success of Microscale products in other applications (Micro Set for setting decals, Micro Kristal Klear glue for glass), I decided to give Micro Mask a try.
It is supposed to be a liquid mask that you paint on and let dry; then you paint your colour and peel off the mask after the paint has started to set.
It goes on in a thin, transparent blue layer. Trimming is a challenge as you need to drag the knife exactly where you want it, almost as challenging as dragging a brush exactly where you want it. I let the Micro Mask dry for a few days while my career got in the way, then slathered on some paint. After about 20 minutes I used a knife and tweezer to lift the mask off. The good news is you can really slather on the paint; the bad news is that it still looks sloppy, possibly because I didn't put on the Micro Mask thick enough or trim it properly. I'll have to go around it again with the brush one day when I am feeling particularly relaxed. So is there a benefit? I'm not sure -- either you need a steady hand with the Micro Mask, or a steady hand with the paint brush. Skip a step and go right to the paint would be my conclusion at this point.
Otherwise I decided to apply a couple of key decals but to forego the entire slate of green triangles and tacky sponsor's logos. Yes, it is not exactly as it ran in 1991, but it's not as ugly, either. Paint consists of clear over the bare orange plastic, a basic approach that works well with my typical level of finish. The decals for the tires appear to be missing (the kit has been open for quite a few years), so I'll have to see about digging something suitable out of the parts box or off the InterWeb. With the US dollar where it is, ordering from US suppliers in Canadian dollars is becoming painful even before the extortionate shipping costs, so I'll have to see what I can get from Wheels and Wings Hobbies in Toronto.
Once complete it will join my growing collection of Le Mans cars, which will soon require fabrication of some more shelving from Plexiglass sheet to make more room in the display cabinet. No pictures yet, it's not quite done -- I still need to clean up the paint on the glass.