This is a review of a roll of painters tape. Specifically, Tool Bench Hardware brand of painters tape, as found at Dollar Tree.
But let me digress for a moment. Why, you are probably wondering, are we discussing painters tape on a wargaming forum?
Most of us probably grew up using masking tape around the house. It was a tan-colored tape composed of wrinkled paper, and it was intended for use in masking – that is, putting tape over areas to protect them from getting paint on them. However, masking tape was useful for all kinds of purposes, so it was popular when I was growing up.
Today, masking tape has largely been replaced by painters tape or blue tape. The main difference is that painters tape is low tack – that is, it is less likely to pull up paint when you remove it from a surface.
So What Has That Got to Do With Wargaming?
I haven't seen painters tape being used for much in wargaming, although it's useful sometimes when painting striping in larger scales. It can be also used for inexpensive roads on your gaming table.
However, I have something else in mind. In the photo above, you can see some 15mm models (broken into sub-assemblies) which I intend to prime using spray paint.
I find it useful to do my spray painting using box bottoms, the kind they give away at warehouse stores. This way, I can organize my work in the box, carry it to where I intend to do the spray painting (usually, my back porch), and then place it on a shelf where things will be safe as the paint dries.
The problem is that lightweight pieces might move around when being spray painted, and even heavy metal objects might fall over or slide around when the spray-box is being moved.
That's what I use painters tape for. It is easy to make a loop, stick it down on the box, then place the objects I want to paint. Some people prefer to use double-sided tape, which would be easier, but I prefer painters tape due to it being low tack (less likely to break delicate pieces being removed, or to pull paint off the models).
So I tried out the inexpensive tape from the dollar store, and I advise against using it:
- the tape is thin and easily tears just when pulling it off the roll
- the tape is not low tack
- the tape leaves a sticky residue
I usually love the dollar store, but in this case, avoid the low-cost painters tape and go for a better brand.