Much progress has been made on the side panels, though little has been documented. I will try to catch up here.
Here is where things start. With a coat of primer.
Once the primer is dry, I cover the face with a coat of light metallic grey. This will be the parts that are covered by the masking tape, then revealed later on in the process.
Once all of the masking tape is applied, I spray a couple of light coats of a much darker metallic grey to the panels. This might be a little too dark, but I can always lighten it up a little bit later with some weathering.
Based on a recommendation from a guy in the R2 Builders Club, I'm giving this tape a try for this project.
And here is where things stand right now. I have a few panels that are unmasked, a couple that only have bright silver, and a couple that are masked and painted with the dark grey.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the frog tape. It's a little easier to manage than the normal blue tape, but honestly, doesn't provide significantly better results. I got some bleed through, but I cannot say for sure if it was more or less than with blue tape. I think it largely boils down to how well you prep the pieces, not so much what tape you use.
For all of these panels, I was drying them under a space heater in the garage. Though it's not "Ohio Cold" out here right now, it's cold enough that automotive paint won't dry properly under ambient temperatures. Without a space heater, it takes on a foggy finish, which is no good.
Another lesson I relearned on this project is regarding patience. When you spray on the second color, it needs a couple of days to fully dry. If you try to remove the masking tape before it has fully dried, you risk the paint peeling up along with the tape. So be patient. Let your paint fully dry.