Turning the artwork into a jigsaw puzzle
Tried as I might I couldnt find any covering material that suited the requirement in the current hobby market so I kept my eyes peeled. Anyone noticed the wrap they put around bottles of Cola?
Looking at the material you can see you can print on it to a good resolution, its quite resistant to stretching and it's strong too. So I eventually found a company in the UK that supplied this type of material.
I explained to them what I was trying to do and they very kindly sent samples of a range of materials that were even tougher, more dimensionally stable, self adhesive, waterproof & chemical proof and still very light.
And another advantage I was soon to learn was that the material's dimensional stability makes the aircraft a whole heap stronger. With my flying skills that's important!
Now what was needed was to work out how best to carve up and present the artwork to make it easy to apply to the airframe. The parts could then be arrange in sheets and printed and cut by robots!