Thread: Mini-HowTo For the Solite challenged...
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Old Sep 30, 2002, 02:22 PM
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Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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Seams depend on the location. Generally, large chunks of aircraft can be covered once you're comfortable with the covering. I try to make my seams at less obvious locations such that you really have to look in order to see them. Places such as corners of the fuselage or the leading/trailing edge of the wing and/or tail feathers work perfectly.

To use an aileron as an example: I cut the piece generously larger than the aileron itself. Strip the backing per above and iron down the covering on the flat part of the aileron. Once ironed down, trim the edges down to about 3/16" or 1/4" all the way around. Cut away corners that will fold onto themselves when you start folding the covering around the bends, and start slapping the folds down. You can overlap from the other side. One thing you always want to avoid is butting up one piece of covering against another, as you can be sure the covering on one side will pull back when you shink, leaving you with a gap.

Layering can absolutely be done. My Cessna was done with white solite everywhere and then I added the blue trim overtop of it.

Here's a trick for cutting out simple patterns and basic designs like the angled part of the fuselage striping on my Cessna: Steal a flat flat flat (that's flat as in no bumps. Flat, got it?) glass cutting board from the kitchen. Peel the backing off the solite and put it adhesive side down on the cutting board. It may take a try or two to not get any wrinkles, but it comes off the glass relatively easy. It sticks to glass good enough that you can now go knife nuts and cut out whatever you want. Be warned that the more complex you make your cut outs the more likely it is that the covering will tear when you yank it off the cutting board.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here's a drawing showing my typical overlapping techniques and where I ideally put seams on things like a fuselage or wing. Otherwise, if you're putting seams in areas like where colors change, make sure you put the darker color on top, otherwise it can show through the lighter color.

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