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Old Dec 25, 2013, 08:23 AM
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Traverse City, Michigan
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Nice Cub !

I usually adhere to manufacturer's recommendations, but not with Solartex.

They are correct, in that the material is fuel proof. It does not require clear coat. If you don't however, the fabric gets dirty, and very quickly. The clear coat creates a smoother finish, that allows for less dirt accumulation and easier cleaning.

I used Minwax Polyurethane (oil baseed) to clear coat my Dallaire Sportster. The finish yellowed, but it seems to be holding up to glow fuel, and I haven't experienced any problems between it at the Solartex covering.

Lacquer products, including dope, I can partially understand. These paints contain strong solvents that MAY attack the plastics in the covering.

I'm sure that Solarfilm has a sound basis for their statements. I wish that they would elaborate. I don't see any product suggestions, either. They just state what not to use.

I guess that we are on our own, on that one.
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Old Dec 25, 2013, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
Nice Cub !

I usually adhere to manufacturer's recommendations, but not with Solartex.

They are correct, in that the material is fuel proof. It does not require clear coat. If you don't however, the fabric gets dirty, and very quickly. The clear coat creates a smoother finish, that allows for less dirt accumulation and easier cleaning.

I used Minwax Polyurethane (oil baseed) to clear coat my Dallaire Sportster. The finish yellowed, but it seems to be holding up to glow fuel, and I haven't experienced any problems between it at the Solartex covering.

Lacquer products, including dope, I can partially understand. These paints contain strong solvents that MAY attack the plastics in the covering.

I'm sure that Solarfilm has a sound basis for their statements. I wish that they would elaborate. I don't see any product suggestions, either. They just state what not to use.

I guess that we are on our own, on that one.

Well from what I understand, solartex has a synthetic resin sealer on the fabric surface that makes it fuel proof,and Polyurethanes may de-bond since they rely upon bonding to the surface rather than etching into the surface like some paints do where they actually mingle in with the surface its applied to... being its a synthetic resin, it may act as a barrier to some Poly / urethane brands... as you stated, its most likely not compatible with the solvents in the dopes, lacquers, and other paint bases... we're waiting for a reply from solarfilm to find out if the PolyTone products are compatible with the synthetic resin coating on the solartex...you can only buy solarfilm's polylac paints and polyclear coat in Europe, other wise that would be my first choose to use.

I don't want to spend all this time and money, and then have it ruined by a foolish mistake... the primary reason we are recovering this cub is because my bother inlaw made the mistake of cleaning the 21st century fabric with "Windex" (with ammonia in it)... the ammonia attacked the paint coating on the 21st century fabric and over the years it broke down the surface and it became extremely sticky and then when he tried to clean it again sometime later, the paint came off as pigment stains on the cleaning cloth... so we were told to use only mild soap and water, but the damage was already done, so here we are recovering it again, lol.


Happy Holidays to all,

John,
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Old Dec 25, 2013, 05:44 PM
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Traverse City, Michigan
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It's funny that they state that Polys shouldn't be used, but the market Polytak, themselves.

Of course, they can't guarantee other manufactures products, as they have no control over ingredients, or application. Maybe that's all it is. It may explain why many have used products, with success, that Solarfilm says not to use.

I have several models, covered in Solartex, and painted with Rustoleum or polyurethane. No problems have been observed. I know others that can testify to similar results.

I understand your concern, but I'm tempted to believe that solarfilm is trying to corner a paint market for their product (Solartex).

As to why they want us to use Natural Solartex, if you plan to paint, I don't know. I have successfully painted White Solartex, using a waterborne Poly. The paint outlasted the model.

Many of us have experienced the same problems, as you, using 21st Century Fabric. I never made the association with ammonia, but I do use cleaners that contain it. Thasnks for the tip !
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Old Dec 26, 2013, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
It's funny that they state that Polys shouldn't be used, but the market Polytak, themselves.

Of course, they can't guarantee other manufactures products, as they have no control over ingredients, or application. Maybe that's all it is. It may explain why many have used products, with success, that Solarfilm says not to use.

I have several models, covered in Solartex, and painted with Rustoleum or polyurethane. No problems have been observed. I know others that can testify to similar results.

I understand your concern, but I'm tempted to believe that solarfilm is trying to corner a paint market for their product (Solartex).

As to why they want us to use Natural Solartex, if you plan to paint, I don't know. I have successfully painted White Solartex, using a waterborne Poly. The paint outlasted the model.

Many of us have experienced the same problems, as you, using 21st Century Fabric. I never made the association with ammonia, but I do use cleaners that contain it. Thasnks for the tip !
Right, if solarfilm didn't make these statements regarding warnings about incompatibilities with their products and other chemicals... they would be opening themselves up to be forced to replace under warranty, their products that failed due to the use of an incompatible substance, so they are only protecting themselves.

Just look at the compatibility issues when using butyrate and nitrate dopes; You can apply butyrate dope over nitrate dope, but you can NOT apply nitrate dope over butyrate dope... nitrate dope is not glow fuel resistant, but butyrate dope IS glow fuel resistant up to 30%-40% nitromethane.

I bought an extra 2m roll for testing, so I will try various paints and clear coats and make sure it works before I take the plunge and coat the entire model... but by looking at what you have done with the Rustoleum, gives me a lot of inspiration to give it a try.

I can see why they want us to use natural (untreated) solartex if planning to use paints... same as I mentioned above; to protect themselves from any possible liabilities and having to replace a product if it fails when another product reacts badly with their synthetic resin coating they use on their colored solartex products... I'm sure somewhere they have a clause or statement, clarifying that solarfilm is not responsible for any damages done to their covering materials due to the use of another product deemed incompatible with their resin coatings; handing all liabilities over to the customer, (use at your own risk)


Regarding the 21st century stuff... over at towerhobbies, after you select the product, under the TECH NOTES, they state to clean it with a window clearer, BUT no where does it say not to use window cleaner with ammonia... and over on coverites site, under their FAQ section, they state to use a 50/50 mixed solution of rubbing alcohol and water to remove stains... but when my inlaw tried it, the pigment came off along with the stain, so your best bet is to stay away from any commercial cleaners and just use a mild soap and water solution... I did like the painted fabric look of the 21st century, but adding simulated rib stitching isn't as easy as with the solartex and the pink-it products... don't know if I would want to put a clear coat over the 21st century stuff to lock in the rib tape, another "use at your own risk" situation, lol.



John,
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Old Dec 26, 2013, 08:42 AM
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I'm happy with Rustoleum. It provides a realistic finish, and it's cost effective. It works well over Solartex.

As you say, using Solartex provides easy options for scale detailing, like simulated rib stitching and Pink-it for the rib tapes.

I use those tapes on all of my scale models. Pink-it's owner, Gary Sibert, has become a good friend. If you order from him, try doing it in the evening, by the phone number provided on his website. You'll meet a heck of a nice guy.

If interested, ask him about vinyl graphics, paint stencils, etc. You'll be amazed at what he can provide. He calls that part of his company "Decal-it". http://decal-it.com/

After you do your paint tests, please post your thoughts. There are many that would like to know more about using Solartex, and the paint to use over it.
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Old Dec 26, 2013, 01:50 PM
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Thanks for the info on Pink-it, there's a lot of nice people in this hobby... another real nice guy is Jerry Cotter from Cirrus Ventures... he sells some real detailed scale Scotts tailwheels... getting one from him as soon as he replenishes is stock; hopefully after the new year.

Interesting to hear more about the vinyl graphics, I'll bend his ear... my inlaw made the lightning bolt on the side of the cub from monokote using a masonite template lifted off the plans... he said cutting it was a real pain to get continuous straight lines... he no longer has the template, so maybe it can be done out of vinyl if it's not too long lengthwise.

I will certainly post my findings; I'll also forward any info we get from solarfilm regarding any recommendations for topcoat paints and clear coats... but I have a feeling they will be treading lightly on that subject because it can open a can of warms, especially if someone is inexperienced and things don't work out as planned, it can come back on solarfilm in a negative way... that maybe why we get relatively short answers regarding this subject... when we mentioned to them about using the almond, or desert tan flat primer on the wood surfaces before applying the solartex to hide the wood grain and glue joints... they came back and told us to test it well on a test mock-up; letting the paint dry thoroughly before applying the solartex to the test piece... then check to make sure there was a good bond between the solartex and the painted wood surface before actually implementing it on the model itself... they were clear to state that is was our undertaking and it was something that they themselves have not tested or recommended.

John,
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Old Dec 26, 2013, 03:09 PM
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I know that Gary can make your lightning bolt. He can make your N Numbers and Cub logo, too.

I've heard of Jerry Cotter and his fabulous tail wheels. I've only seen pictures of them, though.
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Old Jan 02, 2014, 07:46 PM
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Just a quick message... I have discovered a way to make solartex cub yellow (or other colors; excluding the intended transparent solartex's) appear not as transparent in the open bay areas... we are still testing, so no photos yet, but what we are trying now, is to use a very thin cardboard stock, like from those manilla office type folders... cut to fit tightly in the openings between the ribs in the wings, and between the braces in the tail and flying surfaces, as well as in the fuselage... glued in place with some CA, after the solartex is applied, the open bay areas no longer light up as transparent, because the cardboard blocks the ambient light from shinning through from the opposite side..... its not 100% opaque, but more than acceptable, and saves from having to paint over the solartex... all that's needed is a clear coat.

Using this method with the cardboard in the open-bays, plus per-priming the wood surfaces with a tan (similar color as the balsa wood) paint to even out the wood grain and joints before applying the covering, really makes this solartex cub yellow appear much more opaque... then all you need to do is apply a clear coat to your desired sheen... the added weight from the thin cardboard is marginal; probably far less than if you applied 3 or more coats of paint.

Still testing, so this is just a heads up on what we have come up with so far.

Regards,


John M,
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 07:45 AM
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Their website has info on this...
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Old Mar 15, 2014, 05:25 PM
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Hi ya fella's i had a old friend and builder who used solartex on all his planes and the only thing he would use was nelsons clear coat. I don't know if they are still around i do no this stuff was great. It had a nice shine to it and it was fuel proof it is a little pricey but well worth it. To use all you need is a foam brush and paint it on. You can look them up on the net. i think it's under nelson paints or nelson product's once you find the website you can call them they are vary helpful just tell them what you'r doing and they will fix ya right up my friend use to call all the time very helpful. Hope this helps.
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