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Old Apr 14, 2015, 01:33 AM
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Which covering to use

Hello,
I have never recovered a plane before and I would like some advice as to which covering I should use.
The plane is a large scale warbird and I will need to paint over it to get the correct markings, I am also concerned about some films which seem to bubble in the sun and as I live in Australia this is a big worry, are there any films which cope better to sunlight and bubbling and which film is better suited to painting??
Any helpful advice would be welcome
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 06:32 AM
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I switched to SolarTex many years ago. Doesn`t bubble and easily painted.

Bill
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 10:38 AM
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But Solartex will still loosen in the sun.

I have not seen any film or covering material that will not loosen in the desert heat and direct sun. The only solution is to keep them out of direct sunlight. FWIW, I have seen fiberglass soften in the heat and sun we get out here, usually when it is cured at room temps.

I have had some luck by shrinking several times. Solarfilm and Solartex will take a few cycles of shrinking to get them more resistant to heat.

charlie
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 11:05 AM
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Solarfilm polyester supershrink (NOT the normal solarfilm) has a good reputation for not bubbling or slacking off in heat- the well known UK designer/builder 'Peter Miller' swears by it.
'Doculam' might be good. I seem to recall someone posting that it didn't slacken n sunlight.
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 12:22 PM
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The Spit MK1 I did for Model Airplane News is going on 10 years old, and the painted doculam film doesn't have a single bubble. Painted with Tamiya rattlecan before I bought an airbrush.
The trick is just finding the right iron temp. Once it's on , it isn't coming off....its light and cheap too.

Mark
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 12:28 PM
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I like doculam too, especially when I am going to paint a plane. It will still loosen a bit in extreme heat and sun.

FWIW, I have also had coverings loosen when experiencing large changes in humidity. Like when I go to Little Rock. The balsa swells. Elevator and rudder trim changes by several clicks. Once I get back to the extremely low humidity a lot of my coverings are loose (and I retrim again).
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 12:29 PM
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If it's a 'solid' balsa model, (not open frame), then tissue and dope works well, takes many paints and wont blister, (unless on fire )

Alternatives to tissue -
Nylon
Silk
Newspaper *
Plus many others

Alternatives to dope -
WPBU (Water based PolyUrethane)
Epoxy
Thinned white glue
Plus many more.

* Newspaper at least gives you something to read
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 11:45 PM
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Thank you for all the replies .
I will be attempting it very soon and I will post which film I choose .
Thx
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Old Apr 16, 2015, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrittinger View Post
The Spit MK1 I did for Model Airplane News is going on 10 years old, and the painted doculam film doesn't have a single bubble. Painted with Tamiya rattlecan before I bought an airbrush.
The trick is just finding the right iron temp. Once it's on , it isn't coming off....its light and cheap too.

Mark
Mark,
is that Spitfire painted on the outside or inside side of the film?

Jim
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Old Apr 18, 2015, 11:05 AM
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Solartex, properly shrunk and then base coated with tautening nitrate dope will remain tight and is the easiest working iron-on covering available. The first coat should be thinned slightly and brushed on. Brushing will ensure good penetration into the fibers and it will dry very smooth if not applied too heavily. Subsequent coats may be brushed or preferably sprayed. How you finish it may be affected by your power choice. Dope can be pretty light if sprayed on carefully. If glow powered, a model airplane fuel proof dope should be used as the final clear coat. General aviation dopes like Randolph are great for gasoline power but will soften if exposed to glow fuel, thus the need for a fuel proof top coat. I've top coated Randolph with Sig without issue. If gasoline or electric, the finish options are almost unlimited. Good luck!

David
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Old Apr 18, 2015, 06:49 PM
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Never had silk or japanese tissue (both treated with dope) loosen in the sun, Charlie.
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Old Apr 19, 2015, 08:39 AM
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Dope and fabric would be a good choice if he wanted to go that route. But, they aren't iron on.

For a large scale he could get polyester fabric from a sewing shop. Same type as full scale.
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Old Apr 19, 2015, 08:47 AM
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I like to do about one airplane in silkspan tissue and dope per year...just for sentimental reasons. For smaller and lighter planes, that is still a good option. But although it doesn't loosen up in the sun or in a hot car as bad as some of the plastic films do (or at all), it has other disadvantages. Like rips and tears. I wish it was a little bit stronger.

That's where I really like the synthetic tissues as a covering. Plus, synthetic tissues take Model Masters and Testors plastic model paints very well.

Silk is something I have not tried yet and I do want to get into.
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