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Old Feb 26, 2014, 05:06 PM
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Cheap lightweight covering options for skinning foam RC aeroplanes.

Iím interested in cheap options for covering foam and have come across plaster, lightweight fabric, polyurethane varnish (water based), fibre glass and brown paper.

Some of what I have read mention products such as glues and materials I have never heard of and Iím not sure if I can obtain them here in the UK.

So can you recommend some products to me please?

Thanks.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 02:39 AM
I don't like your altitude
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Joined Sep 2011
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Do a google search for"covering foam rc plane" lots of stuff on utube,links back to rcg.If you see a product that interests,search for that,add uk as a suffix.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 09:44 AM
Aka: Tom Jenkins
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EPS is what works for modifying, anything else, good luck
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Old Feb 28, 2014, 12:56 PM
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There's epoxy finishing resin, used over fiberglass cloth. Harder to sand that polyurethane over glass cloth but stronger finish. Forget plaster, too heavy and next to no dent resistance. Depron foam doesn't absolutely need to have a finish on it, some simply paint it, but it can be glassed. If you're talking expanded polystyrene foam (EPS, beer cooler foam), it has a harsh finish due to the big beads, it looks better when a finish is applied.
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Old Feb 28, 2014, 05:15 PM
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Kevin Cox's Avatar
St. Louis Intl, Missouri, United States
Joined Jan 1997
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I have used brown paper a few times over EPS and I liked it but it will warp model if you don't plan you layout. You left out tissue paper also works well but it isn't ding resistant.
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Old Mar 01, 2014, 07:35 AM
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D_FAST's Avatar
Denver CO
Joined Apr 2008
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ive used

Phone book paper and WBPU
Brown bag paper and WBPU
Silkspan and WBPU
Fiberglass cloth and WBPU
Fiberglass cloth and resin

cloth and resin is your best bet over EPS "Beer cooler foam" as it has large beads and soft

If done correctly you wont tell your models foam at all.
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Old Mar 02, 2014, 06:10 AM
Big gov never Works
St. Martin's Avatar
Skunk Water, Rhode Island
Joined Jul 2002
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My fav is still epoxy finishing resin and .5 oz cloth. It takes a lot to damage it, and as mentioned, "it's foam?"...

Fuzz
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Old Mar 02, 2014, 01:05 PM
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There is another covering option that I have used not mentioned here...self adhesive vinyl...2 mil from any sign making shop...you know...stickers

Lots of color choices, can conform really nicely to compound curves if you get the right kind.

I found it to cover really well and is relatively light compared to a full on gloss paint job.

it does make it easier to use the aircrafts panel lines to guide you for cutting the vinyl as it only stretches SO for and a light coat of lightweight filler, sanded, cleaned and coated with WBPU will prep the bare foam so you can get a respectaby smooth finish.

Doesn't add much ding resistance but is better than bare foam.

Try it!

I'd post pics of my T-38 that I experimented with but I am at work...on lunch break
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Old Mar 02, 2014, 03:20 PM
Big gov never Works
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I'd like to see those pics, Bruce.

Fuzz
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Old Mar 02, 2014, 06:43 PM
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Hey Fuzz

Here's one
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Old Mar 02, 2014, 06:47 PM
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here's the originals when I first started with the idea and found it worked very well , it has been a few years but it still looks as good as the day I applied it.


http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...yl#post9714296
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Old Mar 03, 2014, 03:39 PM
Big gov never Works
St. Martin's Avatar
Skunk Water, Rhode Island
Joined Jul 2002
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That's real sleek, Bruce. Long life, too. Yes, the EF-16 uses adhesive vinyl for covering. I tried it a few yrs ago,, but I'm a self-proclaimed masochist, and went back to glassing. The only other system I frequently use is thinned Mod-Podge and Silk-span. The matt Mod-Podge is actually quite hard and sands well.

Fuzz
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Old Mar 03, 2014, 04:04 PM
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gbruce's Avatar
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Fuzz

Ya, glassing has its appeal. Tuff and goes over compound curves easily.

The vinyl was a "I wonder if ..." project that I deemed a success.

..a light and a useful alternative to heavy gloss paint.
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Old Mar 04, 2014, 11:09 AM
Fly Alex
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United States, NC, Warne
Joined Feb 2014
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Self Adhesive Vinyl

The best stuff you can use is the type used for wrapping cars. It has an air release system on the back which prevents bubbles. 3M Control-Tac is probably the most famous brand, but I prefer Oracal or Avery. You can sometimes get sample rolls from the manufacturer or a distributor to try. Just make sure you get the laminate with it.
Laminate the vinyl, cut it to approximate size, then "pre-stretch" it while heating with a hair dryer (look for wrapping videos on YouTube). Place the vinyl where you want it, squeegee out the bubbles using a nylon squeegee. Pull off and re-apply as many times as you need to. Trim off any excess and reheat with the hair dryer. This vinyl has a memory and will attempt to revert back to its original size, covering the surface perfectly.
The only caveats to this are: 1) It's expensive, but you can buy it at wholesale prices in small lots on ebay. 2) Make sure your surface is really smooth. Any anomalies will be made permanent by the vinyl. 3) You will have seams if you overlap. If you can butt cut carefully, when you scuff and paint, the paint will hide the seams.
I have tried this few times on previous models and it works really well. No fumes, no sticky stuff, no clean-up. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of any because those models are long gone. Now that I'm back in the hobby again, I will be using this system and will post pics at a later date.
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Old Mar 04, 2014, 03:03 PM
Big gov never Works
St. Martin's Avatar
Skunk Water, Rhode Island
Joined Jul 2002
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What does the heat gun do to the foam?

In the 80's, Econocoat was the best thing to cover the Byron foam planes. It's like rubber when an iron set at low heat was used. Hot enough to heat, stretch and attach, yet cool enough to not damage the foam. Plus Econocoat has a more realistic finish.

Fuzz
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