New Products Flash Sale
Thread Tools
Old Jul 30, 2015, 08:12 PM
payne9999 is online now
Find More Posts by payne9999
Balsa&Tissue
payne9999's Avatar
United States, OR, Beaverton
Joined Jan 2011
3,116 Posts
Careful!
21st Century Fabric: Coverite

Been building for 35 years and I have used most all types of covering. I used lots of the old Super Coverite fabric on many planes with no issue, in fact it was great material because it held taught even in the hottest weather and was fuel proof and tough. Also, it looked like real doped fabric. I used the natural off white for my Proctor Jenny and it looks like the real finished fabric.

However, the new 21st century fabric works like garbage for me. I followed the directions and tested the heat of my iron. The fabric looks like some cheap raincoat material (like rubberized cotton) that you would sew a child's rain garment from. Here are the issues I found:

1. Sticks to itself while handling. DO not pre-cut material and leave it with the liner off as it will almost permanently adhere to other pieces and will rip the finish off when you separate it.
2. The finish is changed by the iron (even tried a sock) and the gloss is therefore uneven as heck when you are done.
3. Because the fabric is so sensitive it takes 3-4 times longer to cover a wing panel.
4. Adhesion is not so great since I am trying to keep the damage to the finish minimized at low temps.
5. You cannot glide the iron over the fabric because the finish will roll up and peel off under the iron. On leading and trailing edges I usually slide the iron to get a tight seal around the corner.
6. The finished look of the plane is nowhere near a fabric look but just like a said a rubber coated plane with all kinds of less glossy areas.
7. Its freakin expensive $29 for a roll similar to the size Ultracote or Monokote comes in for ~$16-17.

I am really disappointed in the results especially considering the price. If you want your yellow plane to look like a cheap raincoat and put a yellow rubber ducky in as pilot feel free but I don't think I will ever use this product again.

P.S. A couple of good things:

1. It goes around compound curves really well cause it is very rubbery when heated.
2. It trims much easier with an X-acto than film coverings.
payne9999 is online now Find More Posts by payne9999
Last edited by payne9999; Jul 31, 2015 at 11:41 AM.
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Jul 31, 2015, 07:07 AM
TomCrump is offline
Find More Posts by TomCrump
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
Traverse City, Michigan
Joined Dec 2005
12,444 Posts
I've used 21st Century Fabric .

An uneven finish means that you haven't heated the fabric evenly. I suggest that you continue to heat it until the gloss goes away.

I don't know what you are comparing covering time to, but I can cover a wing, using 21st Century Fabric, in less time than when using Monokote or Ultracoat.

Balsarite solves any adhesion problems.

If the material is rolling up, you have applied too much heat. Use a lower temp, or work a little faster to avoid this problem.

Give this product a chance. Once you learn how to use it, you may find that you like it.

These models were covered in 21st Century Fabric. Notice the extensive use of yellow. None look like a cheap raincoat.
TomCrump is offline Find More Posts by TomCrump
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2015, 11:32 AM
Bare is offline
Find More Posts by Bare
Registered User
Canada
Joined Nov 2000
8,012 Posts
Nice models :-)
Issue seems that the OP can't use it... to his satisfaction. Fair enough.
I detest fabric imitation coverings on appearance alone..these Never look real in my eyes.
Ever seen fabric weave on a real aircraft? I haven't.
That said:Some materials are tricky to use and have a Learning Curve.
Add in a 2X price point and one Really needs to be a fanboy to buy it .. again.
Bare is offline Find More Posts by Bare
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2015, 11:33 AM
payne9999 is online now
Find More Posts by payne9999
Balsa&Tissue
payne9999's Avatar
United States, OR, Beaverton
Joined Jan 2011
3,116 Posts
Yeah, after covering this entire vintage 3 meter sailplane I picked up a few techniques. A lot of it is open bay so using the iron to even out the finish wasn't possible but it seems hitting it with the heat gun does the trick to even up the finish but it isn't the same gloss level when your done.

My iron is on the lowest setting and if I hold the iron over an area long enough the adhesion is fine. However, sliding the iron is still not possible as the finish will roll off.

I still wish the new material looked and handled like the old super coverite. It looked more like fabric. The finish on the new material seems so thick it hides the fabric effect. It is still too expensive and where you really want to use fabric is on big scale airplanes. My 1/4 scale Decathlon Extreme will cost $160 just for the fabric.

I may try out Worldtex or Solartex if it is still available.

P.S. the fabric effect is most useful on WWI models. A fully finished fabric is probably more appropriate on later civilian aircraft for example. My memory may be off a little but when I flew a full scale Champ it seemed like the airplane was not so glossy.



Thanks
payne9999 is online now Find More Posts by payne9999
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2015, 11:39 AM
payne9999 is online now
Find More Posts by payne9999
Balsa&Tissue
payne9999's Avatar
United States, OR, Beaverton
Joined Jan 2011
3,116 Posts
Here is my example of the fabric looking like say early Irish linen. The current material doesn't seem to come this way any longer.

payne9999 is online now Find More Posts by payne9999
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2015, 11:42 AM
payne9999 is online now
Find More Posts by payne9999
Balsa&Tissue
payne9999's Avatar
United States, OR, Beaverton
Joined Jan 2011
3,116 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare View Post
Nice models :-)
Issue seems that the OP can't use it... to his satisfaction. Fair enough.
I detest fabric imitation coverings on appearance alone..these Never look real in my eyes.
Ever seen fabric weave on a real aircraft? I haven't.
That said:Some materials are tricky to use and have a Learning Curve.
Add in a 2X price point and one Really needs to be a fanboy to buy it .. again.
What do you like to use for an authentic fabric look for scale models? What would you suggest for the 1/4 scale Decathlon? I really want it to look nice and right now it has Ultracote and is too plastic looking.

Thanks
payne9999 is online now Find More Posts by payne9999
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2015, 12:27 PM
Rodney is offline
Find More Posts by Rodney
Registered User
Florida
Joined Aug 2004
4,332 Posts
It is very hard to beat Solartex (or any of the ......tex's). Goes on easily, molds around compound curves well and accepts almost any type of finish if you want to paint it. No finish is required although it is easier to clean if you do put a top coat on it. Balsa USA handles Solartex.
Rodney is offline Find More Posts by Rodney
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2015, 12:38 PM
TomCrump is offline
Find More Posts by TomCrump
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
Traverse City, Michigan
Joined Dec 2005
12,444 Posts
I prefer Solartex, too. Once I discovered it, I haven't purchased any more 21st Century Fabric.

It goes on easier than the Coverite products, for sure. The downside is that Solartex gets dirty easily, and needs to be sealed to prevent this.

http://shop.balsausa.com/category_s/172.htm
TomCrump is offline Find More Posts by TomCrump
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2015, 08:48 PM
kenh3497 is offline
Find More Posts by kenh3497
Live long and fly high
kenh3497's Avatar
United States, IA, Rockwell
Joined Jul 2011
4,909 Posts
Well.... There is Sig Koverall http://www.sigmfg.com/indextext/sigkv001.html

And Stits Poly lite system http://www.stits.com/store/page14.html

Maybe a bit more work to apply but in my opinion a tad lighter as you don't have the adhesive on the whole piece of fabric, only where it bonds to the wood. Any color is possible as you have to paint it.

Ken
kenh3497 is offline Find More Posts by kenh3497
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 01, 2015, 04:46 AM
Rodney is offline
Find More Posts by Rodney
Registered User
Florida
Joined Aug 2004
4,332 Posts
If you want a good covering that does not have it's own adhesive, try Ceconite. It is available thru Spruce Specialties and goes on as good as Solartex. You do have to apply adhesive and paint but the results can be very nice. Ceconite shrinks a bit more than Solartex under heat so make sure your structure is adequately strong.
Rodney is offline Find More Posts by Rodney
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wanted WANTED Coverite 21st Century Fabric Covering Outlawtjet Aircraft - General - Miscellaneous (FS/W) 1 May 05, 2015 06:20 PM
Coverite 21st Century Fabric & EPP weekender Slope 16 Jun 15, 2009 06:18 PM
Discussion Coverite 21st Century Fabric Desert Aardvark Fuel Plane Talk 5 Mar 08, 2006 02:29 PM
Coverite 21st Century Fabric covering mpodder Slope 13 Sep 07, 2005 11:06 PM
Coverite 21st Century Fabric Silver CAFplanekid Aircraft - Fuel - Airplanes (FS/W) 4 May 20, 2004 04:15 PM