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Old Sep 15, 2012, 11:50 PM
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Tinting canopies

I'm not a big fan of super clear canopies. I like just a trace of tint so you can see the canopy. Sometimes you'll see a plane with a canopy so clear ,at a distance you cant even see it. That's why I do this.

Years ago I picked up this single burner hot plate at a Yard sale. I use it to keep the water temp high so the dye can do it's deed. You must heat the water!
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Old Sep 15, 2012, 11:55 PM
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Find some kind of metal container that is close in size to your canopy, less water requires less dye. This one is an aluminum parts tray I found in the scrap bin at work.

Heat the water up and pour the dye in and stir it with something... I'm using a nub of carbon fiber.
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 12:18 AM
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I put the canopy in slowly upside down so it wont trap a air bubble.
The pan should be warm enough that it gets a little too hot to the touch after about 10 seconds. You may have to turn the burner on and off several times.

I wear latex gloves to keep my hands from getting stained.

This particular time I think a half a pack would of been fine. The canopy got dark in record time. It was probably in for 6-7 minutes total for the effect I wanted.

After about 3 minutes in.......
I pulled the canopy out and laid it on a clean rag and walked it over to my Laundry/utility sink.... There I rinsed off the excess dye. I quickly dry it with tissues and laid it on a white rag next to a untinted canopy. It wasnt quite dark enough.... so back in she went for another 4 minutes or so....
Then repeat the whole rinsing and drying process and comparing to the untinted. This 2nd time was perfect for what I was looking for.
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 12:36 AM
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I have used this method for 25 years.... I always use Rit dye.

Royal blue makes a nice effect..
Many times I use forest green...
My Polaris was done with half Navy blue, half forest green

I used to dye Big old GMP heli canopies Using a 5 gallon bucket and several containers of dye.
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 04:12 PM
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5 Stars my friend . Very well explained i will be trying this in the future
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilfor View Post
5 Stars my friend . Very well explained i will be trying this in the future
Hey thanks, I thought it might be useful info to the masses out there
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 07:49 AM
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Dang...I think I'm gonna keep you around.

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Old Oct 29, 2012, 05:58 PM
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Canopies - dyed

I am a little late to the party, but this is great information. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Oct 29, 2012, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tsavah View Post
I am a little late to the party, but this is great information. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks!
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Mark:
I guess I can resurrect this old post since it is in your blog...everything is still relevant.

I contacted Scott from Parkflyerplastics.com to discuss tinting canopies. Here was my email to him:

Scott:
What can be used to tint the clear canopies? Tamiya translucent spray paint
can be used on "Lexan" car bodies (to tint the windows), but I am not sure
it can be used on PET. Do you know? If not, any other suggestions on how
to tint a canopy? I tried RIT dye, but PET deforms too easily in hot water
and does not seem to take up the stain very well.
Thanks
Rob

He replied (my paraphrase) that the translucent Tamiya paints require precision application in a pristine environment. He also stated that he has not had much luck dying the PET canopies. He referred me to your method.

I have used the RIT dye method in the past for other types of plastics with great success, but the PET seems to deform too quickly. Perhaps the PET canopies that I am trying to dye are thinner than most (I have only tested scraps so far), but I cannot sacrifice melting/warping the canopies.

As mentioned, I tried with some scraps...and did get some color...but also some deformation. Will lower heat and a longer dwell time work?

I did order some of the translucent Tamiya paints for experimentation, but dying would be the preference.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 01:39 PM
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I have used the Tamiya tint paint on 2 Quadcopter bubble domes and it did great. (wash with soap and water first) They were Pet from Parkflyerplastics.


The domes were as big as they are wide, hence easy to paint.

Most canopies are not tho.
I tinted my P-40 Canopy/ and my Mustang canopy with no problems.
The A7 didnt seem to want to take and I ended up heat distorting it like you say. I bought a new one and kept the temp under 140 and it went well.

I use a really small pan that the canopy barely fits in. The liquid Rit dye does nothing! I use either forest green or Royal blue powdered dye and it works pretty good.

I got a candy thermometer to control the heat. Dwell time about 20 minutes.

The Royal blue may take 2 packs of Dye!

Good luck
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