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Old Feb 11, 2011, 12:25 PM
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IneptCorpse's Avatar
USA, IL, East Peoria
Joined Sep 2010
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Question
Recover or Paint over covering

I have a Great Planes J-3 Cub (.40-.60 size) that is currently covered in the standard cub yellow. I was wondering if I wanted to change this to the Military look would I have to recover it or is there a safe way to paint the current covering? Sorry for my lack of knowledge or if I am not explaning this correctly. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 09:30 PM
Zor
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Ontario,Canada
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What do you think is the present covering ?

Heat shrinkable plastic film or woven fabric ?

Is the covering apparently to you in good shape ?

Is it glow fuel or electric ?

All above can affect recommendations.

Zor
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Old Feb 14, 2011, 09:57 AM
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IneptCorpse's Avatar
USA, IL, East Peoria
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Answers

It is the one in my avatar btw.

What do you think is the present covering ?
Monokote

Heat shrinkable plastic film or woven fabric ?
Heat shrinkable

Is the covering apparently to you in good shape ?
Old covering but in good shape

Is it glow fuel or electric ?
Glo
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Old Feb 27, 2011, 08:06 PM
Zor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IneptCorpse View Post
I have a Great Planes J-3 Cub (.40-.60 size) that is currently covered in the standard cub yellow. I was wondering if I wanted to change this to the Military look would I have to recover it or is there a safe way to paint the current covering? Sorry for my lack of knowledge or if I am not explaning this correctly. Thanks in advance for any help.
IneptCorpse,

I see that no one else has responded to your initial question.

The only solution that I can think of is a lot of work because I think you would have to remove all the existing covering and recover with the finish you mentioned.

That kind of finish I believe has to be brushed on.

To my knowledge there is no paint that is fuel poof else than butyrate aircraft dope. Some are resistant but not fully proof.

You are the only one that can decide.

Zor
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Old Feb 27, 2011, 11:08 PM
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machinate's Avatar
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It's going to be very difficult to paint over the Monokote, so your only option will be recovering the plane. However, you should be aware before you start that recovering an old glow plane is potentially a lot more difficult than the original covering. Castor oil can seep through the seams and soak the wood, preventing the new covering from sticking. You can paint over the oil with Balsarite or water-based polyurethane and gain some adhesion, so it's not an impossible task, but there's more to it than to a normal covering job.
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Old Feb 28, 2011, 11:15 AM
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The nice thing about recovering this plane (since that seems like my only choice) is that the plane has never been run. It sat in the previous owner's basement for 7 or 8 years after being built and the motor has never been run or any fuel ever been put in the tank.
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Old Feb 28, 2011, 12:26 PM
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Since you plan on removing the covering anyway, you may want to test a place on the plane. If it doesn't work out, resume the recovering.
Scuff the covering with steel wool, wipe down with denatured alcohol, and try paining. I used to do this when I flew glow to add trim stripes and such ( like the lightning bolt on my Cub Yellow Cub) The covering trim pieces would always peel for me with glow fuel, not a problem with Electrics.
Anyway I painted the scuffed covering with spray Rustolium. Never had a problem with it peeling or with fuel. May want to try the new Fusion paints, but I don't know if it is available in the colors your looking for.
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Old Mar 01, 2011, 01:17 PM
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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If you want to try painting I think the following may work out.

There's a product used to prime vinyl wallpaper or other surfaces that normally will flake off any paint. It's been a few years but I think it was called Zylex. It was a white primer and the display showed samples of it painted onto glossy glazed ceramic tile, glass, flexible plastic and a couple of other "impossible to paint" options. Folks were invited to try to pick it off with a fingernail. It wouldn't flake or pick at my best efforts. I saw the same stuff a couple of years back so obviously it's still for sale. And I'm sure there's other similar products.

If you were to use a wax and grease removing solvent to prep the plastic and then put on a coat of this I suspect you'd be fine for then spraying on some colour. And then as a fuel proofer I'd suggest a top coat of satin sheen oil based Flecto Varathane. I've got an engine cowling done in dope sanding sealer and painted with model car enamel to get the right colour and then top coated with glossy Flecto and it's still going strong about a decade of regular flying later. So the paints under the Flecto would not need to be fuel proof.

Now if you end up with some scratches or chips then the fuel may cause some issues. I know that my cowl has one such small chip where the colour went away. But on the whole it's stood up very well.
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 01:21 PM
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ErcoupeEd's Avatar
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Since the engine hasn't been run, and the all the wood should be in good shape, you could easily recover it.
In the engine area if you keep the gas motor in it, I always coat my nitro burning airplanes with epoxy resin in the engine area. It is very fuel resistant.
Let the first coat soak in a dry, then put on a second coat, but keep it off any areas you want to recover.
First dismount the engine , then you have full access to the engine bay.
As the one guy said, try and scratch the areas you want to paint.
See what it looks like.
Different paints have different amounts of resistance to fuel.
The other thing you want to pay attention to, watch how much paint you apply if doing it this way, because paint adds weight.

Here's another scrap of advice
See if you can find a piece of the kind of covering that is on the airplane. Put a piece on a scrap piece of wood, then paint it, then take a little fuel on a rag and lightly apply to it after the paint has dried good. Let it set overnight and then check it and see if you have any adverse effects
I use a cleaner on mine after flying like "Mean Green" or "409"
Windex is also good, and wipe the airplane thoroughly.

Good luck with your project.
Just my own opinion, but since cubs were "rag covered" meaning a cloth type material, you might want to consider one of the better coverings of this type.
This would be my choice over a 'plastic material covering.
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