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Old Feb 10, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cloud_9 View Post
3. the monocote is what intimidates me. Can you direct me to sources of info on how to do this?

Thanks
Jim
You don't want to hear this... but read and follow the instructions that come with monokote. After covering dozens of airplanes, I read them one day waiting for the covering iron to heat up. Amazing how accurate they were!

Secondly, use low temp films like Coverite Black Baron which are more forgiving and easier to work around compound curves... but the same methods that work on low temp films work on high temp films.

Have plenty of sharp razor blades or #11's. Have the proper sealing iron and heat gun (and a temp gauge).

One last note. The new version of Monokote is the trickiest material to use. Shrinking it requires moderate heat and expose the area being shrunk to the heat for a duration... just don't "hit it" with a hot blast. It won't shrink and stay shrunk!

I've been using the ultra-inexpensive covering film from HobbyKing and have to say it is pretty danged good stuff!
It works at a fairly medium temp, sticks very well, pulls around compounds well, and shrinks very well without surrendering it's gloss.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 03:22 PM
Jim in the Desert
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Thanks, that's good to know. One thing I wonder about, I see designs like blue and white wings. You must have to put on the white covering, then cut out the blue covering and put it on next. How do you get the second layer of covering to stick to the first layer?

Also, do you have to worry about warping the frame when the covering shrinks under heat?

Jim
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DustBen View Post
The real price of Oracover to a manufacturer is probably 20 cents a foot.
That stuff has been made since Moses went mountain climbing.... the price to produce has to be down to nothing.
Besides, most ARF's use something completely different than Ultracote/Oracover
horizon hobby uses ultracote. they specifically advertise as such. their arfs are cheaper to buy than to build as a kit.

the price to produce means nothing to me as I am not a manufacturer of oracover/ultracote. I have to buy that stuff from the retail market as 99.9999% of the people do as well, so I only care about the cost to purchase, not the cost of production. That is the same for every other product out their. Look at the cost of a diamond ring. The cost to produce it is peanuts compared to the the final retail price.

I look at my eflite shoestring arf and am amazed that an ultracote covered (3 colors = 3 rolls) balsa and plywood plane with balsa sheeted wings, fiberglass and painted cowl and wing paints, aluminum landing gear, with injection molded plastic fairings and painted pilot figure, with all hardware has an msrp of only $149.99
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cloud_9 View Post
Thanks, that's good to know. One thing I wonder about, I see designs like blue and white wings. You must have to put on the white covering, then cut out the blue covering and put it on next. How do you get the second layer of covering to stick to the first layer?

Also, do you have to worry about warping the frame when the covering shrinks under heat?

Jim
Most color trims are cut to shape and applied directly over the base, or first color.
The thermally activated backing of the material will gladly stick to the first layer.

One thing... Monokote, 21st Century, Black-Baron and most every other covering film "gasses" when heated. It then becomes almost impossible to iron seal the material on without entrapping gas bubbles.
UltraCote/Oracover (same exact material) does NOT "gas" when heated and becomes an easy to use trim material.
(Also, the cheap, HobbyKing version of monokote does not gas when heated).

There's another method to apply color trims and that is using Monokote Trim Solvent.
http://www.monokote.com/accys/topr6020.html
I used it 20 years ago before Monokote went thru its most recent "evolution". It works on several different brands of film, and still might be quite applicable. My only issue with the product was that it takes forever for all the solvent to evaporate and become "usable"..

On solid structures, carefully cutting away the unwanted material and applying a second color is possible.

Warping a structure when applying or shrinking the film is highly possible. Flimsy structures can be twisted and bowed if you don't pay attention. Having said that, paying a bit of attention goes a long way.
When shrinking the material, especially on a wing, get both sides of the structure covered before shrinking. Start in the middle of the panel, shrink a bit on one side, flip the piece over, and shrink the opposite portion. Work methodically... keep looking for any twists that might be developing, and counteract them before shrinking all the "shrink" out of the film.

A few tips to keep in mind.
1) Just like painting, prep work is EVERYTHING. You cannot hide a crappy surface. In fact, because of the high shine of the films, cruddy prep work is highlighted.
2) Clean a hot iron with mild solvents (charcoal lighter fluid). You will get crud from material on the iron surface... try to wipe it off onto a rag or scrap balsa before resorting to the solvent. I recently ruined a brand new shoe on a "Pro-Seal" iron wiping it with acetone.
3) Try to work as "cool" as possible with the material. Once a film is exposed to heat, it loses it's ability to shrink and stick. Only turn the heat up when absolutely needed.
4) Whenever covering a solid part, start in the middle and work toward the edges to avoid trapping air "under the skin". If you work "cool", you'll have less gassing and it gets easier to avoid the air pockets.
5) Good ol' fashioned flannel is the best "sock" to use on the iron.
I have a shirt I've been cutting up for years to make "socks" with... I use alligator clips to keep the sock in place on the iron. I can un-do one clip and have a bare iron when necessary, in seconds... and then put the sock right back on. No need to buy fancy or expensive, pre-sewn socks.
6) Covering film itself is without a brain, patience, or desire... that's up to you!
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rcfisherman View Post
horizon hobby uses ultracote. they specifically advertise as such. their arfs are cheaper to buy than to build as a kit.

the price to produce means nothing to me as I am not a manufacturer of oracover/ultracote. I have to buy that stuff from the retail market as 99.9999% of the people do as well, so I only care about the cost to purchase, not the cost of production. That is the same for every other product out their. Look at the cost of a diamond ring. The cost to produce it is peanuts compared to the the final retail price.

I look at my eflite shoestring arf and am amazed that an ultracote covered (3 colors = 3 rolls) balsa and plywood plane with balsa sheeted wings, fiberglass and painted cowl and wing paints, aluminum landing gear, with injection molded plastic fairings and painted pilot figure, with all hardware has an msrp of only $149.99
Good for you.
Me?
I won't keep feeding the gorilla that constantly eats my lunch.
Ultracote ought to be $3.00 a roll by now. Instead, the price keeps going up...
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 04:10 PM
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Good for you.
Me?
I won't keep feeding the gorilla that constantly eats my lunch.
Ultracote ought to be $3.00 a roll by now. Instead, the price keeps going up...
even tower hobbies econocote is much more than $3 a roll.

the price of a lunch is an amazing deal to own a gorilla!

oops, the shoestring's fuselage is also balsa sheeted.

so you don't think the shoestring for $150 is a good deal?

not all rc enthusiasts are retired baby boomers with endless free time.

so If I used a stop watch and said go, how many days/weeks/months would pass before I could press stop before you could produce something comparable to the eflite shoestring? Even at minimum wage, all it would take is 2 days to earn the cash to buy then build the arf
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rcfisherman View Post
even tower hobbies econocote is much more than $3 a roll.

the price of a lunch is an amazing deal to own a gorilla!

oops, the shoestring's fuselage is also balsa sheeted.

so you don't think the shoestring for $150 is a good deal?
You can think whatever you want to... it's all that matters.

Have a good day.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 04:23 PM
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Good for you.
Me?
I won't keep feeding the gorilla that constantly eats my lunch.
Ultracote ought to be $3.00 a roll by now. Instead, the price keeps going up...
why should it only cost $3 a roll?
should doctors and lawyers provide free services once their tuition cost have been covered? Should a $20 book only cost $1 because it only cost 50cents to print? Should all land be free because it was always there? Would it be ok to go to a museum and take a painting and leave $1 because that's all it cost back in materials back in 1452?

You can't just look at the price of production. You also have to consider the value of the intellectual property
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 04:25 PM
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You can think whatever you want to... it's all that matters.

Have a good day.
If you have been following the trends in the industry towards rtfs and arfs vs the dying kit industry, you will see that the majority also thinks this way.

You too have a nice day.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 04:43 PM
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One doesn't build kits to save money, that's for sure. I really can't afford Bill Stevens' kits any more. And I agree, the cost of covering is outrageous. There's always Doculam, I suppose.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 05:26 PM
Jim in the Desert
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One doesn't build kits to save money, that's for sure. I really can't afford Bill Stevens' kits any more. And I agree, the cost of covering is outrageous. There's always Doculam, I suppose.
You mean Stevens Aero? Hm, he has a trainer kit, that costs about 160. I'd like to build it. But you only get the wood and a few parts. 50" wingspan. I have been studying different trainers, LT-40, Hobbistar, Electristar, Alpha, Nexstar, Tower Trainer, Nitroplanes, Midwestern Aerobat (bet ya never heard of that one)....The wing loading is 15 oz (LT-40) to over 20 oz per square foot. Stevens Aero 50" trainer with ailerons, once built, is 8 oz/sq foot. Would I rather have it than a 70" Hobbistar with 20+ oz/sqft loading? You bet! Must float like a balloon. They cost the same, the Hobbistar ARF, and the StevensAero kit, though. So the probability is that I will buy the Hobbistar, and will build the kit slowly. I plan for it to be my second kit build. I have set up a work table in my living room (bachelor!) that will I hope always have one kit underway. My first kit is a 2m glider a friend gave me plans for. Will have to cut the parts myself. After the Steven's trainer, I have two of Pat's Super Cub kits...

The point I am trying to make is that you can not buy for any money the plane that you can build with a good kit from Pat's Custom Models (try buying an ARF or RTF similar to his Super Cub...not a chance), Steven's Aero, Mountain Models, maybe more out there? These models build LIGHT, and to me that makes them look like real planes when flying. They fly better than any ARF IMO. The downside is they won't handle wind, esp. since I will be emotionally attached to them and won't take chances like with an ARF. It's a shame kits are fewer than they used to be but I don't think they will disappear in my lifetime. All those companies are constantly coming out with new models. I know Pat is doing just fine.

In the meantime I will buy ARFs; I just ordered a Radian glider and probably will buy a Hobbistar ARF when I go pick up the Radian.

I have no conflict between kits and ARFs. They are both fantastic, for different reasons.

Just like Republicans and Democrats....uh oh scratch that.

Jim
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 06:35 PM
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For scale builds balsa, lite ply, fiberglass are kings foam looks like chunks of foam flying around. But Balsa, lite ply and fiberglass seem to be very expensive whereas epo, depron are much cheaper to use and will fly very well.
This is an arguement that no one side will win as it is just another choice in life. People will choose whatever will work for them be it balsa kit, foam arf or rtf, these are all different facets of the diamond we call a hobby. I see it as a gain if we have new products and new flyers being added to our ranks. It will make better products and cheaper products for us all. Good luck with your choice whatever it may be.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cloud_9 View Post
You mean Stevens Aero?
Yup. Gorgeous models, but too rich for me.

Quote:
The point I am trying to make is that you can not buy for any money the plane that you can build with a good kit from Pat's Custom Models (try buying an ARF or RTF similar to his Super Cub...not a chance), Steven's Aero, Mountain Models, maybe more out there?
Well, I pointed out earlier... The World Models J3 Cub is only about 25-30% heavier, with exactly the same wing area as the Mountain Models Cub. And $20 cheaper than the kit.

My soon-to-be-completed World Models Fun World (a rather ancient design) is no slouch either, in the wing-loading category. By contrast, my Mojo 40 (a kit from Swanyshouse) is a porker -- same wing area, more than twice the weight.

Agreed, Pat Tritle's stuff is in a different league -- he really sets the standard for light airframes.

No question about it -- for someone who's unsure of their prowess at kit-building, and wants a taste of the state of the art -- a kit from Mountain Models or Stevens Aero is the way to go.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cloud_9 View Post
You mean Stevens Aero? Hm, he has a trainer kit, that costs about 160. I'd like to build it. But you only get the wood and a few parts.


Jim
Jim,

The SA FullHouse is not a short kit. It comes with all the hardware unlike many kits.

As been noted, you won't find many kit makers that can touch the quality of a SAor MM kit.

I suspect that is why they appear to cost more, but well worth it.
Frank
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 07:35 PM
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It is hardware that you can actually use too. Some of the arfs and other kits the hardware us junk
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