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Old Sep 12, 2004, 01:24 PM
easily confused
mu2freighter's Avatar
Nashville Metro, Tennessee, United States
Joined Sep 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bengtson
Glenn,
Glad to hear you are having fun with the Halberstadt. You can do wonders with judicious sanding.
I have used the clear film material extensively as has Tom Hunt. It is document laminating film. It does paint if treated with alcohol first to remove the hand oil. It can also be painted on the adhesive side! Tom wrote an article in MAN where he covered a Dumas Hellcat conversion painted this way. Mylar is polyethylenepterapthalate a polymer just like any other plastic is a polymer. Polyethylene makes a poor covering, it is Saran Wrap. Polypropylene is a great material and is in Oracover. Mylar has incredible tensile strength and is very hard. "Clear film" resists scratches and imparts a lot of strength to a structure. The downside is that it tears easily when punctured.

Kurt
Ah so! I think polypropylene is what I had in mind for what Doculam was.

I did indeed give my covered Stuka a wipedown with 91% isopropyl alcohol and used nitrile surgical type gloves (super cheap at Walgreen's in bulk) from that point on to make sure nothing contaminated the surface, and I did indeed paint the glossy side...and it's holding up nicely with handling, as well as my one short flight. The lack of a tendency to sag helps, I think, plus I added a couple of real light coats of Krylon matte spray to seal everything up and keep the surfaces uniform.

Though I'd read other good reports about Doculam, JIMA's the one who really got me fired up on the stuff with his enlarged Earl Stahl P-40, and he's using it again on his Me-109 build. According to him, it doesn't wear badly even with repeated grass belly landings.

As I mentioned earlier to Pat, painted Doculam feels very much like painted doped tissue to me, though loads stronger. More 'organic' than Solite by a ways, if that makes any sense; Solite has a kind of sterile feel to it, being so slick.

Glenn
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Old Sep 12, 2004, 01:44 PM
Supersonic Engineering
GordonTarling's Avatar
UK, Greater London, Uxbridge
Joined Mar 2001
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Tom Hunt used to call his product 'Doculam' but I see he now calls it 'Clearfilm'. Useful if you only want smaller quantities though. Tom has told me that lightly spraying the adhesive side of the material can also work quite well.
http://www.modelairtech.com/electronics.html
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Old Sep 12, 2004, 02:06 PM
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Joined Jan 2003
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Glenn,

Kurt is right. The stuff I used on the P-40 and on the 109 now I bought from Tom Hunt. Also, I used cheap enamel spray cans to paint the P-40 and it has held up well. Keep in mind that I regularly land in 3 feet tall hay grass. I am using the same paints on the 109. A mixture of Walmart gloss for blue and yellow. Krylon camo colors for green and tan. The flat camo colors cover the best.

Jim

BTW, the same grass shredded the solite on my Molt Hellcat so bad that I quit flying it for having to repair the covering all the time.
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Old Sep 12, 2004, 02:28 PM
easily confused
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Nashville Metro, Tennessee, United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMA
Glenn,

Kurt is right. The stuff I used on the P-40 and on the 109 now I bought from Tom Hunt. Also, I used cheap enamel spray cans to paint the P-40 and it has held up well.
Yup, Jim, I got my first batch from Tom's distributor New Creations...I think that's where you got what you're using for your 109, yes?

I just like this stuff so well I plan on using it a LOT, so that 500 foot roll for maybe $25 or so with shipping just makes sense.

My 2 cents: as nice as your work is, you might think about dropping a bit of dough for an airbrush setup yourself one of these days, it's just a more uniform, lighter, and more consistent way to paint than spray cans. I use those for spinners & props, but that's about all. Being able to use standard scale colors rather than having to match hardware store paint is a huge plus for me, as well.

BTW, speaking of airbrushing, yesterday I wandered into Harbor Freight and they had a compressor sale going on. By sheer coincidence I had the last of my birthday cash in my wallet...so now I have a compressor with a 2 gallon air tank, it'll hold 115 psi and put out up to 90 through the hose, and it was only 80 bucks. It'll be interesting to see what kind of result I can get being able to push more than 20 psi through my airbrush...FINALLY!

Glenn
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Old Sep 12, 2004, 11:26 PM
Blade Butcher
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Boones Mill, VA
Joined Nov 2002
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Glenn, can you recommend...

an airbrush that won't break the bank? Mr. Bengston is tugging at my wallet really hard with these new offerings of his, so the airbrush will have to be a beginner's model, but I'd like to make the best of my funds. Thanks.
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Old Sep 13, 2004, 03:27 AM
easily confused
mu2freighter's Avatar
Nashville Metro, Tennessee, United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty240
an airbrush that won't break the bank? Mr. Bengston is tugging at my wallet really hard with these new offerings of his, so the airbrush will have to be a beginner's model, but I'd like to make the best of my funds. Thanks.
I know just what you mean! I'm constantly on a budget. Thank heaven for the Internet, say I.

For a quick example, I just did a quick check on eBay and the first thing I saw using the manufacturer 'Paasche' as a keyword was this auction...but you only have a few hours left on it.

I think this is a terrific deal, it's a Dutch auction with 2 available and no bids, and I'm almost certain you could pick it up for the opening bid of $40 plus the (rather high) shipping of $12....but then I work nights, and with my girlfriend out of town for a few days, I just got up

If I had any dough left I'd jump on this one...the box' picture shows it's clearly a double action, internal mix airbrush, which is high up the quality scale. Even with the seller's gimmick of high shipping cost, $52 for one of these is relatively inexpensive.

I used Paasche as a keyword since I've been using a Paasche 'H' model brush for years. The 'H' is a single action, external mix airbrush, whereas the aforementioned type are generally known for providing much finer control, since you control paint and air flow with one control.

The good news is, we as R/C hobbyists don't need anywhere near the capability that graphic artists or plastic modelers who deal with superfine detail do! We are generally covering much broader areas with our larger ships. If you miss the auction I linked to or aren't interested, there'll doubtless be tons of others, eBay's a great place to shop.

I don't have a huge amount of experience, since I've basically used only the one type. For all I know the inexpensive airbrush set I saw in Harbor Freight while buying my compressor, selling for just $10 or so, would do well for you.

At the top end, you have the Iwata brand, which appears to be the choice of artists & plastic modelers, for big $, in the hundreds, I believe.

My 'H' Paasche is splendid for broad areas of coverage down to fairly fine areas, actually in some ways better than the expensive stuff, where you have to constantly control the paint and air...my only gripe with it was that on the few occasions where I needed really fine lines I had trouble, and a lot of that may have been due to my cheap, pulsing, water spitting compressor. With my new one, with much higher consistent pressure and moisture free air, it might be able to do better.

I'd avoid the expensive stuff sold in mainstream hobby/craft/art stores; generally their slick packaging is of better quality than the unit!

I suggest doing some research with Google, become familiar with types of airbrushes and the tecniques for using them, and deciding what your own needs are. I prefer to hit eBay first for stuff like this, since there's lots of them out there. Catch an auction like I mentioned with other bidders snoozing, and you can usually save big bucks!

Remember, even the cheaper airbrushes are FAR better than spray cans. The cheapest compressor, like my old one, is FAR better (and infinitely cheaper) than canned propellant...I'd NEVER use that stuff. If you can budget a decent compressor with an air tank (I just checked and Harbor Freight's web site offers the Central Pneumatic one I bought for $10 cheaper than what I paid, just $69.99...I'm going back for my $10!) that's even better, since the simple types don't put out too much psi and they pulse; an air tank will be consistent with loads more pressure available. Fit it with an inexpensive water trap so it doesn't spit globs of water.

Speaking of water...with all the great water based acrylic paints available today, I see no reason to go back to lacquer based paints. Much easier water cleanup, and you can thin them with Windex for airbrushing instead of the $8 a bottle blue stuff that smells like Windex...

Only other thing I need now and would recommend is an ultrasonic cleaner. These too can be had inexpensively online, and they're easy to use, just disassemble your brush and drop the bits in to knock off any built up paint residue. Not essential, I've been airbrushing for years without one, but it'll get your airbrush (AND jewelry, small hardware, just about anything that needs cleaning) squeaky clean using water and sound waves

Do PM me if you need any more info...hope I helped a bit.

BTW, which of Kurt's designs is talking to you? I'm having a good time with my Halberstadt build myself, and I always follow Dave Ottney and others when they're doing one of the AerodromeRC builds. Kurt does nice work!

EDIT- just on a whim I checked some of the eBay sellers' stores...how about a brand new Paasche 'H' model airbrush like I have, that I KNOW works OK for our models, for about $30 including shipping? Just throwing out ideas...

With apologies to Adrian for sidetracking his thread...

Glenn
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Old Sep 13, 2004, 10:18 AM
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New Boston, Texas, United States
Joined Jan 2003
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Glenn,

Actually I have 3 airbrushes. 2 badgers and a cheap Aztec. Leftovers from my MRR days. The Badgers are unusable as I could never get them clean after use. Using Floquil laquer. I have used the Aztec a lot but not on any of my airplanes. It is easier to clean but I am just lazy. I do not have access locally to any of the new acrylic paints and I just hate using the enamels. Takes longer to clean the gun than to paint the subject. I know I should use it. Maybe after the 109. I already have the paint cans lined up for it. Also, the tailfeathers are already painted.

Jim
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Old Sep 13, 2004, 11:10 AM
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mu2freighter's Avatar
Nashville Metro, Tennessee, United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMA
Glenn,

Actually I have 3 airbrushes. 2 badgers and a cheap Aztec. Leftovers from my MRR days. The Badgers are unusable as I could never get them clean after use. Using Floquil laquer. I have used the Aztec a lot but not on any of my airplanes. It is easier to clean but I am just lazy. I do not have access locally to any of the new acrylic paints and I just hate using the enamels. Takes longer to clean the gun than to paint the subject. I know I should use it. Maybe after the 109. I already have the paint cans lined up for it. Also, the tailfeathers are already painted.

Jim
Hey, that's right, forgot we'd discussed this a while back!

Remember, none of what I've ever said is intended to disparage your own work, which I find amazing given that it's a brush job, or anyone else's. I just prefer airbrushing for its ability to paint light and even, not to mention how inexpensive it is in the long run; those little bottles go a loooooong way when you only need a little dollop of color that's thinned with Windex.

There are some things, too, that will never, ever look right brushed on, like metallics. I've tried painting stuff with Polly Scale aluminum by hand and I find it looks awful, full of streaks. An airbrush homogenizes everything. Also, finer stuff like the sand color camo on my Stuka simply wouldn't have been possible without it, since I was duplicating in miniature a spray gun job. If I had to, I could do splinter camo by hand, but all those cool soft-edged blotch type camo jobs like the Luftwaffe used would be beyond my capabilities with a regular brush. And since I can't depend on my LHS to stock the oddball Polly Scale acrylic paints I like, I just order them from Tower Hobbies...they carry the whole line.

I'm willing to bet I'm much lazier than you are (look how much faster you build, for one thing!), and I find that rinsing the airbrush parts out after painting takes me less time than making sure a regular brush is cleaned throughly. Their ease of use is barely comparable to the old Floquil lacquer based paints, and I sure have my own share of unpleasant memories from those!

Also, as I mentioned earlier, 20 bucks or so on eBay will get you an ultrasonic cleaner that'll get paint out of every crevice. Not having one yet has never slowed me down, but there are areas on my Paasche with 20 years worth of built up paint in some spots, and I'm sure once I get one in hand I'll think of all kinds of useful things to do with it. Plus I'd bet you a nickel one could make your Badger airbrushes usable again.

I was playing with my new compressor last night...it came with a blower tool. Awesome! Cranked it up to 90 psi and blew all the dust out of my transmitter face and stick gimbals that I never could reach even with a fine brush.


Can't wait to se your 109 all purtied up! Nice work, Jim!

Glenn
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Old Sep 13, 2004, 12:20 PM
Keep off the Grass!!
Adrian Britton's Avatar
Cardiff Wales UK
Joined Jun 2003
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Why? This is going to be my "BIGGY" thread!

Don't apologise Glenn, there's more response, in a very short time, about a thread that I've done no work to start - just went out shopping....than with all the efforts to do with stressful attempts to produce an electric powered model Aeroplane design! I haven't even had to keep it going to stay on the page ..

Let's just wait and see how the business-minded watching will soon be on the bandwagon to produce this stuff in "chain model shop" packaging.

I even cynically expect that it is already in use by the "other world" ARTF people. I've already noticed that the clinically excellent transparent covering on these many identically cloned "Cordless Kites" that prop-hang noisily over our Club runway don't seem to suffer from covering sag on a sunny day.....like my home made, proprietory film covered, cakes do

Still having a go at finding a roll locally....

Meanwhile, non flying weather costs more in indoor beer

Ade
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Old Sep 13, 2004, 01:46 PM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
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For those who can live with smelly dope fumes, I recall an article in a long-gone UK mag on electrics - Nexus / Argus House version of Electric Flight International, IIRC - about trimming "Doculam" type covering with coloured tissue. Author might have been George Stringwell, and the article would have to be ten plus years old.

Basically, cover model in Doculam, apply a coat of thin dope overall. Cut out trim sheets to shape, lay on model in place, rub thinners through to soften dope and stick trim down. When placed, stuck down and dried, a further coat or two of dope sealed up the tissue. Not much dope needed, as it had nowhere to go - unlike a wood substrate, which soaks dope up well.

George's models were done in large panels of tissue with narrow clear paths between them - looked very attractive and different.

I messed with Doculam some a while back - recall that "Krylon' spray can enamel stuck to it like the proverbial to the blanket, couldn't even sand it off. Was also real resistant to puncturing by dropped sharp things like screwdrivers.

D
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 03:44 PM
BillBowne
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Hmm, considering I just finished covering an S400 model with Doculam, I think I'll try trimming it with tissue paper. Lots of interesting colors available!

As to finding the stuff, I get mine from the school district where I work. My district has 3 laminators, all using Doculam. The teachers save me the ends of the rolls, which usually have at least 6' left on them. If I didn't get them, they'd be thrown in the trash. So, if you know any teachers, aids, or other school employees, you may be able to get some for free.

Granted, I have an "in" due to the fact that I work in the district as a computer technician, plus my wife and I annually fly our models as part of an presentation day at one school. So, I do have some favors due me.

Bill B.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 06:38 PM
BillBowne
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Here's a shot of the Altair 400, ready for gear and decorations.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 06:48 PM
Registered User
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Joined Sep 2001
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Mylar

Hi Dereck

The technique(article) to which you are referring was actually tissue over mylar. A technique I've used quite a bit and is easily the lightest finish available. The article is available online at George's site.

http://www.stringwell.freeserve.co.uk/

But I can see no reason why tissue and dope would not go over Doculam as you suggest. However the tissue is actually there to give torsional strength, the mylar for air proofing and puncture resistance.

The downside with tissue though is how fast it fades, particularly the Esaki type. Though it is great stuff to use.

George actually has a Sopwith Tripe covered with a type of Doculam he sourced from a friend of his in Oz. He is really impressed with it as a covering, particularly how easy it was to control shrinkage and prevent warping of the delicate tail feathers. The model is three or four seasons old now and still looks good as new.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Ian
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Old Oct 01, 2004, 07:13 PM
BillBowne
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Just finished decorating the Altair S400. Yes, it isn't a scale bird, but it is a test bed for doping craft-store tissue over Doculam:
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Old Oct 02, 2004, 03:09 AM
Keep off the Grass!!
Adrian Britton's Avatar
Cardiff Wales UK
Joined Jun 2003
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That's what I call a CONTRIBUTION to a "Discovery" thread!

Bill,

Scale or not, you have certainly demonstrated a novel and practical way to make a very plain model look attractive and uniquely distinctive.

I think, seeing that soaring around a park, would inspire many a youngster into constructive Aeromodelling . Its just the kind of finish for many of the mid-last-century "rubber" model kit conversions, including scale isn't it?

I particularly like the fact that you have gone "shopping" outside the model world to experiment. The choice of tones and colours is very limited in "model" tissues and coverings.

Very noteworthy and commendable.

Adrian
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