HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
This thread is privately moderated by brucea, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Old Apr 12, 2008, 08:45 AM
AMA# 851123
brucea's Avatar
Bailey, CO
Joined Apr 2006
1,540 Posts
Eaten by a Dinosaur

Quote:
Originally Posted by IH8VTEC
I am covering a plane with blue on the top and white on the bottom. I am trying to overlap the blue over the white for a nice uniform looking seam. The problem is that it is hard to cut the covering straight and very close to the edge. I use a sharp pair of scissors and run them down the edge and can get pretty close but there is still a tiny bit of overlap and it's not quite flush.
Dear IH8VTEC,

To answer you questions I am going to assume that you are attempting to get a perfectly straight demarcation line between the blue So-Lite on the wing bottom and the white So-Lite on the wing top. Furthermore you are trying to get this perfect demarcation line exactly down the middle of the leading edge.

To quote the character Ian Malcolm from the movie Jurassic Park; "The type of control you are attempting is, well - uh, impossible!" Although your are not likely to be eaten by some virtual dinosaur, the results of attempting to cut a clean demarcation line between different colors of So-Lite exactly on the leading edge is equally as horrifying as getting munched by a computer generated monster! (Pardon the hyperbole!)

In no particular order, here are the challenges:

(1) So-Lite tends to squirm while being cut. I only use scissors to cut So-Lite while the backing film is still in place. As a matter of fact, I only make long cuts in So-Lite while the backing film is in place.

(2) Even with the backing film in place, So-Lite will squirm while being cut. This So-Lite "squirminess" is why I recommend using the tape or wet glass method to precisely cut So-Lite as shown in Post #12. Rigid coverings such as MonoKote and Ultracoat are much easier to cut cleanly.

(3) Unless So-Lite is cut with a very sharp blade, while being firmly held down, the resulting cut will be ragged. While attempting to iron down this ragged edge tiny bits of So-Lite and adhesive may smear onto the adjacent covering. Even with a clean edge, too much heat and/or too much pressure may cause smears. Here is what I do: (a) gently roll over the edge with a 195 degree F sealing iron perpendicular to the seam. (b) to heat seal the seam, I run my hot 240 degree F trim iron parallel with the seam. (c) any resulting smears can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol, which sorta works, or Acetone, which really works. Warning!! Acetone will melt So-Lite and must be used sparingly. Acetone may take some gloss off the So-Lite. Acetone is really nasty stuff! Acetone will go through your skin, into your blood, and to your brain! Always wear chemical resistant painterís gloves and work in a well ventilated area when using Acetone.

(4) Most smallish electric planes have very narrow leading edges making any type of cut parallel with the leading edge very difficult. A clean cut has to be done with a metal straight edge. However, unless you want to fashion some cutting jig, I know if no good way to hold a straight edge, knife and wing in such a way to get a perfect cut on the narrow leading edge with So-Lite.

Given that it is nearly impossible to get a perfect cut on the leading edge of a smallish park flyer after the wing is covered, how do you get such a cut? Well, I recommend you cheat! Do not put the line of demarcation exactly on the leading edge. Wrap the covering over the leading edge so the line of demarcation is on the top or bottom of the wing. The easiest way to do this is to make the line of demarcation on the wing spar, which is covering from structure to structure. If you have your heart set on a perfect line on the leading edge, you can prebond the different colors of So-Lite as shown in Post #18. Due to the round shape and smallish size of the leading edge, I consider the leading edge to be "open structure".

Quote:
Originally Posted by IH8VTEC
When I seal it down the blue covering smears across the white. This was done using a fresh sock; you can see what it looked like when I was done. I need to do a 55" wing and ailerons like this. What do I do?
If your 55" wing has a heavy and rigid structure you may want to consider using Solarfilm, Ultracoat, or, if you are a glutton for punishment, EconoKote or MonoKote. These rigid coverings can be cut down the leading edge after the wing is covered. However, you still have the challenge of trying to cut a perfect line on top of a rounded leading edge.

I hope this helps.

Thanks, Bruce
brucea is offline Find More Posts by brucea
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Apr 12, 2008, 09:00 AM
Registered User
saucerguy's Avatar
United States, WA, Yacolt
Joined Dec 2005
1,025 Posts
A neat little tool you might want to pick up is a film trimmer: http://www.philshobbyshop.com/tek9.a...fic=jmpmjmdpn4

I don't use mine very often at all since most of my planes are all the same color "lazy I know", but it's a tool designed for this type of an application. I imagine with enough practice, you could get factory looking results with it, I have had decent results with mine, I just don't use it often enough to drag it out. Here is a photo:

saucerguy is offline Find More Posts by saucerguy
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 24, 2008, 04:52 PM
Fly it like U stole it
Pickle72's Avatar
Champaign, Il
Joined Mar 2008
2,418 Posts
I'll start off by saying thanks for this thread. Tons of great tips and tricks. However I have had it with trying to get my plane covered! Its my own fault but I think my next (2nd) plane will be a foamy so I don't have to mess with it. So now I have a question to a problem I ran into. I picked up some covering from the LHS in the scratch and dent. I got white ultra coat or something similar (it didn't have a label anymore) and some metallic green monokote. Monokote is for the birds. Everything done with the ultra coat was passable but the monokote just gave me fits after fits. The last straw was when I covered the wing. Bottom monokote, top ultra coat. Everything was going good until I flipped the wing over to heat the bottom. The monokote wouldn't shrink so more heat and more heat. I flipped it over again to get the top and I burned a huge by large hole in it just by heating the monokote from the other side . 3 patch attempts later I pulled all the covering off . Now the monokote left residue all over the balsa. How do I get that stuff off? It is on there good.
Pickle72 is offline Find More Posts by Pickle72
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 24, 2008, 07:16 PM
Registered User
saucerguy's Avatar
United States, WA, Yacolt
Joined Dec 2005
1,025 Posts
he he, sorry, I'm not laughing at you, I just found it amusing we share the same frustration with monocoat comapred to ultracoat. Ultracoat is far superior to Monocoat for two reasons. It shrinks and adheres to a lower temperature then Monocoat. The other, it shrinks to much better levels then monocoat so you can be rather sloppy with it and still produce good results. In a nutshell, you are pre-stretching it as much as possible when you initially apply it, if you have to overlap, they tell you 1/4", that is a good rule of thumb to go by, you can go even past that, yet going the opposite direction, it will tend to pull away.

Monocoat as you noticed, doesn't shrink in front of your eyes, you have to release the heat and let it cool to see what it's going to finally rest at, Ultracoat shrinks in real time. With both coverings, you are supposed to alternate what you are shrinking, this will provide an even amount of stress on the airframe, so you just hit it quickly with the heat gun, just a spot and quickly move onto another area, coming back to the original spot several times, eventually getting the desired results. You learned not to mix the coverings due to the difference in temperatur required to shrink/adhere to. Ultracoat combined with a little coaxing with your iron, I've been able to stretch around some extensive complex curves, the likes of which, I'd have to cut several pieces with monocoat to achieve the same results.

I found both coverings to be much easeir to deal with then tissue paper, of which I grew up using that material and it is much less tolerant then these plastic coverings, this also helped on the learning curve, my first plane I used Ultracoat on, I did it in the same manner I would do paper with, the results were fantastic. The difference though, I have to slow down and let the iron properly adhere the material to on the model, if I move too quickly, it will pull apart from it as I stretch it into place.

I then look to the finish and compare it to what it would take to achieve the same thing in foam, and it's far quicker to cover a plane with it then it is to sand, paint, primer, resand, fill, paint, sand some more on any foamie to achieve a similar finish, I've even used ultracoat and microlite solite on foamies with great results, it sure saved me from alot of finish work, just be aware that you are not going to be able to shrink it as much since you cannot get it as hot as you would on a stick creation.

How to get rid of it once it's on? You can try a chemical debonder as mentioned earlier here, you risk saturating your balsa with it though, the would make it counterproductive for applying the new material, so I reccomend picking at the left over pieces by hand as much as possible, then sanding the rest of it away, remember, it's going to be covered up anyway, so you are just wanting it to be level again, it's ok to have some monocoat still stuck to the frame.
saucerguy is offline Find More Posts by saucerguy
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 24, 2008, 08:05 PM
magic bill
wjkrysak's Avatar
SE USA Georgia
Joined Sep 2004
351 Posts
I favor the use of Ultraocoat on a built up. Light and reactive to the heat gun. However, I find the need to tighten from time to time. Difficult when I mix mono and ultra.
cheaha bill
wjkrysak is offline Find More Posts by wjkrysak
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2008, 07:56 PM
Fly it like U stole it
Pickle72's Avatar
Champaign, Il
Joined Mar 2008
2,418 Posts
Well I got most the stuff off, big chuncks anyway. The balsa is stained green so I will need to find some nice opaque covering, or just live with it. I don't think it will last to long in my hands anyway
Pickle72 is offline Find More Posts by Pickle72
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 26, 2008, 12:05 PM
Fly it like U stole it
Pickle72's Avatar
Champaign, Il
Joined Mar 2008
2,418 Posts
I just went out and bought 2 rolls of microlite to recover my whole plane. I know I am being anul but the green stain on the balsa shows up through the covering. Do you think I could put a light coat of spray paint over the balsa to hide the stain from the monokote? Will the covering stick to paint? Surly it wouldn't add to much weight to it. It might even look kind of cool to have blaze orange ribs showing through the white and yellow covering
Pickle72 is offline Find More Posts by Pickle72
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 26, 2008, 12:08 PM
Fly it like U stole it
Pickle72's Avatar
Champaign, Il
Joined Mar 2008
2,418 Posts
One more question. I am going to cut the hinges off the tail feathers to recover them too. I read that some people use covering for hinges. Would I just use a long strip along the gap or several small ones and will microlite be strong enough for a hinge?
Pickle72 is offline Find More Posts by Pickle72
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 26, 2008, 01:07 PM
AMA# 851123
brucea's Avatar
Bailey, CO
Joined Apr 2006
1,540 Posts
Hinges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickle72
One more question. I am going to cut the hinges off the tail feathers to recover them too. I read that some people use covering for hinges. Would I just use a long strip along the gap or several small ones and will microlite be strong enough for a hinge?
Dear Pickle,

What type of plane are you building? You can use covering as a hinge material if you have a single bevel at the joint. To use covering as a hinge material takes some practice. Since you are using microlite (So-Lite) attempting to apply a strip of covering will likely leave visible bubbles under the strip. You would want to use the wet patch method shown in Chapter 10: Small Patches (post #14). I don't use covering as hinge material very often. Covering expands and contracts according to temperature. I prefer tape hinges for small park flyers. CA hinges and Dubro pin-style hinges for larger planes.

Thanks, Bruce
brucea is offline Find More Posts by brucea
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 26, 2008, 05:22 PM
Registered User
saucerguy's Avatar
United States, WA, Yacolt
Joined Dec 2005
1,025 Posts
I thought about painting the balsa for that effect using a transparent film in combination, I'd try out a sample with the paint you are using on some scrap and see if it adheres correctly, it should work.

I have an ARF that had hinges done with covering only, when I shrank the film to take out the wrinkles, it caused tension on them to the point, I had to cut them away and put on regular hinges so it's not reccomended for that reason. The above posters instructions are the way I'd go, especially with the dubro pin hinges, you can also add tape to make it a bulletproof combination if you are using another set of CA hinges as well.

Microlite solite is my second favorite covering, it's the lowest temperature covering on the market, this means tread very, very lightly with the iron, you will burn through in a few places learning how anal you have to be with it, both for adhering and for shrinking, I reccomend leaving the heat gun out of the equasion in your case, it will be too easy to burn through the material with it, and I'd give yourself lots of overlap. It's very thin so seams don't show up as much which means if you aren't making them perfect, it's not the end of the world. It does tear much more easily then monocoat or ultracoat and you will be going through many more razor blades as well. I save my spent razor blades, at least the ones that cannot properly cut film because they are still sharp enough to cut balsa so it saves a little bit on your budget there.

When you shrink solite, it will be similar to monocoat as in there will be a delayed reaction unlike Ultracoat. This means don't trust your eyes when you are initially tacking/shrinking, just trust that it will shrink further once it has cooled down and you can go back over that area as many times as you need to get the final shrink, so lots' of alternating of the surfaces you are working on.

For you guys new to this that are getting frustrated with using these films, pick up a cheap kit that uses tissue paper for covering and do one, if not a few of them using that material. You will learn that paper is alot harder to work with, yet you are cutting smaller pieces to get it to conform to complex curves, getting used to that process, you can apply the same techniques towards the plastic coverings if you do not want to take alot of risks, you will also have a much greater apprieciation for the plastic coverings as well and will find better results in your plastic coverings after gaining some skill with paper.
saucerguy is offline Find More Posts by saucerguy
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 27, 2008, 08:28 AM
Fly it like U stole it
Pickle72's Avatar
Champaign, Il
Joined Mar 2008
2,418 Posts
Thanks for the advice. Hopefully I will have all my honey-do's done and I can get this thing done today.
I built a a p-51 out of stick balsa and tissue when I was a kid. I think it was rubber band powered but I just used it for display. I don't remember too much about the covering other than laughing cause I was using "dope". I know stupid kids right
Pickle72 is offline Find More Posts by Pickle72
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 27, 2008, 12:49 PM
If it flies, I will crash it
mxspode's Avatar
USA, CO, Westminster
Joined Jan 2008
3,019 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickle72
I just went out and bought 2 rolls of microlite to recover my whole plane. I know I am being anul but the green stain on the balsa shows up through the covering. Do you think I could put a light coat of spray paint over the balsa to hide the stain from the monokote? Will the covering stick to paint? Surly it wouldn't add to much weight to it. It might even look kind of cool to have blaze orange ribs showing through the white and yellow covering
I have done this using shaker can spray paint. Use flat or satin paints as they are lighter and they will tint the wood without having to coat it very heavy. Keep the nozzle a good distanced from the parts and apply a very light coat, just enough to tint the wood the desired color. I even mask parts off for orientation. You could easily use different colors as well. Remember that you do not have to "paint it", only "tint it". Works rather nicely.

Rob...
mxspode is offline Find More Posts by mxspode
Reply With Quote
Old May 10, 2008, 07:56 AM
Fly it like U stole it
Pickle72's Avatar
Champaign, Il
Joined Mar 2008
2,418 Posts
Well I painted the balsa how mxspode suggested. I painted it bright orange
You can't really see it through the covering but it did what I wanted it to do, hide the green stain from the monokote. She is all covered (looks like s**t) but for my first covering job in over 20 years I think it is passable(mom helped a lot back then too). Just got the battery and charger in mail yesterday so now all I need is a nice day.
Again thanks for this thread, I would really be SOL with out it.
Pickle72 is offline Find More Posts by Pickle72
Reply With Quote
Old May 10, 2008, 10:41 AM
If it flies, I will crash it
mxspode's Avatar
USA, CO, Westminster
Joined Jan 2008
3,019 Posts
Nice to hear it worked for you. Hang with it, my observation has been that your results do improve the more you do it. The first 3 wings I covered I manged to burn a hole in while shrinking and still had wrinkles. The last one I did actually came out pretty good. I have my glider wing to do next so hopefully my skills are ready.

The guy that instructed me told me to not sweat the covering early on. Just get it on there so you can fly it. That is why we build them after all, to fly them.

By the way he is a Real good builder.

Rob...
mxspode is offline Find More Posts by mxspode
Reply With Quote
Old May 10, 2008, 07:22 PM
Registered User
saucerguy's Avatar
United States, WA, Yacolt
Joined Dec 2005
1,025 Posts
As stated before, don't sweat it if it's not perfect, it's also highly likely you'll be able to still shrink it further once you are more comfortable pushing the covering further to it's limits, so doni't write off the job you did with the solite. When I first used that particular brand of covering, I was not thrilled with the results myself and I ended up going back over everything with the iron after the fact quite aggressively and managed to pull out the wrinkles. Try Ultracoat next, you are going to love it, your results will be much improved and since it has a little more girth, is much easier to handle, this is the reason I still stick with it over any other covering system to this day. Also as stated before, you do improve with practice, a huge part of that is to figure out what to tack down first, then second, then third, then fourth, etc. you'll reach the point where you have to lay off on getting it too tight from the beginning because going too far will warp the plane when you shrink it.

Now, I cover it only to a certain point, not being quite so anal about it and giving myself room to shrink it further down the road so I don't necessarily apply the maximum amount of heat to it and I rarely even use the heat gun any more.
saucerguy is offline Find More Posts by saucerguy
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Journey for a beginning R/C addict soholingo Beginner Training Area (Aircraft-Electric) 842 Apr 03, 2003 11:30 AM
Best covering film for newbie? astroboy Electric Plane Talk 8 Jul 20, 2001 02:59 PM
What Covering To Use for the Chrome on my T33 Joe Elston Electric Ducted Fan Jet Talk 3 May 21, 2001 09:04 AM
covering jobs for zagis barn buster 50 Foamies (Kits) 1 May 04, 2001 08:30 PM
New covering film for light models bipeflyer Parkflyers 6 May 01, 2001 12:49 AM