Esing Vinyl Covering Appliques for Homemade Foam Planes Review - RC Groups
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Esing Vinyl Covering Appliques for Homemade Foam Planes Review

Mike makes his first Esing-designed homemade foam plane!



Weight:4 oz.
Length:22 3/4"
Available From:

There are a number of very talented E-Zoners who simply buy themselves a sheet of foam, and design and make their own planes without any plans. My friend Pat AKA Crxmanpat on RC groups does wonderful things with foam. I tried to make a flying pterodactyl for the slope out of foam and using a Zagi wing. It only worked if the wind was between 10-20 miles per hour. Design is not my forte.

However, when the chance came up to review an Esing Vinyl applique plane I couldn't resist the chance to try it out for a decoration. Esing sells his wide variety "planes" on the internet. I picked his red Komet 163, and a few weeks later, the vinyl parts arrived from Mexico rolled in a regular envelope. A friend, Dick Andersen, was making a trip to R/C Country in Sacramento, and he was nice enough to pick up some sheets of cell foam for me to use for my plane. This review will cover installing the vinyl applique to foam, cutting it out and making a display plane. In the future I might add servos, a motor, speed controller and a battery and cut out the elevons to make it an operational plane. Several other authors have selected other planes and plan to make them RC flyers.

Kit Contents

The kit included 8 pieces of vinyl applique:

  • Left and right sides of the fuselage
  • Top and bottom wings center section, left and right wing sections

I Supplied:

  • Flat Foam
  • carbon fiber
  • Foam safe CA
  • Kicker
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Extra fine sanding block



I started out by laying out the right side of the fuselage onto a flat piece of cell foam and taping the applique to the foam with one piece of masking tape across the center of the fuselage. I lifted up one side of the applique and peeled away the backing to just about the area with the tape. I cut the backing there and removed it. Starting at the center, I carefully pushed the applique down onto the foam, squeezed it flat and slowly worked my way to the nose of the plane. I double checked that it was all laid out smoothly. I removed the masking tape and peeled the backing away from the applique from the middle going out towards the tail. I squeezed the applique onto the foam and made sure there were no air bubbles between the foam and the applique. I continued until the entire fuselage applique was flat and smooth on the foam.

Using my Exacto knife with a new blade, I started along the outer line of the plane removing the excess applique and foam board that was not to be part of the fuselage. When I was finished it looked like a profile view of a red Komet 163. The instructions that I downloaded from the Internet said that I could sand any sharp curves, and I should have followed that advice. My only minor flaw was a tight curve I had cut out with my Exacto knife. If I had sanded, I could have been perfect on this first step. I turned the foam over and had the blank other side facing me for step two.

For step two I used sharp scissors and trimmed away all applique that wasn't part of the fuselage. I laid the now trimmed applique over the foam and positioned it to line up with the foam. It appeared that this side was a little more narrow then the first side as I had some exposed foam even with the applique carefully layed out. I went for a match on the top edge and used masking tape to secure the applique in place with the tape going onto my work table. I repeated the process described above and peeled away the backing from one side, cut off the peeled backing and applied the applique to the foam. I then repeated the process for the back half of the fuselage. I now had the foam covered on both sides. The first side looked great, the second side had a little white foam showing at the bottom.


There are three appliques for the top of the wing and three appliques for the bottom of the wing. My foam was long enough for the wing but not wide enough for the center section if I tried to make the wing out of one solid piece of foam. I decided to make three sections and glue them together. I made my larger center section first in the same method as described with the fuselage. I covered first the top front of the section and then the top back half of the section. I cut the center section out of the foam very carefully with my Exacto knife. The top center section was complete.

The bottom center section was cut out carefully using scissors and then tape over the foam and to my building board. Front was applied first and then the back half. This section covered very nicely and was a nice match for the top and bottom sections being the same size.

Now that I have done the center section I am thinking it would have been better to get a larger piece of foam and make the wing out of one larger piece of foam or to add small pieces for the front and back of the center section and have the main body of the wing be one piece. Well that boat has sailed so I press on and make the left and right wing panels. The process is again the same for the top cover of the foam. I applied it in the same way as the previous applique pieces and get out the outline of the wing section with my Exacto knife.

Here are the top outer panels as a picture story of the applique process.


Per the instructions and markings on the appliques, I cut out the middle section slot through half the fuselage and half the center wing section and slide the two parts together. I made the cuts to fit the size of foam I had use so that there was a snug fit.

Is This For a Beginner?

Yes! The vinyl appliques are easy to use and the plane as a decoration was fun to assemble. A beginner should be able to have good success assembling their own Esing plane and there are many to choose from.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery


Once I got started this was a quick and easy little project. The final product is bright, colorful and light and will be easy to hang from the ceiling as a decoration. If I were making the Komet to fly I would definitely recommend making the entire wing out of one solid piece of foam as it would give it much more strength. If I were to do it again I would have made the wing with one piece of foam. The appliques matched up very well for the wings and might have been perfect if I had used only one long piece of foam for the wing.

An RC version would have required cutting out the elevons, sanding a 45 degree slant on the elevons leading edge and taping the elevons back in place. It can be powered with an EDF unit or as a pusher powered plane. Two servos and a computerized radio system would be required for Delta wing (elevon) control. For those that like to make their own Depron foam planes I recommend you check out the website as there are a variety of vinyl applique plane kits available. It would make a very nice hands on parent/child project.

Last edited by Angela H; Aug 19, 2010 at 04:18 PM..
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Aug 24, 2010, 08:44 AM
Registered User
Dorme's Avatar
What's the website?
Aug 24, 2010, 01:04 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
The website that we were given is no longer working. Our editor and I have tried to find if one is available. It is hoped that the owner may spot the article and let us know if a website is available. I have written to a couple of fellow authors to see if they might have access to a new name for the website or the e-mail of the owner but I have not yet had a response. There were a lot of planes available on the website. I hope information is discovered and that we can share it. I submitted the review with hope that we could fill in the website and price information. I apologize that the information is not currently available, at least to me. I found the product fun to work and hope it is still available. Michael Heer
Aug 24, 2010, 05:18 PM
Registered User
This is the website I bookmarked. It seems to be working fine. I have just gotten the Ultimate bipe and it looks Great. Have other projects in the works so it may have to wait. It would be nice in the future to see a construction review on one of these planes.
Aug 24, 2010, 06:04 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Thank you so much for posting the link. The Komet sells for $14.90 and postage is listed at $5.50. Hopefully other reviewers will post reviews on their planes as well. Mike Heer
Aug 25, 2010, 05:40 AM
The sky is my playground.
Dora Nine's Avatar
Aug 25, 2010, 09:32 AM
Registered User
D-Rock's Avatar
Nice artical and model. I remember seeing this site a while back; seems as though there were more "non-jet" options back then. I wonder if those are no longer availible?

Aug 26, 2010, 02:03 PM
PSALM 14:1
Sammy70's Avatar
Very interesting.....
Aug 26, 2010, 09:27 PM
Registered User
Yes you should make the upper view fuselage and wings toghether in one piece of depron and insert a caron rod before sticking the lower wing prints.

Please se the process in the site.
Aug 26, 2010, 11:06 PM
Registered User
Interesting... Just like the Phlat Printed Foamies thread. (search)
Except these are printed on self adhesive paper and cost $15 to $25 Plus $6 postage.
Aug 27, 2010, 09:13 PM
Registered User
These models are beautiful for display but were conceived for r/c flying.

See it:
Last edited by inedesca; Aug 27, 2010 at 09:15 PM. Reason: wrong description
Aug 30, 2010, 01:06 AM
5,200 Led Lighted Bike-Bob P.
**neons**'s Avatar
I built one of these and had some good flights on it. It is an easy flier for an itermediate flyer.
One video here and can be viewed in full screen.

Two videos here in half screen viewing.

**Neons** Bob
Sep 03, 2010, 02:31 PM
Registered User
Gives the imprssion that you are holding the camera and the control at the same time.

If so, how you do it? I have tried but never could is extremely cumbersome.
Sep 03, 2010, 04:33 PM
5,200 Led Lighted Bike-Bob P.
**neons**'s Avatar
Hello Indesca,
What I have is a Helmet Cam. It is a hardhat with an aluminum bracket over my right side. The the bracket is bent to drop down also to hold my Jazz HD 178 camera and the view finder in line with my right eye. What I do is place the plane on the ground and start the video with a push of the start button. I then pick the plane up and launch it or if it has landing gear I start my taxi to take off. I film the whole flight and after I land I close the viewfinder to stop filming.

The body makes it a perfect tripod to hold the camera stable and not jerkey. I have to set the zoom very slightly at times because once I am flying I no longer can operate the camera zoom. This all started when I had a friend that used to film my planes and did the worst possible production of my flights. He shook the camera, lost the plane, filmed the ground, and more. Almost half the film was junk. After I film I use Virtual Dub (Free download) to cut my .avi movies down and remove some spots that sun or empty areas in the video. I then use a converter to go to .mpg or .wmv formats for posting

The whole setup is so simple.
Glad to help you,
**Neons** Bob
Sep 05, 2010, 02:20 AM
Registered User
Beautiful, I have the same problem: nobody among my friends qualifies for good shots.

I will try it, thanks

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