Protecting paint job on a foam plane? Best methods? - RC Groups
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Mar 11, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Protecting paint job on a foam plane? Best methods?

HI guys,

I am going to be purchasing a Parkzone Spitfire soon, and I was wondering what I could do to make the paint job more durable and/or the whole plane a little tougher.

1) I was thinking about covering the whole plane nicely with clear box tape. However, if I were to ever crash it and make a repair, removing the damaged tape would remove the paint. But, the clear tape does make the foam tougher and keep the damage lower when/if crashed. Plus, I am not exactly sure if the plane would look good all covered in clear tape?

2) I have read and thought about painting the plane with a clear coat spray paint(foam safe of course). I've read that it's best to use a latex, as it is flexible and wont spiderweb and crack? I've read that krylon has some good stuff.

I am looking to do something to keep hangar rash to the minumum and preserve the fantastic paint job on the Parkzone Spitfire Mk ix.

Any knowledge would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Mar 11, 2012, 08:53 PM
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Toysrme's Avatar
1) use the old mantra of woody fliers. USE PROTECTOR PLATES under the wing on the tips. and if need be on the stabilizer!
2) acrylic top coat b/c latex peels so easy off foam.

covering planes with tape... im gunna be 100% honest. that's for people that don't understand how heavy tape is & are in too big of a rush to use their brain on said particular plane. (and yes, i fall into that category on a couple of planes here and there too...)
Mar 11, 2012, 09:05 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
PLEASE! Forget the tape idea. First off it'll look like it is still packed Second it will add weight that is just as likely to ensure you suffer a first crash as not.

Simply stated, learn to fly and not to crash. Every model has a flight envelope where it flies well with good control. Similarly when flown near or past the edges of this envelope it is at risk of mishap. Model flying is not at all like a video game. We, as pilots, very much need to feel out and learn our model's safe and valid operating limits. If we do not do so then all the packing tape, carbon fiber or epoxy resin in the world will not save our model. It's up to us to carefully learn each model's safe, fringe and totally disastrous operating parameters both at high and low speeds.

Many low time flyers tend to avoid the risky low speed side of a new model for risk of running into stalls, snaps and other troubles. But as a superior pilot, or one who aspires to such a label, we need to explore our model's flying habits in every mode, not just do safe and non risky high speed passes and then consider ourselves as skilled. The classic mode is to get up to high altitude then throttle back and learn to fly on the ragged edge and where that ragged edge exists. We should be able to handle our models at not only high speeds but slow speeds. Once you get a feel for this aspect you can toss the model around at just barely over a stall speed with skill and daring. But it's a long road to achieving this sort of feel. And the sooner you start the sooner you'll reach that level and won't need to be posting about taping up a model.

You need to be conservative in your approach to each new model you obtain and fly it conservatively at first and work towards the edges of the envelope up at the classic "3.5 mistakes high" sort of altitude where you can recover without incident before impacting with the "big green thing". As you explore the model's low speed charactaristics you'll develop a feel for what you can do and what is disastrous. From there you can avoid the disastrous manner of flight when low and slow.

Hints, it's seldom a good idea to crank the ailerons or rudder to full throw while at low speed. Keep in mind that the ailerons in particular alter the camber and angle of attack of the region of the wing where they are located. At low speeds a sharpy deflected down aileron can easily produce a wing stall over that portion and a drop away to that side in the classic "low speed snap" style scenario that often results in a green bag experience in order to tidy up the flying field. It's always a good idea to learn of the importance of small Tx stick deflections and patience when flying at lower and near stall airspeeds.
Last edited by BMatthews; Mar 11, 2012 at 09:14 PM.
Mar 12, 2012, 06:47 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
A bit of 'hangar rash' adds character

Plus planes always seem to fly better after that 'immaculate finish' gets some 'character', (usually after the second crash and repair).

You're in the hobby to fly planes, (I hope), sitting and admiring them is for the plastic kit builders.
Mar 12, 2012, 03:55 PM
-insert witty saying here-
Hemikiller's Avatar
Originally Posted by w1indse7
I am looking to do something to keep hangar rash to the minumum and preserve the fantastic paint job on the Parkzone Spitfire Mk ix.

Any knowledge would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
IMO, covering it with tape will destroy the appearance and make it look like it's already been crashed. Learn to fly the plane as BMatthews said, in it's flight envelope and you'll be fine.

I have the Bf-109 from PZ and aside from a little rash from a couple nose-overs on windy days, it looks as good as new. I finally ditched the gear and 3-blade prop last month and it's whole different animal!
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Mar 12, 2012, 05:34 PM
Registered User
Thanks guys for all the replies and advice. I am going to look into painting(acrylic) a clear coat on the wing and fuselage to add a layer of durability to the paint job.
Mar 13, 2012, 01:14 AM
It must have a machinegun
Scaledown's Avatar
Can I suggest you look for a matt or satin clear coat rather than gloss. It will look more scale and it hides imperfections in the surface.
Mar 13, 2012, 09:36 AM
Registered User
Matt or Satin. Not gloss. Got it!
Mar 13, 2012, 05:46 PM
Registered User
mistairjoe's Avatar
You can use water based poly(WBPU) satin on foam.If you want to make it realy strong you can glass it with light weight cloth and WBPU satin and the paint will still be visible but cut down.It does not ad much wight.Joe

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