Silk vs Iron on - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Oct 17, 2012, 07:36 PM
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Gerald's Avatar
Originally Posted by LesUyeda
"Yes and that is the reason I do'nt use it anymore. "

I just remember why I never had that problem. Just like the real fabric planes are painted silver before applying color. The silver paint IS the UV blocker that keeps the UV from attacking the fabric.

Yep. I also used a coat of silver butyrate as the first color coat over the nitrate sealer on the Liberty Sport. Besides blocking the UV, it also makes a nice base to keep the final colors opaque and bright. On a scale model you don't want sunlight shining through the covering.

Of course that presents a problem on those OT designs where it looks nice to have the translucent effect of sunlight shining through.
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Oct 19, 2012, 12:56 PM
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E-Challenged's Avatar
I just bought a ten meter roll of Solartex Cub Yellow from Balsa USA, one of the few places that sell real Solartex. You can get it in 6 foot rolls too. Beware of substitutes, some fabric iron-on coverings don't adhere as well without Balsarite and require special care in iron temperature settings.
Oct 19, 2012, 08:24 PM
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I like Solartex and Polytex. I've been using Solartex for years but the cost in Australia now is, to me, prohibitive so my use is limited. What I like about Solartex is that both the weave and colour are very "scale like" look especially when using Antique.

The Polytex weave is a little fine but looks great on bigger models plus it has the great advantage of being able to allow re-positioning. Gentle heat and the covering can be lifted and moved before re-ironing.
Oct 19, 2012, 09:07 PM
Edubarca's Avatar
I've never heard of Polytex before. Can you tell me who sells it? Thanks
Oct 20, 2012, 10:59 AM
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Silk vs Iron on - Liberty Sport Thread

Gerald, Thanks for the thread, I've read it with interest as it happens I've got to fire up my scroll saw for a small job (requires moving other tools around - I've got nice tools but a small crowded shop) and I'll make a point of pulling the Liberty Sport out and cutting out the ply printed parts. I am concentrating on building my Goldberg Cub and the F3F and I don't want to start the Liberty yet but I don't mind getting a head start on the kit. I am getting a big space waster out of the shop today and I'll be able to start some other projects. Regards, Cliffc
Last edited by Cliffc; Oct 20, 2012 at 01:16 PM. Reason: typo
Oct 30, 2012, 09:39 AM
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More on Covering

Originally Posted by bossee

SIG Liberty Sport - that is a nice plane!

I think it would be OK to use fabric based film like Oratex, Glosstex/Solartex and smilar.

But SIG Koverall and dope would probable be better so You get little more strength to the structure.

For the Aristo Craft Grumman F3F-2, if it has balsa planked surfaces all over the fuselage and wing/stab, You can use 25 gram glass cloth and for example Pacer Z-Poxy Finishing resin or Deluxe Materials EZKote

Bossee, I never thanked you for your helpful input. As I've worked through my decision processes I've had occassion to look this site over more extensively and see a lot of exceptional builds particularly in the scale and giant scale forums where fiberglass is used. I sort of mentioned that I've got a collection of kits WW I planes that clearly want fabric covering and some WW II kits and golden era kits where it seems like fiberglass might be the hot ticket. I've used fiberglass for repairs on old cars and considered building my own fibeglass over plywood boat. Fiberglass is a relatively unforgiving media - you can't reheat it or restretch it or really cut it off and start over -heaven help you if you've got a warped wing but the planes that I've seen Top Flight and Pica WW II planes looked particularly nice with fiberglass covering would you care to elaborate on how you'd decide on which covering you'd use?
Oct 30, 2012, 07:31 PM
Bo Edström, Sweden

The smaller models that need to be kept light one has to think of covering material more careful. On small models Japan tissue or similar material can work fine. SIG has some nice lightweight silk:
And some heavy duty silk for little larger models:
They also have some nice tissue for smaller models:

On a larger model like SIG Liberty Sport You can basically choose most old and new types of covering material. I have covered some models with SIG Koverall, for example a 1/4 scale CUB I scratchbuilt about 15 years ago. If You have never used silk, Koverall, nylon and such covering material that need dope it is some learning curve to begin with but it is actually a fun job in my opinion. But it will smell dope in the house so that might be a thing that prevent using dope in your home. Deluxe Materials has Eze dope with low odour but I have not tried it. Silk can of course also be used but it is easier to puncture then Koverall and nylon on larger models.

For balsa planked fuselage and wing/stab it is rather easy to use epoxy resin (like Pacer Z-Poxy or Deluxe Materials Aero Poxy) and thin glass cloth about 25 gram. It is rather easy to apply and when it is dry and edges trimmed away and sandeded plus filler applied, sanded etc You usually can get a very smooth finish, and light and at the same time strong. Just try it on one model that it is not superimportant it is 100% perfect result - kind of try and learn model.
The epoxy resin method has almost no odour.
There is also another thing you can try instead of epoxy resin and that is Deluxe Materials Eze Kote but it is very important to know it is water based and on balsa planked surfaces it is a risk of bulging balsa, but it can be prevented by applying very thin layers of Eze Kote and make sure it dries quick so bulging can not take place. You could apply a thinned epoxy resin coat first as a water protecting layer and then add Eze Kote in thin layers and that way prevent balsa sheeting to bulg. There is some video on Eze Kote covering on Deluxe Materials homepage so one can see result.

If You live in an appartment where odour might be a problem You will probably like Oracover, Oratex, Glosstex/Solartex better. I have some ARF's covered in Oracover (=Ultracote in US) and it is very good plastic film and it is rather easy to work with also but some learning cure here also and You work easier with a smaller iron designed for model covering. Temperature control is important when working with plastic film so the addhesive on the back of the film can attach to balsa properly where needed and film be stretched where needed.

Last edited by bossee; Nov 07, 2012 at 02:18 AM.
Nov 01, 2012, 01:44 PM
Registered User

Covering Material

Bossee, You give me too much credit to think that I've bought some planes that a am less enthused about for practice - probably should have. I've got a couple of .40 size planes that fall into that catagory but I am thinking that the Great Planes Cap 21 and Coverite Black Baron are probably a little on the light weight side for fiberglass and the wings are not fully sheeted. These are good candidates for an iron on. I've got a Pica Cessna 182 that might be just the ticket. It has fully sheeted wings and would look good with panel lines etc. I also have an engine for that plane that's at the top of it's rating so I'd have a little margin. I have to admit it's pretty low on my list of planes to build. I've also discovered that while I know folks who own more kits than I do, the kits I have are likely to out last me. I've got to stop buying them. :-) Regards
Nov 02, 2012, 05:02 PM
Registered User

finishing resins

I am looking for a product I saw online and cannot find it now. I was on ebay looking for prices on Pacer Z-poxy finishing resin and saw another product.

Never saw it before, it was resin that cured by light and was water clean up. I think is called Eco-something. I've tried all day to find it again.
I was $20 and was in a bottle of 24 oz I believe

I LIKE Pacer Z-poxy but wanted to try something else........
Nov 03, 2012, 11:55 AM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar
If you have ever tried to patch painted doculam you know it is hard to make it look good as new. IMHO Solarfilm is the best iron-on for opacity if you don't want to see the framework after covering. If you want to see it, any of the iron-on films will work, including the light weight ones . Light weight coverings are puncture prone but patches disappear. I am covering my old Sig 1/6 scale Cub with Solartex, (from Balsa USA,for an opaque painted fabric look . On my Tritle Stinson Reliant, I used white Solarfilm overall and ironed low temp dark blue Microlite over it for contrasting trim, poking pin holes as needed to eliminate air bubbles.

For graphics I order from Callie Graphics in Albequerque
Nov 27, 2012, 10:40 AM
Registered User

More Coverings

My buddy Articicebob gave me a packet of Front 15 Realuminum, 4" X 50'. Its nice looking stuff but the package weighs nearly a pound by itself (~16.7 sqft). Anybody try to use this? I've got a Proctor Sopwith Camel with a plastic cowl that might look good with this stuff laid on it as they usually have an unpainted aluminum cowl and the Grumman F3F would likewise look good with the metalized cowl. There's a guy on RCScaleBuilder that did a Camel this way laying the material on in strips and burnishing and sanding to make the seams disappear. Both of these are short nosed planes and the additional weight wouldn't do them any harm. Any thoughts?

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