Doculam and Laminating films for model covering - RC Groups
Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
Thread Tools
Mar 02, 2013, 04:22 PM
Registered User

Doculam and Laminating films for model covering

Laminating film:

Mylar for small light weight models and
Doculam, twice as heavy.

See Pat’s post at

I don’t want to hijack his thread, so I will post my findings down below.

I bought some of the material listed below. It will be used on small, light models.

10 micron clear 1/2 mil 13.6 gms. per sq. metre 10 metres x 315 mm wide £5.00 plus post

15 micron clear 3/4 mil 20.4 gms. per sq. metre 7.5 metres x 315 mm wide £5.00 plus postage
to order, see
or send an email, which I did.
I got excellent service from Mike.

On the Tomtit build thread,
posts # 48,54, and 55 point to the use of mylar or laminating material. Mention was made of Doculam.

Next, I kept on looking around and Googled Doculam. Lots of information.
Having gotten somewhat interested, side tracked, I decided that I should get this slightly heavier material. This is where I ordered this “Doculam”

above not working, then try

The shipping weight was for 500 ft at about 14 lbs. and postage about $30. Works out to about 10 cents/ft.

I just got a roll of this material.
The actual roll weighs just 8 lbs for 500 ft, at 25 inch wide.

This roll covers 1000 sq ft and weighs (8 lbx16 oz) 128 oz.

If we round the numbers out, roughly 10 sq ft/ sq meter makes this material about 1.3 oz/sq M (28 g/oz), which makes it about twice as heavy as the 15 micron mylar.



More information is found in this article:
A guide to using laminating film for Radio Controlled Model Aircraft
Modelers are a fairly thrifty bunch of people, where a dollar can be saved, it's usually done. Using laminating film in place of plastic covering films can result in a massive cost saving and provide equally good results.

Heavier grades, see

CP Laminating Film is a higher quality roll laminating film that activates 20-30 degrees cooler than standard polyester films. The chemical makeup of the adhesive allows this roll laminating film to stick better to hard-to-laminate projects such as inkjet prints and construction paper.

CP film is available in 1.7 mil, 3 mil, 5 mil, and 10 mil. Standard widths are 9", 12", 18", 25", and 27".
Last edited by JohnAV8R; Feb 05, 2014 at 12:27 PM. Reason: updated URL
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Mar 02, 2013, 04:23 PM
Registered User
additional information as I come across it.


cloud snooper build log and tissue over laminating film, (Doculam) Post # 21 shows the results.

This is what I ordered.
Product Model Price Quantity Total
1.5 mil Gloss PET
- Width & Core Size: 25" x 500' on 1" Core RBRCR1.5X $22.96 1 $22.96
Sub-Total: $22.96
UPS Standard: $30.21
Total: $53.17
Randolph nitrate/butyrate dopes. Randolph dopes are made right here in America.

Dope supplier in Canada for Randolf-

150 Aviation Avenue
Brantford Municipal Airport
Brantford, Ontario N3T 5L7


JMP_blackfoot (Jean-Marie) provided the following info on the covering he used on a small free flight model; have a look, a very nicely done model.

post # 8

a laminating film which was supplied by:

214, ave. du Président-Wilson
93210 Saint-Denis La Plaine
01 49 17 57 00

SORETRAC - Rue René Cassin - Zac de la Villette aux Aulnes - 77290 Mitry Mory - France - Tél. : + 33 (0) - Fax : + 33 (0)

Catherine VAZ
03 44 56 44 19
06 64 47 88 42

Film de pelliculage DRY Brillant 26µ (STC) : 9,20/100 m²
Film de pelliculage DRY Mat 28µ (STC) (25g/m²) : 14,50/100 m²

I use the matt kind, because I prefer the final appearance. I also use the same film on larger models, and dope Jap tissue over it. It makes for a drum-tight covering which looks quite convincingly good. The weight of my sample is actually 22g/m² (this includes the adhesive). It is quite easy to work with, much more so than the various ***kotes.

In the US, a slightly thicker equivalent is Doculam found here:

another example
Ducolam - Covering The Tail Surfaces
post #144
Painting , post #175
Last edited by JohnAV8R; Mar 13, 2014 at 11:49 AM. Reason: added example
Mar 03, 2013, 06:08 PM
Registered User

Doculam, it seems to work very well.

I've tried this material. All I can say for now is , wow. I'm impressed with it. It really works. I set the iron on a low/medium heat and just ironed the material down. It stuck well enough that when I pulled it off, it also pulled the balsa with it. It is lighter that MonoKote, takes less heat, and figure the cost.

This material isn't for everyone, especially those that want a specific colour and don't want to paint.

For the rest of us though, endless possibilities.
You could paint the frame work and let it show through the clear material.
You could apply the material, then paint the "inside" and what you see is the frame work in balsa colour on the outside.
I'll try a few of these ideas and post.
If you have an idea using this "clear, see through" material, let me know and maybe we can try it.

Mar 04, 2013, 05:23 PM
Registered User
You can spray the adhesive side lightly with floral rattlecan paint. The light coat does not affect the adhesive and eliminates dealing with paint scratches and ensuring that it's fuelproof (if you fly IC).
Mar 04, 2013, 10:59 PM
Registered User

Doculam test examples

Thanks Andrew, good suggestion to use rattle can spray paint for the "inside".

Here are a few examples:

paint the frame then cover

cover first and paint the inside to let the balsa show through

no paint, just the clear

mylar for indoor model, no heavy paints used.

lastly, not shown, find a good paint and paint the outside as "normal"

This material seem to iron on easily and should work out.

Last edited by JohnAV8R; Mar 05, 2013 at 07:24 PM.
Mar 05, 2013, 07:20 PM
Registered User

Another Doculam source $5.95 shipping , no minimum purchase
Mar 08, 2013, 10:44 AM
Registered User
Thanks TFM. The more info, the better.
I'm still trying out a few different ideas.

The Weldbond glue, painted on the balsa and allowed to dry , allows you to iron the mylar material down.
Higher temperatures seems to allow it to "stick" better.
I've tried higher temperatures than I would use on MonoKote, and it still does not melt or burn "holes" in the covering.

The Doculam, slightly heavier, already has the adhesive on one side. It really "sticks" down well on bare balsa. It even sticks down on primed (paint or sealer coat) balsa.

For an example of sticking down on primed balsa I'll use the Peace Maker build. If you don't like the looks of this Bill, you can always re cover the "test area".

I've also tried putting primer on the mylar and Doculam. Where the primer is the top coat, the iron melts and lifts the primer a bad choice, don't do.

Where the primer is under the mylar, or Doculam, the iron does not affect it. But remember, if painting, the layers are "inside out". The paint colour goes on first, then the back coat.

And, lastly, as Chad says, you really can not beat dope and silk.

Mar 08, 2013, 02:04 PM
I like thermals
I am very interested in this material. Have acquired a small batch to experiment with. The technique I plan to try is esaki tissue and dope over the doculam for mid-sized old timer and nostalgia designs.. It'll be a while before I get to it, but that is the plan...eventually...
Mar 08, 2013, 02:30 PM
Registered User
Thanks pulserudder.
Keep us posted on what you try and how well it works.
Please check out previous users found on this forum. The TomTit build has several excellent suggestions and links.
Mar 08, 2013, 10:54 PM
Registered User
Doculam can be dyed with Rit fabric dye in hot/boiling water giveing translucent colours. The heat from boiling water is below the glue melt and doculam shrinkage temp so it is not effected.
Mar 09, 2013, 08:51 AM
Registered User
Thanks clipclop. That's interesting and a very good suggestion. This should be a lot easier than a dusting of paint.
Mar 12, 2013, 01:02 AM
Registered User
Sorry for the duplication of information, but I'm trying to keep it together.
I'm trying a primer paint on the Doculam and also on the balsa before the application of the Doculam. The Doculam seems to iron down and stick nicely to the balsa/primer surface. So far, it appears to be easy to work with, sticks well, and shrinks well. It will tolerate a higher heat than "plastics" without the worry of burning holes or hot spot "melts".
Mar 16, 2013, 11:03 AM
Registered User

Doculam and trim colours

Doculam and trim colours or tissue covering:

I have tried the Weldbond glue cut 50% with water in place of dope to stick the tissue paper onto the frame work. Works, and has the advantage that it can be treated in a similar manner as plastic covering if you need to pull the wrinkles or move it around slightly; just heat the area with your iron.

The Doculam will withstand a higher temperature than plastic.

I also went shopping (Home Depot) in the store paint section. There are water based “paints”, clear that should work as well as Weldbond, but the others may not soften with heat.

I like to cover with “wet tissue”, especially silk span. Using it wet, it can be re-positioned and easily moved around before gluing/sticking it to the frame work.

Experimenting with “coloured” tissue......all went very well except the dye in the coloured tissue was water soluble.

If only slightly damp, perhaps a small problem. If very wet, and using only a coloured section against a clear area, then a potential problem. The water carried the dye colour from the tissue onto the clear area.

This excess water can be “soaked up’ using a small tissue or Kleenex. However, the problem I had was that when I went away to let the material dry out (over night), the water/dye mixture proceeded to migrate out from the tissue when I wasn’t there to soak it up.

The result was that the next morning everything was in place, nice and dry, all stuck down tightly, almost perfect, except that the coloured water/dye and glue/paint mixture had also dried.

The end result looked like, or very similar too, the bleed that happens when masking tape is not sealed down and the paint bleeds under. (Sorry Bill)

Future solution: use only slightly damp paper, be very sparing with any water based glue or paint, or go with a non water base.

Again, dope will/would be the best.

Last edited by JohnAV8R; Mar 16, 2013 at 11:09 AM. Reason: typo
Mar 16, 2013, 11:26 AM
I like thermals

doculam with tissue and dope

Thank you for your continued updates. I like applying wet silkspan too, and that is how I was taught as a boy, but now that I stop and think about it, I think I have always put colored tissue on dry, either pre-shrunk on a frame (for small rubber models) or misted and shrunk after attachment on larger models with more warp-resistant structure.

With regards to tissue over doculam or clear mylar, the procedure that I am familiar with and the one I eventually plan to try is to use esaki tissue over doculam and attach the tissue to the doculam either with permanent purple glue stick, such as UHU, or with thinned dope, shrink the tissue with alcohol which evaporates quickly, continue doping as usual.

I just need to get something finished so I can test the procedure (:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale 5 mil Laminating film, 1 roll, 200' Alard Aircraft - Sailplanes (FS/W) 4 Jan 26, 2015 01:18 AM
Wanted Trade 5 mil Laminating film for 3 mil, 1.7 mil, 1.2 mil Alard Aircraft - Sailplanes (FS/W) 1 Jan 22, 2013 10:35 AM
Sold **"New Stuff"** Laminating Film Covering Mr. Combat Certain Aircraft - Sailplanes (FS/W) 28 Jul 05, 2011 01:07 PM
Discussion EPP wing laminating film covering discostu956 Slope 16 Jun 16, 2010 10:25 PM