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Feb 20, 2004, 09:45 PM
Gravity sucks.
mrittinger's Avatar

metal covering


While searching for a metal type covering for the Marauder, I just came across http://www.mcmaster.com/
In the "Fastening and Sealing" section there is "Foil Tape" listed in many different thicknesses, with different widths, and it appears a lot cheaper than Flite Metal. Site claims it'll conform well.....cheap to try too, only $5.00 or so
I think I'll order some. Anyone live near this joint wanna try some out?????
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Feb 21, 2004, 07:55 AM
Registered User
Tempest's Avatar
Hey Mark...

I recently found some lightwight metal tape in my local Home Depot that is used for HVAC purposes. It seems very similar to Flite Metal. It is very thin and has a pretty aggressive adhesive. It might be worth a look...

Regards!

Paul
Feb 21, 2004, 01:47 PM
Gravity sucks.
mrittinger's Avatar
I think this might be similar, though they claim it's only .003 thick! Light, flexible....CHEAP! I'll look next time I'm in there though. Thanks for the tip.

Mark
Feb 21, 2004, 05:57 PM
Registered User
The tape works good Mark. Used it myself on my B-29.

Steve
Feb 21, 2004, 09:59 PM
AMA 670207
Rudderman98's Avatar
Here is an excerpt from Carl Bachhuber on RCwarbirds.com about a polyester chrome tape from 3m. Check out his planes. They are HUGE! Oh and Mark, check out his OV-1 Mowhawk.
Perry


Metalized Polyester Tape Application for R/C Aircraft.
By Carl Bachhuber

Some of you have asked how I simulate the aluminum finish on some of my scale aircraft.

Since the 1980's I've been experimenting with types of Metalized Polyester(MP) tape. 3M and others manufacture it mostly for silk screening, and slide masking. It also can be used as I've found on model aircraft.
Well let me give you some of the advantages.

Unlike heat shrink coverings this will not bubble or loosen over time. I've had it on one airplane for over 12 years and it really looks as good as the day I put it on. It is much stronger than plastic films. It is easily repaired. Applying the tape is a fairly fast process and it can also be painted. The tape is impervious to Gasoline, Methyl Ethyl Ketone(MEK) and most other thinners. It is lighter in weight than most paints. It is about 2 mils thick and is non-conductive. Mixing and matching different types of materials such as aluminum tape, paint and MP tape can create a very realistic finish.

Disadvantages. Well, the biggest disadvantage is the limited ability of the tape to conform to compound curves. A bit of heat helps but if the curves are too sharp you may need to cut the tape or come up with a different method of metal covering simulation to achieve a satisfactory result. MP tape is for covering solid surfaces not open bays.

Prepare the model the same way you would for paint. I usually cover the model with a 3/4 oz. glass cloth and a laminating epoxy although polyester resin can be used also. I use an acrylic auto primer after the model has been sanded. Instead of spraying on the primer try using a short nap small paint roller. Seems to be a very fast process with no overspray. Sand and fill till your satisfied. Remember, too much sanding is never enough. Once satisfied, wash and wipe down the model so that it is as close to clean as possible. You should now be ready to apply the tape. I use a squared sheet of metal as a cutting board.

Since the tape has an aggressive adhesive on one side put that side to the cutting board and unroll a length. Cut into the desired panels. Buff with Scotch-brite if you want that abused aluminum look instead of a mirror finish. Make sure you have removed all particles from that process and the aircraft lest you should have contamination under the tape after it is applied. Now, raise an edge of the panel with a Xacto knife and peal it off the cutting board. Place the panel on the desired spot on the model and press from the middle of the panel to the outside to keep air entrapment to a minimum. You might also want to keep a covering iron on a high setting while your working as it can be helpful on minor compound curves. Again work from the inside out. Don't worry if you screw up a panel just peel it off and reset or toss it out.

After your finished applying the panels you might want to try simulating rivets by using r/c 56 glue for raised rivets. In the case of flush rivets the hot tip of a wood burning tool shaped like a rivet works very well although it takes too much time for me. Instead I came up with a "dritz wheel" like tool with brass tubing spokes which does an acceptable job of making rivets fast.

If you want to experiment with this material it can be found in manufacturers directories under specialty tapes. Look for 3M #850 or equivalent. One company Specialty Tapes uses the part number #298 Silver metallic tape in their catalog. Don't be afraid to shop around. There are others. Good luck!
Feb 21, 2004, 10:45 PM
Permanently Banned
I do beleive the hardware store tape is much thicker than the Specialty tape, AKA Flitemetal stuff.
I know the flitemetal guy has claimed that his stuff is exclusive and made for him, but I don't buy that.
Feb 21, 2004, 11:10 PM
Gravity sucks.
mrittinger's Avatar
I don't either. I'm betting it's nothing more than the foil tape I found on line.
Mark
Feb 22, 2004, 08:39 AM
Permanently Banned
Firstup, he's part of this whole circuit of BS and self-promotion based out of florida. I ain't naming names.

Secondup, a friend of mine actually TRIED to get a special tape made. This was transparent colored gel tape for putting onto movie lights. The quantities needed to have something made by 3m or Speciaty were VAST.
Feb 22, 2004, 10:04 AM
Gravity sucks.
mrittinger's Avatar
I think I got ya, bro, I know what you mean.
Feb 22, 2004, 10:29 AM
Turrets Syndrome?
Bomberguy's Avatar
Maybe he doen't have it made exclusively but has exclusive sizes (widths)

I bought some flight metal because I though it would be thinner or have better properties than the aluminum tape I bought at Harbor Freight. I can't tell the difference. Looks the same, has the same release backing, acts the same and I was not able to measure any difference in thickness, although I only have cheap calipers. They both measured just under 2 mil, harbor freight specs their tape at 2 mill, Flight metal specs theirs at 1.5. Both stick like heck and are easy to work around complex surfaces. I've only played with the tapes so far in preparation for a project so I can't offer any examples.

The FM stuff took weeks to get, I had to remind them and they finally sent it. The HF stuff can be found here if you don't have a store nearby

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=3926
Last edited by Bomberguy; Feb 22, 2004 at 10:37 AM.
Feb 22, 2004, 10:37 AM
Permanently Banned
I don't begrudge the right for anybody to make a living. Selling flitemetal at a huge markup is not a real problem, but if you get busted doing it, just say nothing. Don't deny it and claim that your stuff is an exclusive. It reminds me of the SR Batteries thang, where Steve Neu took the labels off and found they were just ordinary cells. Fine, just don't say ANYTHING, and most people will understand...they will just feel that whatever value that SR or Flite Metal adds to the products are enough to justify the markup, no problem. But don't DENY it. Say nothing!
I just got issue #4 of FlyRC. I was APPALED. The iinappropriate comment removed by moderator shameless self-promotion was WORSE than ANYTHING Model Airplane News ever did. Go look at it. You know who I am talking about, I think. Clayman, the flitemetal guy, is part of that whole circle.
Whatever. The magazine was a good idea, got corrupt in just four issues, must be a new record.

Back to....TAPE.

George Maorana showed me the back of some of the tape he used, it was Specialty Brand tape.

Flitemetal is very thin and dead soft, it is NOT the same stuff you get from the hardware store. Baremetal Foil (which is certainly marked up 1000% WORSE than Flitemetal!) is TOO thin, and too expensive to use on RC models. The right stuff is somewhere inbetween.
Feb 22, 2004, 10:40 AM
Permanently Banned
Quote:
Originally posted by Bomberguy
Maybe he doen't have it made exclusively but has exclusive sizes (widths)

I bought some flight metal because I though it would be thinner or have better properties than the aluminum tape I bought at Harbor Freight. I can't tell the difference. Looks the same, has the same release backing, acts the same and I was not able to measure any difference in thickness, although I only have cheap calipers. They both measured just under 2 mil, harbor freight specs their tape at 2 mill, Flight metal specs theirs at 1.5. Both stick like heck and are easy to work around complex surfaces. I've only played with the tapes so far in preparation for a project so I can't offer any examples.

The FM stuff took weeks to get, I had to remind them and they finally sent it. The HF stuff can be found here if you don't have a store nearby

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=3926
Neat! Can you check the backing on the Harbor Freight stuff and see if there might be a manufacturer?

Custom ordering WIDTHS is not such a big problem, the stuff is made on a very wide roll, it's just a question of slitting it down. But to actually custom make tape, it's a big industrial process, I just can't see 3m doing that for some teeny model operation.
Feb 22, 2004, 10:57 AM
Turrets Syndrome?
Bomberguy's Avatar
Unfortunately they both have plain white unmarked backing. the FM stuff is spooled onto a tube that is marked with Uline.com. They also sell aluminum foil tape. I suspect they buy it somewhere else and don't manufacture it.

http://www.uline.com/ProductDetail.asp?model=S-7855
Feb 22, 2004, 11:07 AM
Turrets Syndrome?
Bomberguy's Avatar
BTW, Uline also sells shipping tubes so it doesn't mean that Flight Metal gets their tape from them, maybe only the shipping tube. This is the tube that FM's tape is spooled on to.

http://www.uline.com/Browse_Listing_3653.asp

So I don't want to jump to the conclusion that Ulines tape is the same as FM.
Feb 22, 2004, 02:42 PM
Gravity sucks.
mrittinger's Avatar
I went to Harbor on the way home from the gym, and this is what I got for $8.00. 3, 3" rolls.


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