Covering small models with tissue? - RC Groups
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Aug 25, 2004, 06:11 AM
Thats NOT indestructible
j8m8l's Avatar

Covering small models with tissue?

Hi Guys,

Im pleased to say that after a rough summer, and couple of weeks in hospital I am now back in action, and working on a new plane - a peanut sized Luton Minor monoplane.

This is my first built-up model of this size, and I am in desperate need of advice for covering it. I have some sheets of Japanese tissue, but dont know where to start! I was thinking of using purple UHU to glue the tissue to the frame, but dont know about shrinking, and sealing it etc. Any tips?

Attached are two pics of the bare frame.

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Aug 25, 2004, 08:08 AM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Glad you are back and well. There is an entire forum over at Small Flying Arts devoted just to covering with tissue, and one thread just for covering with glue sticks. The FF rubber guys probably have the best answers and techniques. You might check it out.

Last edited by Gordon Johnson; Aug 25, 2004 at 08:14 AM.
Aug 25, 2004, 04:07 PM
Registered User
CA'ed fingers's Avatar
Josh, I've just fallen in love (yesterday) with the CO2 Gasparin engines and am looking into building a peanut scale R/C plane to use one of these... I know absolutely nothing about any of this (usually build slowfyers), but it looks so neat... So I will be curious as to what you learn since I will need to cover with tissue as well....

Aug 25, 2004, 04:36 PM
Registered User
peter frostick's Avatar
Josh: 50/50 water thinned white PVA glue sparingly brush applied to the balsa structure is the traditional indoor scale flyer's method of attaching light Jap tissue --- try to cover in mangeably sized pieces, and don't linger too long stretching it smooth(ish!) as the moisture soon weakens the tissue. There is a lot to be learnt, so why not try setting up a dummy structure to practise your skills upon, prior to the real thing!

Take heart!: The first ten years are always the worst!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers Peter

PS Jap tissue with the shiny side outermost is my favourite --- it needs less dope to seal it!
Aug 25, 2004, 04:38 PM
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Dave Wulff's Avatar

I flew a lot of ff co2 years ago. Do your homework to know what you are in for. Compared to electric/LiPoly they are inferior, performance (duration, throttle ability ect.) They don't perform as well in cold weather and ice up in hot weather. Gasparian and Brown both make nice motors, lots of torque, and a neat sound, but it really ends there. They just can't compete with electrics for performance, endurance and convienence. I know there is a "throttle" available, but from what I have heard it's not that great.

Aug 25, 2004, 04:40 PM
Registered User
glen's Avatar
Just a little suggestion
Be a little carefull if using a glue stick to hold the paper on. I've had quite a bit of success but if to much it's heavy and if to little it tends to come free a few weeks later.
Just my 2cents.
Aug 25, 2004, 04:44 PM
You sabotaged my plane.
eliworm's Avatar
The purple UHU works well. Its not messy and is easy to apply. When you have a light structure like that be easy on the shinking.(I use alcohol) It's easy to warp the frame. I still like to use tissue. My last few projects have been covered this way. A Tiny, Q-tee and a Peter Rake Charibiri.

Aug 25, 2004, 05:48 PM
Dongo's Avatar
These tips are from a ff modeler who suggested them to me when i was building my first tissue model. Worked on the 4 tissue covered planes i built. Gluing to the frame is done with white glue thinned with water 50/50. Apply with fine brush, just enough to stick the tissue, and it doesn't take much. As far as shrinking on that scale he told me to preshrink it to avoid warping of the model. He also said shrinking is not a must unless you really want the tissue tight. one model i used preshrunk tissue and another i tried no shrinking and it worked fine, atleast good enough for my standards. i had slight warping with the 2 i tried to shrink. I used a atomizer with water. i think i put too much water and put it unevenly, so it warped. Good luck.

Edit: He also said it would be easier for me if i cut a bigger piece then needed and then trimmed with a razor blade.
Last edited by Dongo; Aug 25, 2004 at 05:51 PM.
Aug 25, 2004, 06:06 PM
Team 30 Micro EDF
Mike Taylor's Avatar
The 'real' traditional methos of attaching tissue is with clear dope. I have developed a liking for BalsaLoc instead. Brush it on the areas where you want it to stick, let it dry, and then iron the tissue on - just like a film covering material. You can drag the tissue a little bit with the iron to help smooth out the area.

The UHU purple glue sticks are preferred by those who like that method, but it has come loose when I tried it. Ironing it is also supposed to lock it in place.

Do go over the Small Flying Arts and read the discussions there. All the methods in use are discussed thoroughly and in detail...
Aug 25, 2004, 06:39 PM
Gravity is a harsh mistress.
Tim Wolff's Avatar
UHU let go when I used it with litespan. It was fine initally. I let it dry overnight and then hit the litespan with a heat gun to tighten it. It looked great until the next evening. When I returned to the shop that evening, the litespan had completely fallen off the framework. Wound up using Sig Stick-it. Smelly, but effective. Thinned white glue or dope for tissue though.
Aug 25, 2004, 06:59 PM
Registered User
glen's Avatar
I thought I was very clever using a fine mist to shrink my initial models but it was disastrous.
Now I do all my shrinking with thinned dope applied with a VERY soft and wide paint brush. Much more successful and very little if any warping.
I will never "mist" again.
Aug 25, 2004, 07:33 PM
Registered User
phil stevo's Avatar
with the peanuts and ff rubber models ive built ive found the best way is to paint with clear dope, then lay the tissue on and paint through with acetone and pull the tissue firm. If you use pva glue giving the tissue a mist over the whole thing helps as it pulls tight as the water dries out later. For indoor models you can get away without doping the tissue, it only leads to warps and weight anyway.
Aug 25, 2004, 08:00 PM
Oxford Panic
AndyOne's Avatar

Covering with 4u Mylar before putting the tissue on takes less dope than tissue alone and FFers claim it's lighter. I've done this and it certainly gives a more puncture proof covering.

Aug 26, 2004, 03:24 AM
Registered User
Graham Smith's Avatar
I personally favour the method described by Peter,
It's a good idea to seal the structure prior to covering. (only the parts that come into contact with tissue) with sanding sealer or dope that has some talcum powder stirred in. then sanding smooth. Stops the structure absorbing the dope like blotting paper. Produces a much nicer looking model.
Cover the rudder first, if you mess things up, its easier to strip it off a small component.

The other Graham
Aug 27, 2004, 08:52 PM
Registered User
CA'ed fingers's Avatar
Hi Dave,
I have a bunch of electric planes and helis... I'm suddenly interested in CO2 for the novelty factor... Would like at least one small plane with a neat CO2 engine just for floating around once in a while...

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